(612) 861-0188
Sylvestre Construction Inc.
Sylvestre Construction, Inc.
7708 5th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55423
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May 2015

Surround Yourself with Your Favorite Things

Between cooking, eating and entertaining, we certainly spend a lot of time in our kitchens. So shouldn't this favorite room incorporate our favorite things as well? At Sylvestre Construction, we definitely think it should! That's why we like to plan kitchen remodeling projects that include not just beautiful and functional counters, cabinets and appliances, but beautiful and functional display space for your favorite things as well. The challenge is finding clever ways to integrate treasured artwork, mementos and collections without cluttering up counters or exposing those favorite pieces to damage from steam or spaghetti sauce. Here are tips to keep in mind as you plan your kitchen remodel.

“Collector Friendly” Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Kitchen Lighting: Good kitchen design always includes task lighting as well as ambient lighting. When designing the kitchen to include artwork or collections, you should also include "accent" lighting. Examples can include fixtures designed to highlight a painting, light up a cabinet featuring beautiful china or glasses, or to shine down dramatically on a pottery collection.

Kitchen remodeling

Built-in Kitchen Display Shelves: With a little planning, even non-custom cabinets can be configured to provide plenty of space for displaying objects you love. A common add-on to kitchen islands, for example, is book shelves designed to hold a few prized pieces or a collection of favorite cookbooks. From a simple shelf added over the sink or refrigerator, to elegant wall niches, there are many creative ways to show off your treasures – and keep them away from countertop spills and splatters. If you'd like to have a collection of fresh herbs at hand, plan for the kitchen remodel to include wide windowsills (perhaps tiled to protect the surface from water) and windows with a sunny southern or eastern exposure.

Cabinet Tops as Gallery Space: Again, by planning ahead, you can vary the heights of cabinets to create beautiful spaces for your collections. Even functional items like colorful Le Creuset cookware can take on the status of art when displayed well! Careful design also eliminates the cluttered look that can come from some cabinet-top displays by balancing the height and relation of other cabinets so that the display is tightly integrated rather than just sitting atop the cabinets.

Kitchen remodeling

Protecting Displays: Glass-front cabinet doors are a smart way to protect your treasures from kitchen moisture and spills. Painting the back of the cabinet a contrasting color can add extra drama to your display, as can the right in-cabinet lighting. Styles can range from modern, virtually frameless glass doors, to paned doors perfect for providing individual "frames" for different objects in your collection. Ideally, objects on a kitchen wall should be framed with glass. Glass is far easier to clean than acrylic which can yellow and scratch in the kitchen environment. Unframed canvasses and tapestries are not the best choice for kitchens since they can absorb kitchen odors and their surfaces can be difficult to clean.

Remodeling Finishes that Pull it all Together: Color, texture and style are key elements of every good kitchen design. By planning for your collection right from the start of the kitchen remodeling project, these elements can be selected to complement what you want to display. The backsplash, countertops, paint and floor, for example, all can be designed to coordinate with and highlight the colors from objects in your collection. Moldings are also important for pulling the look of the room together. For instance, the ornate feel of a large framed painting can be balanced with beautifully carved cabinet molding.

With a little advance kitchen remodeling planning, you truly can fill your dream kitchen with your favorite things – without cluttering up those beautiful new counters!

Maintenance Tip: Keeping Your Cool

A ceiling fan is an easy and energy-efficient way to feel cooler, using as little energy as a 100-watt light bulb. Keep in mind, however, that it does little good to run it when you're not around. The fan really isn't cooling the room. Like a breeze on a hot summer day, it's the blowing air moving across your body that makes you feel cooler.

Professional photo by Christian Dalbec of a Beautiful Steelhead jumping up a falls.

Professional photo by Christian Dalbec of a Beautiful Steelhead jumping up a falls.
This was taken about 2 hours after we left Duluth on the Lester River.

What's the Story

We are just putting the finishing touches on 2 screen porches that we have been working on for the past couple of months. A great way to bird watch, relax and barbeque, bug free, in the Minnesota summer. Where are you going to spend your summer?

Freivalds Kelly screen porch taking shape. Winterbauer Porch almost ready!
Winterbauer Porch almost ready!
Freivalds Kelly screen porch taking shape.    Winterbauer Porch almost ready! 

The month of May is slipping by quickly and with the current rains, it appears that everything is in bloom and turning green. I have even received a report from my PowderWatcher web site that snow is forecasted for the higher elevations in the Rockies. That figures, after 2 trips to the west this winter enduring rain and little snow, it starts to snow now!

Crossing the Devils Track

Crossing the Devils Track (Note fly rod in mouth) 

I took my annual Steelhead trip to the North Shore of Minnesota in late April. It is such a great time of year to visit because no one is around. We fished a number of rivers north of Grand Marais which is one of my favorite parts of the north shore. Once you leave Grand Marais, there are less people and the country becomes so much wilder. We saw a coyote and a fox and numerous birds and I think of the voyageurs transporting their wares on Lake Superior. Oh, the fishing... We did a lot of fishing but not a lot of catching. It appears there is a window when the fish run. Water temperature, water clarity and water flow conditions all have something to do with when the fish make their run from Lake Superior into the streams. Maybe the moon, the wind and the magnetic field play a part. As they say, you can't catch fish if you are not fishing. Enjoy the rest of May.

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre

Phone: 612-861-0188

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