Dove Gray Shaker Kitchen II

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThis unfitted kitchen is an exquisite expression of a historic “furniture look.” Join me for a tour.

For many years I’ve had the pleasure of showing this highly unique unfitted kitchen, one tastefully based on historic American Shaker furniture adapted for a modern home [top]. Now I discovered additional photos so I’m reposting this traditional beauty so it can be viewed as fully as it deserves. A kitchen like this is rarely found in the U.S., where cabinets generally are built-in around the perimeter. And while hutches are popular as stand-alone pieces, it’s extremely rare to find a cooking space with four furniture-quality dressers and armoires — each with a distinct personality. Made by the Workshops of David T Smith, which specializes in cabinets based on traditional and antique American furniture styles, the look wouldn’t suit everyone. However, it seems perfect for a 19th century brick house in Northern Virginia where an extension was built in 2003 to house it.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe danger with any historic kitchen look is the just that: it’s very specific and can feel out of step. However, this one is so well composed and detailed it has a timeless quality. Overall the plan is simple. This is a galley kitchen with a sink in the island. The range wall, built to resemble a colossal curly maple hutch with a planked back, houses the rangetop (with storage drawers below), a spice shelf, the concealed vent hood, and two ovens.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagUpper cabinets on each end have reclaimed glass doors and, in the Shaker style, all the knobs are wooden. Stained and oiled curly maple counters are used throughout.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe business side of the island has a stainless steel farm sink, with a Barber Wilsons faucet. To the right of the sink are Fisher & Paykel dish drawers and a place for utensils. The open end doubles as a table with graceful tapered legs. A trash bin, on the left, is conveniently in the path from sink to fridge.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagA few steps from the sink, just across the aisle, a SubZero refrigerator is disguised in a curly maple armoire tucked just under the beams. A contrasting, mustard-yellow painted chest-on-chest style cupboard (yellow was a Shaker fave) fills the remainder of the wall space provides an additional work surface and an appliance garage — in addition to other storage. An antique pine floor and Oriental rugs heighten the elegance and warmth of the entire space.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple  hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagAcross the kitchen on the opposite wall, a stand-alone cherry dresser is used for display.

shaker style kitchen with dove-gray painted island and multiple hutches - David T Smith via AtticmagThe dove gray color on the island is one of those unforgettable hues – neutral yet nuanced and it works perfectly with the reddish wood tones and yellow accents. In addition to cabinet storage and black, contrast-painted knobs, there are three bread-board style pull-outs. While these could certainly be used for serving, or for additional work space, at least for a time they do triple duty as homework desks for the owner’s three children. The Shakers, who prized simplicity and utility in their furniture, would certainly approve.

(Source: david t smith)

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Really Simple Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning at home  - food network via atticmagA room-by-room checklist for removing dirt and germs from often-overlooked surfaces.

I confess I’m a bit of a crazy-clean when it comes to my house. But I’m also practical because I don’t have a week to focus on pulling it apart for cleaning then putting everything back. So this year, I compiled a really simple Spring-cleaning program that won’t take long to accomplish. This is not about home-made products or basic maintenance like deep-vacuuming furniture and draperies, dusting book cases, window blinds or light fixtures. It’s a room-by-room alcohol-based approach to getting rid of hidden dirt and germs on common surfaces. It requires very little equipment and can be completed in a few hours in all but the largest homes.

basket of spring cleaning supplies including alcohol, surface cleaner, microfiber towels and paper towels - AtticmagMust-have supplies

A bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol
A cleaning product for surfaces (my current fave is Method All  Purpose natural surface cleaner though I also use Mrs. Meyers).
Liquid dish soap
4 microfiber towels (1 for kitchen, 1 for bath, 2 for other rooms)
1-2 pairs non-latex gloves
1 roll of paper towels
Basket or tote for cleaning supplies

alcohol saturated microfiber cloth for spring cleaning - atticmagPreparation

First, I wet a microfiber towel then generously add alcohol. The microfiber towel holds the alcohol well but it tends to evaporate quickly so it may need rewetting frequently (if the towel stops feeling cold, time to remoisten). Method surface spray is my back up for any extra-dirty surface. I use paper towels to dry things off, if needed (not usually needed since the alcohol evaporates – nice!). I use disposable non-latex gloves which are inexpensive and protect my hands from the drying effects of the alcohol. But any lightweight glove will do.

Where to start?

I begin in the room with the #1 most-often-used entry door for the house. For us, that’s the garage door in our mudroom (don’t forget to give the garage door opener button a wipe-down). Then I work on a room-by-room basis on each floor.

wiping every door handle down with alcohol removes germs - atticmag

Everyone touches door handles which need cleaning but can be overlooked.

