Color and Perception

Dec 9, 2014 by Christina Kwiecienski

bedroom paint colors Our clients selected some great colors for their daughter's new bedroom. 

NE 38th Avenue Residence is basking in the light of fresh paint. While admiring the colors, Hiromi and I experienced a vivid James Turrell moment. Is the ceiling grey, white, or perhaps purple? The expansive North facing windows in this room are demonstrating the ethereal quality of natural light even on a grey winter day in Portland. Depending on the time of day, year and weather, the quality of light will change our perception of color. 

Insulation In-formation at NE 38th Avenue Residence

Nov 7, 2014 by Christina Kwiecienski

under construction with framing and insulation  Looking into the hallway and closets from one of the bedrooms under construction with framing and insulation View out the bedroom windows

Construction is in full swing and moving quickly here in Portland! I spy three different types of insulation: batt insulation in the walls and dormer roof, rigid insulation between existing roof joists, and acoustical insulation between interior spaces. With all that insulation in place, it's incredible how much quieter and warmer the space is. 

The Evolution of a Stair

Oct 27, 2014 by Christina Kwiecienski

stair details

It’s amazing what creative solutions can emerge when collaboration is at play. The evolution of this stair in particular is a result of an exquisite collaborative effort between architecture and engineering. We worked directly with our structural engineer, Bill Harrison, to find a solution that embodies our client’s vision for this project. As the design progressed (from left to right on the image above), we wanted to enhance one of the most innovative features of this stair - the perforated metal mesh. The mesh seems to defy the laws of gravity as it floats upward, bending continuously to act as both stair riser and tread. The owners were also very helpful in communicating their preferences as we shared each option. The design would not have evolved in the same way without the necessary and valuable structural input from an engineer that understands the essence of the design. What a beautiful partnership!

Finishing up Santa Fe Avenue Residence

Oct 23, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

Santa Fe Avenue Residence kitchen

Final touches are being applied to the Santa Fe Avenue remodel and addition.  The transformation has been amazing - see the "before" pictures in our previous blog post here.

NE 38th Avenue Residence begins construction

Oct 13, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

We're very excited to have a Portland project break ground this fall.  It's always exciting when framing goes up and the rooms start to take shape.

Transparency and Connection

Aug 8, 2014 by Christina Kwiecienski

SketchUp model - view inside from backyard deck SketchUp model - view inside from backyard deck

SketchUp model - threshold between inside and outside space SketchUp model - looking towards the kitchen and living spaces at the threshold between outside and inside. 

It's amazing how powerful a 3D model can be when it comes to understanding spacial relationships. One of the driving elements of this project is the inter-connectivity between inside and outside living spaces, and I love how the digital model really allows for us to feel that transparency and connection.

Featured on Houzz: 7 Kitchen Flooring Materials to Boost Your Cooking Comfort

Aug 7, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

12th Street Residence Kitchen 1

The Novak Residence kitchen has been featured again on Houzz, in an article called "7 Kitchen Flooring Materials to Boost Your Cooking Comfort".  The Flexco rubber floor is a big hit with the owners, who are avid cooks.  They preferred a tough, yet soft surface like rubber over the idea of continuing the wood flooring, since they wanted the kitchen to withstand spills, stains, and drops, yet still be comfortable for their no-shoes barefoot lifestyle with a young child underfoot. 

Other flooring materials featured in the article include favorites we have used in kitchens and throughout the house: cork, bamboo, and wood. 

Making Use of the Space Under the Stairs

Jul 7, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

Neilson Street stair cabinet Front

We were just featured in an article called "Turn Wasted Space into Functional Storage", where they use our Neilson Street Residence project as one solution for using the underutilized space under the stairs. 
















Other examples in the article were also inspiring, such as a play house, pull-out pantry, and bookshelves.  It's always nice to take advantage of unused spaces, and make something special that is unique to the home. 

Functional Furniture

Jun 12, 2014 by Christina Kwiecienski

bench plantera bench that pairs as a planter - outside AIA Portland

I really like this idea of having a functional object, such as a bench, that can have multiple uses. Something that celebrates the relationship between the built and natural environment. Plus, I can always use a little more greenery in my life. 

Recessed Shower Niche

Mar 14, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

North Berkeley shower niche

Finishes are being installed at our North Berkeley project, and the linear recessed shower niche is looking quite nice.  The field tiles are glass subways, while the glass mosaic accent tiles are on one wall, spilling into the back side of the niche.  Both tiles are by Hakatai.