Viewing entries tagged
kitchen hardware


Before & After - Updating a 1950s Daylight Ranch

Occasionally we are presented with a project that we can't just wait to sink our teeth into. It's kind of what interior designers live for. Even though JASON BALL interiors completed this project a while ago, it's worth revisiting just to show the before and after pictures. The changes we made in this dated 1950s kitchen are pretty dramatic. What was really interesting for us was that we worked with a kitchen designer on the cabinetry portion, while JBi handled the finishes, lighting, fixtures, layout, etc. It's a different model than we're used to, but the finished product reveals what can happen as a result of solid collaboration. In the before picture, you'll see we started with a small (ish) kitchen with a dark wood ceiling, Formica counters, poor appliance placement and insufficient lighting. In talking with our clients on what they wanted from the new kitchen, we focused on lighting (obviously), a better flow throughout the kitchen, professional-quality appliances and storage galore. Because the family has young, active children, we also focused on an open floor plan with durable materials. Here are our top priorities in making this kitchen a real show-stopper.

Portland interior designers design and remodel a 1950s kitchen

1. Lighting. The old kitchen had two ceiling mounted fixtures, a light above the sink and a florescent tube light as an under-cabinet light. After we painted the ceiling white, took away the fake beams, we added about 10 more 4" recessed lights throughout the space. We also added xenon under-cabinet lights as task lighting. The result is a lighting plan set up for flexibility and the way the family lives.

2. Storage. In designing the cabinetry, we focused on creating several  specific storage area with particular functions. By the microwave (far end of the kitchen), we included an appliance garage to hide away the toaster, coffee maker, etc. To the left of the range we added a built-in buffet area with storage baskets below. These are specifically for kid-related items that need to be grabbed quickly and frequently. If you look at the picture below, you also see a large built-in refrigerator and large pantry on the far end of the kitchen. Two important storage features necessary in this family-friendly space.

3. Timeless style. In selecting cabinet style, materials and colors, we aimed for a rather timeless aesthetic that will serve this family for years to come. It was important that we create something with a transitional feel that would flow to the other parts of the home. Cabinetry with simple and elegant details, a monochromatic backsplash which focuses on pattern and design, and a bright, clean counter top cap off the look.

4. Fit for entertaining. The couple loves to entertain. The open floor plan is not only great for the kids, but also perfect for large crowds. As you can see below, we also included an entire bar area right by the kitchen. This auxiliary area has it's own beverage/wine refrigerator and a style that flows with the rest of the kitchen.  You'll also notice in the picture below the indoor grill. This original feature was one of the elements we decided to maintain from the original design.

Portland interior designers create a kitchen fit for entertaining

So, how would you change your existing space to fit your lifestyle?

About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see examples of our design work, visit the Portfolio page. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at We look forward to being your interior design team.



A Young Girl's Scrapbook Reveals a Forgotten Interior Design Dream

My wife, Julie, was visiting her mother the other day to pick blackberries with her siblings and their children. This event is somewhat of a tradition, with the family getting together to pick black berries off the vine in Julie's childhood backyard before they go to seed. Susie (mother-in-law) had recently uncovered her own 5th grade scrapbook that had been buried in the far recesses of the garage and wanted Julie to share it with me. Apparently Susie had wanted to be an interior designer at the age of 10. She had collected pages and pages of pictures of kitchens, bathrooms (for which she had a particular penchant) and other decor from the era. Several years ago when I first started JASON BALL interiors, I read a story about a famous designer talking about his passion for interior design. In looking back at his childhood, he realized that he was always interested in design at some level. My story is very similar (read my story here). I can only imagine how Susie would have developed as an interior designer given her interest at so young an age.

I wanted to share some pages from her scrapbook to show some wonderful examples of designs from this time in our design history. In a post WWII world, designs were about color and pattern. People wanted to live in interiors that reflected their hope for the future and respect for the past. The boldness with which the design world approached the use of color is refreshing.

portland interior designers - 1950s kitchen and bathroom

portland interior designers - colorful bathroom designs

portland interior designers - kitchen designs

portland interior designers - living spaces

portland interior designers - 1950s interiors

portland interior designers - living spaces from the 1950s


Which of these rooms is your favorite? Mine is the white kitchen in the third picture - I love that stainless steel counter top. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever go back to bath fixtures like these.

About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see our full portfolio, click here. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at We look forward to being your interior design team.


