Tag Archives: counters

Vero Coffee Bar

As part of an expansion of the outdoor deck seating at Vero, I added a chinquapin bar top in the hallway seating area.  Although chinquapin is not a commonly used in woodworking, for this project it VeroBar (2)was the perfect choice: locally harvested, a warm-toned wood that would blend nicely with the Douglas fir floors and doors, takes a finish and will wear well in a coffee house, and relatively economical.  Chinquapin is often a smaller tree (in comparison with the big leaf maple, Douglas fir, and other trees that live in its neighborhood) and yields lumber of relatively small dimension and abundant knots; but Curly Burly had some larger material with few knots and was perfect for this project.  

Maple Breakfast Bar

Much like the rug in The Big Lebowski that "really tied the room together", this breakfast bar unites the kitchen with the living room and outside spaces.  Viewed from the kitchen, the big leaf maple breakfast bar glows with the abundant natural light that spills through the living room windows from the surrounding forest.  Even on a typically grey, rainy December day in Eugene, the natural light in this home provide a surprising amount of warmth, (even if that warmth is in the form of light, rather than sensible heat).  Live edges on the bar top and corbels with the highly figured grain show off the natural beauty of the wood.  Really, I just cut it to fit the space, the wood is the real star on this project.

Paperstone counters

On the final day of the install, I sent to the homeowner a text photo of water running in her new sink, and she replied that she regarded clean, hot running water as one of the great hallmarks of human civilization and that she was happy to, once again, be part of that tradition.

Installation of the mixed Paperstone and maple butcher-block counters only took a couple days, but during the preceding several months, the old faucet had progressively declined until it only provided a mere trickle.  The original counters were tile that still looked and functioned great, despite decades of wear; but the original cast iron undermount sink had been the victim of an unfortunate resurfacing job, and its time had finally come.  Because of the age of the tile, it would have been near impossible to replace the sink and patch the tile so that it would look like a plausible match.  (A few years previous I added a new section of matching cabinets to the kitchen, and because it was located on an opposite wall we were able to get away with using an imperfect match for the backsplash tile; but it would be nowhere near close enough for a side-by-side patch).  In addition to all of that, the space behind the sink was too narrow to allow a faucet to fully function; so the old tile counters had to go.

We chose Paperstone for the sink section because of its resistance to water, durability, and sustainability; and maple butcher block for the "wing" sections because it matched existing butcher block in another section of the kitchen, and it balanced the muted, black texture of the Paperstone.  The asymetric shape of the stainless steel undermount sink allowed for the faucet to be placed slightly further forward so that it fully functioned and had plenty of space to operate.  Aside from fabricating a couple small tile patches from pieces of the old counter, the tile backsplash was left alone and works quite well with the considerably more modern counters and plumbing fixtures.