Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cabinets are here...

Cabinet install day happened Friday. Also Saturday and Monday. And it's still going!

I decided to leave out the visual mess of these going in, and just show the nice semi-finished product...

I say 'semi-finished' b/c the island is definitely way too short (it was previously only 9" too short, but they had to remove a whole third to rebuild). This will happen next week along with the pulls, which I think will make a big impact in breaking up the color.

We had the cabinets made by Jim at Catawba Valley Custom Cabinets — with this sleek facing, no trim or edging to them, just clean lines. It was harder to get this done than we thought, but I'm happy with the final look. (Or, I will be once the pulls are on, backsplash, countertops, and appliances are in, and floors are stained...)

4 weeks to go so hopefully we'll be getting somewhere.
And if not, there's always takeout...

Cabinets with our "2/3 island" here. A light will go over the island and we'll add some barstools. The cooktop and oven will go in the cabinets on the right and a hood will go to the wall on the right [wall not seen here].

Fridge goes in the empty cove shown here, table goes in front of the banquette
(cushions eventually will make their way on there as well)
Slim stainless pulls that will be added on

The floating vanity table went up in the guest bath—love this:

And the vanity in the master, awaiting it's marble countertop:

And in other news, the second fireplace [the one in the living room] went off to a better place...

During the teardown

And after the rebuild. We actually kept the frame, and just added a flat facing.
We still need to paint the inside of the fireplace as well as the new mantle.
Many people might find this boring or plain, but we think the minimal look will be great once the room gets pulled together. [Isn't that the story with everything?]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for progress (among other things of course) !

As we hit the holidays this week, here's a look back at where we were — almost 3 months ago — and where we are now.

THEN — front of house...
...and gable

NOW— after new roof, new gutters, new paint, and one guy on a bobcat ripping out the entire front yard.
replanted one little baby japanese maple and 7 million mondo grass bulbs.
TO COME — more landscaping, new railing, and a fabulous new front door :)

Gable was torn off with new hip roof added on, and an image of the new front door dropped in

THEN— back of house / screen porch

NOW— (I actually think we've gotten paint since this where you see the walls just primed here). TO COME — still need actual screen, doors, and to lose the handicap ramp—although it has been quite handy during construction. A platform deck will eventually go in the space off the porch where the ramp currently is.
THEN — guest bath
NOW – favorite part: the cute little shelving niche on the left in the foreground. TO COME — floating vanity shelf, stainless vessel sink, toilet, mirror, and of course paint...
...and this will get frameless shower doors to the ceiling
THEN – paneled den...
...with fireplace and bookshelves (shown mid-way with holes drilled for speakers)
NOW — repaired paneling, fireplace modernized, room is primed, waiting on some sleek new bookcase doors and a good paint job. Going with a light platinum color throughout.

THEN — kitchen — floor and cabinets removal in progress shown here...
...and breakfast nook portion of kitchen
NOW — awaiting cabinets + island (Friday!), appliances, etc...
...And breakfast nook will get a banquette extending off of the other cabinets, and our round marble table
THEN — powder room
NOW — still have plenty to do in here, but at least it isn't pink!
THEN — master bath
(master bath)
(master bath)
NOW — after demolition, gutting, and rebuilding. There is a new tub deck on the left, and a shower in the back...
...with a river rock shower floor
...toilet and double vanity will go here on the right

NEW AREA — We added a bar space off of the kitchen and backdoor entryway...
...which leads into the den. The smaller doorway you see here to the right of the bar is the laundry room entry...
...and the laundry room got slate tile today. Ready for venting next.
THEN — this was our backyard earlier this week, it looks like a hurricane site
NOW — Found this guy on Craig's List to clear out the whole thing with his Bobcat. He's currently rolling along back there with my Dad supervising. Apparently he was "frustrated" when he saw the amount of junk to pull out, so I'm glad I got my estimate confirmed in email!

