Every product from Chown Hardware tells a story, some originating from thousands of miles away. Chown travels the world to bring the most premium products of global design to your home, but the origin of that product is only the beginning of the story. Join Chown Hardware with a behind-the-scenes look at the process of working with designers, architects and Chown experts to create the perfect home experience, from inspiration to transformation.
Tucked into the hills of the historical Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland, OR stands a stunning, 118-year-old English Tudor home, recently transformed with a ceiling-to-floor renovation any homeowner would dream about. The home greets its visitors with a breathtaking staircase, gleaming hardwood floors, and original stained glass windows upon the first step into the foyer. The traditional design of the home is effortlessly merged with modern amenities of 2018, incorporating the highest quality plumbing, lighting, and hardware throughout. Chown Hardware was trusted to provide fixtures on all four floors of the home that both maintained its historical integrity and met the high standards of quality and design for the home’s designer, Emerick Architects.
The homeowners agreed that they wanted to honor the history of the home, while upgrading it to reflect modern-day amenities. “English Tudor was the inspiration here,” said Melody Emerick, Principal at Emerick Architects. “But we’re not in England and it’s not 1900…We wanted [the design] to look authentic to the home and feel right for it, but also something that might be a little freshened up. You can take it to the next generation.”
The home shines as one beautiful and cohesive design, yet the real showstoppers are the kitchen and master bath. The kitchen incorporates four faucets from the Waterstone Annapolis series, each serving a unique purpose. According to Waterstone, Annapolis was inspired by the “pride and prestige of the US Naval Academy.” The faucets stand at attention and gleam elegantly atop marble countertops in what is sure to be any cook’s dream kitchen.
The master bath is the home’s essential oasis – an invitation to escape and relax after a hard day. Featuring original stained glass windows as a backdrop for a gorgeous Victoria + Albert soaker tub, one would never guess that the master bath was previously a home office. Double vanity sinks feature sophisticated and fashionable Julia faucets from Waterworks, inspired by the 1920s French Countryside. Each fixture helps celebrate the history of this turn-of-the-century home, creating a classic look.
“We’re always thrilled when we get to bring things back to what they used to be and introduce timeless products,” said Tom Corvi, Project Manager at Right Angle Construction. “To refinish and replicate floors, cabinets, countertops, [and to] bring back plumbing fixtures that are timeless.”
For a project where the perfect combination of quality and design is pivotal, Chown was the clear choice as experts in their industry for over 100 years. Chown carefully curates their products from around the world and thoughtfully selects items that are both beautiful and of the highest quality. “We travel the world and look for products from South America, South Africa, the European Nations, Canada and even Australia,” said Nathanael Chown, Regional Sales Director at Chown Hardware. “We want to be the bridge between the Northwest and the rest of the world.” Because of Chown, Emerick Architects had seamless access to the Victoria + Albert bathtub from the United Kingdom and the Waterworks Julia faucets from France to complete their design.
As trusted experts in the industry, it’s critical that Chown carries lines of products that they themselves can trust as well. “We want to work with companies that build sustainable products manufactured ethically by companies we want to be proud to do business with,” said Nathanael Chown. When architects and designers choose Chown products, they know that they are only getting the best quality items from around the world from companies that they have earned their trust.
Architects, plumbers, and builders can rely on Chown to carry products that are going to withstand the test of time, so they can feel confident in recommending their products to clients.
“I can’t think of a single project that we haven’t gone to Chown for,” said Emerick. “I feel confident in what we select; it matches our standard. We have a pretty high bar.”
Part of meeting that standard is carrying products that are built to last, especially in a home with pipes that are over 100 years old. “Companies that back their product with, say, a lifetime guarantee is something that [makes] you feel like you’re getting a good value,” said John Hinkel, Owner at Gravity Plumbing. “You’re getting a good backing and you’re going to have something that’ll last a lifetime. And in this type of home that’s comforting.”
Chown’s expertise and reliability ultimately leads to one of the most important qualities to have when working in home renovation–trust. For Hinkel, that trust is very reassuring. “When you’re around that long, there’s trust,” he said. “You know you’re going to have somebody that’s going to back you in any sort of situation…it’s very important.”
It took a little over one year to finish this 6,500 sq. ft. home. For Emerick, what matters the most is how the homeowner feels. “For us, what’s most important at the end of it and what we love is when homeowners say, ‘It’s so much prettier than I thought. It’s so much better than I thought,’” said Emerick. “And for us, that they feel it represents them…it’s not my home, it’s their home. And it’s also a home for the next hundred years for the next families, and we take that legacy very seriously. We want to get the best products and hire the best craftspeople, because that craftsmanship needs to authentic.”
Home renovation is never easy, and certainly with a project of this size there are bound to be hurdles throughout the process. According to Hinkel, seeing the final result can make everything worth it. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off in the end, when you get to the finished product,” said Hinkel. “There may be some bumps along the road…but when the project is done and you walk through and you see everybody’s hard work come to fruition, it’s rewarding. And that’s why I enjoy these types of homes.”
From the inspiration behind the design, to the products supplied by Chown, to the final transformation in the end, the story behind this home’s renovation has many chapters. For a home of 118 years, this renovation is only one small chapter in its long life, and the stories will only continue with age and with the legacy of families to come.