SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

Patio of previously used bluestone

Patio of previously used bluestone

From a house in Georgetown, this stone deserved a new life.

Steps from local library renovation

Steps from local library renovation

The steps were salvaged from the Petworth library renovation a few blocks away

What is this??

What is this??

This is what's under a plaster wall in DC: studs and lath. What you are seeing is the beginning of a transformation to a display wall.

Stud and lath display wall

Stud and lath display wall

The original studs and lath were transformed into a room divider/display wall/media center.

Stud and lath display wall

Stud and lath display wall

The original studs and lath were transformed into a room divider/display wall/media center.

What in the world?

What in the world?

These are bullet proof bank teller windows...straight out of a bank...

Bullet proof glass table!

Bullet proof glass table!

Made from salvaged bank teller windows (no, we're not joking) this table became the centerpiece of our second LEED Platinum home.

Striking, but what is it?

Striking, but what is it?

What it was: safety grating from a mechanical vault at an Embassy. What it is now: an awesome railing.

Repurposed HVAC vault grating

Repurposed HVAC vault grating

Salvaged from an Embassy reconstruction, this HVAC vault safety grating came with flaking paint and rust...but with a wire brush and some poly, it became the highlight of this condo's living room.

What can you do with PVC?

What can you do with PVC?

This previously used 4" PVC got an unexpected use...

Custom winerack, anyone?

Custom winerack, anyone?

These 4" pieces of PVC were purchased at a local reuse center and became this cool wine rack.

Art...just for fun

Art...just for fun

We had some extra metal rods...and we always have scrap wood so time for some art!

REPURPOSED MATERIALS

 

Repurposing materials is in our DNA. 

 

We repurpose materials because...

 

...it allows us to provide a better grade of finish material.

 

...it's a way to be more expressive and unique in our designs

 

...it's a method to highlight a material's inherent beauty 

 

but sometimes, we do it just because we can.

 

REUSING VINTAGE MATERIALS

 

Flooring

 

Flooring is the defining features of any home and the vintage floors in these turn of the century homes are no exception. 

 

While oak and pine plank floors are typical, so are fancy oak parquets complete with beautiful detailing.  

 

The vast majority of developers do not reuse these floors.  They typically go right over them with a lower quality engineered floor.

 

However, we love these original floors and go out of our way to repair the holes, the water damage, the warping...and refinish them. After nearly 100 years they are gorgeous again.   

 

 

100 year old original oak parquet

100 year old original oak parquet

This original dressy floor is a defining feature of a home

Flowing through the first floor

Flowing through the first floor

We've even removed the parquet from other homes under renovation to complete floors in ours!

Developers don't keep this floor

Developers don't keep this floor

Can you believe that? They typically go over this floor with a lower quality engineered floor.

Different style, still beautiful

Different style, still beautiful

This less fancy parquet is also a original flooring style that we refinish when we run across it.

Another beautiful original parquet

Another beautiful original parquet

This floor finish is a penetrating finish that can be spot repaired for long term durability

Oak plank floors are common

Oak plank floors are common

In formal areas oak flooring is common...and refinishes beautifully

Bedrooms have pine floors

Bedrooms have pine floors

The upper floors typically have pine floors. We refinish these floors with a low VOC water based finish.

Original kitchens have pine floors

Original kitchens have pine floors

Kitchens were less formal spaces and had pine floors...we repurpose the room, but keep the original pine floor.

Reclaimed and reused pine floors

Reclaimed and reused pine floors

When we convert a sleeping porch, we install reclaimed flooring to match the original floor.

Reclaimed and reused oak floors

Reclaimed and reused oak floors

This converted sleeping porch received a reclaimed oak floor to keep it in character with the house.

Reclaimed & reused oak - distressed

Reclaimed & reused oak - distressed

This kitchen is in the original sleeping porch. It received a oak floor with a rough and ready distressed finish to compliment the urban chic exposed brick/loft like feel.

We reuse concrete floors

We reuse concrete floors

This is the original floor stained with brown tone for an urban chic look

Sustainably finished concrete

Sustainably finished concrete

We use low or non toxic finishes...including low VOC plant based stain and sealer

Brick arches

Brick arches

DC rowhomes typically have brick arches over window and door openings

A close up

A close up

We sometimes leave our brick rough and ready like this...

