kitchen renovation


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Sorry, but the green was just not our style. Or the linoleum. It seemed “charming” at our open house, along with the rest of this 1925 craftsman bungalo. However, upon moving in and starting to use the kitchen, we both had an overwhelming feeling that it had to change. After a contractor’s quote of triple our budget, we decided to forego a contractor and go directly to local importer/fabricator/retailer Granite & Marble Specialties for the floors and countertops. We choose the sink and faucet to be installed, hired a cabinet painter to paint the cabinets, and painted the walls and applied the stikwood wall ourselves. We finished off by installing a corner of open shelves and hanging fruit basket, as well as putting up a new window shade. Oh, there was some unexpected plumbing work as well, but I won’t go into that part of it.

The whole process took a little over a month, and I’m happy we took the route we did since this wasn’t a massive remodel. It made the world of a difference and I don’t miss the green one bit!


  • floor: Cemento Treviso
  • countertop: Calacatta Vicenza Quartz
  • backsplash: Rittenhouse Square in arctic white
  • sink: Blanco
  • faucet: Moen

Speaking of kitchens, check out these kitchen spring cleaning tips from Main & Vine, they’ve got some really useful ones.


Oregon Wine Country

Oregon wine country (aka Willamette Valley) will turn you into a wine snob. It’s not Napa. It’s not Sonoma. It’s a moderately under-the-radar yet slowly-blowing-up pacific northwest wine heaven which will turn you on to the complexities and interconnectedness of soil and mesoclimates with viticulture and viniculture. Err, maybe that’s just me. It’s also got distinct, complex, really good wine.

The Willamette Valley wine region is located between the coastal range to the west and the cascade range to the east. It includes 19,000 miles of vineyards and over 500 wineries. This region is fascinating and unique because it’s the site of an ancient ice age flood and contains layers of sediment originating from Montana, as well as volcanic soil and a variety of other minerals and organic particles. The geography along with the moderate, cool climate make it the prime location for growing pinot noir grapes. Within the valley there are several different subregions with their own distinct subclimates and soil types, which produce unique families of grapes. These subregions include Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. Within each subregion and at each winery, the winemakers are passionate about explaining the process and sharing their stories and experiences about the fickle pinot noir grape. Seeing the harvest and sampling several different varieties is a must. Pairing local wine with your meal in the region’s cafes and restaurants is a must as well. Don’t forget to take back a bottle of your favorite vintage of pinot noir that was made so complex due to its mesoclimate. 2012 was a good year Boom. Now you’re a wine snob.

These photos are from various places in Dundee Hills, including Wine Country Bed & Breakfast / Armonea wines, Domaine Drouhin, and Vista Hills.

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