Archive for the ‘In the Works’ Category
It feels like 24 hours since I was sitting in JFK working on my laptop before my flight. The clock confirmed it was 4:30 pm on Saturday, and now it’s 4:30 pm on Sunday, but a couple of big factors had changed.
I thought that traveling 6 time zones, forgoing a night of sleep upright in coach, and having to wander the streets for 8 hours alone before I could access my AirBNB, would be my first stumbling block. In reality, the flight landed an hour early (so I actually had a full 9 hours to wander) and I truly didn’t sleep a wink in my airplane seat. Slight panic started rising at the baggage carousel at 6:30 am. I asked a few people for suggestions, including a mid-30’s group of travelers for Fashion Week, but they’d never faced this particular challenge. I didn’t have the guts to approach Kurt Russell and ask his advice. (He looked pretty incognito wearing jeans and a scruffy backpack, but it was definitely him.)
It’s not fraud!
To add to the dismay and frustration, after notifying both credit card companies that I was departing for France, only to be assured there would be no problem with my cards, BOTH my Visa and Platinum Am Ex cards were denied for my Uber ride. I’ve never in my life been grateful for PayPal, but at least they processed the charge. Hailing a taxi was the back up plan, but typing the destination and knowing the cost are much easier than relying on unpracticed French and unfamiliar bills and coins.
Once my 2 suitcases were stashed at a City Locker location near my AirBNB, the first views of Paris at this hour where calming. The roads and sidewalks were almost empty, with only the movement and drum beat of the crew teams practicing on the Seine. Choosing the cutest awning and chairs, as well as the desired street-side view, I enjoyed my first cafe and croissant, and plotted out the next 7.5 hours. Choosing between group Qigong instruction in the park, or a walking tour of literary and artistic history in Paris, I went for the option requiring less balance. The 20’s and 30’s came alive as our 2-person tour led by MIT-educated, Olga, guided us along the same steps as Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Matisse, and others from this creative era. 2.5 hours flew by enjoyably with only minor mists of rain and I found myself ready to download The Movable Feast on my Kindle and re-watch Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson.
When It Rains, It Pours:
By the time the rain really started to pour, my feet were objecting as loudly as my stomach. Getting settled into my room was getting critical or the rain drops might have turned into tears. The 2-stop Uber request was trickier but when the driver saw the size of the larger suitcase in comparison to my height, he understood why I couldn’t walk the remaining 7 blocks. When he let me off at the wrong end of the one way street, I tried to act confident that I could maneuver the 2 bags along the cobblestones to the front door. The entry code worked on the first try (which was NOT the experience at City Locker), but this only served to quickly reveal the tiny and steep steps that lay ahead. I could barely get in the front door with my big bag so I had no choice but to block the entire hallway while I attempted to carry my wheeled carry-on and shoulder bag to the second floor. Did you know that the French don’t give the ground floor a number? 3 flights up really narrow, steep and winding stairs; I’m sure the sound of baggage wheels smacking against the risers, and a few multilingual curses, was no surprise to the other residents.
A Glass of Rose to End the Day:
The apartment is so awesome my misgivings slowly dissipated and I’m soon ready to head back out for groceries, as soon as I’ve got enough phone charge to keep me from getting lost. After a few attempts to find a gourmet market with fresh cheese and bread, I decided that a served meal and glass of wine was a fitting reward for this extra long day. And here I sit—aaahhh! “Le dejeuner special du jour”: salad, salmon and potatoes and a glass of rose. Deliciously doused in butter, as only the French can do, I felt the need to check the number of steps I walked today, before deciding on dessert. Almost 21,000 steps… that works.
Now if I can just stay awake until 8 pm tonite to get on a normal time zone for painting tomorrow at 10 am.
Spring Shines into New Kitchen & Family Room Addition
After a long dreary winter, signs of spring are flowing through the tall windows of this new Kitchen and Family Room addition. Being a transplant from sunny California, this Client’s request was lots of light! The 9’0 ceilings accompanied by extra tall windows make this possible. It can be tricky to fit large windows while balancing the need for storage. Thus, the design process involved several different window arrangements. Here is one of the earlier concept views:
Cabinetry installation started this week with our JWH Team. By the end of the second day, the cabinets are in place and ready to be templated. The 42″ French Door Sub Zero appliance panels are installed with beautifully polished nickel hardware by Alno.
The crown moulding will be installed above the cabinetry valance and around the entire room; custom color-matched for a perfect finish. Once the countertops are installed (and these are a beautiful choice, not to be revealed here) and most of the major construction work is complete, the JWH guys will return to install the furniture base-moulding and make the final touch-ups. This happy Client will be cooking in time for summer!
From Boxed Atrocity to Beautiful Kitchen
We have been told that the favorite projects at JWH are the ones that require them to “think outside the box.” In this part of the country, the charming Victorians and solidly built Tudors are known to present plenty of challenges, but sometimes a 1980’s colonial can be just as tricky when it wasn’t designed properly from the start. The story of this beautiful kitchen design will shine a light on this.
In this recent project designed by JWH Design & Cabinetry, the existing kitchen was actually “in a box.” A rectangular room with long solid walls, one exterior window, and one doorway to the mudroom. To add, the cabinetry layout made no sense whatsoever! Even with a big opening to the adjoining family room, nothing about this space worked well.
Taking on the Challenge
Before the Design Team at JWH will even focus on designing the cabinetry, appliances, and countertops, they approach the space (and all the adjoining rooms) as a whole. “Fixing” the space architecturally, whether it is adding or adjusting doorways, increasing windows, or even knocking down walls, is the critical first step.
“Any cabinet dealer can simply replace white cabinets and marble countertops, but this is a disservice to the homeowner,” says Jennifer Howard, owner and principal designer at JWH Design & Cabinetry. “Improving the architecture of the room first will allow the designs to flow naturally, resulting in a space that “feels” right and functions well for the long term.”
The JWH Team begins to explore various layout options. Meanwhile, the homeowner is presented with realistic 3-d views to help them visualize their new space. In this case, the windows and new appliances had to remain. Nonetheless, new cabinetry configuration created a fully functioning kitchen. This design suit both the kids and mom. With a large island for seating, a separate Bar with an added wine unit, and a generous desk area, everyone is happy! Adjusting one door location and adding another was the simple architectural solutions that created new flow through the area. The latter thrilled this homeowner.
With the cabinetry design process now complete, the detailed shop drawings are “signed off” and in production. Next, demolition and reconstruction of this space will begin. This Connecticut family will be enjoying their new kitchen well in time for the holidays. Stay tuned for additional “In the Works” projects.
Posted by C.C. Murray, 2016
Jersey Shore Home in the final stages: Just in Time for Summer at the Beach!
Our JWH Kitchen for this Jersey Shore home features a 48″ Wolf range with a custom wood hood, 36″ Sub Zero refrigerator/freezer and 30″ Sub Zero tall wine unit. All tied in with 2 Bosch dishwashers and a Sharp microwave drawer. The oversized cherry Island, shown in a custom dark stain, allows generous space for prep and clean-up. Did we mention that it seats 6? The stools on the sides can be slid into a “niche” and out of the way when not in use. However, the Bar area is also designed for entertaining with plenty of counter space and glass cabinets above. It also shines in daily functionalities. With a second sink, dishwasher, double trash unit, and snack drawers, this kitchen captures best of both worlds!
The full overlay doors and drawers provide a clean, transitional look.Better yet, they’re well-suited to tolerate the changes of humidity of the nearby ocean. Our durable catalyzed conversion varnish paint finish, prepped and finished in our JWH Millshop, will provide the needed durability in this busy vacation home.