Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Nix the tub

Nix The Tub

Take a gander at that one.

56% percent of us never use a tub. Combine that number with the next most frequent use (20% for 1 – 2 times use) and it’s 76%. Seventy-six percent!! That’s from a survey just published on Houzz.

I caved to the same prevalent lore spouted by real estate agents for decades: You have to have a tub! Guess how many times I’ve soaked in it since we put it in last year? ONE.

That’s not to say tubs are completely useless. They’re still great for:

  • little kids, in the presence of an adult of course
  • wet umbrella stashing
  • doing dishes while the kitchen is being remodeled
  • water storage for emergency prep (don’t laugh – it’s serious business in hurricane zones)
  • place of safety for people in tornado territory

And probably a few other totally non standard tub activities like shoe cleaning and dog washing.

So yeah. consider all that next time the bathroom’s up for a re-do. If you have more than one bathroom the money is better spent nixing the tub in one of them. If you have 1 bath, you’re probably stuck with it.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Homeowner? Hi!

Hourglass by Mark Newson

Now is the time.

Fall’s coming faster than we think. With the holidays hot on its heels. If it’s your year to host the turkey, you can still have the space you want to help you through the stresses.

If you’re a homeowner in search of modern design help, we’re here for you. Some people already work with a designer. And that’s ok too. But if you don’t have one, we do work directly with homeowners to put the kitchen they want in the home they have (or are building).

Keep trying.

We are very darty people, from jobsite to meetings to our shop. We can’t always get to the phone, but we’re eager to hear about your project. So leave a message/email & hang tight. Have a martini, listen to the cicadas & tree frogs – when summer goes, so do they!

Oh, and if you want to make your own modern hourglass, click the image up top.

cheers –

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Modern cabinet lovers are here

Simple, but not mysteriousWhat we’re hearing

Even here in the sultry southeastern US, people love modern design.

They like the simplicity of slab doors. They like how easy they are to clean, and they like how a modern kitchen lets the food, wine, & even the homework have the spotlight.

People tell us they’re tired of raised panel wood doors that everybody and their brother seems to have. They are done with wiping spills & dust out of all those curves.

They want something neater, but not mysterious. Refined, but not snooty. Simple, but not mundane.

Durable quality is worth it

Most of all, people tell us they love the look of IKEA, but doubt the quality. So do we.

And we still absolutely love the fabulous options that Semihandmade offers. Great, great door designs from our good friends over there.

People tell us they love European style, but not the cost. So do we.

Besh = the happy medium.

It checks all the boxes. Modern. Well engineered. Good looking. Affordable. We’re so convinced, that it’s the only cabinet line we work with! If you’re ready to check those boxes, call us. Fall is closer than you think.

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Denver Design Week or Bust

Denver Design Week

Now THIS is nicely put together all the way around. Fantastic website design, great lineup & events on the schedule & it’s All. About. Design.

I haven’t been this inspired about a design celebration since I co-founded SparkCon in Raleigh 10 years ago.

At the time I was a DesignBox member, & headed up the creativity sessions. I organized & led 4 two hour 60 person workshops to run through productive brainstorming. That was just one segment of a mosaic of events – from fashion design to music to art to local steel fabricator shop tours.

Today SparkCon has grown to include a huge menu of all things creative. And that’s great – we’re on the map. However, the creative core piece of SparkCon – for those wanting a glimpse into / a shot at – the actual creative process, has disappeared from the event. It’s all about the end product. And that’s ok too – things evolve. But to me, the spark is what starts it all – in any design endeavor. That’s what trips my trigger as a designer.

Denver Design Week has a nice cohesiveness to it. The main focus is modern design – both current and midcentury. It combines tours of finished renovation projects that include a history of why & how it ended up where it did. Even though it covers a wide variety of design: architecture, interiors, brands, art and tech, it’s wrapped in a neat package of celebration and I can’t wait!

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Kitchen as the Happy Place

It’s a jungle out there

Whether you go there to fuel up or cool down, that kitchen has to be there for you. Everything in it you get to do to your liking.
making a snadwich

Avocado? Check.

Mayo? Check.

Lettuce & tomato? Check.

Turkey? Got it.

Ixnay on the onions, olives and cheese this round.

Whole wheat bread & cukes liven it up, too.

It’s YOUR sandwich.

You can even take it with you into whatever battles you’re enduring.

always keep a bottleLet’s not forget the drink. The one you don’t have to drive anywhere for. The one you can take to the TV room with you. The one you can play guitar to. The one you can have with your sandwich you just made.

The special occasion could also be, for example – Monday.

You’re in the driver’s seat

You’re also at the cutting board, pouring a beverage, drying your hands on that awesome tea towel you picked up at the flea market last spring.

camping tea towels -

Bottom line: we all want a bit of control in our lives over something – doesn’t have to be big, or all the time. And our kitchens are the perfect canvas to exercise your decision & choice muscles!

Forget the traffic, the news, take a load off and revel in your space! And if the space isn’t quite up to snuff, change it. That’s what we’re here for. :D

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Where’ve ya been?

2015: Last Call!

zapped tape measureWe don’t get much time to write these blurbs. That’s because we’re out in the wild, doing things like this:

Frying our tape measures on electrical plugs that were slightly askew in the outlet. Fortunately I was holding the rubber casing, so I still have my famously darty, non-linear way of thinking intact.

I just can’t measure anything between 6″ and 7″ now, though.

So much for getting that job. (I didn’t.)

