December  2015 

Thank you for visiting. This month we'll look at one of our favorite projects we call the, "Candy Cane Kitchen".  We'll also visit a place where it's Christmas year around, discover a giant fork and best fries, and learn what to do about candle wax on your tablecloth.
It's a little late for your project to be completed this year, but now is a great time to be thinking about your kitchen or bath for next year. Don't spend another holiday in those outdated or dark areas, start planning now. Speaking of holidays, have a very Merry Christmas! 


 A Candy Cane Kitchen, Washington, D.C.

This unusual kitchen was created at the request of a vibrant restaurateur in Washington, D.C., who owned a thriving, long established "watering hole" known for its cold drinks and the biggest burger in town. He and his sales executive wife lived in a high rise condo overlooking the Pentagon and downtown D.C. and had purchased the adjoining unit when it became available. Although they were happy with the expansion of their home to 5,000 square feet, the kitchens of the two units which had been back to back now formed an unwieldy, curved room of 30' by 12'. The clients desired a new kitchen environment that would combine pleasing aesthetics, maximize functionality, contain the best of appliances, and include a comfortable bar area that would emphasize the curved space of the room.

To accomplish this
we had to work everything around the utility chase that contained the electric circuitry for the entire building and could not be moved, and create a ceiling with soffits beneath the concrete floor directly above it, which also could not be changed. 
Design Quote

This Issue
D.C. Kitchen
Hyde Park Bar & Grill
Tales from the TGW files
To Err is Human
It's always awkward when the customer is standing right there and you make a mistake. But mistakes do happen, as was the case on one of the first kitchen jobs I ever did in the 80's. We had just finished the cabinet installation and was starting to install the formica countertops. We were always careful about which length screws to use when performing a certain job. We always used 1 1/2" screws to secure the counters because the top stretcher of the cabinet was 3/4" and the counter top was 1 1/2" thick so there was plenty of room. This time I was holding the counter down while my helper was underneath screwing down the top. 

Quick Links
With all the family Holiday gatherings, your beautiful table cloth can take quite a beating. If candle wax gets on your cloth, freeze the cloth and then scrape the wax with a dull knife. Then place paper towels on both sides of the wax stain, iron with a warm iron. Change the towels until all wax is absorbed and launder as usual.

All Around Austin / Design Talk / Good Eats
What's up in ATX
No, this is not a Christmas tree , although there is plenty of sparkle. This is a tiny bit of 60 tons of such at the Cathedral of Junk , a site  designed to transport the visitor to somewhere between nostalgia and the complete unknown.
Invisible from the street in a South Austin neighborhood, the Cathedral began in 1988 as Vince Hanneman's backyard labor of love and has grown to a destination for all who want to clamber through it in endless discovery. If you want to experience the essence of Austin's creative weirdness, enjoy Holiday sparkle and decoration madness more than once a year, and see things you haven't seen in 50 years or never, then don't miss this.

Virtual Rendering
Do you have trouble visualizing an idea, a room? How about color? Do you feel uncertain about mixing colors and textures in a room? You're not alone, most people find it difficult to picture in their mind's eye, what their project will look like. 
read more

Hyde Park Bar & Grill
Hyde Park Bar & Grill, a homey bungalow nestled in the Historic Hyde Park area, offers comfort food, bistro fare, vegetarian entrees, hormone and antibiotic free beef, and in-house bakers.
Also featured are eclectic art exhibits, such as the current Remnants of Weird, David Fridlund's poignant portrayal of Austin's transition from its local character to a fast growing big city. 
Founded in 1982, the Grill is most famous for its fries and "the Fork." Their fries earned the #7 spot in Food Network Magazine's 2015 search for the best 10 fries in the USA.
Here at twilight, the Grill wears its cheerful Christmas decor while artist Dale Whistler's Roast Turkey sits aloft the Fork, beckoning patrons to warm Holiday fare.

To Err is Human continued...

