How To: Communicating with Your Contractor

So, you have a project in mind… and you REALLY don’t want to “do-it-yourself”…

So, you have this wall (or furniture piece or room or outside space) that you aren’t sure what to do with… and you don’t have a clue where to start…

So, you want the perfect solution to this design dilemma…

All of these scenarios find you needing help from a professional. Does the idea of hiring a contractor frighten you? Cause your heart to quicken just a bit and send your thoughts into a spiral? Give you heart burn or a headache?… NEVER FEAR! Here is some advice on finding a contractor to help you through the process in a professional and comfortable way. If you do your homework upfront, the journey should be an enjoyable one.

Custom Countertop Finishes Collage

1. Request to see a portfolio. This can consist of actual samples and/or photos of finished work. The size of the portfolio will vary depending on the experience of the artisan. While a hefty portfolio is always a good sign don’t let that be your only guide. Take close look at the finished work in the portfolio – is there attention to detail? This is VERY important! Make certain to ask for client references as well. Some questions to ask previous clients include: Was the artist dependable, responsible, considerate of their property, clean? Was the project on budget and completed in a timely manner? Would they hire the artist again? See if the artist has done any finishes or surfaces in commercial atmosphere so you can visit the place and see some work for yourself.

paint on the plate to promote the mixing of colors.

2. Ask about training. Decorative Artists abound but experience and attention to detail are quality traits you don’t want to compromise on. Ask about the training and experience the artist has accrued. If they profess to be “certified” verify where they received this certification and what the requirements were. You want to ensure the artisan you are hiring has knowledge in product chemistry, adhesion, surface preparation, and color theory.

3. Request proof of Insurance and Licensing. The last thing you need is a problem with damage during a custom installation that the artist is incapable of repairing for you.


4. Always see a sample and approve before the job begins. This step brings you peace of mind – believe me, both you and the Artist. I will often have my clients sign off on the sample board to verify we are all on the same page. A sample should be the finish and color theme you want to see in your space. If the sample is off, request another one. You may end up paying for multiple samples, but the end result will be what you had in mind. More communication with your contractor is ALWAYS better than wondering or assuming.  Also keep in mind, a 2′ x 2′ sample board will vary slightly from the wall finish. This is to be expected because some finishes are difficult to portray on such a small area or need to be scaled to fit the space or piece in your home. If you’ve gone through the steps mentioned above there should be a level of trust in the artist. You can know minimal variation will be acceptable AND that the artist will balance and complete the finish to your standards.

Master Suite at a recording studio

5. Don’t sweat the process once the job has begun. It may sound cliche, but many of these finishes aren’t pretty before they are done. I have had more than one job where the client is horrified at the middle stage. Thankfully we have gone through this process and they know the end result will match the sample and the vision we have worked through together.

Hopefully this will help you the next time you need to hire a decorative artisan. We at Artworks take pride in our custom finishes. From start to finish our clients are kept informed, valued, and respected. Bring us your design dilemma… we’re experienced and ready! For more examples of the work we’ve completed visit our website or studio!


2013: The Year in Review

My oh my! We have had a very big year! Here are some of the highlights!

We hosted First Saturday demo days with topics ranging from Re-Styling your Home to hands on Chalk Paint® Color book creation.

We shared the day to day progress on our Show Booth transformation on our facebook page! That was fun. We gave our customers, clients, colleagues and friends a glimpse into our every day work life.

a day in the life photo collage at Artworks Spokane

Like us on facebook to see what we’re up to throughout the year.

Shortly after our first show we participated in a competition in another Home Show – The White Room Challenge.

Artworks White Room Kitchen

And here is our finished product!

We kept ourselves incredibly busy with custom jobs. We beautified floors – inside and out, showers, TONS of kitchen cabinets and countertops, pool surrounds, walls, furniture, and much much more!

Some pics of a few of our jobs… just a small sampling:

Fireplace update by Artworks Spokane new pulpit embellished by Artworks Spokane

Back Patio, acid stained concrete by Artworks Spokane

the back patio – acid stained concrete!

Front walk way - acid stained concrete by Artworks Spokane

Front walk way – acid stained concrete

In September we went REALLY BIG and opened a second location in Coeur d’Alene, ID! Oh wow! This was a lot of work and sooooooo much fun!

more inventory coming into the Artworks Coeur d'Alene store

A little messier this time – and everything has been moved at least 4 times EACH!

