The Cool House: wood
Showing posts with label wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wood. Show all posts

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Cork or Wood Flooring?

Help! Now we've decided to go for it, the only thing holding up the kitchen renovation is the flooring choice. I've gone over it a bezillion times and I'm no nearer reaching a conclusion but the kitchen cabinets are about to be ordered so I need to make a decision right now.

Here are the issues: We have a sink, water dispenser in fridge. two dog bowls, cook top and wall ovens - that's a lot of potential spills. There are seven (7) doors/entryways to this room - it flows into the foyer, powder room, dining room, great room, mud room and basement and then there is the sliding kitchen door. The foyer and great room have waxed mahogany/walnut parquet floor, the dining room is presently carpeted and the mudroom, which is off at a 120 degree angle, should have the same floor as the kitchen. Oh, and did I mention the kitchen is a trapezoid?

I need the floor to be the same level as the parquet; I don't want anything as visually intrusive as a saddle nor do I want to trip over the transitions. So no slips no trips and as unified as possible. Also eco-friendly and able to stand up to two large dogs and four indoor/outdoor cats. Then there's the New York winter with its mud, snow, ice and ice melt trekking throughout the space and the Long Island summer - pool water and chlorine plus sand from the beach. Ceramic/Porcelain/Stone tiles are not an option here - too hard on the feet and too cold (we don't have room for radiant heating).

I had planned a cork floor for the kitchen - green, easy to install and soft underfoot. The tiles are square so will follow the same pattern as the existing vinyl that works for this space. They can either be waxed or polycoated to seal and are to a certain extent self-healing in the natural state. The flooring guy asked to quote for the job tells me it will be more expensive than wood floors and more easily damaged. I think he's balking because he's used to hardwood installation. His argument? Wood floors can be stained any color, sanded down if they get damaged and are better for resale (not that we're considering selling). Interestingly, Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design had a post on cork floors last week that's worth reading.

So dear interwebs, weigh in with your thoughts. What would be the ideal flooring for The Cool House? Anyone who suggests indoor/outdoor carpeting will be growled at...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nakashima Woodwork

Conoid bench with back, 1968

For the longest time I have been in love with the distinctive benches, tables and chairs of mid-century designer and furniture maker George Nakashima.  I adhere to his philosophy of "no style", which I take to mean let the object be itself, showcase the raw source and use its imperfections to make a more beautiful piece of furniture.

Arlyn Table, 1988

Not rough-hewn but lovingly finished, natural splits in the wood are tied with his signature butterfly ties and the unique form of burl wood is celebrated for its dynamic shape. 

Other woodworkers have been inspired by his aesthetics and style to produce custom handcrafted furniture. This 6' bench was recently for sale on ebay.

via remodalista

Nakashima influenced designs fit seamlessly into almost any decor - Asian, Modern, Country, and every room - here on a porch,

in designer Shamir Shah's living room (featured in Interior Design), and even in tile designer Sarah Baldwin's bathroom.

Conoid Chair 1988

The beauty and radiance of genuine Nakashima furniture is outstanding.  To wonder at the range and craftsmanship of this unique designer visit the online gallery of vintage pieces at Moderne Gallery or the slideshow of the George Nakashima and Knoll: The Making of an Object exhibit that runs until June 6 at The Design Center at Philadelphia University.

The Nakashima legacy continues under the guidance of his daughter Mira and a team of dedicated woodworkers at New Hope Pennsylvania. Tours of the showroom and property are given throughout the year, contact George Nakashima Woodworker for details.

It's Friday so go visit old houses at Hooked on Houses and Fifi Flowers is giving away a Coco Chanel book (small girly scream)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tiny Wooden Objects

MoMA Design Store catalog is out and full of more uniquely modern objets. Several are on my covet list including these four wooden pieces:

Sang-bum Kim's mini cube I.dear speakers (also in faux marble) are sold exclusively by MoMA. They include a USB connector for charging and a standard jack to connect to your iphone or other portable audio player. $36.00.

Bamboo Desk Clock by Japanese designer Yusuke Tsujita that is just 3" square. Perfect simplicity for a minimalist bedside table. $88.00

via Japanese design emporium MUJI comes New York City in a Bag , wooden representations of NYC landmarks (and six cars), that would look great on a bookcase and cost an budget friendly $15.00

From the NYC borough of Brooklyn come these gorgeous Spice Blocks made from repurposed mahogany from a window factory. Food safe, they'd be welcome in my kitchen. Designed by Nick Foley and Diane Ruengsorn $50.00.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Solid Walnut Beds

I'm pretty clear now about how my master bath will look, at least in my head - I'm still sourcing all the products for a mood board. In the meantime I've moved on to researching a new bed for our room. The one we have at present, Leggero from DWR, was bought in 2003, a time when I craved a sexy low platform bed. Five years of house renovations have taken their toll on the back and the knees and getting up from the minimalist bed is accompanied by much groaning and creaking. I still want a model that has great modern design but I need it to be a few inches higher. I also think a solid walnut bed will compliment the windows better and provide a contrast with the bamboo floors. Here are my favorites so far:

0011 Bed in Black Walnut by Atlantico. From Velocity. Available in four sizes: Twin $2245.00 to King $3295.00.

Matera Bed from DWR. Available in Queen and King, with or without storage. Prices start at $2500.

Anders Bed from Room and Board. Solid walnut Queen $1,399.00, King and Cal King $1,599.00.

Again from Room and Board, the Hudson Bed in Solid Walnut has roomy storage drawers. $2699 for the Queen, $2899 the King and California King.

My final choice from Room and Board and perhaps my favourite, the Grove bed. Queen $1599, King and Cal King $1899.
Unfortunately the online stores aren't great at telling you how high from the floor the bed will be so picking one isn't as easy as I would like, but the Matera has a platform height of 15", which with a 10" mattress on top, should make standing up in the mornings a whole lot easier.

This post is part of the Hooked on Houses blog fest

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Five minute fix

Cabot walnut stain
Originally uploaded by modernemama
I've mentioned this before, but it's amazing how history repeats itself around here, there is nothing like someone announcing they'd like to visit your house for you to fix those little chores you've been putting off since, oh I don't know, June 2004.
This evening I stained this piece of molding that was missing for three years and has been begging to be finished for the past two months. Hurrah for me.
I also dusted, washed floors and vacuumed, even though I know that by tomorrow morning the two dogs and four cats will have shed enough to cover every surface with a thick layer of fur, and if I'm very lucky one of the kittens will have coughed up a pink or green fur ball on the white carpet and the other will have peed on my new duvet cover.
I'm glad someone gave me the impetus to do this though. Who knows how long we might have been living with an 2' untreated piece of wood otherwise?