At this point we are a month away from move-in (note: not completion, but good enough for now!) Thanks go out to all our family, and everyone else, who have helped us through our project!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!! Will post again after the weekend...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Exterior doors + hardware

So every day we have 2-3 site visits per day, working out the details surrounding the work (how tall do we want the counters or shelves, how should the electrical plan function, in what pattern should the tile be laid, etc), and then we get home we have all the research that goes on online — which is making design decisions, sourcing, pricing, etc.

Each week the research/sourcing part is something new, and we try to hit it with a hard focus because there's always something else pressing for attention around the corner. Here's an example — last week was doors and door hardware. This particular project, like many others, would be easier for someone with traditional or transitional taste, but with a narrower contemporary market for these kinds of things you searching for a needle in a haystack sometimes. Especially if budget is a factor at all.

Everyone has seen the front door I'm obsessed with by now but I couldn't not mention it again :) I finally found someone in the US to make this door and it should be ready in a couple of weeks. Due to price, time and several other factors all relating back to those two (mainly the first), I had to let go of the "one" sidelite and keep the framing for our 2 existing sidelites. So our door won't be off-center like this one, but will have a panel on each side and will be centered in between. I do think you lose a little there, but that's the way it goes.

Door I absolutely looove from the UK site

Drawing for our new door, cypress with grooves, will be flanked by a 1-panel sidelite on each side.
Hardware will be placed as shown.

What small sacrifices we lost to budget in design I got over when I finally found this beautiful, long, slim front door handle after days and days of searching. Of course I stole (borrowed) this idea from the door at the top but it took some investigation, and again a lot of weird stares from hardware vendors, to figure out how the door would actually stay closed — since this is a handle, not a knob. Turns out if you install a handle like this, pair it with a deadbolt, then the key is just 2 heavy-duty roller latches that provide the "catch" for the door closing.

The stainless steel mail slot (2 sided) we found from European Home was the icing on the cake. I almost cheaped-out here but at the end of the day Mike encouraged me to just do it right the first time and I'm so happy I did.

We have 2 backdoors — one off of our kitchen and one off our den (leading off of the screen porch). We found these doors as a stock item, shopped it around till we found the best price, and ordered 2. We'll stain them in a similar color to the front door. Thinking they'll visually echo the horizontal paneling in our windows nicely.
We're continuing the stainless steel theme around to the backdoor hardware too. These will be the plates, but with a sleeker 1-piece handle. We'll do a stainless deadbolt above this. (All from Emtek)
And on the inside, the knobs continue of course....We have about 20 internal doors to upfit, so we're weighing this decision carefully b/c we do not want to do this twice! This search started when we decided against the traditional round knobs. Which, given the small contemporary door hardware market, left some version of a lever handle (similar to what we're doing on the back door above)...until we found this little pretty here...I hope she will fit in our budget so we can keep her! Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Week in Photos

Here we go, action on a couple of fronts this week.

The master bath started getting it's shiny white tile...

Laying horizontally in the shower

One edges out to line up with the top of the tub – this will continue to be the backsplash

Mike super-happy on his visit after work...

...the river rock was his pick :)

The tile floor goes in this week, as does the vanity.

In news from the den, the wood trim fixes were completed and it started to finally look "real" when the primer went on.

In a super-quick decision, we decided to go platinum on the walls (Benjamin Moore's Affinity, "Eternity")

I can't tell if the decisions actually get easier as it goes on, or if we're just worn down. I think it's the latter!

Last week we picked out our slab of Statuary marble. We went with Statuary b/c we think it's closest in veining to the Arrebescata Saarinen table we own, going in the same room, and currently in storage so no one really knows. Let's keep our fingers crossed we don't have to ebay the tabletop.

Our slab — this is going on our kitchen island (as well as on our master bath vanity)
A simulation of the shape of our island, and how we'd cut it out of the slab
And this week we finalized our dark gray quartz countertops
that will go in the perimeter of the kitchen, and the bar

And back to bulbing it was today... the only good news (besides it being DONE) is that we had figured out the system this time.
The auger drilled the holes

Mike bulbed like a million sections of mondo and kept bringing
them down in a bucket where one of us would plant them
The last 2...

The right bank, done

And both sides. This was immediately followed by showers and cocktails!