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May 05

Let's Not Say Cheap; Rather...

Posted by C. Mason Hearn in value, renovation, remodeling, millwork, design

 In this economy, many of our remodeling-happy customers have a renewed interest in cost-sensitive improvements.  As usual, we ALL want to achieve the greatest impact; the most WOW factor for our investment.

Regardless the economic situation, some folks just cannot leave things alone, around their homes.  We refer to them as serial remodelers.  Bless their souls!

I'll be posting a series of great ideas along these lines in upcoming pieces.  Let's not think "cheap" (heaven forbid)....  Good design and creative / innovative use of durable materials is often the key to creating greater utility, and/or fabulous aesthetics without calling-in the Obama team for a few hundred billion.


This week, I am posting a detail near and dear to me.  As much of my inspiration comes from the arts / creative community, I happened upon this one while enjoying an afternoon whiskey with pre-eminent artist / studio furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett in his flat above his Oakland, CA studio (why do so many great stories also start with "I was having a drink, and..."?).  I had to replicate it here on the Right Coast.

The material is ¾" thick MDF (medium-density fiberboard, about $28 per 4 x 8 sheet), cut into 12" x 24" rectangles and split with a chisel.  The resulting surface is quite similar to rough-cleft stone, such as slate.  A slight edge bevel accentuates the modular quality of the assembly.  Painted with satin latex and screwed or glued to the wall in "running bond" pattern, it creates a uniquely-textured and interesting wainscot in this application.

It is not my intent for the appearance to fool anyone that we've done a stone wainscot on the (heaven forbid, again) "cheap".  Rather, it's just an unusually interesting accent piece.  I LOVE it when folks are drawn to touch, and inquire "what IS this??"  I suppose that, once we've done one of these for everyone on this end of town, I shall have to return to Oakland, for another drink with Garry.

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Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Henry williams, July 25, 2012
These are brilliant tips & advise you have shared with us. Wonderful idea.

written by elvinawilliam, August 09, 2011
Nice article about Home improvement
written by Cindy Plantation, March 21, 2011
That is an extremely catch terminology, "cost sensitive improvements". Here's another suggestion, cost friendly improvements. Nice read!
written by Plumbing Training, April 14, 2010
It's really nice how you come up with brilliant tips and ideas in improving one's home. It's really cool how your passion reflects in your works. Nice post.
written by Lisa, April 07, 2010
I've seen this in person and the photo doesn't even begin to do it justice. The whole thing is really cool.

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