Counter vs. Bar Height

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Today is another peek into the home we’re remodeling with a design dilemma we will be tackling soon, this one is the debate between counter and bar height for the kitchen peninsula. This ledge is more of a stuff collector than practical dining surface, a dinner plate doesn’t even fit but I imagine it was designed to be that way on purpose in the original plan.

I do get the ‘divide the spaces’ look achieved with the bar height in this kitchen which looks out into the shared family room and breakfast nook space, but the narrowness of the wood shelf on top is odd to me. And say hello to the lovely vinyl wallpaper I have the pleasure of removing later this month.

counter height wall

And then there’s the sink nestled in the angle which I can’t even think about moving (the cost! the headache!) since all the plumbing to the dishwasher and sink is inside this pony wall and we’re working with a slab foundation. I’m not a fan of the layout of this kitchen, I am a U shaped kitchen lover and this one isn’t like that at all. But since we do plan to replace the cabinets/counters/sink down the road I think that will satisfy so I’m going to work with the footprint as is. (That tile/carpet combo is also leaving this month, more on that soon.) 

So it raises the question of keeping the higher breakfast bar as it is now but extending that upper surface with new countertops and corbels, or do we cut down the wall and extend a new countertop out in a single plane as one large surface to unify it all at counter height (my preference).

At first I was concerned about the sink if we cut down the wall thinking “there will be the splashing of the water everywhere!” but I realized plenty of well designed kitchens have islands or peninsulas with sinks at counter height.

counter height peninsula

john maniscalo architecture


counter height island with stools

teddy edwards


peninsula with waterfall edge

texas construction company


blue kitchen cabinets counter height stools

summerhouse interior design


counter height sink island bhg

better homes & gardens


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Airstream Dreamin’

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

In the good ol’ summertime, there is the call of the great outdoors and the appeal of road trips to new or favorite places. We’ve been talking for years about exploring the various ways to road trip in a trailer or RV. We’ve discussed buying something used, but where to store it? We’ve discussed renting but what model? Every year when we road trip through our own state in our car we spy all of the RV stops along the way and say we’ve got to do what those people do and sooner rather than later.

I’ve been missing out. Never in my life have I ever gone camping in a trailer or stayed in a RV park. So many people grow up with that experience, I never did. As a kid, it was always in a tent and gear loaded on top of the family van but now that I’m older I welcome the idea of a certain amount of foam to sleep on. Also, a private toilet appeals to me. :) My slightly more romantic idea of adventure on the open road into the wilderness isn’t just camping, it includes a RV or trailer with amenities.

I know there’s a huge community of people who fix up older models of trailers and airstreams in styles from kitschy to posh and showcase them in various locations around the country. I want to meet these people. I want to tour their airstreams and trailers and oooh and aahh over their mini sinks, fabrics, and vintage or new finishes. 

summertime airstream

I was visiting my friend Cathe in her barn craft studio last week (so amazing) and a month ago she picked up a 1970s trailer on Craigslist which she is decorating with retro prints, I can’t wait to see it when she’s done.

Matt shares very fond memories of taking trips in an RV as a kid. He says it’s easy, you just pull up and park and people come over and holler “Permission to come aboard?!” and the party starts. Airstream and RV hopping is to be expected so I’ve been told. And then I read an article last week about an airstream road trip through California and now I’m totally fixated on these studios on wheels.

Then I started thinking that remodeling one of these vintage airstreams would be such a fun project.

airstream remodel

Fixing up an older trailer or airstream with modern fabrics and amenities and making it a sweet little gathering/cooking/sleeping space would be a great DIY adventure. Don’t forget the awning with twinkle lights for lounging after dark! 

The interior could be calm and coastal inspired …

coastal style airstream

or super glam and luxurious . . .

modern styling airstream

… or bright, airy, and modern !

bright modern airstream

modern airstream

cote de texas / new york times / design sponge


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