Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's a Smaller World After All

I have two reflections on this last day of the year.

First, as I look back on 2009 I'm struck that it's a smaller world after all.

It's a smaller world when I can include folks from every reach of the globe in my daily, real-time Twitter-sphere. It's a smaller world when elementary school chums and co-workers from decades ago re-emerge and re-enter my life via Facebook.

It's a smaller world when we share the same entertainment (think Susan Boyle on YouTube) and family highlight reels (such as the dance-down-the-aisle wedding procession that sent smiles virally and even influenced an episode of The Office) with strangers and folks from faraway lands.

Second, as we close a decade, I'm asking myself how I would have approached it had I known at the outset what it would hold. I might have been immobilized with fear. Time Magazine dubbed it the "Worst Decade Ever". What if I knew about September 11th, Hurricane Katrina or the economic crash? What if I knew my young cousin would lose his leg in Iraq or that I would lose my job and lose my mom?

Retrospection makes me feel strangely comforted. I certainly don't feel like this was the worst decade of my life. In fact, I wouldn't have missed it for anything and what I remember most are its victories: my co-patriots mobilizing to help each other in times of great need. And its lessons: I've learned to serve my community, invest in deeper friendships, take personal risks, love my family better and savor small blessings.

This perspective makes me trust and lean into God's divine strategy to give me just enough light to see my way clear for this day and just enough grace for each moment. It really doesn't matter what the next decade has in store. I have everything I need for today.

In 2006 Sisters Community Church hosted a "Firefighter Appreciation Night"
to thank those who battled the Black Crater Fire, which burned thousands of acres and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.

Our heroes, just off the front lines and covered in ash, were presented with hundreds of pies and new socks. Some cried.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Cause: Shopping for Hope

I don't know about you, but we have had far more "sorry kids, we'll have to keep it simple this year" Christmases than not.

Every year we've improved at finding a select gift or two that costs very little, yet demonstrates that we've been paying attention to our children's evolving interests. So I am immensely gratified that our kids are growing into appreciative, charitable adults who see the bigger picture and understand the true message of Christmas.

The message of Christmas is hope. God humbly came to earth to save mankind, who could not save themselves, because He is the essence of love and we are the objects of His perfect love.

Hope is what Yobel Market is all about. They are a fair trade, global marketplace whose mission is to inspire awareness and promote justice. Last year I discovered Yobel Market and immediately thought of my college-aged daughter. I chose a pair of earrings crafted by Suubi women who live in refugee camps in southern Uganda, and a raw silk scarf made in Cambodia by recovering victims of human trafficking. Our daughter opened her gifts and cried as she read the backstory about the women who crafted them. She said it was the "best gift ever" and I knew she meant it.

Yobel Market will be here at Sisters Coffee Company on Sunday, December 20th for an event you won't want to miss. Come see for yourself these special (and extremely affordable) items that help bring hope to the hopeless.

Live music will be provided by Shane Simonsen. A short documentary film by Zion Pictures will introduce you to Canaan Farm, a transitional farm providing healing and hope to the child soldiers and families who have suffered from the LRA conflict in northern Uganda.

Come for a memorable evening celebrating hope. If you haven't "caught the Christmas spirit" yet, this should do the trick.

An evening of film, music and fair trade gifts that inspire awareness and promote justice
Date: Sunday, December 20, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm 
Location: Sisters Coffee Company
Map and Directions

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dad’s Dream: A Tale of Two Houses

Thanks so much to St. Petersburg, Florida Kitchen Designer, Paul Anater, for inviting me to guest post for his blog Kitchen and Residential Design during his absence. The piece I’ve written is far more sentimental and estrogen-infused than his normal fare, so I’ve been second guessing the whole idea. I suppose I could have written about my specialty, Kitchen Design. But since my dad passed away thirty years ago this month I have been spending a lot of time revisiting some old memories, especially those surrounding our living spaces. So here I go, with a little Christmas tribute to my dad:


My dad, the electronics professor with the teasing wit and clip-on bow tie, had a manuscript for a college textbook to complete and three noisy rug rats underfoot.  “We’ll go to the country for the summer,” he must have said to Mom. So they rented a seven-bedroom, turn of the century, Dutch Colonial farmhouse in a small town nestled on the upland slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was 1969.