Shortly after that we hosted a National Training Class for Chalk Paint® decorative paint. We love throwing a party, hosting, entertaining, and sharing our love of creating!

National Stockist Training with Barb Skivington 2013 at Artworks Spokane.Throw in classes, consultations, questions, playing around with Chalk Paint®, meetings, social media posts, newsletters, advertising, and a good dose of laughter and you have our year in review. We are a family around here! Thank you for such a fabulous, monumental year! We’re looking forward to another one with even more growth!

As always your comments, shares, likes, and feedback are encouraged. Cheers!

Custom Fun: SkimStone bathroom

We have had the recent pleasure of helping a client with a “new build” bathroom. Our portion of the project was the floor and shower surround. The client chose SkimStone Decorative Concrete for these two surfaces. The bathroom will be a modern space and clean lines and sleek pieces.

first coat skimstone on a bathroom floorAfter two coats of bonding primer we installed the first coat of SkimStone using the color Storm. The floor finish will be seamless between the bathroom and walk-in shower. The hole in the center of the floor is for a free standing modern soaker tub. We can’t wait to post pictures of the finished product!

Skimstone decorative concrete on the shower floor and walls

A glimpse into the shower area.

The second coat of the floor was a skip trowel finish for movement and texture. We used Oystershell for this coat.

Finished bathroom floor with two color SkimStone decorative concrete application.

Just a touch of shine once the floor is finished with a seal coat. Now it’s ready for the rest of the bathroom to take shape.

The shower walls received a stenciled border in a tone on tone color palette for an understated element of interest.

A wave stencil adds interest to the cement walls.

Waves add interest to the cement walls.

The homeowner wanted a bench at the end of the shower.

The shower bench spans the full depth of the shower.

The bench was initially a corner seat, but upon further reflection the homeowner determined a full length bench would be more beneficial.

The bathroom has several windows. The main area has a big picture window by the location of the soaker tub. The shower has three windows to bring natural light to the area.

Skimstone shower surround

The shower head is flanked with two “windows” to the main bathroom area allowing light from the picture window above the tub to spill into the shower.

In a matter of days the floor and shower surround were finished! Look for pictures of the finished room in a future blog. We wouldn’t miss the opportunity to showcase such a modern room.

We welcome your comments, shares, and follows.

Artworks Spokane

Now with the launch of a second location in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we thought it necessary to explain the differences between the purpose of the two locations.

Artworks Spokane building facade

Artworks Spokane’s Studio in Spokane Valley, WA. Prepare to be Inspired

Since 1994 Artworks Spokane has been developing into a decorative arts authority here in Spokane, Washington. Nancy has been known and recognized nationally for her teaching abilities, knowledge, and technique. Along with classes in Faux, Concrete, and Plasters, Artworks Spokane specializes in custom contracting. In 2010 we opened the doors to our Marietta studio, Studio 8, with the sole purpose of having a location where finishes are displayed, clients can meet around a design table and discuss options, classes can be held with plenty of room and inspiration, and supplies can be purchased for do-it-yourself projects.

custom work by Artworks Spokane

From Left to Right: Plaster wall finish with Aspen Tree relief; Custom built wine rack buffet; Covered sun porch concrete overlay floor; Decorative Concrete overlay countertop

Artworks Spokane focuses on the Contracting side of a very creative business. “Transforming Ordinary Surfaces into Works of Art” is our tagline and it is what we pride ourselves on doing. Just about any surface that stands still long enough can be transformed into something beautiful! Walls, Floors, Countertops, Showers, Ceilings, Cabinetry, Furniture, Driveways, Patios and more, are just a few of the surfaces we specialize in transforming. We also hold classes in the studio. These classes range in skill level from beginner to the contractor seeking new certifications. The showroom has been finished with many of the techniques we offer and holds thousands of samples available by our highly qualified and trained team of artisans. We still sell Chalk Paint® and we carry many other sundries needed to get your job done, as well as the products to the classes we teach.

A few of our favorite things at the Coeur d'Alene store

CdA specializes in Chalk Paint®, hand painted furniture, pottery and glass, teas and florals.