What to Clean in Every Room

Knobs, bolts and locks on both sides of every door.
Door frames above and below the knobs on each side to remove fingerprints and smudges.
Light switches.
Switches on under-cabinet lights.
On/off switches on table lamps.
Thermostats and alarm panels.
All cabinet knobs & handles.
All closet and drawer handles.
Remote controls for all TVs & electronics including VCRs, game consoles and streaming devices.

In Bedrooms

All of the above plus:
Bedside table top, knobs/handles.
Alarm clocks/radios.
Thermostats and burglar alarm panels.
On/off switches on table lamps.
Wooden surfaces around beds.
Remote controls for all TVs & electronics including VCRs, and streaming devices.

In the Family Room & Home Offices
In addition add:
Car and house keys, key fobs.
Cell phones & land-line phones & dial pads.
All electronics control panels & keyboards including TV, stereo.
Other electronics including ipods, tablets, cameras & gaming consoles.
Bar or drink refrigerator handles.
Tops, front and sides of desks/work tables.
Tops, backs, seats of wooden chairs.

spring cleaning - in the kitchen don't overlook vent hood light and fan control knobs - atticmagIn the Kitchen
Pay special attention to:
Handles on dishwasher, refrigerator, oven and small appliances (coffee pot, toaster).
Sink faucet, sprayer and other sink fixtures.
Microwave/speed-oven doors and touch pads.
Vent hood and timer control knobs/buttons.
Apron (front and sides) of dining tables, backs and seats of wooden chairs.

toilet flush handles should be wiped with alcohol to disinfect - atticmag

Disinfecting a toilet handles takes less than 30 seconds.

In the Bathroom
Add these areas:
Toilet flush handles (so easy to forget!)
Bottoms and edges of mirrors & medicine cabinets.
Cosmetic & medicine bottles.
Toothbrush handles & cups.
Shower door handles (inside and outside).
Toilet paper holder.
Hair-dryer handles.
Additionally, rinse out trash baskets. with hot water a squirt of liquid soap and alcohol (or ammonia).

spring cleaning - dirt removed from the bannister - atticmag

Wiping down the front hall banister produced the dark marks on this towel.

In Hallways
Staircase banisters.
Woodwork on archways or doorways.
Doorbells and deadlock bolts.

Utility/Laundry Room
In addition to cabinet and closet handles:
Washer/dryer controls and doors.
Vacuum cleaner controls and wands.
Sink faucet.
Mop handles.

Wiping down these frequently used surfaces takes me just a few hours and gives me peace of mind. I also believe it helped keep us both free of colds and common illnesses throughout this past year.

(Source: foodnetwork)

Met Monday
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Pet Spa

Dog wash station in a mudroom – livesimplybyannie via atticmagConsider the mudroom as a prime location for a built-in doggy bath.

I’m not a pet person but, if I were, I’d want a mudroom that had a convenient place to wash the dogs or do some flower arranging or potting. This raised bath is especially well designed since it’s high enough to eliminate a lot of bending. While I worry a bit about those boys getting boisterous with all that glass, there are sturdy hinges and the doors swing open. Another smart feature is the old-fashioned high-arc faucet with low controls and a tall sprayer. Add a non-slip mat and it would work to quickly shower down a toddler, too.

(Source: livesimplybyannie)

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Four Gorgeous Outdoor Add Ons

Stone firepit on a patio – alderwood landscaping via atticmagSplurging on a fire or water feature for the yard makes outdoor living more enjoyable and romantic.

The long, snowy Northeastern winter is finally drawing to a close and cabin fever makes me long to be outside. But a recent scene on the TV drama “Parenthood” – where a long-married couple snuggled up in front of their outdoor firepit – has me conjuring up projects for my yard. A firepit tops my list and while we don’t have space on our stone patio for a square charmer [top] one like this is relatively easy to build. It can be wood-burning or gas fueled.

Dorothee Schumacher’s outdoor wood-burning pizza oven – theselby via atticmagAnother “dearly wanted” item for our outdoor space is a wood-burning pizza/bread oven. This can be used during most of the year and, while culinary blogs show some elaborate installations, a fairly rugged oven, like this one in the yard of a German designer, is all I would require.

outdoor shower in an Alabama backyard tucked in fig-vine covered nook – Birmingham home and garden via AtticmagLast summer our daughter had an outdoor shower installed on a back deck that leads into her house from the pool. The job took less than a day. A more elaborate shower tucked into a nook adjacent to the pool in an Alabama home has a wonderful “secret garden” quality, no doubt due to the creeping fig vines covering the brick.