Brown House 
The house itself was decrepit, with advanced plumbing issues. I can remember turning a squeaky faucet handle and observing the slow oozing of rusty goo into a wall-mount lavatory. It was minimally furnished, most notably for me with a record player and stack of albums which included The Ventures, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and The Beach Boys. There were clawfoot tubs, cold linoleum floors and secret passageways. It was absolutely wonderful; and it was here that we all huddled around our black-and-white console TV to watch a grainy image of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.

Christmas 1968
While we kids were enamored with the house and the space to run, Dad was enamored with the close proximity of his beloved redwoods. These are graceful, velvet-barked, tilt-your-head-back-and-try-to-find-the-top kinds of trees. On many Sundays after church we would be treated to dipped cones at Foster Freeze, then a drive through the dense, moist, redwood forests of California’s Coastal Range.

Summer rolled into fall and it became clear that we weren’t ever going back to Monterey. Dad bought several acres of future paradise on a steep hillside with a lush valley view and never finished the manuscript.

For the next five years he was a man with a plan and a long commute to teach year-round plus some night classes. Our occasional vacations meant piling into the Ambassador station wagon (without seatbelts) to visit family, with stops to tour model homes: A-Framed, chalet-style mountain retreats. Dad’s enthusiasm was contagious, and we had all caught it.

So when the framing eventually went up, we were totally engaged with the process. I think this is why even today I adore the sweet scent of sawdust on a jobsite or in a cabinet shop. Miraculously my sister and I, as teenagers, were able to agree on one thing: our new bedroom would have lavender walls and chartreuse shag carpet. Deep shag. Life held such promise; we each had ample closet space for our bell bottoms and wrap-around skirts and plenty of wall space for our fuzzy black-light posters. Dad fashioned swinging saloon-style doors to separate the toilet space from our long, double vanity.

scan0019 Dad's Dream House

All of the cabinetry was birch plywood with a simple, flat door, routed on the back side to lip over the face frame. Outfitted with the latest Harvest Gold appliances, the galley kitchen stretched no more than ten feet long. Mom chose sunflower gold tile for the countertops and a happy blue and yellow vinyl flooring. There was no microwave of course. We didn’t know we needed microwaves in the 70’s.

There was, however, a small appliance that truly christened the kitchen of our A-framed chalet in the redwoods. On our first Christmas in the new house, Auntie Midgie and Uncle Owen presented my parents with the latest innovation: a Joe DiMaggio-endorsed, Mr. Coffee automatic drip coffeemaker that eventually gurgled and brewed to everyone’s delight. But Dad “wrote the book” on electronics, so he didn’t need directions. When his first coffee-brewing efforts were met without success, Dad proclaimed in his most professorial voice that there was obviously “too much turbulence in the scupper hole." This would become a family mantra of sorts for all future technical difficulties.

Mr Coffee sm
Uncle Owen admires the Mr. Coffee.  (Mom & Dad are on the right)
And so just as Dad had dreamed, this A-Framed abode with its pointed nose of window glass, extensive redwood decking and mountain charm, sat in harmony with its environs. And a gregarious, hard-working man realized a dream.

Less than two years later, before the new-house smell had even gone, Dad learned that he had lung cancer. Our family went into survival mode and tried to reconcile that what once felt like a shiny new beginning was now the beginning of the end. My courageous dad tried to go back to work for awhile with just one lung. He loved a few things even more than the redwoods...teaching for one, family for another.

Just before Dad passed, he briefly came out of a semi-comatose state and with a sense of urgency asked us to sing a hymn, In The Garden. My mom, Auntie Midgie and I sang it very poorly, but Dad's eyes and ears seemed to be witnessing something infinitely more angelic. Here is the last verse:

I'd stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go, through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He left us, there in his redwood paradise. He had pursued the things he loved. As I squeamishly approach the age my dad was when he bought that piece of property(!), I appreciate ever more deeply the lifestyle he modeled. He is still teaching. He’s teaching us to journey to discover our own unique dreams, the ones that are so divinely designed that they inspire a hope that propels us to act, and a joy that’s contagious.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.”