Now, what is different about Coeur d’Alene? Artworks Coeur d’Alene is an extension of Artworks Spokane. This location is a boutique featuring hand painted furniture, home decor, and Chalk Paint®. Artworks Cd’A is a retail driven location. Both stores carry the tagline “transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art”. In our Coeur d’Alene store this is found in everything we have for purchase. The hand painted furniture has been transformed to breathe new life and begin a second phase. We only choose the highest quality pieces to invest time in. As for the home decor and gifts? Each item entering our store has gone through a rigorous examination as to whether it falls under the tagline’s standards. Hand crafted jewelry, unique candles, pottery and glass, dinnerware and teas are just a few of the beautiful, high quality items you will find in our one-of-a-kind home decor boutique.

I hope this helps you in understanding the difference between the two locations. While both carry Chalk Paint® and feature our custom work, Spokane is designed to focus on the custom contracting side, and Coeur d’Alene is designed to cater to the retail end. We love beautiful things. We are passionate about transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art. And we support those who do!

Please feel free to leave a comment and share our blog. We love our clients, customers, and friends!

Custom Fun: Back Porch Repair

The summertime season is synonymous with porch living. Whether you’re rocking in the swing, lounging in a chair sipping lemonade, or chatting on the steps with a neighbor, the porch is the place to both start the day or close it out. It seems great neighborhoods are made around porches.  So we were thrilled to help this family restore their back porch when they came to us. Located in an historic neighborhood, this porch had seen many seasons, summer BBQ’s, parties, and lazy days. The four distinct seasons had taken their toll on the concrete steps and walls. It was time for intercession and repair!

porch damage

Weather and use have left the wall cap and patio floor damaged.

the way to the job site.

This winding switchback was the perfect way to get the concrete and tools up to the job site.

Once the product and tools were unloaded and the work area set up, John, Paul, and Jake removed the failing cap.

the crumbling wall prior to Artworks involvement

Next, they used a grinder to remove the heaves and smooth the uneven surface.

larger cracks were repaired and patched with a cement patch.

Larger cracks were repaired and patched with a cement patch.

Once the surface was prepared they moved on to the wall. Forms were built to enclose the bricks that had been protected from the weather.

forms built and ready for concrete

Forms are built to hold the new concrete.

concrete in forms

Once the concrete has been poured, plastic is used to cover the fresh cement to ensure even cure.

With the patio and wall ready for color, the boys began acid staining. The end result will yield years of watching children play, sipping iced tea, and rocking the summer nights away.

the finished porch looking out to the street.

The new surface and beautiful color enhances the view.

the finished porch looking out to the backyard.

This backyard invites the garden enthusiast, afternoon-siesta-taker, and good-book-reader!

Back porch ready for some patio furniture.

The newly finished patio is just waiting for the perfect furniture to get back into the swing of summer living.

On to the next one. Summer and outdoor weather are fleeting and not long enough for the homes that need help! Stay tuned for more.

How To: 5 Affordable Ways to Update Your Kitchen

It happens… eventually. We can’t help it. Most kitchens will need updating at some point or another. Just the mention of updating your kitchen can bring dollar signs to your mind and a rapid heartbeat to your chest. Unless “unlimited funds” is something you can claim, most of us find ourselves looking for an affordable way to keep our homes up-to-date.  Whether you are wanting to stay on top of the trends or get your home ready for resale, there are affordable ways to keep it current. Realtors say the two areas people look at first are kitchens and bathrooms. Sounds like the best place to start!

We want to share five affordable ways to update your kitchen, the hub of the home.

ONE: Refinish Your Cabinets

Oak cabinets with a Graphite blend

Oak cabinets with a facelift of a custom Graphite blend.

Repainting your cabinets may seem like a huge undertaking, but you save 1/2 – 2/3 what you would spend on replacing your cabinets! Older cabinets are also generally made with real wood and not pressed board. As long as your cabinets are in good shape, a facelift will often suffice for an update. Not to mention, painted cabinets are the “hot” trend right now. When Artworks does a custom kitchen finish we use only the highest quality paints for durability. These products are specifically designed for cabinets and furniture as opposed to general wall paint, therefore they are light-fast and non-fading.

The finishes available to you are almost limitless. Between color, technique, and cabinet style – no two jobs are alike! We have transformed golden oak cabinets to cherry with water based stains that do not require sanding. We have added texture to create dimension and detail, transforming ordinary, plain cabinets into unique pieces of art. We can transfer images (even your own photographs) onto the surface, then stain or glaze to truly customize your cabinet doors.  There are options that include metallic foils, paints, glazes, waxes, and plasters. From french country to ultra modern, there is a solution that is just right for you. Your cabinets can be the focal point to a perfectly stunning kitchen for a fraction of the cost of new cabinetry.

