Schoolhouse Electric: Pendant Lights Arrive!

Well they're here and I have to say the lights from Schoolhouse Electric Co. are lovely and I love the packaging and labeling as well. Here are some close up shots as well as the lights installed. I'm so proud to have the lovely artwork of Yellena James in the house in this way. I love have local focal points like the locally harvested/salvaged walnut island top and now the pendant lights brought to us by a Portland, OR based company and artist! Things are in bloom so the tulips were locally harvested from our front yard! ; ) As you can see things are coming together splendidly. We couldn't be happier. Just final touches remaining to share with you - recycling center under the sink, walnut trim to cover under cabinet lighting, dimmers and electrical outlet plates in stainless steel are still coming, early next week door and window trim is being installed, and today I sit around hovering by the front window waiting for the UPS man to bring 2 bar stools!


For Earth Day Buy Furniture?!

Well it's Earth day and here in Eugene it's a big deal. There are free events at 5th St. Market for example and sales (i.e. at Oak Street Vintage) galore. Last night Mr. Schmitz & Mr. Plummer came over to talk about final touches in the kitchen and mostly about trim. We talked for 30 minutes about all things trim including where this wood is going to come from. Buying wood is definitely a conundrum. We talked about buying a ready to go maple trim and Mr. Plummer suggested it would be FSC or Forest Stewardship Council certified. We also talked about using Appleply for the trim and I asked Mr. Plummer if that wood would be FSC certified and he said no. For another client they bought FSC applyply and in the end discovered that the core was from China which then leads to a whole bunch of questions about carbon production and shipping from across the world - not very earth friendly acts! They made the point that even though the applyply that we have in our house is not FSC it is locally (Oregon) harvested and manufactured (Lane County). So you see it's not so easy being green

We're trying to make the best & most eco-conscious decisions during this remodel by taking more than just a simple label into mind. Thus my dilemma about buying furniture for Earth day. I want to but do I need to? NO! Here's some rationalization for you though if you care to indulge me. We'll be getting rid of some furniture on Craigs or via a garage sale or donating it to Goodwill or Bring Recycling which will keep it out of the landfill. This is good. But then is it a good idea to consume more stuff on a day that celebrates not consuming more shit? Not good. I think in the end don't buy anything at CB2 today just because they're going to plant a tree for you (you can plant a tree yourself). Falling for that sales pitch is not very eco-savvy. If I have to buy furniture it seems like supporting a local vintage store is a great way to consume stuff in an earth-friendly way. Plus Oak Street has marked everything in the store off 22% for April 22nd!  You're saving furniture from the landfill which I think is an Earth-friendly action. Probably instead of buying stuff at Earth Day sales it's probably best to just get out into nature and remind yourself why we have this day to begin with. Another good Earth Day activity is donating to a small environmental non-profit like Cascadia Wildlands - a small group that is on the front lines of old growth and endangered animal protection in the Cascades from Oregon to Alaska! Also right now you can double your donation because of a generous offer from a great business Mountain Rose Herbs.com. Happy Earth Day, Modern monkeys!


Schoolhouse Electric Lighting on its way!

I just learned that our pendant lights from Schoolhouse Electric shipped today and they should be here by the end of the week! Very exciting. I'm still looking for a flush mount ceiling light for the hallway. Let me know if you have any great ideas or pictures. Here's a picture of our pendant lights. The one on the left. It's from the Artist Series - a local Portland artist in fact! We chose the blue and red version and I can't barely remember now but I think I chose a white ceiling fixture and white cord. I hope that turns out well. Technically they're considered custom. One drawback of the Schoolhouse Electric website is that is doesn't give you a visual mockup of what you're ordering so you just kinda have to close your eyes, picture it, and click "purchase." I wrote more detail about the lights back here. I did take the plunge and purchase 2 bar stools. They were a bit outside our price range so it's just 2 for now and hopefully another 2 or so in a few months. I'll get pictures posted later this week with all the deets. Also friends, I completely didn't think about it but we're gonna be in the market other furniture too! There is some sort of snowball effect happening here I think. We didn't stop to think about fitting our old couches and chairs and table into our new space. Hmm, while the kitchen may be done soon the overall new look may still be a ways off. In the meantime however we are really enjoying the basics like having a kitchen sink!


Kitchen Faucet: Kohler Simplice & Tile

Thanks to those of you who offered your opinions on FB Networked Blogs and here in the comments section and in person about kitchen faucets. It was nice to hear what people's reactions might be. In the end we chose the Kohler Simplice and so far we're really happy with it. It's a bit splashy but we're learning to manage. What I love about it is that the head pulls down and out very easily and there are three buttons on the back that allow you to have a single stream, shower spray, and a final button allows you to momentarily stop the flow altogether. The hose has a great range which is real nice and essential because we opted for only one sink but it is one big sink! Oh and that button next to the faucet is the garbage disposal button. Love it! It keeps the backsplash clean of outlets and switches. Below are some close ups of the tile so that you can get a better sense of the design. I'm so glad I found the tile and I'm so glad that Mr. Schmitz was able to access his architect discount! It seriously saved me from the dilemma of glass mosaic tile that was terribly expensive and impossible to find something that I liked for a even slightly reasonable price. This tile is your basic Italian ceramic. What's nice about it is it's 3-d textured-ness and its large size. Larger size means less grout means less kitchen goop stuck in kitchen places means less cleaning of goop! Yay again! Next up I gotta share some close up pix of the island top. It is gor-or-geous! Seriously a show-stopper!


Green Kitchen Feature Item: Built in Compost Bin

This is the first weekend that Mr. Monkey and I have been able to cook and live in our new kitchen (pictures coming soon). We've just spent the whole weekend moving kitchen items in from the garage to the house, sorting for keepers and tossers (to Goodwill of course), and washing, and then finding each item a home. One of my favorite features of our new kitchen is the built in compost bin. As you can see it's just a catering pan. But it's placement in the top drawer makes it so that we can bump the drawer with our hip and the drawer opens, we just lift off the lid and wipe all food scraps from the cutting board or the stainless steel counter top directly into the compost bin. Lid goes back on and you bump the drawer closed with your hip again. As an added little niceity Jonathan Plummer  whittled a wee walnut handle for our compost bin to match the gorgeous island top. A nice touch indeed. Now we're composting and no one can tell because our compost bin isn't sitting out on the counter. We're covert composters! If you're wanting to see more recent pics of the kitchen check the twitter feed. I'll try to get some bigger non-phone pictures up here this week. Thanks for reading everyone! I appreciate the feedback over twitter and in person. We're nearing the end of this kitchen remodel and now we're left with a few choices remaining like bar stool selection and wall and window trims. Stay tuned!