Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Seattle Food: Mkt. (Again!)

This is the second time in less than six months that I've posted about the restaurant Mkt. so it might seem as if there are no other restaurants in Seattle. There are, but this is far and away my favorite so I want to share it again. This time we went for my birthday. We always like to go out somewhere new and different, but given what the last 6 months have been like I didn't want new or different. I wanted something I knew I could count on and once again, Mkt. did not disappoint.

 This is one of the open pantry shelves- how can you go wrong with a restaurant that has a unicorn watching over the kitchen?

 The chef sent out this 'gift' before our meal- yellow watermelon, with sea salt, olive oil and baby pea shoots

 Heirloom tomatoes with grilled peaches and tomatillo salsa. The grilled peaches were so good I almost cried. I want them every night for dessert.

 My entree- seared scallops with grilled summer vegetables

Rookie mistake here- diving face first into dessert before remembering to take photo. If I hadn't devoured this within second of it hitting the table you would have seen a dark chocolate espresso pot de crème (pudding only better) with a dollop of creme fraiche. Sinful and fabulous.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Let There Be Light

It's an oldie but a goodie so how could I resist? As you can see by the reduced number of posts, things are winding down. This is great except that we have moved off our contractor's radar as he's already onto his next project(s). I'm not going to get into this now but at least here in Seattle, there is so much construction going on that contractors can pick and choose their jobs.

What did happen today was that the electrician installed the last of the light fixtures, which is exciting because they are a home item that is both decorative and functional. They set the tone for a room and even for the feel of an entire house. They also tie together elements within in a house. For us, with a midcentury home, we went with fir as the wood because it was so popular at the time but updated it a bit with brushed metals as a contemporary accent. The first place this shows is in the handrail which replaced the half wall.

The tope of the rail is fir, which will get darker as it ages but the posts are brushed stainless steel with cables between them.

It made sense then to pick up some of these elements in the various light fixtures in the living areas. In the dining room we kept it simple so as not to obstruct the view to the fireplace from the kitchen.

Brushed nickel and cables

The kitchen was one area we felt needed a pop of color so even though most of the lighting is recessed we added a pendant light over the sink.

It might have been nice to go a little longer on the cable but with a husband who is 6'3" that's not possible!

Finally, my favorite light in the house. Mr. G picked it out so all the credit goes to him. With the lower ceilings in this house (8') the stairs to the basement is the only place we can have a light with any kind of length and this one is perfect. 

I had to include two photos because no matter what angle you look at it from this light looks amazing. It perfectly suits the time period and style of the house.

*A special thank you to our electrician, DJ, who stood on a ladder leaning over the railing while I decided when it was centered. I don't know how he kept from falling over!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bathrooms: Getting Cleaned Up

Quick update: one more key component completed in the bathrooms- the glass has been installed. This means both guest and master bath are functional and only missing light fixtures (which is all right because we have recessed lights in both rooms).

 All nice and pristine, not yet junked up with countless bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial scrubs, etc.

Very happy with this new style of sliding glass door. Only two small knobs for opening and closing and no middle bar so glass appears seamless and tile is the focus.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Kitchen Update

The good news is things continue to move along without anymore mishaps (unless you count Mr. G gouging the paint in his office while moving his desk in- and is it bad that I'm glad he did the first damage, not me?). The wrong grout was removed and the new grout went in and it is EXACTLY what we had envisioned. Standing our ground was not easy but the contractor acknowledged the mistake and had it fixed.

This may not look like much to you but the concentrated color in the accent glass was what we wanted. With the white grout, all I saw was the white. 

Onward to new things. I thought I'd share a little bit of some of the new options that exist for virtually every kitchen problem. For us, we have a very tight U-shape to our kitchen. This means that in the two corners, getting use out of the cabinets is almost impossible. I'm sure you have similar spaces, but here's what I'm talking about in our kitchen.

 It all looks so sleek and clean, but the edge of the dishwasher meets the corner of the opposing cabinets meaning...

 The cabinet door cannot even be fully opened unless the dishwasher is fully closed. Even then, without inserts, this cabinet would be almost completely unusable as shelves would have to extend back inside out of reach. There was no way around this in designing a kitchen using our available space.

Enter the world of kitchen storage innovation! Not one but two swivel-hinged half-moon shelves. When closed they fit into and use the majority of available space in this odd-shaped cabinet. When pulled out...

Voila! How slick is that? Even better- they hold up to 100 lbs, meaning that the top one can easily handle my mixer and our food processor.

We have two cabinets like this, so we have four of these shelves. The scary part of this is: if you like gadgets and innovation you can fall down a storage rabbit-hole by going to: Rev-A-Shelf. They have the greatest storage tools out there. And not just for kitchens but for every room of the house. If we had been budget-free, I'd still be ordering from them.

What are the tough spots in your kitchen? How do you make them work?

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