Our studio is full of cabinet and furniture finish samples. Let us help you figure out the product best suited for your desired finish.

Old White and Provence kitchen cabinets

These cabinets got some extra love! Old White covers the Golden Oak and Provence was used to embellish the detail of the doors. The PERFECT hardware was found and installed to complete the look. Although you can’t see it – the island was done in contrasting fashion. The base is Provence.

awesome glass hardware for updated cabinets

I told you! This hardware was practically MADE for these cabinets. Sometimes the perfect find seems almost custom!

TWO: Resurface Your Countertops

There are so many options for your countertop. You may find yourself overwhelmed with all the choices, lingo, and cost comparisons. Laminate, Granite, Tile, Silestone, Corian, Marble, Man-Made Composite countertops, Concrete – each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s purpose and attraction. We have done our research to guarantee we know the benefits and limitations of each one. Our specialty is with concrete overlays. We offer the following concrete options:

SkimStone™ – a hybridized Portland cement that is troweled directly onto your surface. This product is very thin and can go over old or new substrates when properly prepared.

SkimStone countertops

SkimStone Countertops: This product goes over tile, laminate, concrete, corian, new substrate, etc.

DesignerTops™ – highly engineered concrete overlays for incredible bonding to both existing and newly fabricated countertop and vanity surfaces.

Granicrete Countertops

DesignerTops countertops have options other overlays cannot provide – glass pieces, stone, mica flecks, etc. embedded into the surface.

Formed Concrete – Using concrete specifically designed for “poured in place” fabrication, these countertops are constructed on-site, making for a seamless countertop.

Poured in place concrete countertops

“Poured in place” concrete countertops offer a contemporary look with seamless installation.

In order to keep from writing a novel about the differences of each surface (including the surfaces you are more familiar with) I will compare just one aspect of each of these surface options: color/artistic freedoms – the ability to control/manipulate color.

Granite: No – color and grain can differ from sample, it is best to choose at the stone yard.

Ceramic Tile: Sort of – it comes in many colors and patterns. As for artistic pattern – many things can be embellished and customized. There is also the possibility of mosaic.

Solid Surfacing: Sort of – it also comes in many colors and styles, including those that mimic concrete and stone. Stone finishes can look more uniform than natural.

Laminate: Sort of – this also comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Now for the products we specialize in:

SkimStone™: Yes – this product can mimic venetian plaster and stone looks, endless patterns, textures, stenciled or hand-painted designs – the possibilities are endless. With 90 standard color and shade options we can create custom colors by layering colors and tints.

DesignerTops™: Yes – the design possibilities are unlimited! Unlike Granite your color options are endless enabling you to customize your countertop to the surrounding room – not the other way around! You can also have more depth, texture, and movement with the addition of glass pieces, rocks, mineral flakes, etc. Achieve a very high end look without the cost!

Formed Concrete: Sort of – The artistic limitations with this are bound by forms, stamps and product base color. There is a white mix and a grey mix, both of which can be dyed or textured.

With a concrete overlay you can go right over your existing countertop, as long as your countertops are secure and not falling apart. Decorative Concrete Overlays are a very affordable solution to updating your counter. The options can look like concrete, granite, marble, stone, etc. The formed concrete countertops require more prep in removing the existing counter and building a form onsite. For more information on each of the products listed above, download our comparison sheet.

And as with the cabinet samples, we have hundreds of concrete countertop samples to view in our studio. We also pride ourselves on custom sample boards before we begin your job.

Don’t be overwhelmed or settle for what you think are your only options. We are happy to walk you through the design process and give you a countertop you’ll cherish (or be proud to put on the market).

THREE: Restore Your Floor

epoxy floor done by Artworks Spokane

Imagination is the only limitation when it comes to your kitchen floor.

Your floor is another surface that can make or break your room. There are limitless possibilities for restoring your floor: tile, hard wood, linoleum, laminate… we offer several options that are quite affordable AND unique: concrete overlays, acid finishing, marquetry staining, concrete polishing, epoxy coatings, and paint.

