Archive for February, 2010

I’m discovering that wine bottles, like our feline friends, can have 9 lives too.  Know that when you finish your bottle of wine, it’s adventure is not done yet.

The Nine Lives of Wine Bottles:

Life One:  Hanging Lights

These clever “re-lights” are the experimentation of artist Jerry Kott.  I guarantee you haven’t seen anything quite like these.  The organic curves of the bottles juxtaposed with bold glass colors are such a delight and would be a great focal point to any kitchen remodel!

See more here.

Life Two:   Coat Racks

Funky and dynamic, this coat rack is made from the tops of wine bottles.  They are handmade in Wisconsin and would be a perfect pop of color in a neutral entry-area or living space.

See more here.

Life Three:  Vases

These ethereal tranSglass® pieces are designed by Studio Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden and are part of Design w/Conscience. Each one is a unique piece and would do well to accessorize an organic-modern design bathroom.

See more here.



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For many of us, painting our interiors was synonymous with toxic air and home evacuation.  I remember all of my painting events very clearly – each time running out of my building gasping for air while breathing in ghost fumes from the room I left behind.

What was this arch-nemesis of my breathable air? VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are a group of carbon-based (organic) compounds that readily enter a gaseous form (volatile).  VOCs have been in interior paints for years and the off-gassing can cause headaches and can even trigger asthma attacks.

Gaspar’s has been painting Seattle homes with low (99% free) VOC paint for many years. We are staunch proponents of the Devine Color paint line because of their amazing northwest color palette, low toxicity and ease of use.

There are other alternatives to Devine out there as well.  In “Finally, Good-Looking Non-Toxic Paint?” Stephen Treffinger of the New York Times recently wrote about his experience testing different brands of environmentally friendly paint and concluded that the following performed the best:

1.  Safecoat Zero VOC Flat ($44.95/gal)

  • Pros:  Went on smoothly, pleasant smell, cleaned up well
  • Cons:  Was thicker than most
  • afmsafecoat.com

2.  Benjamin Moore Natura  ($49.99/gal)

  • Pros:  Comes in 3000 shades, went on the smoothest, relatively easy to clean
  • Cons:  None
  • store.benjaminmoore.com

3.  Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion  ($80/gal)

  • Pros:  Went on easily, sophistocated colors
  • Cons:  Didn’t clean up especially well
  • farrowandball.com

4.  Yolo Colorhouse Interior No-VOC  ($44.95/gal)

  • Pros:  One of the easiest to clean
  • Cons:  Chalky finish that some may not care for
  • yolocolorhouse.com

5. Mythic Interior Flat Latex  ($49.99/gal)

  • Pros:  Dynamic colors, nice flat finish, easy to clean
  • Cons:  None
  • mythicpaint.com

6. Stark Paint Velvet Emulsion  ($76.70/gal)

  • Pros:  Creamy, went on smoothly
  • Cons:  One of the worst for smells

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Who should go to the homeshow?

If you are thinking of remodeling or building a home, attending the Seattle Home Show will be a great way to start the conversation and get your feet wet.

Remodelers, builders, new products and ideas alike come together to create an environment that is rich with inspiration and support for homeowners.  The latest in building products and design materials will be on display, and you will have the chance to meet a myriad of different professionals to see if there is any chemistry.


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Another fun night and more amazing food marked this month’s cooking class that took place in our showroom kitchen (see above) on February 10th.

Every month Gaspar’s holds a cooking class here at our office for past clients and homeowners who are thinking about remodeling. It’s a great chance to ask questions of appliance specialist and hear about latest kitchen design trends while learning new recipes and eating excellent food.  If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, give us a call (206.324.8199) and join us for good eats and tips.


Our chef this month was Chef Menno from At Your Place .  Let me just say…wow!  The food was amazing.  I was walking out the door as Chef Menno was preparing for the class and he said to me, “Here, let me make you a crostini.”  I started eating it as I walked out the door and down the block…and I turned around and came all the way back because I had to tell him that it was the best crostini I had ever had!   (more…)

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Now more than ever there are options for recycled-content products.  Even though there has been recycled content tile available for over a decade, although prospects for stylish options were quite dismal.  However thanks to the market demanding more options, manufacturers have stepped up and introduced lines that a designer can be proud of.

Contact us if you are looking for a remodeler who can provide sustainable, design-oriented solutions.

What’s below?

Although there are recycled-content floor tile options, this article will be focused on tile for kitchen and bath backsplashes and shower surrounds.

We have chosen to only show you tiles that are above 70% recycled content. Even though a product may be made from recycled material, keep in mind that it isn’t very sustainable for your project if you are shipping it from half way around the world.  We have called out the manufacturing location of these tiles so that you can make an informed decision based upon your location.  Since most of Gaspar’s remodeling clients are in the Seattle area, they are in order of those with the shortest travel distance to this area.

1.  Blazestone by Bedrock Industries

  • Manufactured in:  Seattle, Washington
  • Recycled Content:  100%, glass only
  • Pictured above:  Glossy Forest, Meadow, Celery (Left)
  • Online Gallery

2. Sandhill

  • Manufactured in: Boise, ID
  • Recycled Content:  100%, glass only
  • Pictured above:  4″ Diamonds – Icicle, Pearl Fog, Mineral, Pebble, Sugar Matte (Left), 4″x4″ Honeydew, Wintergreen, Jalepeno, Sage Glossy (Right)
  • Online Gallery

3. Glass Roots

  • Manufactured in: Montana
  • Recycled content:  100% post-consumer, glass only
  • Pictured above:  Coke bottle clear, mix of grey, blue and green tint (left), Coke bottle clear – blue tint (right)
  • Online Gallery

4. Tessera & Muse by Oceanside

  • Manufactured in: Mexico (right outside San Diego – Distributed in California)
  • Recycled content: 23%-85% depending on color / post-consumer glass from curbside recycling and post-industrial glass
  • Pictured above:  Muse Midori – 94& (Left) (Click here to see other pictures from this Gaspar’s Built Green Kitchen Remodel), Tessera Moroccan Desert – 70% (Middle), Muse Spruce Matte – 95% (Right)
  • Online Gallery


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It could be that the only thing missing from your fabulous newly remodeled home is new furniture to match.  What ever will you do?

Fear not!  Masins Fine Furnishings is having a sale on Monday, February 15th – 9am-5pm


What is exceptional about this sale, you ask?  Most everything in the store is 1/3 off, with pictures, lamps and accessories at 15% off.  If you have been in Masins before, you already know that they deal in sophisticated furnishings that are built to last forever. (more…)

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