Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

There’s nothing like new trim and paint to make a drab interior POP!  Connie moved up here from Portland and found a condo on 14th Street with a knock-out view of the bay and islands.  But the condo interior didn’t do it justice.  So she called on us to design and install the fix:

Freshen up the interior as far as we could go given her target budget, preserving as many of the existing products and finishes as we could… giving each element the longest life cycle that we could. 

Let’s read about how this project unfolded directly from Cindi, Connie’s designer here at Adaptations:

It's not hard to tell when Cindi's happy!  Natural plaster makes Cindi happy.

It’s not hard to tell when Cindi’s happy!
Natural plaster makes Cindi happy.

“We chose fresh paint on the walls and ceilings throughout, added a nice paint-grade baseboard trim and replaced the door and window trim with something wider and more timeless.  It always surprises me what an impact adding trim to a home does! 

“We were able to keep the existing bathroom cabinets by painting them, tuning them up a bit, and adding hardware.  We picked just the right colors for the walls and cabinets to make the existing granite countertops in the bathrooms work – they certainly were ‘color challenged’ when we started!

“We worked with Connie to design a custom closet interior for her bedroom suite giving her the best use of space for her needs.  Then came the interior doors, giving them a little more life by adding some casing and adjusting some of the hardware.

“Light fixtures, the existing towel bars, grab bars and robe hooks were retained, moving some of them around to more appropriate locations.  Although we retained most of the plumbing fixtures, the toilets were replaced with water saving models.  The bathroom floors, too, were replaced with a natural linoleum – Marmoleum.

“The kitchen was definitely ready for a remodel but, again, we found a paint color for the walls that gave the kitchen a fresh new look.  With a little fine tuning of the kitchen cabinets and trim we were able to squeeze a little more life out of them.  Perhaps a kitchen remodel is down the road.  Once Connie lives in her new place for a little while, she will likely know better what kitchen adaptations she would like to make.

“Remodeling the fireplace was key to the project’s success.  Lowering the height, thickening the mantel and resurfacing the fireplace bricks with a natural plaster brought a beautiful style to the living room; simple, age-old, and rich.”

Given the special focus on the fireplace, Cindi sought to incorporate the work of Rob Lewis from Earth Craft Painting.  Grand idea, Cindi!   So let’s look at a before and after look of this feature.  (The after, by the way, was taken by Fredrick Dent Photocine: 206-441-5072;;   The marmorino plaster finish, with top coats of lime wash, is manufactured by Vasari Plaster and Stucco.

Fireplace Showroom page

We asked Rob to tell us more about the process:

“The fireplace was done with Italian style lime plasters and washes. There are a total of five separate layers, or passes. The first is a troweled coat of lime plaster called marmorino, in a dark umber color. This is followed by a salmon colored layer, revealing underlying dark sections in somewhat of a vertical pattern. Then I brushed on three coats of lime wash—umber, gold and purple– with metallic pigments added, followed by burnishing with a dry rag.

“There’s a lot that can be said about lime. It was the medium of the renaissance. But it goes back even earlier to ancient Egypt. And because of lime’s durability, many of these ancient finishes are still intact and beautiful.

“Lime is made from limestone, which is baked to drive off water and CO2, then crushed into powder. When the lime powder is remixed with water and applied to a wall, it then begins to slowly reabsorb carbon dioxide, returning in a sense to stone. In this way, lime finishes actually get harder and more beautiful over time.

“You might want to check out Vasari’s website galleries. It’s pretty amazing what these materials do… and all natural. Check out their website right HERE.”

Here’s a brief slideshow of the fireplace process itself showing the multiple layers necessary to achieve the finished product. Know that the process actually started with Rob creating a sample board for Connie, something important towards ensuring everyone has the same thing in mind.

Rob has this to say about his experience with us during the project…

“The crew at A-1 and their subs were great to work with.   This project was fun and trouble free from start to finish.”

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  • Front 2-5-14
  • Showroom page

Hard as it might be, let’s turn our attention away from the fireplace for a moment.

Here are 3 more before images, followed by the slideshow showing off the condo when it was completed.  And, as usual, we finished on time.  This was an important deliverable to Connie given that her moving van was due to arrive here in Bellingham on moving day!

This was not a date to miss.

We nailed the date; achieved her goals; on budget… along with a happy designer who got to incorporate Rob Lewis’ natural plaster!


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