Winter is here and that means Fusion is gone. During the winter months we take a little break. Please enjoy some of past stories in our archive section. We will also be posting some updates on the kitchen remodel we started this fall so keep checking in and see how that project is going and we will see you when we return in the spring!

Terra Casa Theme Trees

Christmas trees change from year to year. There are always different styles of trees and different decorations to choose from. Sometimes the best way to cut through the clutter is by checking out which themes go well together. To do that we stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) and talked to Diana to see what kind of theme trees they had on display this year. The first tree when you walk in the door is the owl tree. Owls are big this year and we have seen them everywhere. This tree had a nice clean look of white and silver ornaments with sprays of white pearl strands cascading down the sides. It was a very elegant tree with the owls added for a touch of whimsy. This type of tree can fit in any décor. Another tree in the store was definitely Christmas themed with Santa’s and snowmen all over it. It had the traditional colors of red, green and white. That is another type of decorating, picking a single theme and trying to carry it throughout your entire home. Speaking of picking a theme, we moved to a ‘wine’ tree. This was not even a real tree, but a simple wire frame covered in ‘wine’ ornaments. These ornaments included wine bottles, grape clusters, tiny wine glasses and wine-colored crystal balls. It even had a ribbon wrapped around it with a grape pattern on it. We saved the best for last. This was their famous up-side-down tree. This year’s theme for that tree is winter jewels. It is loaded with some really rich colors. Deep plums, rich reds, dark blues, bronzes and golds are highlights on this tree. If you are looking for some ideas for holiday decorating, be sure to make Terra Casa one of your stops during your shopping excursions.

Rejuvenation Factory

Finding the right light fixture when you are remodeling a vintage home can be like finding a needle in a haystack, and if you are looking for a safe, high quality fixture it can be even tougher. But did you know that you can get a hand-made, light fixture right here in Portland? We were invited to tour the Rejuvenation factory in NW Portland where we had a chance to learn how they make custom vintage style fixtures for your home. Nicole from Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) started our tour back in the research and development area of their factory. Here is where they receive old fixtures for refurbishing and sometimes they find one that is really outstanding and decide to recreate it. They even have a library of catalogs from the 1800’s to help them in designing pieces. The vintage piece is then disassembled and re-engineered for reproduction. Rejuvenation has to make sure that it is safe and up to current building and safety codes. Once this is done the parts are sent away for manufacture. The new parts are kept in a warehouse where they are catalogued for assembly.

Once they receive an order for a lamp or fixture they send a list of parts to the warehouse. The parts are then gathered and treated with one of 12 standard finishes which may include multiple steps of buffing, sandblasting and polishing. The standards are fairly tight so that multiple lamps will match and quality will remain high. The parts are then assembled and wired. They are so proud of the work they do that each piece is signed by the craftsman who puts it together. If you are looking for a quality lamp for remodeling or new construction check out the wide selection at Rejuvenation.

Roots Cookbook

We have a lot of great authors in the Northwest and one of the best has just come out with a great new book. Diane Morgan just finished her newest book, Roots. As the title implies, this is a book about root vegetables. Today she is sharing a recipe with us that doesn’t just feature a root, but the top of the root. Her recipe was for a Carrot Top Pesto. Diane had heard that carrot tops were not edible, but then she found the carrot museum and it had all the information on how to prepare them. Her recipe uses the traditional pine nuts, garlic and the carrot tops as the main ingredients. The best part of this recipe is that carrot tops are available for a longer time than basil which is traditionally used in pesto.

Her book covers 28 different roots and 19 of them are readily available at local stores. It also covers the lore behind each vegetable. Where did it come from, what were its uses, how did they come up with the names? The book is filled with lots of innovative recipes for some of the more unusual roots. You can find it at your local bookstore or from Diane’s website.

Taggarts Kitchen Remodel #2 Cabinets

This is week 2 of our kitchen remodel. Last week, David was in a hurry to tear out the old kitchen, but we first went to Taggarts (503-644-1146) to find out how to get started before we ripped out the old kitchen. Kristin talked to Robin about figuring out your style first and then working on picking out the large items. Once you have your ‘look’, Kristin talked about focusing on large items like cabinets, countertops and flooring. This week we decided to pick out cabinets and to do that we talked to Jeanne Martin from Schrock Cabinetry. This is one of the areas where people can feel overwhelmed. For Schrock alone, they have over 100 different style choices. Between different woods, stains and paint colors, you can get lost fast. What makes the job easier is when you have someone to help you narrow down the choices, that is where Taggarts comes in. Going back to your original theme, you can narrow down your choices to 2-3 different styles. Once those are chosen you can take samples home to see how they work with the lighting in your home. You will also want to hold those samples up to the backsplash, countertop and flooring choices that you make to see how they all work together. Sometime you can have 2 different colors of cabinets working together. In the demo kitchen at Taggarts they have a white kitchen island and dark wood on the walls. It may not seem to work, but once installed it is gorgeous. You can even go with different styles of doors in different areas of your kitchen.

The next step is to determine what types of features you want on your cabinets. We saw first must-have feature with the ‘full extension, smart close’ drawers. These drawers slide all the way out so you don’t have to go fishing for items at the back of the drawer and the smart close feature gently closes the door so you don’t get the slamming of drawers all the time. Also, as part of their storage solutions collection, you can get lots of little space saver features that will make your storage space more efficient. Making the most out of their cabinet space is one of the biggest concerns for customers these days! Another big concern is warranty. If you are buying cabinets are they well produced and will they last. Also, if you do have a problem will it be easy to fix. Schrock Cabinets are made in Oregon so you know that they will be there if you need them. Another way to be confident is knowing that Taggarts is there as well to walk you through the steps and help you make sure that you are happy with your final selection.

Since this is our last show for the fall season you may be wondering how the kitchen remodel is going… be sure to check the website for updates on the progress!

1911 Basement Remodel

A couple of weeks ago we showed you a 1911 home that had been remodeled into a spectacular show home. This week we met with Rex Buchanan from Team Realty Rex to talk about how you can make use of the basement space under your home. Sometimes when you are looking for more room in your home, it is easier to go down then it is to go up or out. Rex talked about how you can, with a little expense, add lots of value to your basement. First he pointed out how they replaced some new steel beams to open the space up. Then they added some built-in cabinets with a small gas fireplace and all that was a little over $1,200. The remodel also allowed for the installation of wiring for surround sound and other electronic equipment. Another use of a wasted space was under the stairs. Here they made a small play area with a puppet stage. It is also a great space to store all those toys that seem to pile up all over. A bedroom was also added to this space, but because it is below ground level they had to add a new window and a step to bring it up to code; two simple additions to make it a usable space.

Next we moved to the back half of the basement. Back here they had added a bathroom. It is easy to do in most basements due to the fact that most homes have water and sewage access in the basement. It is a great addition to a basement especially when you have a guest room down there. In this area they had also moved the furnace and water heater to a smaller space. The newer models of these appliances are smaller and more efficient so they can be moved into smaller areas. Then we saw the best addition to the basement, a wine cellar. This was a space that was too small for most applications, but this made this basement unique and was a one of a kind space which might not get used at all!

If you are interested in finding a home with these features or would like to work with Rex on developing your own plan, feel free to give him a call at or 503-484-8739!


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December 06, 2012.