Saturday, October 29, 2011

Floating vanities

There are some things you just never think about until you see do you prefer a vanity that sits on the floor, like most of them do?

I love the contemporary look of these floating vanities in the bathrooms but hadn't noticed them anywhere until we started paying close attention. We were inspired by these pulls when deciding on what to do our master bath vanity, and decided to make our vanity "floating". I put "floating" in quotes because with a vanity of this size, to have the wall support the whole thing is a risk, therefore our base will just be very set back to it appears to be floating.

Another thing you really start to think about when building these things are drawers. To me, the bottom picture there is much more modern looking than the top because it has more drawers instead of the cabinets, and all the handles line up nicely in just a few horizontal planes. Would I have ever noticed this before? No. But now that I have....  So I can't figure out how these people can have usable drawers with their plumbing taking up space underneath, but my plumber is currently trying to figure that out. You know, so we can take their great idea :)

In the guest bath, the plan was to put the stainless vessel sink we ordered on a more traditional vanity table, again just going with what I knew, until I found these pictures this week:

Sold! Luckily the cabinet maker hadn't started on this yet and we redirected the concept to a floating sink vanity. We're going with something in wood similar to the bottom picture, but without the backsplash. I'm hoping it will look great with the stainless vessel on top and the exposed plumbing underneath.

So then again, in thinking of the plumbing underneath... yep, there are options available there, too. Who knew? Once I noticed that the P-Trap looked cleaner and sleeker in the top photo here, we went searching online and found it from Kohler:

It's been a week of learning about bathrooms, not coincidentally, with all the construction progress we made on these two bathrooms as well. Will send pictures soon...

Happy weekend to everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gutters + Trim

Gutters are up — we went with a charcoal gray to match the roof.

In progress...

(Well, they had to come back 2x — and counting — to finish up, but still...)
While work was being done on the exterior, Chris the painter got all the closets painted.
Here are the master closets with all the shelving drying on the floor.
I adore these his and hers closets with the retro rounded walls!

And with that bit of positivity...
The rest of the house is DEFINITELY looking worse, not better!
Patchy progress
And the rotted master bathroom floor turned out to be a real mess for the guys to get out...
...Another story, to be continued...
Once the gutters were done, Chris put the darker trim color onto the windows:

Here is the finished product as of today, which I'm still trying to get used to.
Mike is already a fan of the more modern look.
This picture is trying to simulate what it will be like with the new door (and a painted chimney).
Landscaping and other details TBD!
Still looking for someone here in the US to make this door for a better price
than the European company we found this from online...

We had a long meeting with my Dad last night and learned the goal is to have us in the house by the end of the year. **Note** Still with PLENTY to do after that, however, it will be nice to do it without the extra commute from the temporary apartment. Fingers crossed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The trucks

Random post subject, but aren't these trucks great? Talk about really packing in everything and the kitchen sink!

Tony the electrician

Chris the painter

And my Dad, while in a much smaller Ford Explorer, still has it jammed full!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

6 Weeks + Counting (up, not down)

We are officially at the 6 week mark of ownership and still smiling (well, most of the time anyway!)
Here are some updates on the rooms getting the most interior work~

Living room:
Tray ceiling with can lights is in and ready for paint. (RIP green shag carpet, so sad I know)
Wine bar, laundry area, + den:

Also lit and ready for paint (ok, and maybe some walls and some hard core TLC)...
We've learned that the drywall process consists of:

1) measuring
2) cutting
3) gluing
4) pressing + drilling
 And that it takes a million zillion times longer in real life than it just took you to read that!

The kitchen currently looks like this:

And, many consultations later (tough planning due to only one really usable wall), we have finalized that it will look like this:

The guest bathroom currently (still) looks like this:
But is awaiting tile—on order! I hope it's walls are on order, too ;)
The master bathroom currently looks like this:

And then the plan is below — after repair to water damage, floor rot, and a lot else to get through—but nevertheless plumbing, measuring and details, details are in progress...

Happy hump day tomorrow. More updates soon~

Friday, October 14, 2011

♥ the new paint!

All these paint samples later...
It was worth it! 

We ended up with a custom mix – but close to a darker version of Ben Moore/Affinity : Thunder. Very happy with how it turned out, the neutral gray isn't too warm (taupe) or too cool (blue).

The brick is painted, and the same-colored eaves and darker trim will follow next week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lights, Ceilings, Action

There's been a lot of action at the house this week...
Here's a recap [so far] in pics:
Given the rain, Chris has moved inside to prep the walls that are staying intact
The ceiling went up in the living room/music room
The electricians are working on getting us up to date
Holes for the speakers are being cut, to be followed by the lighting...
...leaving quite an aftermath!
And the fireplace mantle (shown 2 photos above) has come off, to be replaced by something
cleaner-lined and less traditional. The marble surround will stay...

