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Small Wonder

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 14, 2014 12:47:00 PM

Photos by Neil Kelly

NEIL KELLY DESIGNER Michael Mahoney had his work cut out for him with this Bend, Oregon bath remodel. The space was tiny, and its location—jammed against daylight foundation walls—precluded adding any square footage.

Small Wonder

First to go was the dark wood paneling on the walls. Mahoney added a panel of glass between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, opening the small space up so it feels less claustrophobic. He also added a vessel-style sink that sits atop the counters, creating more space below. For the countertop, Mahoney used a remnant of granite from another job; the mirror above the sink is an antique that belonged to the client’s mother.

The highlight of this small bathroom is the richly grained juniper cabinets. Neil Kelly has been in the business of sustainable cabinetry since the late 1990s; more recently, the company began offering Western Juniper as one of the wood choices. Though native to the region, the hardy tree acts like an invasive species in Eastern Oregon, especially in the absence of fire. Junipers monopolize the water table with their deep roots and provide cover for predators of the Sage Grouse, which has been in decline. The company has also come out with a Declare-certified line of cabinetry, which meet the strict requirements of the Living Building Challenge.

Neil Kelly has five offices in Washington and Oregon; the company’s designers serve clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.

  • Several years ago Neil Kelly started offering cabinets made from selectively harvested juniper. The tree is considered a “weed tree” in Central and Eastern Oregon, where it is colonizing rapidly. Havana granite countertops complement these cabinets, which include low-VOC finishes.

  • Small Wonder

    To save space, Mahoney extended the vanity countertop through the glass panel separating the shower. This created a shelf in the shower and the illusion of spaciousness.

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