I also didn’t bother to go out & get a new tape measure. I just have to watch the edges.

And  figuring out column details:

column section

Designing & installing extra storage for brand new modern condos:

niche storage


And new kitchens:

modern kitchen sink wall  modern kitchen angle 2


Designing many new kitchens and baths for people who dig modern:

aerial into dining Bath 2  new modern kitchen

Cool projects like the sketch below, which turned into the 3D model & will become reality sometime in 2016!

Concept A modern kitchen  modern kitchen concept accepted


The goal is to have new shots of what we did in 2015 included in the gallery over at the Besh website before the end of January, so stay tuned. Speaking of Besh, we’ve also been working on a new website for it. Aside from making it cleaner & easier to navigate, it will be much more friendly to designers and builders to use!

We’ll leave you with this sneak peek snippet from the new site coming soon to a screen near you….

sustainability screen clip


As always, Cheers.

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

1 lamp, 2 lamp, pink lamp, gray lamp

Alphabeta Pendant SelectionCustomizable Pendants!

Alphabeta is a new double shaded pendant line that lets you pick the color & shape of the shades. A nice selection of color and modern profile options means there are gazillions of combinations for a unique fixture.

Maybe not a gazillion, but close (10 billion+ actually): There are 8 unique shade shapes, each having 3 color options.

It’s designed to shine up as well as down, so you’ve got 2 bulbs.

Luca Nichetto designed them for Hem, a unique online source for designs that inspire.

I’m a sucker for simple elegance, & these scratch the itch. Check them out:

alphabeta Pendant couch

Party at the dinner table:

alphabeta Dining

And the ultimate simplicity, black and white!

alphabeta White

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Thanks, Houzz! Also: Summer wrap up notes

We were awarded 2 new badges from Houzz today: An Influencer badge and a Recommended badge.

The Influencer badge is given to pros whose advice and knowledgeable posts are most appreciated by the Houzz community, while the Recommended badge goes only to the top-rated pros on Houzz.

Remodeling and Home Design  Remodeling and Home Design


Summer 2015 wrap up

It’s been hoppin’, kids. We’ll be shooting some of our completed projects over the summer in the next couple of weeks & posting to our gallery page over at the Besh website.   In the meantime, here are some progress shots.

Green. Literally and in principle!

This is an awesome net zero home going up in West Chapel Hill. The house was designed by architect Arielle Schechter and is being built by Newphire Construction. We’re so happy & lucky to be working with such top notch folks. There’s a lot to talk about with this house, from solar roof panels to our CA emission compliant Besh cabinets going in as we speak. More to come.

Exterior progress


Another Greenie. (It’s exterior wrap, not the actual color of the house. :)

This project is in the middle of nowhere in central NC. Also a high efficiency project, designed by architect Jay Fulkerson, and also built by Newphire. We’ll be putting in Besh cabinets with a custom low VOC gray stain in the kitchen. Here’s a quick exterior:



Here’s a chunk of the columns that will go in next to the framing.


And here are a couple of shots of the doors & panels on the drying rack in the shop after staining:





Garage storage

Yup, Besh works in garages too. We installed these in a VRBO house complete with locks so the owner’s tools don’t walk out with the renters. Lots of work going on there that day, hence the partial picture.




And lots of other things like drunk design shenanigans:


learning guitar to take short breaks from crazy work:



4 leggers. Always.


Gator. Best black lab ever.


Otto being Otto on National Dog Day.


Friday, April 25th, 2014

New product alert! Level entry shower system

VIM Products - level entry shower system

From VIM Products, Inc.

I can NOT wait to use this product in a master bath I’m designing for some folks! Up until now, everyone has told me:

  • “You have to have 2″ difference in elevation to slope a shower floor to drain correctly.”
  • “You can’t have a curbless shower without modifying joists or lowering the floor slab.”

The above statements are now FALSE I am happy to report.

Back in the day when I was doing commercial building design, we would specify as little as 1/8″ per foot slope toward the roof drains. If that is sufficient for a roof, why in the world would you need 16 times that amount for a shower floor?  You don’t.

3/4″ is all you need

Which is great, because that’s the thickness of most subfloor material.  And unlike linear drains, cutting into multiple joists (when the span perpendicular to the shower floor) isn’t required to seat the drain cavity. Happily, we can still have a square ornamental drain plate cleverly disguising a conventional round drain fitting.

Level entry showers are great not only for accessibility, but also they’re just plain easier to walk in & out of. No curb to step over. Or trip over. Less material & labor to install, and it makes for a nice seamless appearance & transition from the rest of the bathroom.

Not to mention if you’re a klutzy idiot like me who regularly sprains ankles & endures the torture of crutches, it’s way easier to maneuver in & out of a shower that you don’t catch crutch tips on.

VIM Products will also be at the Coverings show, coming up next week in Vegas.

Friday, January 17th, 2014

New material alert! Environite

New green countertop option!

My good friends over at Common Ground Green now carry a countertop material called Environite. Locally made from a proprietary recipe of epoxies, recycled glass, refractory and other commonly discarded post consumer and post industrial materials.

According to their FAQs, Environite is scratch resistant, non porous, and heat resistant (though they do recommend use of trivets). We’re liking the color options, also! Check them out:

Environite Countertops Bossa-Nova Environite Countertops MORE-ROCKIN-RED Environite Countertops Laid-Back Environite Countertops GLACIER Environite Countertops Urban-E2 Environite Countertops Urban-E1

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