More tomorrow, and a full weekend ahead!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Art on White Dove

I stopped by the house today and there was so much going on I forgot to take pictures! I've never seen more than 4 "real" workers (i.e. people besides us + whoever is nice enough to do us a favor) in the house so it was quite distracting.

One team was bringing our electrical up to date, my Dad and his crew, Alan and Irwin, were working on moving the door to our bathroom (more on that when I can get to the pictures) and Chris the painter was plugging along. We've now owned the house for 5 weeks and Chris has been there every day doing prep work — yep, there was a lot of prep work — but we definitely found the right guy for the job because he hasn't looked frustrated once.

Chris was supposed to start painting the exterior on Monday, but for those of you who aren't in Charlotte, the sky is pouring buckets this week. Luckily we had finalized the decision for the interior paint so he could keep moving inside.

After some deliberation – although not nearly as much as the exterior paint deliberation – I decided on Benjamin Moore's White Dove. It was the first color suggested by my interior designer friend Margaret, however I decided to drive myself crazy by testing every other off-white I heard any other person or magazine recommend. Then of course finally landed back at White Dove.

Margaret's and my thought was to do the whole house, except a handful of smaller rooms like bathrooms and the office, in the White Dove. We're even doing the trim in White Dove to minimize the transition from wall to trim. In an ideal world we'd have very minimal trim, but considering we are keeping a good amount of the original walls, it's too much to remove the trim at this point — so we will downplay it instead.

I've never been much for colored rooms because 1) I'm afraid I will get tired of the color quickly and want to change it and 2) I love the idea of the clean white walls as a backdrop for our artwork to really stand out as the focal point.

We've been very slowly buying what we love over the years. Below are the last few things to make their way home with us, the first two which are still awaiting frames. (Which reminds me...)

Silkscreen by Joseph Albers (I remember studying his color theories in Graphic Design school)
"Prada Marfa at Dawn" – Photograph by Gray Malin

Painting by my talented friend Susan Carter Hall

"Revolution" – Photographed backstage at John Galliano, by Mark Leibowitz

Our stuff has been in storage for several months now so it is fun seeing our things again, even if only online! Here's hoping the scale of what we have works in the new house....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Project Green Carpet + More

Lots of progress at the house this weekend!
Here's a recap — Saturday:

14 can lights were installed into the living room ceiling by my Dad and his co-worker Alan.
On a tip from Dick Klingman, we placed then close to the edges of the room so the walls are illuminated with light as opposed to the light just hitting the floor. Great idea. And considering this is the only thing currently "new" in the house, it already makes a big difference.
During all this, Mike removed a huge pile of nails from the kitchen floor one by one – amazingly there are hardwoods under the linoleum glue, which we are working our way towards. (The picture isn't impressive but it was painstaking detail work)  He also started loading our third dumpster — at $300 per round on the dumpsters, we have learned there is an art to maximizing dumpster space...

I went over to Carolina Tile to finalize our kitchen choices with Brandy —above is the result.
After he and Alan were done with the can lights, my Dad finished up the work he'd
started last weekend – framing in the wine bar. This is off of our kitchen leading into the den,
and it will have a laundry room behind it.

And he'd knocked out a wall to make our back entrance larger —
plus giving us a needed 'mudroom' area to drop stuff when we come in the house.

And Sunday — we learned that 7 times the people = 7 times the results! Mike, my Dad and I were joined by Mike's brother William, my Mom, and my sister and her new husband Chris.

Tons of progress, thanks to the team:

Mike got the remainder of the bad linoleum out of the kitchen pantry. Again the shovel did the trick.
We got all the old junk out of the attic and swept it clean...
This was done by dropping all the trash through the exposed new tray ceiling down onto the living room floor. Of course then all that had to be carried out to the dumpster...
...Leaving an even more disgusting carpet which brought on the biggest change of the weekend—
saying farewell to the green shag carpet!
Chris and William ripped it up, rolled it, and took it to the trash where it should feel more at home.
Unfortunately in its aftermath were a million more nails and tacks that had to be pulled out by
hand and then swept up afterwards. It took the rest of us the rest of the afternoon...

After again
Here's the after!
And remember the before?

And during all this, Dad (the only actual skilled laborer in the group), finished opening the doorway leading from the kitchen and wine bar to the den. The doorway was cut wider, and then he matched the molding and replaced/centered the veneer paneling above it. We plan to paint the paneling off-white with the rest of the house.
 Above is the doorway before (from the other side)...
...and the after! This makes the whole space feel much more open.

So, off celebrate with some Mexican and margaritas. Cheers~