Sunday, June 5th, 2016

From the Things I’d Never Eat as a Kid Dept

There were many things on the list of Do Not Want as a kid:

  • onions
  • mustard
  • brussel sprouts
  • cranberries
  • uncooked broccoli
  • alcohol
  • sauer kraut
  • bratwurst/knockwurst
  • peas

They were all too sour, too sharp, too hot, too spicey, or just plain bitey & gag inducing. As an adult I’ve made friends with all but the last three.

Some friends of ours had us over for dinner and hanging out, and I loved this salad enough to ask for the recipe. I present to thee, Broccoli Salad with sunflower seeds & cranberries.

Broccoli Sunflower Cranberries

If that had been put in front of me when I was 7 I would’ve said I wasn’t hungry. As for now, I went back for seconds. And I’m going to make my own!

Kitchen happy.


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.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Pulse check!

Fraser Fir. Mmmmmm.blip. blip. blip.

Yep, still here!

And I have to report that 2015 has been an interesting year. We started out anemic, but when May rolled around our pulse came back & in spite of a slow start it’s been a manageable Steady.

We’re transitioning from a B2C business model to a B2B. That means we’re working directly with builders & designers more than with homeowners. We’ll probably never give up direct homeowner projects, because we learn so much from them, and we meet some really wonderful people!

At the same time, it’s great to work with seasoned folks who understand the building process completely, so we can seamlessly interface with them without extra time for education. That’s a plus when it comes to making product & process improvements too.

Around the corner.

2016 will bring a new & improved Besh website that we’re very excited about. It will make it easier to find the info you’re looking for, whether it’s specs, door style options, or inspiration. And it will be especially Builder and Designer friendly, for the creative folks out there looking to finish out their modern projects with the perfect cabinets!

So take time to smell the Fraser Firs – we sure are. Tis the season!

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.


Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Filling the chasm

Market demand: good quality modern cabinets that don’t clear your bank account

Good news – the choice is no longer between the ultra low (cost and quality) end and the ultra high end!

Chasm no more

For folks who want something a step or two up from IKEA, but don’t want the cost or hassle with either fully custom or non US products, Besh is the answer.

It’s here, it’s real, it’s US made, and in 2014 we did projects with it like this:

Besh kitchen

And this:

Besh kitchen



Besh has a simplified menu of 4 door styles:

Besh door styles


They can be finished with paint, vinyl, or stain. You can even pick what glass option you want, from textured to opaque to clear. And you can finish it off with dividers and organizers to your heart’s content.

Modular means flexible. And responsible.

It’s even got an option to swap your fronts or the cabinet interior components. Just opt in & pick when you want to swap. How cool is that?


Swappable Fronts & Guts

Get the kitchen designed correctly. Then invest in a cabinet system where the boxes stay put & the fronts and insides can change. And in the process you keep it out of the landfill. THAT is worth investing in, we think.

Even if you don’t want to do the swap thing, you still win with a good looking & solid US made cabinet system. We’re ready when you are.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Notes on starting our own cabinet line

toast2014 we hardly knew ye

No kidding. We started 2014 just like we have the past 7 years:

  • some installations in progress
  • some designs in progress
  • some products in development

Then, it changed. Good old Blue & Yellow *cough* IKEA *cough* announced 2014 as the end of their existing kitchen cabinet system.  Rather than deal with diminishing inventories & chasing missing parts all over 38 US store locations, I decided to suspend design & installation of IKEA kitchens in May. Our focus shifted 100% to our new line Besh®.

To my surprise (and delight), Besh® immediately became requested – from consumers, from other designers, commercial and residential alike. And that was only after a very small very local & very limited press release. Crazy!

I had no idea

My hunch was that there was indeed a market for a US made modern kitchen cabinet system that sat somewhere between big box stores and high end custom. What I didn’t know was what was involved with getting Besh® up & running. Everything from sourcing components I wanted to applying for logo & tagline trademarks. And that was the easy part.

There were also logistics, training crews, and backend software creation to make ordering easier. And getting the first few projects done with it to learn where to make things smoother, and to have a portfolio with it.

To 2015!

