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21,000 Steps with Hemingway

09-23-18

Enjoying the solitude

A quite Sunday morning in Paris

Day 1:

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.

sunday morning solitude

Walking the artists streets from the 1920’s and 30’s.

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.

Living History:

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:

Artist spots in Paris

Famous Hemingway Spots

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.

Brass’s Big Comeback: JWH Chats with Washington Post

03-20-18

brass makes a comeback

Brass fixtures selected by Carrie Parker Interiors

The Resurgence of Brass

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reached out to Jennifer Howard of JWH Design & Cabinetry about an emerging—or more specifically, reemerging—kitchen design delicacy. Brass fixtures have significantly grown their presence in the modern kitchen, and for good reason.

“The resurgence of brass in home design is bringing a new level of warmth back to kitchens,” says Howard.  

This article by Megan McDonough presents a selection of “splurge” and “save” design options. Selected by Howard and the JWH Team, these design ideas are coupled with both pricing and sources.  They’re fun ideas for homeowners so that they, too, can add a creative touch of brass to their kitchens.

Stainless steel and chrome fixtures in the kitchen have taken a back seat to another alloy.  In comparison to its two-compound cousins, brass proves to be a more durable option. Brass faucets will resist calcium and soft water corrosion. Their lifespan and functionality will exceed that of the ever popular stainless steel and chrome faucets.

Beauty & The Beast

Alongside anchor-strength, aesthetics plays a large role in the reemergence of brass in kitchens. This is why we are now seeing brass fixtures explode onto different facets of the kitchen; breaking the rule of the many traditional kitchen accessories.

The softness of brass subtly reflects a warm environment back into the kitchen. Brass has a richness that plays beautifully with contrast when paired with other kitchen appliances. With a smooth and sleek posture, brass is a brilliant way to splash bits of visual effect throughout an outdated kitchen. Isn’t it ironic how something that has for so long been associated with antique is now revered as a staple in kitchen modernity?

Whether it be cabinet fixtures, light fixtures, or even flashy drink coasters, brass will grab eyes while offsetting tones of a cooler nature; stainless, white, and grey shades. It is no wonder that brass fixtures are currently exploding in home design. With the alloy’s beastly strength and its luxurious glow, this kitchen design delicacy is truly the kitchen’s new beauty and the beast.

JWH Interview for US News and World Report.

03-13-18

JWH Interview on renovations

JWH Interviewed by US News and World Report

Play It Smart

This is not one of the JWH Construction Management Team working hard on this outside deck. But the JWH Team is busy on renovations of all sizes and shapes– from NY to CA.

Given the breadth of experience in new residential construction and home renovations, US News and World Report reached out to Jennifer Howard, owner and principal designer of JWH Design & Cabinetry, for insight into the upcoming trends for renovations in 2018.

The US News Real Estate Section published Maryalene LaPonsie’s “7 Home Renovations to Consider for 2018” on March 9, 2018. Specialists shared their insight suggestions for homeowners. Financial plans and cheap design tips from Jennifer Howard are there to help the vision. Nick Hodapp, an associate broker with Atlas Real Estate in Denver, shares his knowledge on smart planning. Also, Mike Kinane, senior VP of home equity for TD Bank, gave his insight on responsible renovations. Combined, the three specialists share how to save on style and plan accordingly for home renovations.

Planning is Key

Kinane adds that February is the month homeowners start to address financing for their renovations with their bankers.  This adds time to the overall project planning so factoring in these 30 days needs to be part of the project schedule.  He further elaborates on the future of home equity loans for renovations in 2018, offering reassuring advice for homeowners and investors, in the Miami Herald on January 17, 2018.

Unsure about whether to add on to your existing home?  Jennifer Howard says to think twice before bringing in the backhoe: “Working within existing space, as opposed to adding extra square footage to a home, has gained traction over the past few years,” she says. “It seems to be our biggest request right now.”  She believes this makes sense in terms of renovation timing, overall investment, and potential real estate tax increases.

Creative ideas for renovations that improve flow and function, overall aesthetics, AND add value to real estate is the expertise and passion of JWH Design & Cabinetry.  Check out other JWH Before & After projects.

 

 

 

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017

04-07-17

JWH and House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year!

We are excited to share that House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2017  will feature JWH Custom Cabinetry.  As the 4th design project with Jon De La Cruz,  Jennifer Howard is honored to be part of this San Francisco project.  This spectacular kitchen is the main feature of the San Francisco Decorator Showhouse. The show is open to the public April 29-May 28, 2017.  Moreover, this show benefits the students and programs of San Francisco High School.  

The annual House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year issue will hit the newsstand September 19, 2017.  Grab your copy early, before they run out!  This issue features the projects of top designers and deserves a spot on your coffee table.

Jen and Jon Del Cruz x House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year

Celebrating Kitchen of the Year!

