Until we get the property settlement worked through and I can build in Ashland, I'm living in a rental up in the hills on the Saratoga/Cupertino border. It's on a little street called Arrowhead Lane, which is off of Prospect Road. At the end of Prospect is the Fremont Elder Open Space Preserve.
It's a pretty funky house. The landlord has plans to tear it down when I move out, so I have had carte blanche for any modifications I want to make to make it more liveable while I'm here.
It house has no architectural interest. It's a long rectangle with the garage on one end and the master bedroom on the other. You can see the antenna for my wireless internet connection.
The nicest feature is a large redwood deck.
There is a great room that's around 25 feet square with a tile floor, wooden walls, and a high ceiling. The kitchen is in a corner of the great room.
When I moved in, the kitchen was just along the outside wall. There was 3 feet of counter to the left of the sink and 2 feet to the right. This space is usually taken up with clean and dirty dishes.
There was also about 18 inches of counter between the stove and refrigerator. A prep area of sorts. There is an electric stove, which I don't much like, but there is no gas in the kitchen and the hood doesn't actually exhaust to the outside. I'm living with electricity for the few months I'm here.
To the right of the refrigerator I added some metal shelves and a bookcase for cookbooks. I installed a couple of new electrical circuits in the wall behind the shelves so I'd have a good place to plug in the microwave and the fridge. I made a small set of vertical shelves for cookie sheets, etc.
My second project as I moved in (the first was the new electrical circuits) was to make a cabinet to go opposite the existing kitchen cabinetry. I made an 8 foot wide cabinet with three deep drawers and six full extension pull out shelves. I bought a pre-formed formica top 10 feet long at Home Depot and put on top. I figure I'll use the cabinet, but perhaps not the top, in my workshop in Ashland.
I made a pot rack for about $15 from a scrap piece of oak and a bunch of 69 cent bicycle hooks.
The drawers have nice dovetail joints and full extension hardward with a 100 pound capacity.
My latest project is a kitchen work table. I purchased the maple top (25 by 60 inches) and made a base for it out of maple and maple veneer plywood. There are seven drawers, which are all full extension and have brass wire pulls. It took almost three weeks to make, but I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
Here is another picture showing some detail of the side and back. The rails are solid maple, and the panels are plywood.
Here is the kitchen with both the cabinet and the maple table lined up across from the original kitchen. I've added 15 feet of work space to the 1.5 feet of prep area that was in the original. I've just finished the table and am slowly moving into the drawers. I'd like to keep the top empty so I can use it for plating dishes when I have dinner parties. Of course, nature abhors an empty horizontal surface...
You can get a better look at my pot rack. In the left corner is a pantry cabinet I installed
This was a prefab garage cabinet. It was pretty flimsy, with the shelves supported only at the side edges. I knew I was planning to have china and canned goods, so I re-engineer the cabinet as I was assembling it and support the shelves at two place in the back as well (you can see the 1 x 4 boards that I added.
Here is another shot down the "galley".
The new cabinetry serves as a room divider between the kitchen and the dining area.
I was taking the kitchen pictures at night, so I walked out onto the deck and took a picture of the view. During the day I can see downtown San Jose and Mount Hamilton.