While he worked, I was talking to the customer who had entered the room. As my helper was putting in the last screw, he revved up the drill and gave it a mighty push. At that moment, the stretcher cracked, the screw twisted it's way thru the particle board of the counter, and popped out of the laminate top! While my customer and I looked on horrified, my helper calmly reversed the drill and removed the screw. Trying to sound pragmatic, my customer said, "Well, at least it didn't go thru your hand. Then you would have needed a new countertop AND stitches!"

Virtual rendering continued...
Floorplans, elevations and perspectives give you a technical understanding of the room, but what will it really look like?

Now, with modern technology, wicked fast computers and eyepopping, photo realistic software, you can actually see what your new room will look like! Your tile, floor, cabinet and countertop choices can be scanned and inserted into a virtual rendering of your design project. Even your child's artwork can be scanned and displayed on your refrigerator!

You're able to see what the kitchen looks like with tile or hardwood. Do the furniture and drapes go together in the living room? What does the bathroom look like with a pedestal sink instead of a cabinet. You can feel confident about the materials you have chosen because now you can see them in the room!

The NEFF family tradition began in Canada over 40 years ago when Paul Neff began carefully building a reputation for creating Extraordinary Kitchen Environments. Today, now under the ownership of Paul Gardner, this family tradition committed to the highest standards of quality, service, style and function continues with a focus on providing cabinetry solutions for the entire home.

Our selection, functionality, and craftsmanship provide design solutions with incredible value; and our emphasis on eco-sensitive manufacturing processes and social responsibility reflects our dedication to make sure more than just your cabinets last.

At Bellmont Cabinet Company, we really are building more than just cabinets. We are building lives through the values we practice daily. They may be considered old-fashioned, but tried and true principles are the ones that last.


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Whether your style is Modern, Classic, Eclectic or Rustic, your home is where your heart is. Choosing the right cabinetry to fit your style will create a space that's warm, inviting and personalized. Woodland offers thousands of color, door style and organizational combinations that are sure to fit your exacting tastes.


Woodland's flexibility and affordability allow you to pick and choose the features that fit your style, your life, your budget... and your dreams.


Candy Cane Kitchen, continued.

In these two "before" photos, you see, on the right, the kitchen of the added unit.  On the left is the duct work after construction began.

One solution to transform this space from "before," to "after," was to devote 1/3 of the space to a roomy, walk in pantry and install a 48" Sub-Zero refrigerator and double 30" ovens toward the center of the curved wall. Another solution was to integrate the utility chase with a unique and practical peninsula, seen in the photos directly below. The peninsula had stainless steel drawers cut on the bias at an angle, with a front bow drawer with custom made hardware, all on a triangular steel base.

The bar area, our "Candy Cane," as seen in the lead photo, was comprised of graceful, sweeping 4' cabinets in 8" stainless steel legs. The soffit mirrored the curve of the cabinets and was fitted with pendant lighting above the bar. The inside radius of the curve contained a Sub-Zero wine cooler in the middle and a big screen tv and microwave. Clear, ¾" glass curved along the bar on chrome standoffs with seating arranged around the glass, as in the photo below.

All cabinets except those of the peninsula were channel cabinets and did not need hardware.The rich, warm base cabinets, by Neff Custom Cabinets of Toronto, were all of horizontal grain in a gloss cherry laminate. The clean-lined upper cabinets, which had integrated lighting and switching, were of gloss white laminate, with frosted glass and aluminum frame doors.

The counter tops were of dramatic, polished black galaxy granite, with a Franke sink, Grohe faucets, and a Miele dishwasher. The floors were large format porcelain tile that expressed the relaxed, aged patina of lived-in stainless steel.

With its sweeping curved layout, its combination of warm woods and cool metals and with top quality, well placed appliances, this kitchen's superbly crafted features satisfied all aesthetic and functional requirements. Our well-traveled and discriminating clients were very happy with their new kitchen space designed aesthetically to fit their ultra modern taste and fully equipped to meet their highest personal and entertainment needs.

Thanks for perusing our newsletter.  I trust you have found it informative and even a little entertaining.  If I can be helpful regarding a project or you just have a question, please don't hesitate to contact me.



Joe Currie
Capitol Design


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