Painted brick

Painted brick

Exterior walls often have a tar coating that is can't easily be removed. We paint that to give a textured look.

Exposed brick

Exposed brick

We leave exposed brick on non party walls.

Another rough and ready look

Another rough and ready look

Painted brick

Painted brick

It was painted before we got to it...so we painted it too...

Previously painted brick

Previously painted brick

So we painted it too...many developers would have sheeted this with drywall.

Brick details make a room

Brick details make a room

Why cover these great arches?

Untouched brick

Untouched brick

Where we can, we leave the brick in the state we found it.

The brick is essential to the look!

The brick is essential to the look!

REUSING VINTAGE MATERIALS

 

Brick

 

Brick gives District of Columvia turn of the century row homes thier signature look.  

 

We expose brick, showcase it, highlight it, repair it, leave it raw, paint it and a few things in between.

 

 

 

  

 

 

REUSING VINTAGE MATERIALS

 

Doors, transoms, trim and hardware

 

Characteristic elements of turn of the century District of Columbia row homes include: five panel doors made of oak or chestnut, extensive trim and capitals, and vintage hardware.

 

We do not strip and refinish everything...it is cost prohibitive.  However, we reuse as much of these items as we can...sometimes fullly refinishing, sometimes repairing and painting,  sometimes repurposing items to create something completely different...

 

Take a look...and see if you don't find something you like.

These beautiful doors make this room

These beautiful doors make this room

Original doors reused in a new way

These are Amecrican Chestnut doors

These are Amecrican Chestnut doors

These vintage doors were refinished to new glory.

Classic five panel doors define DC

Classic five panel doors define DC

Five panel doors are core to the character of many DC row homes. We keep them if at all possible.

Doors repurposed as room divider

Doors repurposed as room divider

These vintage doors are on a top track that slide as a room divider

Room divider doors

Room divider doors

A better view of the room divider in context

A snazzy closet door

A snazzy closet door

Top track allows these doors to slide

Vintage or not?

Vintage or not?

We often don't have enough doors to complete a house. We buy doors close in style to match.

Original exterior door

Original exterior door

A great bedroom door with flair

Vintage entry door...

Vintage entry door...

Paired with new closet doors

New and old doors side by side

New and old doors side by side

The vintage door makes it!

The vintage door makes it!

The entry door makes the room adding to it's vintage texture.

Vintage hardware

Vintage hardware

Completes vintage doors

We keep all hardware

We keep all hardware

We clean it, refurbish it, match it and reuse it.

A little extra flair..

A little extra flair..

Some vintage pulls give new doors a style lift!

A typical door hardware set

A typical door hardware set

We keep and refurbish it all, including the original mortise lock

We even keep keys!

We even keep keys!

Occasionally we even get the original keys, which we store and keep for reuse

Vintage hardware

Vintage hardware

There is an astonishing variety of common hardware in these homes!

Transoms and capitals

Transoms and capitals

Another defining feature of DC rowhomes are transoms and trim. Most developers strip these our. We remove doors and transoms (and sometimes trim) and paint or refinish it all.

We restore the operation of transoms

We restore the operation of transoms

We often get them painted shut, we restore them.

Original window = natural lighting

Original window = natural lighting

We kept this original window in the bath just for the light...looks awesome!

Our reclaimed Poggenpohl cabinetry!

Our reclaimed Poggenpohl cabinetry!

A total score at our local reuse warehouse (thank you Community Forklift!) north of 50K in cabinets for south of 5K! Looks good, doesn't it?

Original windows = natural lighting

Original windows = natural lighting

In long narrow rowhomes natural light is limited. We take every opportunity to bring it in.

This handrail is how old?

This handrail is how old?

99 years! A little love made it shine again.

Original opening all dressed up

Original opening all dressed up

This opening received the royal sustainable treatment with a 3Form sustainable resin panel and bamboo surround. It beats a dark bathroom!

The other side of the opening

The other side of the opening

Adds a unique display space to the dining room.

Original openings are valuable!

Original openings are valuable!

We use just the opening in some cases to allow natural light into baths.

Openings are opportunities

Openings are opportunities

Sometimes we just leave the openings to let the light come in.