Concrete Overlays: These floors are seamless, custom, and quite contemporary. The product can go over radiant heat and many existing floors. We use two products when finishing a floor with concrete – SkimStone™ and Elitecrete™. The color and stenciling options for SkimStone™ are limitless. Elitecrete offers more texture and a different approach for coloring.

Concrete Overlay Floors by Artworks Spokane

Concrete overlays can be neutral or focal – they can cause the floor to “disappear” or POP.

Acid Finishing: This technique is done to an existing concrete floor or over a new concrete overlay. The concrete can be troweled with texture or smoothly to give you the look you are going for.

Acid Floors done by Artworks Spokane

Acid stained floors have subtle movement and are one of a kind.

Marquetry Staining: Marquetry: (n) Inlaid work made from small pieces of variously colored wood or other materials.

This technique is a great way to take a new or existing hard wood floor and make it a focal point. With stencils and wood stains this process can make your hard wood floor look as though it has marquetry patterns and embellishments at a fraction of the cost!

Marquetry staining done by Artworks Spokane

Marquetry can be done on wood and cork.

Concrete Polishing and/or Dye Stains: This is another option for existing concrete floors. Most people don’t realize when concrete is polished it brings out the beauty of the aggregate and the unique features in each pour. The finished product is honed and compacted to such a high degree it is virtually stain resistant and maintenance free. The look is modern and clean.

Polished concrete done by Artworks Spokane

Polished concrete has a beautiful sheen – adds the feel of quality. The color from the dye stains in this yogurt shop gives character and charm.

Epoxy Coatings: This technique is pictured in the beginning of the kitchen section (the checkerboard floor). Epoxy coatings are extremely durable, seamless, and have a myriad of design options! There are additives that can be added to the epoxy to give it shimmer and texture. Colors are swirled together or solid. Patterns can be implemented as well as designs, typically done underneath the layer of epoxy. The end result is a smooth glossy finish.

Collage of Epoxy Coating floors done by Artworks Spokane

Epoxy Coatings bring interest and depth.

Chalk Paint®: This option for flooring has gotten a bad rap. If done improperly it can be devastating to have it wear off so quickly however, when done correctly and with the proper sealers the result is fantastic and it doesn’t get much more affordable. If your floor is in good shape, you just want a change, you can paint a new design. Chalk Paint®, Annie Sloan’s paint adheres to most surfaces without priming or sanding! Imagine your favorite image as one large graphic on your kitchen floor, or a border with solid colors. This option opens endless possibilities.

Chalk Paint® floor cloth done by Artworks Spokane.

A floor painted with Chalk Paint®. Sealed with three coats of Lacquer for durability. This floor cloth has weathered three Home Shows.

FOUR: How to Select Quality Products and Training

“I’ll just run to Home Depot/Lowe’s/Ace and get myself some stuff to do this.” Avoid the temptation! The products we use are specifically designed for superb performance and quality finishing. Run to Artworks. We can educate you on the products. We also offer workshops to train you how to finish most all of these surfaces. With so many products available to you it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed. We often have customers that come to us after something has gone wrong – discoloration, delamination, failure to cure, undesirable end color or result. We listen intently and guide each one in a direction that will provide them the results they desire! Sometimes we are handed the job to correct, but often our clients love doing it themselves and simply need some direction and knowledge. If you are getting ready to start a project and want to make sure your techniques and products are best for the desired end result, feel free to stop in. One of our artisans will be happy to hear your game plan and make any suggestions as for product.

FIVE: Why use Artworks Spokane

Why should you hire Artworks to complete the job? There are so many reasons! Let me count the ways!

1) We are artists first, contractors second.

2) We love color and design.

3) We notice texture, fashion, trends, and color theory.

4) We pay attention to details, balance, and flow.

5) We think outside the box.

6) We love a challenge.

7) We thrive on transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art.

8) And finally, we crave this work. It is our passion and drive to make your vision a reality.

Most of us don’t want to take the time to invest in an update ourselves. And when we do tackle something of this nature we definitely don’t want to waste our time doing it over or repairing mistakes. The time it takes me to chop an onion is much greater than a trained chef (and it isn’t uniform – how do they do that so quickly AND keep all their fingers in tact, anyway?). The same goes for anything, really. When you are trained and practiced at your craft or passion, it comes quickly, efficiently, and with ease. Will it cost you more to have someone come and do the work for you (any work)? Probably, yes… most of the time, yes. Will you be thrilled with the end result? We guarantee it! We know what we’re doing and do it quickly, correctly, and beautifully.

