Monthly Archives: April 2014

pipe shelving

apartment kitchenThe kitchen: the heart, the soul, the black hole.  It’s where life happens. Every kitchen has an awkward corner that’s jammed with extra stuff. That’s often the case in 100+ year old kitchens that weren’t laid out with efficiency in mind. They also weren’t necessarily laid out with a hoarder collector in mind. Our corner has the faux-wood microwave, speaker, cookbooks and bowls. What to do?  Gas pipe shelving of course! sketchup shelvesFirst I used my awesome Sketchup skills and drew it out.  Not knowing the standard pipe lengths before we shopped, we made assumptions of what would be nice. This corner has a window sill and other wood trim pieces to work around (trim around a dry-storage pantry that’s been sealed off since we moved in….dead body). drawingThen we made a shopping list of the various pieces we’d need. There are 100s of examples online, and in real life around San Francisco to draw inspiration from. gaspipeHere are the gas pipe pieces laid out and starting to be assembled.  These are 1/2″ (but measure 3/4″ diameter) pipes and fittings; 12″ lengths. Once at the stores we found nothing between 12″ and 18″…..18″ would be too tall.  They come slathered in grease so be warned.  We left the raw iron; I’ve seen some painted. We love old wood that I’ve grabbed from my remodels, but our corner dimension required 17″ deep and old lumber would only be 12″ max.  So we used 1″ thick ACX plywood, pretty neat with its striped layers. We plan to apply a satin poly to the plywood to protect it from the kitchen mess. handymangas pipe shelvingWe decided to drill and run the pipe through the fronts of the shelves. Other versions simply lay the wood across two ‘ladders’ but we figured this was more sturdy and looked good.  And, why not run wiring through for a light? This had to be pulled through as it was built. Factor in a sloping floor and we had our work cut out for us! pipe fittingsThe round flanges act as feet, as well as attachments to the wall. At the back, the shelves merely rest on the fittings – not drilled through here.  black pipe shelvingSome other details, seen above – such as the cap on the top. black pipe shelvesedison bulbThere’s the light bulb – because that window doesn’t provide enough light (at night).  Yes, we’re ‘green’ and have a small carbon footprint, but the Edison bulb is hard to resist! All in all this took much more time to prep for (planning, sourcing the materials etc) than building it, which was less than two hours (not counting downtime waiting on the ancient drill battery to recharge…). So there we have it – a place for the multiple sets of pyrex bowls, heath ceramics, books and other kitchen stuff to spread out and breath. Within easy reach, and too pretty to not be out on display at all times!  The microwave?  Found a home in the laundry room.pipe shelving



Filed under Other Design Projects

sonoma farmhouse


It’s been a long time since I’ve seen some [wood] studs, but demo has begun up north!  Demo always happens quickly, and within a couple of days this 1900s stucco house was stripped to the studs.  I mentioned this project last June, and after the design process here we are at the start of an exciting transformation / addition.  Permitting was comparatively quick – no neighborhood notification required like in SF (I won’t bore you with that drama – another time). sonoma farmsonoma house remodelThe footprint of the existing house will remain the same while the interior is rearranged and a new master bedroom / bathroom wing is added to the left in this photo.  The low gable roof in this view will be rebuilt steeper to match that over the addition.  sonoma farmhouse farmhouse demoAround the back there will be a new gable / vertical extension with a bank of doors opening to a concrete patio and view beyond. The renderings below show the currently planned design. This house will have a simple palette of finishes that work well in a relaxed ‘country’ setting. Exact window & doors TBD, especially the gable-angled windows and the massive multi-panel slider, which run around $1000/linear foot.  14_0331 REAR VIEW 14_0331 FRONT VIEWStay tuned – more to come!


Filed under Sonoma Farmhouse