Rustic outdoor fountain – Oz Architects via AtticmagRunning water can be so soothing that it must be almost therapeutic to have a rustic fountain like this one in the yard. With all the local auctions during the spring and early summer, it might not be difficult to locate two old marble planters and old gate pieces to recreate this look. It’s not fussy or formal in the least and it also isn’t some readymade bit from the garden store that you’d see all over the neighborhood.

(Source: alderwoodlandscaping, theselby, birminghamhomeandgarden, ozarchitecture)

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Kitchen Cabinet Pull-Out Ideas

kitchen with under sink base drawers - capitoldesign via atticmagA dozen different ways specialty pull-outs upgrade and customize kitchens.

When you’re redoing a kitchen there can never be too many options. That’s why we continue to hunt for clever kitchen cabinets features like specialized pull outs and other storage and utility ideas. Three in the same kitchen is a bit of a bonanza, starting with a pair of deep drawers below a main kitchen sink [top] as opposed to a conventional sink-base cabinet with doors. This has been a popular photo to bookmark because it’s unusual and drawers have benefits: handy storage within easy reach and access to the rear of the lower tier. Sink drawers are only possible with frameless cabinets, however. Then you’re leaning in against a metal bar handle (which could be avoided with a pair of pulls). If one of the drawers and the adjacent dishwasher are open simultaneously, access to the sink can be difficult. But this arrangement eliminates the usual under-the-sink mess.

kitchen with corner cabinet pull out - capitoldesign via atticmagThe same black and white Maryland kitchen avoids the issue of a twirling susan in the corner with this lower cabinet panel that opens out at an angle.

kitchen with appliance garage - capitoldesign via atticmagWe’ve seen appliance garages forever but this one fills somewhat dead space on the corner of an island and becomes the modern equivalent of a space-maximizing chest-on-chest arrangement.

kitchen cabinet pot and pan pull out with lid hook - glideware via atticmagI can imagine pots and pans clanging when they are pulled forward on this Glideware bar. Still, this is really efficient storage and hooks are super sturdy.

kitchen base cabinet double tier pout and pan pull out - rev-a-shelf via atticmagRev-A-Shelf offers a variety of after-market pull out solutions for kitchen cabinets and the brand is easily found at big-box and specialty stores. This 21-inch double tier pot pull-out is the larger of two widths and has adjustable separators.

kitchen drawer diagonal divider insert - diamond cabinets via atticmagA diagonal divider solves the issue of utensils that are too long for a narrow drawer as it maximizes space. This one fits Diamond cabinets but can be easily copied.

kitchen base cabinet utensil well pull out - hei design via atticmagI’m not sure whether I love this vertical storage drawer or maybe not so much. The stainless inserts are genius because they are bulletproof and can easily be slipped out for cleaning. And it’s a great idea for a baking center or prep space away from the main clean up area. (This is a polite way to say I like the pull out but not the placement – my trash bin is to the left of my sink and I cannot imagine having a potato masher and spatulas there instead). Allison showed a similar vertical storage feature for silverware in her Custom Kitchen Cabinet Ideas post.

kitchen cabinet drawer with removeable bread inserts - deulonder via atticmagBread drawers that can be removed and brought to the table are a another delicious idea from Delounder kitchen designers whose Barcelona Modern kitchen is one of my all time favorites.

kitchen cabinet drawer with bread keeper and vegetable basket inserts -pinterest via atticmagA double covered bread bin pull out is more utilitarian than Delounder’s but no less functional. Baskets are not only ideal for root vegetable pull-out storage because they permit air to circulate but they can be easily removed and brought to the prep area they stowed neatly away.

kitchen cabinet tandem trash and cutting board pull outs - garywafford via atticmagHere’s another variation on the cutting-board over trash bin I showed in Nine More Special Kitchen Features. While it’s still a bit narrow, with the cut-out in the back, there’s more working room for the cook in front.

kitchen cabinet drawers on end of a Devon cabinet island - dreamdesign mavens via atticmagDrawers on the end of an island open into an aisle – true. But that is usually out of the main work space and with enough clearance it’s a great storage location for dishware, often midway between table and dishwasher.

kitchen cabinet pilaster spice pull out - homebunch via atticmagPilasters are usually decorative elements but how clever to place a spice pull out behind one! It’s always so much fun to show off such a unique hidden kitchen feature.

(Source: capitol design, glideware, rev-a-shelf, diamondcabinets, HEI, Deulonder, pinterest, garywafford, dreamdesignmavens, homebunch)

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