What is your return on investment? Your time. Your peace of mind. Your satisfaction. We understand the chemistry of our products – what to mix and what to avoid mixing. When you hire Artworks Spokane you can be sure we will take the time to make your vision a reality. Leave it to the pros. You won’t be sorry.

Artworks Artisans

Artworks Team of Artisans will make your vision a reality.

Custom Fun: Historic Restoration

Our Peggy has been working out of the studio for what seems like EVER! She’s been deep in a project restoring an historic home. Take a look at this beauty built in the early 1900’s.

exterior of the home

This home has three stories AND a basement. It consists of four bedrooms, maids quarters (complete with separate stairway for “the help”), a sitting room off of the master bedroom, and a ballroom. There is a grand entrance, circular dining room, and breakfast room. These people knew what they were doing when they built this beautiful home so long ago.

So, what brings Artworks to such a lovely home as this? Fire. They experienced a very slow burning electrical fire that mainly caused lots of smoke damage. In fact the fire was such a low smolder no water was needed to extinguish it – however IT WAS HOT! The paint was melting off the walls and the combination of that and smoke damage caused the wall to look like a sepia toned mural of the mountains. The homeowners are so fortunate to have caught it in time. A home like this is a true treasure!

To restore it to it’s original glory Peggy has been working with Marcea Seimears, the lead designer. There are notebooks dedicated to each floor categorized by room. Peggy has been working on the main entry (over 14,000 square feet of walls), all the doors (20), all the woodwork, and the stair risers. She is also glazing in the dining room.

peggy up high

Comfortable with heights… good thing!

the finished stairway

The finished stairway.

doors galore

Over 20 doors coming off the entry way.

radiator cover

Customized radiator coverings with decorative relief.

Peggy is also glazing the circular dining room. These walls get a bit of a different finish – a strie in the light antiqued glaze.

circular dining room

The columns have decorative relief embellishments.

Once all of this is finished she will move on to a mural in the entry powder room as well as glazing the cabinetry for most of the bathrooms.

We’ll keep you posted as this project ensues.

Custom Fun: Curb Appeal

Take a look at this recent custom concrete overlay job we finished.

The homeowners had a previous overlay job done with a stamped rock finish. After several years of freezing, thawing, and “ice-melt”, the overlay began delaminating and failing. In an effort to repair and beautify once again, the couple contacted us to fix it.

Here are the before pictures:

chipped and delaminating concrete finish

concrete spalling

Here is a close up of the effected area.

one more view of the failing overlay

Another view of the front porch

Our guys patched the problem area to bring it back up to level. There was still sealer around the outer edges of the porch, so they prepped that concrete with a special bonding product and proceeded to cover the entire porch with another overlay. This time, rather than stamping the concrete, John hand carved stones in the finish. They then colored the concrete and sealed it.

Here is the finished product!

finished product overall

The finished product. There is no comparison!

close up

A close up of the color and stone shapes.

rez_after3_blogAnother set of satisfied customers! Now, on to the next outdoor job! The season is too short for all the concrete that needs attention!! Until next time, prepare to be inspired.

Custom Fun: Cabinet Updates

Cabinets… the most popular interior custom job we have right now. Currently we have five on the leader board and more in the works!

Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint is allowing people to see the cost advantage to updating your existing cabinets rather than tearing them out and replacing with new. In most cases our clients spend a quarter of what it would cost to start over! That’s significant in this economy. It is good stewardship, green, and opens limitless possibilities for design and color options.

We thought it would be fun to share some before and after photos of our kitchen projects.

paris grey - old white combo kitchen

These cabinets received a custom color – a combination of Paris Grey and Old White. They also have clear wax followed by dark wax for that subtle antique effect.

kitchen upgrade - painted cabinets, new concrete countertops, updated hardware

You can see the awesome transformation in this kitchen. A pass through was created. The island has a new poured and polished concrete countertop. The cabinets got crown molding and a coat of Old White. Updated hardware gives the modern feel the homeowners were after. We also did a concrete overlay on the outlying countertops with a coordinating concrete overlay back splash.

detail of Old White kitchen

A close up of the Old White cabinets, hardware upgrade, concrete countertop (overlay), and back splash.

new red cabinets

Yep… She went RED!! A total update with Emperor’s Silk and minimal distressing. The hardware simply received a coat of paint.

close up of red cabinets

A close up of the red cabinets.

