Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

The Design Challenge: 

Wayne and Margot Terry’s existing kitchen at 2719 Vining Street in Bellingham felt crowded and dark; not an inviting space at all.   So they challenged their designer to invite in far more natural light and provide additional counter space, while also replacing the home’s original, tired cabinets and other finishes.

Every surface was to be replaced, including the drywall. This turned out to be a good thing because when the drywall was removed in the adjacent dining room, we uncovered an unknown problem area.  Nothing inside or outside indicated there was a problem inside the wall void; all looked just fine.  Although the symptoms were previously hidden, there was an enormous amount of wet rot and mold on either side of their brick chimney. Poor flashing was the culprit… yet again.

Terry_BeforeOnce again we came to realize how beneficial it is to get down to the framing during a substantial remodel.  Why dump a lot of dough into your home and leave potential problems hidden and festering?  Isn’t it better to demolish the drywall and know, once and for all, that what’s hidden in the wall voids is solid and sound?   Left to their own devices, rot and mold will worsen and the cost to repair such a problem will only increase!

Our clients are often placed in this difficult position.  Since everyone has a budget, one must choose between, say, opening up a wall so as to be sure all is well within the wall void, or buying a high-end sink for the kitchen. Such moments remind us of the wisdom of this quotation:

“Put your money into the things that are hardest to change later: good design, good relationship to the site, good foundation, good basic structure, good energy conservation. The finishes are easy to change later if you can’t afford to do them all right now.” – Marc Rosenbaum

We believe the best value in the long run is to invest in good bones.  Fix the bones and fix them well.  If you can’t afford attending to good bones and the high-end sink you fell in love with, fix the bones.  The sink can wait.  Stop the accelerating deterioration in your home’s bones.  Accelerating deterioration is often referred to ‘conducive conditions‘.  Let’s get rid of ’em!

The Solution: 

Look at the ‘before‘ photo up and to your right.  Can you tell it’s the same home when you view the finished product?  Hardly.

The resulting alteration provided an uplifting, bright space the Terry’s thoroughly enjoy.  And check out the pebbles embedded into the concrete countertop!

Aspects we performed: 

We did the construction. Another local design firm — Domistyle — created the design, which was very well done!  Thea Stephens was the designer and you can see the project on their website as well by going HERE.

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