1 Comment

Interior Designer Notebook - Big Changes in a Modest Kitchen

Kitchen design is not always about the big, grand kitchen. Not to say that we don't all want that in our own homes (I know I certainly would love it). More often than not, interior designers are working in modest homes with modest budgets and clients who are more reserved in their design tastes. Our responsibility in working for our clients is to take our clients' wish list and make the space the best possible version of itself given the constraints - budgetary, space, materials, client lifestyle. Here's an example for the JASON BALL interiors portfolio of a kitchen I would categorize in the "big changes in a modest kitchen" category. The story is simple. Young family with one young son have realized that their "vintage" kitchen is just about beyond the point of no return. They contacted JASON BALL interiors to start the design process. Our goal was to create a kitchen with a true vintage feeling but with contemporary touches. We focused our attention on the cabinetry style for the vintage part, designing a craftsman style look that was age appropriate for the house. The black granite counters also give us a nice vintage feeling, as if they are soapstone (but more durable for today's lifestyle). Contemporary touches were brought in through the backsplash - a traditional pattern, but with contemporary colors, material and tile sizes.

We also tackled some small structural changes - we moved the doorway into the kitchen from the dining room to allow for a small kitchen table and seating area. We also shifted the door to the back porch about 12" for a better flow through the space and additional cabinetry/storage. The end result of all these changes is a beautiful and functional kitchen perfect for this young family.

Now for the before and after pictures - enjoy the transformation!

before picture of kitchen

Portland interior designers create beautiful vintage inspired kitchen

Eat in kitchen area

Detail picture of backsplash design

Doorway into kitchen replaces other details in house

What are some small changes you'd like to make in your home that will have a great impact on the way your space feels and functions?


About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at We look forward to being your interior design team.

1 Comment


Design Ideas: Adding Sparkle in the Kitchen

Think about your kitchen, filled with stone, tile, wood, metal. It's not really a very "warm" area. Interior designers work hard to make these naturally "cold" environments warmer by using wood tones, warm paint colors, fabric window treatments or other accessories. But, what about the sparkle? Where's the bling?! This is where kitchen design gets fun. Think of all the ways you can bring in something sparkly or shiny into a kitchen. Here are our top ways to bring in a little shimmer to our kitchen designs:

1) Don't be afraid to hang a chandelier in your kitchen. This is a perfect opportunity to add elegance and additional light, while adding necessary sparkly details. These two kitchens use chandeliers in very different ways. Garrison Hullinger Interior Designs (top picture) brought in a beautifully detailed glass chandelier with subtle crystal accents to top off this traditional and eclectic kitchen remodel. It's subtle, elegant and adds just enough bling for this space. The second picture is a totally different story. Aneka D. Jensen uses a traditional chandelier loaded with crystals above her island to make a dramatic statement.


2) Metallic paint or wall coverings provide great opportunities for additional reflective surfaces. Many of the higher-end paint manufacturers (Benjamin Moore and Ralph Lauren) are making great metallic or pearlescent paints. These add a subtle sheen to the walls different than a semi-gloss finish. Wall coverings have also come back in a big way. These three Phillip Jeffries products have some serious shimmer to dress up any wall. From right to left: Antique gold leaf, Sugar Cane (glass beads) and Star Dust silk in moonlight silver.

3) If you're really daring, consider some of the granites or other countertop options that have the sparkle built right in. Two granite alternatives come to mind - schist stone and vetrazzo. Schist is a natural stone with high mica content. One particular color we've been attracted to recently is called Asterix (can be found at Pental Granite and Marble). It has sparkly dust particles all the way through the stone. When the light hits it just right, it's amazing! Vetrazzo is an old material getting a new life in today's interior design world. It's a concrete-like base material with recycled glass mixed in. Once cut and polished, the glass comes to surface and shines like nothing you've ever seen.

4) We've often considered cabinet hardware the jewelry of the kitchen. With the recent trend of using brushed nickel or other brushed finishes, designers and home owners are missing an opportunity to add some real bling. I'm not talking about crystals or jewels, but just a simple chrome knob or polished nickel handle can really brighten things up. Just look at the difference in the two pictures below at how the light hits the finishes differently. You can see how a polished surface really brings attention to itself. Time to start using these more and more.

The team at Jason Ball Interiors hopes you get some inspiration from these ideas to add a little shine to your next design project or just to refresh an existing room. For more ideas, stop by our portfolio pages to see other real-world examples.