Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine

When was the last time you took a bath? Was it in a standard tub-shower combination, or were you using a soaking or jetted tub? Soaking and jetted tubs offer many benefits as far as relaxation and stress relief are concerned. However, we hear a lot of complaints from homeowners about standard tub-shower combination units, from the step-up being too high to the tubs themselves being too short or too shallow. Real estate markets may indicate that having a bathtub in your home will help resale value,... more

YIPPEE!!! It is finally spring…finally! The daffodils and tulips are blooming, the grass is getting greener, the evenings are getting longer, and it is starting to get warmer. Although it has not been a particularly chilly winter, I am more than ready to run headlong into spring. I think what I am most excited about this spring is color. Color and lots of it! I really, really love color, especially orange, which is a bit ironic considering that I cannot bring myself to wear anything except black.... more

Do you shudder when you take a sip of the water out of your kitchen faucet? There’s a good reason. Contaminants in our drinking water are at an all-time high and funding for our drinking water infrastructure is at an all-time low. Homes built prior to 1986 may have lead in the pipes or in the fixtures. Even newer homes are serviced by older distribution systems, which means the water must pass through pipes filled with rust, lead, and other contaminants before reaching your faucet. The chlorine... more

My home’s inclusion in last year’s (2012) annual City of Portland, OR “Build It Green! Home Tour” occurred for many reasons. My design focus resulted from very practical considerations: I require accessibility because of my walking disability. The six-year journey from buying a very tatty fixer in September 2006 to its present state as my own Shangri-La also resulted in some very personal life perceptions for myself. I viewed many homes and none had any inkling of accessibility.... more

We knew we had our work cut out for us when we wholeheartedly agreed to collaborate on the redesign of this 1950s kitchen. Tom and Hilary, owners of this wonderful Mid-Century Modern ranch in Portland, OR, had specific ideas when it came to the new design. Having worked as a professional chef in her mother’s French restaurant while growing up, Hilary had precise notions of how a kitchen should function, and function it does! By implementing a few hard and fast commercial kitchen... more

I am a stair guy. I build and remodel staircase systems. When people ask me what I do for a living, more often than not my answer (“I build stairs.”) is followed by this question: “As in… spiral stairs?” For many, this is what building a staircase means. I have never been able to figure that one out. I have built and consulted on thousands of staircases. The number of spiral staircases I have installed is around 1/100th the number of my total staircases. They are impractical for many reasons,... more

So your recent trip to Hawaii or to the infamous Tiki Tiki Room at Disneyland, or whichever tropical destination that you have just returned from, has you all fired up to have a little ‘Flavor of the Islands’ at home. You don’t have to live near the Pacific islands to sip drinks from a coconut cup and relax to tropical music, but having your very own tiki bar will certainly help take you to paradise while entertaining at home. Basements, garages, and back yard patios are all excellent choices... more

There have been some interesting trends in the world of flooring over the last year. Some of the most notable advances have been in the ease of maintenance and installation. Oiled Wood Floors The realm of “what’s old is new again” can be seen in the development of oiled wood flooring. In this country, we decided to put the hardest finishes we could find on the surfaces of wood floors. These finishes protect the floor by forming a wear layer, in effect a plastic-type film on the surface of... more

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