The Design Team:

JWH Design and Cabinetry has collaborated with Jon de la Cruz on this year’s Decorator Showcase. Jennifer Howard worked carefully to reflect Jon’s artistic goals, and together they found the right balance of form and function. Remarkably, JWH Custom cabinetry was shipped from PA to CA in 6 weeks.  This achievement is due to an incredible team effort!  

Other sponsors of the Kitchen of the Year include Thermador, Lutron, and Bliss Haus.  These trend-setting companies will introduce exciting new products. For instance, the beautiful new Thermador 60″ steam range is an addition to their family of products. Moreover, it will be a highlight for visitors during opening weekend who want to sample the goodies!

The Bliss Haus display on open shelves will have you aching to organize your pantry.  In conclusion, a gorgeous display of storage, both practical and environmentally friendly, that will work beautifully for most families.

It becomes easy to control all your electronics from the iPad on your counter. Plus, Lutron works easily for your new construction projects as well as kitchen renovations.

In conclusion, we encourage you to follow us on Instagram so you will be the first to see our most noteworthy photos and updates!  @jwhdesigns @delagrammar

Design Challenges and Solutions

05-12-16

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.

The dead end cooking area was disproportionate to the room.

BEFORE: the dead end cooking area was disproportionate to the room.

The long walls of cabinetry, away from the work zone, did not add much function.

BEFORE: the long walls of cabinetry, away from the work zone, did not add much function.

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.

JWH solution for the main cooking and clean up area

Plenty of counterspace and generous walkways ensures this cook won’t be trapped in their JWH Kitchen.

A better utilization of space allowed the addition of a Bar as well as the Family Desk.

A better utilization of space allowed the addition of a Bar as well as the Family Desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

JWH Design & Cabinetry

 

 

 

JWH Finalist in “Best of Design” 2016

04-06-16

We Made it to the Finals for the Best of Design Issue!

JWH Design & Cabinetry is a finalist in the 2016 Westchester Home Magazine Design Awards! The Best of Design issue hit the stands this month and features photos and details from the finalist’s projects.

JWH Best of Design 2016

JWH Nominated for Best of Living Spaces

“It’s an honor to be selected for this category.  The beautiful Kitchen is the main feature, but how the overall space “lives” is what makes it special,” says Jennifer Howard, principal designer and owner of JWH Design & Cabinetry in Rye, NY.  The more challenging the space is, however, the more excited the JWH Team is to orchestrate the transformation.

Working closely with the Client from start to finish resulted in a space that the family enjoys every day. The remarkable “before” and “after” photos are featured on Houzz.

Winners for the Best of Design will be announced Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the 5th Annual Awards Ceremony.

JWH Nominated for Best Living Spaces

Truly a “living space” by the JWH Design Team. Also one of our favorites

Custom JWH Home in Rye hits the market!

02-07-16

Designed by JWH Design & Cabinetry

Fabulous new home, designed and built by JWH Design & Cabinetry.

Keeping it Custom

Sotheby’s has just listed this fabulous NEW 5,400 square foot home in Rye. Designed and fully renovated by JWH Design & Cabinetry, this custom home has it all!

A challenge, nonetheless, this five-bedroom, five full and 2 half baths accommodate everyone. The first-floor office, however, offers a quiet place to get some work done. The second-floor laundry lies beneath a walk-up playroom on the 3rd floor. With a full finished basement, this custom home will provide plenty of room for even the biggest of families. The surrounding land is over 1/2 acre of beautifully level landscape. The fenced yard has room for a pool and direct access to a private cul-de-sac. Located at 151 Old Post Road, this home is walking distance to town, the train, and schools.

The JWH Custom Home

Every inch of his home, inside and out, reflects the careful planning, design, and construction expertise of the JWH Design Team. The custom kitchen features professional grade appliances and JWH Custom Inset Cabinetry in mixed painted and stained finishes. The apron front sink and polished nickel plumbing fixtures are crafted by Rohl. Imperial Danby marble compliments cabinetry hardware by Emtek. The Napoleon gas fireplace and unique light fixtures by Visual Comfort and Robert Abbey are high-quality details that add instant style and charm to this great family/entertaining space.

JWH Custom Inset Cabinetry, Rohl Fixtures, Imperial Danby Marble and Visual Comfort Pendants

Each of the bathrooms (including the laundry room) feature JWH Custom Cabinetry in unique finishes.  The tile and slab details, fixture selections, and even the coordinated paint colors ensure that this home will appeal to discriminating buyers. Indeed, those who recognize taste and quality, it will be love at first sight!

“I treated this project like I was designing it for my family of 5 kids and grandson, and I’m pretty sure it shows in the flow and the function, as well as the creative details,” says Jennifer Howard, principal designer, and owner of JWH Design & Cabinetry.    “We are excited by the positive response from realtors and interested buyers.”