Oak cabinets with a Graphite blend

Another set of Oak cabinets with a facelift of a custom Graphite blend.

Graphite blend cabinets

Close up detail of the custom Graphite blend – with light distressing.

Old White and Provence kitchen cabinets

These cabinets got some extra love! Old White covers the Golden Oak and Provence was used to embellish the detail of the doors. The PERFECT hardware was found and installed to complete the look. Although you can’t see it – the island was done in the contrasting fashion. The base is Provence.

awesome glass hardware for updated cabinets

I told you! This hardware was practically MADE for these cabinets. Sometimes the perfect find seems almost custom!

Here’s a “peek” at some of the upcoming kitchens we have in the works:

  • Burgundy base cabinets with Grey uppers
  • Black door and drawer fronts with a combination French Linen and Pure White base
  • Custom Green base with Color Wash uppers

Some fun stuff coming up! We’ll be sure to feature our future kitchens as well! Until then… what could you do in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room?

A Design Story: Dewald Farms

Sometimes our custom jobs take much, much longer to realize completion than we ever intended. Such is the case with the Dewald Farms foyer embellishment.

Rob and Susan Dewald came to us through their designer, Marcea Seimears, in August of 2011. Building a new farm home on their existing site, they wanted to embellish and personalize the foyer to represent the legacy of farming the Dewald family name has provided. Owning and farming the 1,000’s of acres since 1889 is something to be proud of for sure! With brand new construction the opportunity was perfect!

The design process began with determining what product would be best for the area. Being a farm house there will be heavy duty boots, high traffic, possible dogs, and lots of cleaning. The surrounding area would be slate tiles so we needed to be able to color match the product. Also to consider, the floor would have radiant heat throughout. Simultaneously we began computer line art concepts.

Dewald Farms design

The final design – options that preceded this included different wheat bundles, fonts, tile size, etc.

It was decided cement would be the best option for the area and desired outcome. Since our concrete would need to cure and be protected for at least a week after finishing we recommended being the last ones in before the home is finished – or as close to that as possible.

The tile layer did a fabulous job laying the slate tiles all around our 5 ft medallion area. The circle he left for us to work in was absolutely perfect! Upon arriving, this week – almost 2 years later, we sealed the under layer of concrete with a hydro-barrier membrane, taped and protected the slate tile surrounding the circle, and poured 2 thick layers of concrete to build up the depth on Day 1.

filling the 5ft circle

Beginning bright and early on Day 2 we put one last layer of concrete over the entire surface. Once dry we applied our one-time-use stencil made to size from our computer rendering of the design.

applying the stencil

This concrete dries within hours of troweling.

We then applied our final layer of concrete in two steps. The first was the center circle, which would have hand carved wheat stalks in the center.

filling the center circle with concrete

Being careful not to push the concrete past the “grout line” so as to avoid uneven application.

With a blown up print of the Dewalds’ favorite sheath of wheat we waited moments until the concrete was set up enough to make an impression of the wheat and not flow back together.

wheat impression

Talk about a one time use “stencil”

Once the tracing was complete we removed the paper and went back over the shape, embellishing areas that should be shaded and given more detail, as well as making it deeper.

embellishing the tracing

carve, brush, carve, blow, carve, brush, scrape, blow… repeat until finished.

Before applying the outside layer of concrete we colored the wheat. Then pulled the areas of the stencil that needed “weeding” and began troweling our final layer… it’s probably 4:00pm at this point… LONG day!

our stencil prior to the second layer

Phase two for the top layer of concrete – after “weeding” the stencil.

final pour with push pin markers for each element of the design

We used push pins to mark the beginning of each letter – so we weren’t digging holes in the fresh concrete searching for a letter.

Not long after this final trowel we began pulling the stencil for the inside circle and the outer border of tiles. This left the circle with the words “Dewald Farms Est 1889” as an island unto itself for coloring. We colored this portion a darker grey and then pulled the letters. Once those were pulled we filled in the words with a rust color to accent the rust in the surrounding slate tiles.

the finished product

The final product. A beautiful accent to a gorgeous foyer in a new farm house.

It was a joy to pull tape and seal that medallion around 8:00pm. We loaded up the car and headed back to Spokane.

Seeing a project from beginning to end is very fulfilling. We wish the Dewald’s a happy house warming and a bountiful harvest this year!