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Kitchen Make-Over, Hollywood Style

Christmas Day brings the release of what promises to be another feast-for-your-eyes romantic comedy from writer/director Nancy Meyers, who also brought us Something's Gotta Give and The Holiday. Meryl Streep stars as a bakery owner who is undergoing a kitchen remodel while caught in a love triangle with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin, who we all love to hate) and her architect (Steve Martin).

I'll have to seriously multi-task to watch Meryl while also taking in every inch of the set design. Traditional Home has a slideshow of the set that reveals styling much like Streep herself: gracefully casual, warm but sophisticated. Her character's bakery provides a canvas for the same food stylist that provided culinary gewgaw for Julie & Julia.

The kitchen looks open and uniquely eclectic. I can't wait to have a better view and discover where the rest of the storage is! The exposed hinges and inset grids (metal? cane?)in the cabinet door panels are interesting choices.
If I could have one Christmas wish, It's Complicated will be rated PG-13 rather than R; but alas, I can always focus on the scenery.

View Traditional Home's slideshow here
View the movie trailer here

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bath Ideas: Inspired By Nature

Did you know that male deer shed their antlers every year after breeding season and actually regrow a larger set each following year? Buck antlers are one of the fastest growing tissues known to man, growing an average of 1 to 2 inches per week!

Designer Beth Slifer has incorporated antlers shed in the Colorado Mountains into this bath ensemble she created for Kohler and named "Fire and Ice". Warm textures such as mesquite wood tiles and reclaimed oak flooring, paired with watery glass lavatories and Ann Sacks "Inca" recycled metal tiles, reflect the subtle contrasts found in nature. Serene and spa-like, the space showcases sustainable and resource-sensitive materials.

The take-away for those of us who can't afford/don't require a $2600 lavatory is the harmonious balance of organic materials which naturally yields a restful, retreat-like atmosphere and a lovely place to unwind. Ahh.

Watch Designer's Video Here

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time For A New Dishwasher? Start Here.

Question: I need a new Dishwasher. What do I need to know?

My friend Locki will be strapping on what I'm sure will be some very fashionable rain boots this weekend and heading to the appliance store with a plate and wine glass in hand, ready to make an informed decision. A little homework and you'll be ready too.

1) Take a quick inventory of the size of your dishes and the kind of space they will require in your new dishwasher. Do you have a large family or do you usually only wash a few place settings at a time? Do you entertain often? Does your dishwasher have a custom door panel? You may or may not be able to adapt it to a new model. Know your needs before you shop.

anticipates how much time, water and energy a load will need.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Will Benefit from Energy Rebates?

Have you delayed replacing your old energy-hoarding kitchen appliances in hopes of new cash rebates from the federal stimulus program? The Oregon Department of Energy has instead chosen to channel its $3.6 million in allocated funds into generous rebates for low-income homeowners who replace their antiquated and inefficient heating systems. This news was met with a measure of surprise from those who had expected the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program would be used to energize consumer spending in the home-remodeling section.

States were allowed to decide how best to carry out the program. Most states, including CA, NY and FL, have elected to direct their share of revenues from what has been called the "cash for clunkers" program for appliances into cash rebates for homeowners who replace outdated washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and water-heaters with newer energy-efficient models. An additional cash incentive will typically be offered for recycling the old appliances appropriately.

Oregon Department of Energy cites that 40% of the state’s annual energy usage comes from heating homes. Also the state already has in place an established incentive program which offers tax-credits ranging from $60 to $180 for qualifying energy-efficient appliances.

This GE Monogram EnergyStar-rated dishwasher qualifies for an $80 state tax-credit plus a $25 rebate for Central Electric customers.

Jim Chapel, a salesman at Johnson Brothers Appliances in Bend, OR says that "everyday people come in asking about the rebates." Chapel was never convinced that the new cash rebates, had they indeed been offered for kitchen appliances, would have boosted sales significantly. He believes customers replace their dishwasher, for example, because they need a new dishwasher. Part of his job as he sees it is to make customers aware of all incentive programs that apply to a purchase, and he emphasizes that in addition to the state's ongoing tax-credits all of the power companies are offering rebates. These rebates vary from one power company to the next and from one appliance to the next and Chapel is "more than happy" to help customers get the right information.