Small openings = big impact

Small openings = big impact

Do you see the original opening? This seemingly small opening allows a lot of needed light to this interior office.

More Poggenpohl cabinetry

More Poggenpohl cabinetry

We got so much reclaimed Poggenpohl cabinets we did four areas of this house with it!

More reclaimed cabinetry

More reclaimed cabinetry

This display cabinetry made a beautiful wet bar!

Great basement wet bar...

Great basement wet bar...

With reclaimed cabinetry

Newel posts are ubiquitous in DC

Newel posts are ubiquitous in DC

This one had a similar finish to what is shown...we just spiffed it up a bit.

A painted newel post

A painted newel post

This is typically what we find in DC...a painted several times newel post.

This newel was never finished

This newel was never finished

So we left it unfinished as well

We always keep original handraisl

We always keep original handraisl

We repair them good as new. Because literally nothing is as strong as iron.

A ranodom steel I beam...

A ranodom steel I beam...

This is from 1970. An oddity, as most home extensions were done entirely in wood. This beam with a coat of polyurethane is the highlight of the room.

Vintage lighting: a pleasure to keep

Vintage lighting: a pleasure to keep

This 100 year old chandelier went into storage for a few years until we found the right project for it.

Original light, revisited

Original light, revisited

Removed, cleaned, rewired, reinstalled! Looks awesome!

Original towel rod

Original towel rod

It's not often we have homes with original bath fixtures intact, but this one did, a we kept it.

Vintage sink with new fixture

Vintage sink with new fixture

We were able to keep the original wall hung sink, which was miraculously in good shape.

Reclaimed wood boxes

Reclaimed wood boxes

We found 12" reclaimed lumber for these veggie boxes

REUSING VINTAGE MATERIALS

 

Details, details...

 

From brick details to window openings and everything in between we clean it, fix it, paint it, repurpose it and breathe new life into it.  

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

 

Millwork, doors and trim

 

We use a variety of sustainable finish materials in our projects ranging from bamboo trim and shelving to solid core doors made from wheat chaff.  Check it all out!

 

 

 

Custom bamboo backsplash

Custom bamboo backsplash

With a non toxic, zero VOC finish, of course!

Custom bamboo trim and shelves

Custom bamboo trim and shelves

FSC certfied and finished with plant based non toxic finish. Sustainable from start to finish.

Custom FSC bamboo shelves

Custom FSC bamboo shelves

FSC certfied and finished with plant based non toxic finish. Sustainable from start to finish.

We reuse trim and capitals

We reuse trim and capitals

In some instances we refinish them to bare wood. Some times we just repaint them.

We reused door casing as stool

We reused door casing as stool

Just to dress it up a bit

Vintage trim and capital - saved!

Vintage trim and capital - saved!

We don't landfill trim like this. We try to save it, or we give it away because it's irreplaceable.

Custom rounded drywall window trim

Custom rounded drywall window trim

A trimless finish uses no wood, no glues, no formaldehyde...and super stylish. What's not to like?

Trimless finish the green choice

Trimless finish the green choice

A trimless finish uses no wood, no glues, no formaldehyde...and super stylish. It's possibly the greenest finish there is.

Trimless finish...fan or no?

Trimless finish...fan or no?

Believe it or not, most people didn't notice the trimless finish.

Solid core doors with what?

Solid core doors with what?

Made with rapidly renewable wheat straw core.

Custom bamboo kick

Custom bamboo kick

For a warm, touchable unique look.

Pressed bamboo floor

Pressed bamboo floor

Dramatic, with it's own unique texture bamboo is a very hard, rapidly renewable wood that makes a great floor.

Pressed bamboo floor

Pressed bamboo floor

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource

Stained concrete

Stained concrete

Ultra durable, hard and able to withstand anything you throw at it concrete is the essence of durability.

Low toxicity stain and sealers

Low toxicity stain and sealers

Decreases the amount of dangerous chemicals in a home.

Marmoleum...the new linoleum!

Marmoleum...the new linoleum!

Natural linoleum is bio-based, highly durable, non-toxic, anti-microbial and easy to maintain.

Marmoleum...the new linoleum!

Marmoleum...the new linoleum!