Here are a few things we plan to launch over the course of next year:

  • Besh® designer directory – for designers who want to spec Besh® cabinets on their projects
  • select retail display installations for meeting with clients by appointment
  • prototyping & bringing to market new cabinet front styles
  • bringing our sense of humor back into the fold with Besh®

We have had a BLAST with Besh® in 2014, and see no reason why 2015 should be any different, fun wise!

Monday, July 14th, 2014

We are here: Summer Break

We Are Here - summer 2014











Busy busy busy but still here but busy busy busy. Find us on twitter or Pinterest if you need an EcoMod fix. And occasionally we pen a blog post over at

Monday, March 17th, 2014

State of the Cabinets Address

YAY!2 lines, no waiting

So about a month ago, we broke the news that we’re now offering a 2nd cabinet line called Besh with our kitchen & bath design projects. We’re happy to report thus far that we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reception of Besh from homeowners, architects & designers and builders & developers alike.

A quick number crunch revealed that out of 14 active projects, 12 of them are using Besh, not IKEA. That’s a whopping 86%!! Early in the game, yes, but numbers are numbers.

2014 & beyond

Up until this point, we specialized in design & installation using only IKEA’s kitchen cabinet line. There’s a change afoot with IKEA’s kitchen cabinet line. That change has already been rolled out in Europe, and is set to roll out in North America in 2015. Here’s a link to some of the chatter on the IKEAFans forums about it.

Because we do still get requests for IKEA kitchens, we are still providing those services through 2014.  UPDATE: we will NOT be doing any IKEA projects for the remainder of 2014.

However, we’re not at all convinced that the new IKEA line – to be called SEKTION in the States – is an improvement. That being said,  we have and will always stand behind only robust, quality products. For that reason we will not yet commit to using IKEA’s kitchen line beyond 2014. If IKEA’s new line proves to be a continuing level of quality as in the past, we may consider projects on a case-by-case basis with it.

Long story short: we’re using  Besh exclusively for the remainder of 2014.  In 2015,  Besh will be our primary cabinet line until we can evaluate IKEA’s new system.

Besh: Modern cabinets for work and play

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Now offering Besh Cabinets

Cat = out of bag!

Out of the bag!

After almost 7 years of designing with Ikea kitchen cabinets, we are happy to announce that we’re now offering a new line of cabinets called Besh!

Besh: The deets!

Besh is made in the US and is fabricated locally to each project site. It’s got a combined core plywood construction for the boxes themselves. That gives it the structural heft for support & reliable bite for hardware, while having the uber smooth skin ideal for both painting and veneers.

Besh is truly modular in design based on 3″ increments. No more random skipping of sizes in the lineup! That means we can maximize available space you have for storage, not fillers, and without modifying stock components!

Besh: Modern cabinets for work and play

Swappable Fronts!

Besh utilizes genuine, robust hardware from Blum and Hafele, and get this:  it has a SWAPPABLE FRONT system option!! This is huge! Up until now, you could change all kinds of things in the room: paint, wallpaper, plumbing & lighting fixtures, & wall decor. With Besh, you can now change out the door & drawer fronts easily, because it’s modular!

So let’s say next fall, you know winter’s coming, right? You can swap in some bright gloss doors to keep it cheery on those short gloomy days. Or, if you get the dream job on the west coast & suddenly have to sell, the cabinet fronts are now fair game for staging. So if you like those high gloss Back the Pack red doors, but a potential buyer doesn’t, swap in some neutrals.

The greenest strategy of all: use as little as possible

Everyone knows a kitchen sells a house. Now we can change the looks without yanking out the whole carcass. And all of it can stay out of the landfill. Win-win-win.

We are super excited to be able to offer another option to folks who are fans of modern at a modest price point! For now, Ecomod is the official US Besh dealer.

We’d be remiss not to let folks know that we know Besh inside & out, because we created it. And we’ll continue to improve and innovate it: we see it as a living system. Something indeed you’ll be proud to use daily and keep our collective footprint as light as possible.

Go check it out!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

To 2014!

grape inflation

Greatest Hits!

Bird Feeder

Blog Categories


let it grow


recommended locals