Oregons's proposal will now require federal approval, and funds could be allocated by the end of the year.

Related Links:
US Dept. of Energy
Oregon Dept. of Energy-Conservation
Pacific Power
Central Electric Cooperative

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introducing: Gourmet Gayle and the Breakfast Calzone

It's high time you met Gayle Tosello.
I have dubbed her Gourmet Gayle and she is a superhero in our family. She doesn't have a cape but she has a jar of capers...and she knows how to use them.

She doesn't have a time machine but she can whip up a wholesome and tantalizing dish faster than you can say "Buon Apetito!" Vivaciously she bounces from kitchen to dining room to sewing room, then out for a 5 mile walk, a swim or round of golf. Or all of the above.

Gourmet Gayle is living proof of the energy payoff of a mostly Mediterranean diet. In fact I'm convinced there is nothing she can't do. Except sit down.

Lucky me to have this polenta-making, biscotti-baking resource as mother-in-law and friend. I'm so excited to be able to share some of her fast and fabulous recipes with you here at the High Desert Home Companion. If I could bottle some of her enthusiasm I would share that also!

Gourmet Gayle prepares Breakfast Calzones with her granddaughter.

Gayle makes bread/pizza dough throughout the week; I think for her it's like brushing her teeth or putting on lipstick. But if that's too much fuss, which it is for me sometimes, use refrigerated pizza dough. This is a good candidate for "Breakfast For Dinner" nights. It is so simple but will impress your family (let them think you slaved):

Breakfast Calzones
Cook scrambled eggs (1-2 per serving).

Saute some veggies in olive oil: onion, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach...whatever is in season or needs to be used up. Season with salt and pepper.

On floured board, roll out the dough into circles (about 6").
Layer eggs, veggies and top with cheese (Trader Joe's 4 Cheeses is great).

Fold over, pinch edges together and brush with egg. Then bake about 25 minutes at 400.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Countertops That Rock: The Ease and Elegance of Concrete

If you have ever dismissed the idea of concrete countertops with concerns about cracking or prejudged it as cold and unfriendly, it may be time for you to take a long second glance. Now, more than ever, this earthy and environmentally kind material may find a place in your home and in your heart. And oh, the places it will go; concrete is showing off its new-found versatility by turning up in the most unexpected venues.

Talk about mud pies with moxie. Who would have thought you could create such allure with a mixture of cement, rocks and dye? Color personalities go far beyond the classic sidewalk gray, to spicy earthtones, warm and subtly textured, and to polished black, as swanky and hip as a beatnik in a beret.

Concrete is rocking it's style in home designs from rustic to contemporary, with intriguing applications in virtually every room of the house. Consider its benefits as a shower surround; minimal grout lines mean easy cleaning and the addition of inlaid tile or other decorative accents (think pebbles, shells, fossils, metals) bestows texture and personality.

In this master bathroom, an "eroded" edge detail adds to the distinctive character of the shower walls.

This elegant one-piece vanity top with integral sink and graceful curves would be right at home in a very traditional design setting.

Cement can be molded into virtually any shape or size you can conceive of. You want seamless? Cinchy. Curves? Can do. Choose any thickness, from thin and graceful to extra beefy. You may opt for a built-in raised drainboard or an inset butcher block for your kitchen.

Mossy green cabinetry, chocolate brown concrete countertops and a pebble-infused backsplash harmonize in this approachable kitchen.

Labor Intensive 
"Why does concrete cost as much as some granites?" is a question I have often fielded as a Kitchen Designer. I myself presumed that concrete should be more affordable until I watched the process first-hand. I sat at my desk in a kitchen showroom several years back watching, fascinated, as the fabricators returned day after day to complete the next stage in the eventual creation of a unique and sensual surface that would thereafter provoke visitors to appreciatively run their hands over it asking "Is this concrete? I love it. But I'm afraid it will crack."

