Form, Function, and Fun – The Round Up:


3Form in Wood Slats:

We’re no strangers to 3Form and its other resin-panel cousins here at MAK.  Part of the reason we are big fans of 3Form specifically, is their commitment to sustainability.  In addition to offering products composed of 100% recycled content, many of their products are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality certified.  Additionally, none of their panels contain PVC and they can all be reclaimed at end-of-use

We’ve utilized their unique products as a bathroom privacy dividers, shower doors, and I’ve even personally formed offcuts into bowls for the staff, all seen below.


flicker3 flora3In 2009, 3Form’s Laser Cut Patterns were honored with the 2009 Interior Design Best of Year Award,but recently they’ve added new light wood species to their exciting collection of razor-thin translucent wood veneers encapsulated in their signature Varia Ecoresin.

timber-latitudeMark me down as a “yes please”.


JELD-WEN offers reclaimed wood:

Nearly every project at MAK seems to involve windows and doors.  Whether we’re adding space or just rearranging it, daylighting, ventilation, and better communication with the outdoors is always a consideration, and often a requirement.  Additionally, better looking and higher performing windows and doors tend to be high ranking items on client’s wish lists.  For that reason, it’s good to have a wide range of options to accomplish any aesthetic and this week I learned JELD-WEN has added doors and windows made of reclaimed wood, which is a fantastic option if you’re in the market for a wooden window or door .  According to their website,  “These products are full of character and deliver stability, durability and aesthetic benefits not found in products built from new lumber. That’s because our reclaimed wood is recovered from old barns, houses, fences and factories across America. And it features nail and bolt holes, natural weathering and other clues of its unique history.”  Wood options include: Weathered, Skip Planed, and Planed as shown below.

jeldwen-optionsMore information available here:


The Toto Aquia; Looking Better Than Ever in a One-Piece:

As the director of design, I take great pride and expend great effort ensuring that as remodelers, we are always offering creative and unique, solutions for our clients.  That being said, we do have a few “go-to” products in our remodeling arsenal.  Now I can’t say every bathroom remodel we get our hands on is going to get a super efficient, super handsome, dual-flush Toto Aquia, but I can say I’m having a hard time remembering the last one that didn’t.  The Aquia is everything I want in a default selection: It’s sleek, but not so modern it looks out of place or uncomfortable in a more traditional setting.  It boasts both a 1.6GPF and a 0.9GPF (solid vs. liquid) flush option, a catalyzed ion barrier SanaGloss coating, and it’s very well priced.  Technical specs and artfully disguised bathroom talk aside, it just works, and happy clients make for happy designers.  I like to be happy, to that end, I’ve found the peace of mind of a proven product can be worth its weight in gold catalyzed ion barrier Sangloss sealed china.

The summer between my 14th and 15th year, I got my first work permit and for 4 hours every weekend, at the minimum wage of $3.35 per hour, I had the privilege of doing, essentially whatever it was my older, counter-working co-workers at Dandy’s Frozen Yogurt didn’t want to do. I came to expect that I would be asked to tackle the most gross and distasteful chores a public food service establishment could offer and yes, invariably that list included… the bathrooms -both staff and public.  Thankfully my toilet scrubbing days are pretty much behind me, but I spent enough time sanitizing those thrones to remember those two tricky spots that collect the most… shall we say… grime?

Spot 1: The flat base of a standard toilet, where the china is bolted to the floor. If you’re lucky the bolts are covered up with some less-than-decorative plastic caps – Ugh, need I say more?  I have pictures for this segment that I cannot bring myself to insert – they have zero elegance and this is a design post after all. The easy-cleaning apron on the Aquia eliminates this spot, it’s a bit trickier to install, but so, so worth the effort.

Spot 2: The seam between the tank and the bowl.  This horizontal seam is essentially impossible to ever really clean without removing the tank.  You can wipe around it, even get in there a bit if you’re a tenacious 14 year old bucking for a promotion to the clean-hands land of serving frozen yogurt, but it’s always dirty and if you’re anything like me, you always know it. Enter the new One-Piece Aquia.  Transitions so smooth they’re calling for a Tech-Deck.  I’m not going to suggest you should eat off this toilet, but if it was in my house… well, I bet you could.  3 cheers for easy to clean toilets.


azure furniture, inc. 

Someone once told me if life gives you lemons… find someone life gave vodka to and make lemon drops.  The good people over at azure furniture, inc. seem to have a similar philosophy.  Over the past few years, millions of acres of Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine trees in the Rocky Mountains have succumbed to bark beetle infestation.  I’m not a scientist, but as I understand it, these beetles lay eggs below the bark and in the process infect the trees with spores of bluestain fungi that adult beetles are contaminated with. The unfettered growth of the fungi eventually assists the beetles in killing the tree and stains the sapwood of the tree with a blueish-gray hue.


According to their website, azure furniture has collaborated with local sawmills, the forestry department at Colorado State University and the US Forest Department to produce a furniture-grade level of this pine. In addition to creating elegant solutions for this unfortunate resource, all of azure’s steel is recycled, up to 93.3% in some cases.  The wood finishes and powder coating are both formaldehyde-free, low-VOC coatings that are allowed to completely off-gas before shipping and the laminates they choose are developed from recycled paper and applied to their surfaces with a GREENGUARD certified contact adhesive.

DSC0688 DSC0823 DSC1093Go azure.



Ask the Expert 2022 – Matt K.

MAK's own Matt K. was featured this year as SacTown magazine's construction expert. Read an extended version of his expert advice here!

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