Natural linoleum is bio-based, highly durable, non-toxic, anti-microbial and easy to maintain.

1305311847369.jpg

1305311847369.jpg

Reclaimed, reused oak

Reclaimed, reused oak

Not only do we reuse existing floors, we install previously used flooring. Coupled with low toxicity finish and it's sustainable through and through.

Vintage concrete with a new look

Vintage concrete with a new look

Urban chic with a new color to the floor. Finished with a new low VOC finish, it's a stunner!

Stained 100 year old concrete

Stained 100 year old concrete

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Vintage oak parquet

Vintage oak parquet

Refinished to it's natural beauty.

Refinished pine floor

Refinished pine floor

We reuse a lot of existing floor...most developers cover this floor with new lower quality floor. Sad, but true.

Refinished existing oak floor

Refinished existing oak floor

Reuse is the essence of sustainability, especially when it's so beautiful!

Refinished 100 year old oak parquet

Refinished 100 year old oak parquet

Beautiful and oh, so durable! 100 years young!

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

 

Flooring

 

Flooring sets the mood for a room or a home. The options for sustainable flooring are many.  What we look for in a sustainable floor is:

 

beauty and durability

ease of care and spot repairability

reycled content and FSC managed

 

Our pallette includes

 

reused/refinished oak and pine plank

reused/refinished oak parquets

reclaimed and refinished oak and pine plank

prefinished T&G bamboo

marmoleum

new and vintage stained and sealed concrete 

 

Need inspiration?  Take a look!

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

 

Countertops and work surfaces

 

Our countertop selections are well beyond granite. 

We seek out materials that are:

 

durable

easy care

heat resistant

repairable

no environmental damage

recycled content

recyclable

 

andvisually striking

 

We custom craft each surface to complete our desgn.  

Richlite countertops

Richlite countertops

Compressed paper with a non-toxic binder. Extremely hard and durable.

Richlite compressed paper countertop

Richlite compressed paper countertop

Compressed paper with a non-toxic binder. Extremely hard and durable.

Custom chocolate bamboo countertop

Custom chocolate bamboo countertop

Custom chocolate bamboo countertop

Custom chocolate bamboo countertop

Custom fabricated on site and finished with non toxic plant based penetrating finish.

Neopolitan bamboo

Neopolitan bamboo

A more dramatic look...fabulous!

Custom neopolitan bamboo countertop

Custom neopolitan bamboo countertop

Makes a sustainable statement!

Custom neopolitan countertop

Custom neopolitan countertop

Richlite pressed paper countertop

Richlite pressed paper countertop

Richlite's R50 counter is made of 50% post consumer pressed paper!

Butcherblock countertop

Butcherblock countertop

Finished with a repairable, penetrating finish.

Custom chocolate bamboo desk

Custom chocolate bamboo desk

Natural bamboo countertop

Natural bamboo countertop

A more traditional look for bamboo

Custom work gets a custom finish

Custom work gets a custom finish

We use no and low toxicity finishes on all our work to provide better air quality and lower harsh chemicals in your home.

Safecoat DuroStain

Safecoat DuroStain

Our non-toxic, low VOC, bio-based wood stain. Minimal offgassing keeps air quality high.

Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey

Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey

This is our low VOC, bio based wood coating. We choose low and no VOC coatings to keep toxic chemicals out of the home.

Richlite color enhancer finish

Richlite color enhancer finish

SafeCoat Oil Wax

SafeCoat Oil Wax

We use the SafeCoat low VOC, non-toxic, bio-based wood finish instead of oil-based finish to keep volatile chemicals out of the house.

EcoProcot SoyCrete

EcoProcot SoyCrete

Is a plant based (instead of oil based) low VOC bio based concrete stain. It keeps acids and harsh chemicals out of the home.

EcoProcote Acri-Soy concrete sealer

EcoProcote Acri-Soy concrete sealer

This low VOC bio based concrete sealer keeps toxic chemical normally found in concrete finishes out of the house!

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

 

Paints and coatings

 

We strive to minimize the amount of harmful chemicals that we use in our finishes. 

 

We seek out and use:

 

No and low toxicity finishes

Low or no VOC coatings for improved air quality.

Plant based, not oil based.

 

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