Archive for June, 2009

Miele on countertop

It’s not often that I come across a product that makes me all giddy inside.  That is how I feel about the new Miele Coffee Systems Espresso maker that we have in our showroom now.

When we first got it, I was skeptical.  Being an espresso snob for many years, I quickly dismissed the idea that an espresso machine made for the residential market could ever compare to my long-time local favorites.

Boy was I wrong.

Let me sum up what I love about it quickly for those of you caffeine lovers who need to rush to the next thing:

1. Variety of espresso blends to choose from

2. Easy espresso “pods” portion out the right amount for you

3. Milk froth-er is timed and automatic…say goodbye to the days of wrestling with the wand

4. User profiles can be programmed in that capture your preferences

Below is a picture of both the “pods” and a shot of espresso I am sipping as we speak:

Nespresso pods Espresso in cup

Call Gaspar’s if you would like to learn more about this machine.  Even better…come enjoy a latte with us!


Lauren Smith


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On Saturday, June 20th, Gaspar’s was presented with two beautiful crystal awards for their entries into the Master Builder’s Association Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards.  In the categories, Bath from $75,000 to $125,000 and Kitchen from $125,000 to $175,000 the Gaspar’s design and crew were honored with their entries.  Great job to the team.Better start making more more shevles for our collection!

Back Row Left to Right: Mark Hughes, Back Row Left to Right: Mark Hughes, Mike Cuadra, Rich Gaspar  Front Row: Cathy Gaspar, Sarah HenryMike Cuadra, Rich Gaspar Front Row: Cathy Gaspar, Sarah Henry

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This is just another example of the great opportunities our city offers for homeowners who are committed to making their homes more sustainable.

The Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance (more affectionately   called EOS Alliance) is embarking on a new community program called Green Blocks to help neighborhoods go green, beginning with a free home energy audit and evaluation.  Please note the homeowner application deadline is Friday, June 26th.  You can download applications here .

From their website:

“EOS Alliance is helping Seattle residents go green one block at a time through a Green Blocks Pilot Project. The Green Blocks project provides energy audits and some energy efficiency measures free of charge to participating Seattle. Participating residents submit applications and are selected based on the number of applicants received from the same city block. All Seattle home owners are eligible for this program.

From July 6 through August 21, 2009, participating residents will receive free home environmental performance assessments. Each assessment will be conducted by professionals certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). These are the same professional assessments that cost $400 to $600 and include evaluations of home energy, water, fossil fuel, solid waste, and landscaping efficiency. Each participating home owner will receive a report outlining home performance; recommended improvements; applicable grants, rebates, and tax incentives; and available services and training.

Environmental performance measures installed as part of the Green Blocks program may include smart electric meters, weather-stripping, door sweeps, gap sealant, low-flow sink aerators, low-flow showerheads, programmable thermostats, CFLs, hot water tank insulation, attic and wall insulation, efficient appliances, rain barrels, sheet mulching, drought tolerant landscaping, storm water infiltration swales, and vegetable garden beds.

Once environmental performance measures have been installed, EOS Alliance will track energy, water, and fuel usage for at least one year to note the benefits and changes in consumption. Individual and household information will remain confidential and only generalized data will be used to assess the program.”

So homeowners, not only do you get the value of the audit, but you also contribute to the bigger picture as your home will provide data about the benefits of energy improvements.  Sign up now.



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Hi there,
Last week we started the process of getting a recent project certified Built Green. The challenge of this project was to take a 100 year old home and make it green. The photo’s I have included are of the solar panels on the roof to heat the homes hot water
Solar Panels
and the cistern tank in the back yard to catch rain water used for yard irrigation and toilets.
Cistern Tank


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This year Cathy Gaspar was on the procurement committee for the Women’s Funding Alliance auction.  We knew that we wanted to donate something that would be fun and get years of use, so when our lead carpenter Heather Laird suggested that this year we build a playhouse for the auction, the team jumped on the idea.

The challenge was to build it in a way that would allow for easy dis assembly and reassembly for it’s travel to the auction house and then to the home of the winning bidder.

Photo_022809_003 Photo_022809_011 Photo_022809_008

Once they put the last coat of paint on, it really came together.

Playhouse 1 Playhouse 2 Playhouse 3

The auction was a huge success and now the only thing left was to transport the playhouse to its new home on Orcas Island.  We put it on our truck bed and set on our journey across the water to the island!

girls show orcas 201 1 girls show orcas 278 1 girls show orcas 224

Lauren Smith

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Most of us have seen labradorite as stones in jewelry, but have you ever seen a countertop made out of it?

We recently had the pleasure of installing this beautiful stone for a kitchen remodel.  As typical of this feldspar mineral, it has large iridescent flecks of blue and green.

This is a close-up picture of the actual stone we installed in the homeowner’s kitchen.  Lovely!

Labradorite countertop

Lauren Smith

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