Durable and Practical
It's important here to distinguish between cracking and "crazing". Crazing, or an occasional series of very fine lines in the outer surface of concrete, literally the width of a hair, is generally considered an enhancement to its natural charm.
Cracking, on the other hand, is happily a thing of the past. According to Bayard Fox, owner of Cement Elegance in Bend, Oregon, "New technologies have made it possible to make lightweight, crack free, and stain free concrete products. They also do not require any maintanence!" Fox has developed a system using just a 1/2 inch layer of concrete over a lightweight aggregate core which contributes to their "no cracking" warranty. And because worthy fabricators will stand behind their product, there's no reason to fear this user-friendly material. 

Environmentally Friendly
Fox lists these virtues which allow concrete to promote a happy habitat:
  • Locally produced, reducing shipping and fuel.
  • Raw materials are sourced locally.
  • Made custom, reducing waste inherent in other solid surfaces.
  • Can be repaired instead of replaced. Can be re-colored instead of replaced.
"The trend for unique products that have durability and longevity is exciting. Concrete has the flexibility to be made in any color or shape and can be made to fit any style of home. Contemporary design is making its way to the northwest. Concrete is perfect for this style." says Fox.
From Farmhouse to Modern, I think another reason this material transcends style is because there is just something endearing and unpretentious about such ambitious rock dust. And it sure cleans up nice.

Form meets function with chic, clean lines in this weatherproof concrete patio ensemble by Cement Elegance.

Top photo: courtesy Cocina Designs and Ruettgers Photography.
All other photos: courtesy Cement Elegance.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Fine How-d'ya-do!

Let this serve as proof that the Pacific Northwest is not to be overlooked in the American fall color event (but who's competing?!)
And I'm feeling thankful for the warm and welcoming front porches I've spotted around town. I'm not a big fan of scary Halloween decor (because I get scared!). These appear to say, "Come on in. The pumpkin pie will be out of the oven soon."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

de-Sign Of The Times: Cabinets Expand at the Waistline

It's not your imagination and you are not alone.

Across the world homemakers are failing to neatly close their cabinet doors on their newly purchased dinnerware and scratching their heads about it. Cabinetmakers here and abroad are reprogramming their CNC machines to create cabinet boxes that accomodate today's "generously sized" dinnerware.

"Tabletop" trends influence cabinet design in other ways. Displaying family china and heirlooms, while still practiced, is not the end-all it was in the past, and entertaining guests is a more casual affair. According to Drew Chernoy, owner of Clementine’s Kitchen in Del Rey, CA, buyers 20 to 30 years ago were ‘collectors’ or ‘nesters,’ and had in mind different uses for each of their sets of dishes, platters, glassware and flatware. They had the ‘holiday dishes,’ the ‘summer garden party,’ etc. Some of these were more ‘formal.’ This related to their life growing up or their vision of the eating experience in their life to come. Having the ‘good dishes’ on their wedding registry further reinforced this. The underlying change is that having lots of sets of dishes and entertaining pieces, glasses, etc., just is not that important anymore to the more recent generations”(The Gourmet Retailer).

The tableware cabinet buyers are looking to store today is casual, durable and best of all, stackable. And it is growing in size. A typical dinner plate once measured 9 inches across but a trip to Crate and Barrel finds popular styles ranging from 10.5 inches up to the 11.5 inch Classic Century style (right). The product description states "Originally designed in 1952 by world-renowned designer Eva Zeisel...Dinner plate has been enlarged for today's lifestyle".

Pottery Barn offers their popular Sausalito style with dinner plates spanning 12 inches! When does a plate become a "platter"?!

This explains why dishes are boldly peeking out from upper cabinets and homeowners are having to find more creative ways to accomodate their everyday dinnerware. Custom Cabinetmaker Craig Mannhalter of Metolius Woodworks in Sisters, Oregon has retooled and increased the standard depth of uppers over the past 20 years. Fieldstone Cabinetry representative, Jeff Ptacek CKD, agrees that while the standard depth is still 12 inches, they are seeing increased requests for 13-15 inch custom depths.

Need to retrofit an existing kitchen?
  • Consider replacing some upper cabinetry with decorative open shelving.
  • Store dishes in drawers. Deep drawers at a comfortable reach work best.
  • Replace shelves in standard base cabinets with roll-outs (available at Lowes).
Planning a new kitchen?
  • Make a pre-decision about where you will store your everyday dishes. With your dish measurements in hand, have a clear discussion with your cabinet supplier about the interior clearances for uppers.
  • Consider incorporating decorative open shelving in your design for flexible storage.

