Post-Tour Post


Kanda and Nandi spent Friday and Saturday, April 26th and 27th, representing Rivendell at the Children’s Support League of the East Bay’s 2013 Heart of the Home Tour. By donating $1,000 to help disadvantaged kids in our community, we became one of the organization’s “best friends” and were invited to participate in the classic charity event.

April Gruber of AG Design Studio worked hard to coordinate the designer showcase home on Muir Avenue. Since we built the kitchen and beyond in this beautiful house, our representatives were stationed there, where they could answer visitors’ questions and point out special touches.

The owners got together following the event to discuss their experience.

“It went really well,” said Nandi. “I feel like we made a lot of connections. We got to see a lot of people and a lot of people got to see our work. I was surprised at the sheer number of people that came through. They expected 750 per day.”

“They had a great turnout,” Kanda said. “They ran out of programs by Saturday afternoon.”

“It was good to see people’s reactions to the kitchen,” said Nandi. “There were a lot of people who were wowed. The comments that came up again and again were about the attention to detail, which was nice to hear, because attention to detail is something all of us here at Rivendell see, but I’m not always sure that everyone else outside of Rivendell sees. People appreciating our work was reassuring that we’re doing things right.”

“It was kind of funny,” Kanda mused, “but the one thing more than anything else people asked about was the 1930’s oven from the original kitchen that was remounted in the new cabinets as a working warming drawer. Everyone would say ‘What’s that?’”

“The warming drawer was definitely a conversation starter. I think it was a lead in for those of us that worked on the space to talk about other things.” said Nandi. “I enjoyed chatting with designer Carlene Anderson, contractor Mike Swenson and Becca Lauffenberg, who did the ‘finishes’ as she put it. Everyone was proud of what they contributed to this project. It was really nice to be able to say that we did what I think was the best kitchen on the tour, and then to say that we did this owner’s previous home, and to say that we did another home on the tour down the block too!”

Although the Lafayette Avenue house had been sold since Rivendell did the kitchen, few changes were made other than alterations to accommodate new appliances.

“The Muir kitchen showed very well, you can’t even tell it’s a year and a half old,” said Kanda. “The one across the street, on Lafayette, also showed well especially considering it’s close to seven years old… it’s still in excellent condition! The important thing to keep in mind about these two kitchens is that they are both the more difficult style of cabinetry, the flush inset style, where the doors and drawer fronts have to be mounted precisely, in a precise way, or it doesn’t work. In a typical kitchen with the overlay style of cabinet, there is a lot of fudge and wiggle room. There is no wiggle room in this style of cabinet and they are still holding up after all these years.”

“I thought it was very impressive that we could return to a job that we did a year and half ago, or six and a half years ago, and everything was still exactly how we left it in terms of door adjustments, drawers, everything was closing properly, everything lined up just like how we intended it,” Jeremy added.

The owners agreed that the Heart of the Home Tour was a wonderful opportunity for Rivendell to support an amazing organization and showcase our outstanding woodwork as well.

“It’s hard to tell if we will be in a home on the next tour, but it would be great if we were! We got lucky to be in two houses this year,” said Nandi. “We hope to be involved next time too… it’s for a great cause.”