Nancy Hiller’s swift-selling “Kitchen Think” is now back in stock in our warehouse and ready for ordering. We ordered lots of copies, so we should have plenty of stock for the coming year.
If you are on the fence about buying Nancy’s book, you might want to read a new review of it in Bloom magazine that states: “Furniture designer and builder Nancy Hiller works as deftly in ink as she does in wood.”
We’ve ordered more copies from the printer, but it will be about five weeks before we are back in stock on both titles.
In the meantime, you can still buy these titles from our retailers and support some family businesses that we like.
I apologize we have had problems keeping books in stock in recent days. These shortages are not a crass marketing ploy to goose demand by limiting supply.
Lost Art Press has grown a lot in the last two years, and we are still trying to figure out how many copies to order with each press run. We need to find the (new) sweet spot. Why not order 20,000 copies of each book instead of 4,000? Among the many reasons: It ties up money we could be using on other projects and it costs money to store extra inventory in a climate-controlled environment.
I can’t bring myself to write a post about completing a job and welcoming our clients home without expressing heartfelt sympathy to all those who have lost their homes, and more, over the past few days to fire or financial devastation. Making things – whether furniture, books or buildings – is a source of joy. Seeing them happily used is an honor. Seeing them destroyed is heart breaking.
Yesterday we finished the kitchen I’ve been tracking here in occasional posts, and the Robinson family moved home. The job took much longer than usual, thanks to the pandemic. We’d planned to do the bulk of the work while the homeowners were in Europe, where Ben Robinson was scheduled to spend a good chunk of the summer with students. When reality put the kibosh on Plan A, we discussed Plan B: the family could live at home, cooking on an outdoor grill, and we’d seal off the kitchen workspace to keep construction dust (and droplets) to ourselves. Then we realized that wouldn’t work, either – the project included reworking the full staircase to the finished basement, as well as the steps to the upper level, and replacing the front and kitchen doors. In the end, Ben and Jenny took their three children, two cats and much of their kitchen’s contents to a rental, and then another. (There was more than the usual rental property available for sublet this summer, as many students at Indiana University-Bloomington had left town due to the pandemic.)
Here are a few more pictures from before, during and after, followed by a list of sources and suppliers.
A pair of shelves with integrated lighting defines the kitchen from the living room now that part of the wall between them is gone, while offering storage and display space. (I’ve written two posts about how I built these and how we installed them at the Fine Woodworking blog. The first is here. The second will be published there soon.)
We based the design of the white oak baluster and railing on an original screen at the mid-century home of some good friends; the angled slats are spaced for code compliance. The small white oak door on the wall opens into a cavity at the inside corner, replacing a blind corner unit that previously occupied the space.
The passageway between the living room and kitchen is now about 1′ wider than previously, which makes moving from one space to the other far more comfortable – you no longer have the sensation of passing gingerly alongside a mountain crevasse. To get the extra floor space, Mark reworked the stairs to the finished basement, moving them forward (toward the basement). He rebuilt the stairs with white oak treads and risers.
A glazed door to the carport brings more light into the room.
One of the most eye-popping kitchens in the recently published book “Kitchen Think” is in the home of 20th-century American sculptor Wharton Esherick. As with the rest of his home and studio, located just west of Philadelphia, the kitchen is a product of exuberant creativity unfettered by concern for convention – think natural materials, organic forms and *color*.
Whether or not you’ve visited the place in person, there’s an opportunity to visit virtually on Sept. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. (Eastern), when the Esherick Museum holds its annual fund-raising party. Enjoy the company of some fun and thought-provoking folks familiar with food, kitchens and more; enter the drawing for a three-legged stool made by Rob Spiece of Lohr Woodworking; ask questions about pizza, pantries or pot racks during the interactive portion of the party via Zoom. More information and sign-up here.
One of the many pleasing transformations described in “Kitchen Think” involves this kitchen in the home of Kathleen Funkey. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it’s one of just a few kitchens I’ve designed without visiting the site in person — not my preferred way of working, but I do my best to accommodate each job’s constraints.
The case study in the book covers the project in broad strokes, starting with Kathleen’s initial email stating her interest in working with me, so I won’t duplicate that here. What you won’t find in the book are images of what the kitchen looked like before; this blog is the ideal place to share those. The room was furnished with a mix of cabinets, all in decrepit condition. An original recess in the wall between the kitchen and dining room (below) had had its cabinet insert removed, leaving an impractical vacant space.
Kathleen wanted a kitchen that would suit her needs and look at home in the house.
Before drawing cabinet elevations I spoke with Kathleen’s cabinetmaker, Jake Korpela at World of Wood. Having made drawings for other clients in the past who hired someone else to build their cabinets, I have learned the importance of emphasizing details – it’s galling to draw a built-in with inset doors hung on traditional butt hinges, half-inset drawer faces and a flush kick only to find that what the cabinetmaker ended up building was indistinguishable (at least, to sophisticated eyes) from something that could have come from a big-box home supplies store.
As the after images show, Jake did a bang-up job of following the drawings and building the cabinets. The soapstone counters complement the warm tone of the woodwork, and the room’s trim now matches that of other rooms in the house. The subway tile went in only recently – it wasn’t done when Matt Monte photographed the kitchen for the book.