Master Vanity

Master Vanity and Walk-in Shower

Laundry Room Cabinets

Color and texture in the Laundry Room

Upcoming Project Debuts

Two other custom projects by JWH Design & Cabinetry will also be hitting the market this Spring.  Firstly, a fully renovated 5800 square foot home in the desired Milton school area is on the list. This custom home in the quiet family neighborhood will meet completion in late Spring. Also to add, a soon-to-be-constructed 4600 square foot home on coveted Pine Island will be available on the market. With direct frontage on LI sound, and adjoining bay/dock, this property will provide a totally unique opportunity for the savvy waterfront buyer.  For more information, please email info@jwhdesigns.com or michael.holmes@juliabfee.com

 

JWH Wins Best of Houzz 2016

01-18-16

Rye, NY – JWH Design & Cabinetry has won the “Best Of Houzz 2016” Award for the 4th consecutive year!

Only 3% of professionals in the US and North America receive this honored distinction. Based on nominations of over 35 million monthly Houzz users, the Best of Houzz Award is truly an honor.

“We hired JWH based on the excellent reviews,” writes one client about their experience with JWH. “We were new to the area and we thank our lucky stars that we came across Jennifer and her team.  Not only did they help design and manufacture the most amazing kitchen we ever owned, they went beyond their duty in helping us create the beautiful home that we love.  If you are thinking of renovating your home, this is the team for you.”

It is the quality and quantity of excellent reviews, as well as the impressive portfolio of completed projects, that sets the JWH Design & Cabinetry Team apart as a top professional in the highly competitive Westchester and Fairfield County markets.  This impressive portfolio can be viewed at Houzz.com as well as on the interactive JWH website:  jwhdesigns.com

Keeping our JWH Clients Happy

Positive reviews from JWH Clients win the Best of Houzz Award 2016

JWH Renovation Project Featured!

05-19-15

Beautiful Home Renovation in Rye Record

The annual House and Garden section of the Rye Record features a fabulous renovation project by Jennifer Howard and the JWH Design & Cabinetry Team.

Renovated Kitchen and Family Room Photos

A breath of spring in this JWH Kitchen and Family Room

Here is the link to the article and photos, published in the Rye Record, May 19, 2015.

The renovation project started as a dark, cramped, and oddly asymmetrical kitchen and family room areas. However, it soon transformed into an open, inviting and light-filled space for this young family’s enjoyment.

JWH coordinated the project from initial consultation before the home was ever purchased. From the architectural and cabinetry design process, permits, and construction, to the finishing touches! With a client living in NYC with young twins, our ability to offer “one-stop shopping” resulted in a streamlined process from start to finish.

Starting with the right layout is the key to the perfect ending. The peninsula Bar cabinets with double-sided glass cabinets above provide a transition from the hallway into the Kitchen. The best part? No obstruction of the view or the light of course. Now, the awkward angles in the Family Room elegantly hide behind the bookcase and TV unit. The latter instantly brings this 60’s addition up to date, without needing to do any exterior work.

This transitional kitchen with crisp white cabinetry in our Craftsman Series includes stainless hardware by Atlas Housewares, Pental Quartz countertops, and a 1×6″ glossy white glass tile backsplash. Thus, this kitchen design implements both beauty and function. Appliances include a 36″ Wolf range and pro-style hood, Sub Zero refrigerator, Jenn Air microwave drawer, and Sub Zero wine refrigerator.

 

Cottages & Gardens: Kitchen Trends

05-13-14

This antique farmhouse in Riverside, CT got a JWH Kitchen renovation!

This beautiful JWH kitchen has caught the eye of the Editor of Cottages & Gardens to be featured in this January issue.   This stained dark cherry JWH Kitchen, with Calcutta countertops and stainless appliances, has an appealing “trendy” look to appeal to their readers.  The kitchen looked great enough to be photographed 7 years after being finished for their feature article.  This was a testament to classic design, timeless materials, and excellent quality cabinetry.  Both the homeowner and our JWH Team are proud to be part of this accomplishment!

Space planning is the key to all– and it needs to happen as the first step.  This converted antique barn had all the spaces, but in all the wrong places.   Expanding the footprint was not the right solution since it didn’t actually solve the problem.  Jennifer Howard from JWH Design & Cabinetry was brought in to solve the mystery.  How do you create flow, function and great family living spaces?

Thinking outside the box–literally– was the answer.  Turning the corner with the main part of the kitchen, and connecting to the family/living room, made all the difference.  The narrower portion of the room, previously the main kitchen space, was perfectly proportioned to serve as the “butler’s pantry”  (i.e. snack ares on a daily basis.)  Hidden areas behind the backsplash, that backed under existing stairs, became valuable countertop storage for everyday appliances.  These ideas were well ahead of their time in 2006 and are still functioning beautifully today.  Hint:  this blog has just been updated on 2018!

This family with 4 young children was thrilled beyond their expectations at the time of the renovation.  Moreover, they were impressed when it was photographed and published 7 years after being completed by Cottages & Gardens for the Kitchen Trends issue.

JWH designs beautiful kitchens of all styles

JWH featured for Kitchen Trends in C&G