On the other hand, mega-sized dishware can mean 50% more plate to pile food on, which translates into more waste and more waist. What if we instead stock up on today's "generously sized" salad plates (8 to 10 inches) for use as dinner plates? I'm wondering, since we are the consumers influencing the retail trends, if perhaps we could "stir things up". Ha!
Maybe instead of "letting out" our cabinets we should put our dishes on a diet. Better still, maybe if our dishes were on a diet, we wouldn't be.

Then no one would have to come unhinged (so to speak!).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Switch Craft": Re-Purposing Sticks and Scraps

I have come full-circle. It took me two decades to discipline myself to toss old magazines into the recycling bin. Now I have a special basket dedicated to collecting them for craft projects. My daughters and I can fashion a collage whenever the mood strikes, or even decoupage. It's re-purposing and it's free! Here's a birthday card I made for my mom:

and my 10-year-old's latest masterpiece:

Easy as 1-2-3 Fall Craft

The idea for this fall craft began when my husband led me out into the forest to climb Eagle Rock for a 360 degree view of the Three Sisters Wilderness. I forgot to change shoes but managed to safely scramble to the top in my faithful Teva flip-flops. Now is that short window of time when the Cascades look strangely unfamiliar, rocky and barren of snow.

On the way back, this scrappy manzanita bush insisted on riding home in the trunk. I imagined it might become the inspiration for a decorative fall arrangement on our front porch.

Instead it seemed more at home on the mantle, and brought back memories of my mom's ever-changing holiday "tree". In Spring it was adorned with colorful wooden eggs; some winters, with embroidered snowflakes.
 But first it needed a "haircut" despite my daughter's protests (I trimmed it while she was in school).

1)  I cut a leaf shape out of heavy paper to use as a pattern,

 then paged through magazines on a mad quest for playful autumn-toned scraps. This is the part of crafting which, for me, sends my serotonin levels surging. It's also why I don't believe glossy publications will ever be completely replaced by internet resources.
Here is the aftermath:

2) Next I glued two leaf cut-outs together so that each side of the leaf would have a contrasting design. (I used Mod Podge but you could also use a glue stick). Optional: Unsatisfied with the varying sheens of the papers, I also brushed the finished leaves with an exterior coat of Mod Podge.

3)  With its graphic leaves tied on with bold orange thread, the once-forlorn branch now adornes our fireplace area, paying tribute to the changing season.

These Northwest nights are definitely getting colder and it won't be long before the family gathers together here to count our blessings. Bring on the pumpkins!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Made You Look! Backsplashes Command Attention

So many elements vie for our attention in a new kitchen but by nature we tend to feel more comfortable and interested when there's a deliberate focal point. Choosing a showy backsplash design for instance, is not just frou-frou; it actually helps to create the mood and gives the eye a context for the rest of the kitchen--perhaps even a theme. The range of creative possibility is truly infinite. Let's just scratch the surface:

Two kitchens that celebrate their place in the world:

The centerpiece of this rustic kitchen is the chiseled granite mountainscape behind the cooktop.

How many islands do you see in this kitchen? I spy...three! This client is a professional baker (lucky me) and her dream kitchen needed a lot of useable counter space. Even in a kitchen loaded with amenities, it's possible to establish a focal point.
The eye naturally travels to the cooking zone at the far end, where it lands happily on a tiled wildlife scene, framed by a gracefully arched light valance.

And one that transports us to a distant land:

This gorgeous fused glass mural clearly sets an elegant Tuscan theme.

Some make us stare because they have a bubbly personality:

Eye-catching circular tiles in rich colors are warm, playful and engaging. I am smitten with the Stardust Glass line of recycled glass tiles, crafted in Portland in refreshing colors such as
apple green and rum...

...and tangerine and spritzer

Of course there are other ways to create an engaging point of interest in your kitchen. Look for more to come in the "Made You Look!" series of posts.

Whether it's a tile mural placed dramatically above the range or a lively splash of color along the backsplash, adding an artful feature can say alot about you and about the feeling you want to create when you gather here with your favorite people.

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