Sunday, August 10, 2014

And, the end....

Well we are FINALLLLLLLY have completed Phase 1 of our garage. Despite the timeframe, we are happy with how things ended up...

The biggest decision at the end was deciding not to paint. We left the corrugated metal in the galvalume finish, which turned out well.

Here we are at the finish line!
The side entrance to what will be the mother-in-law suite...

Mike was able to get the lights going on a timer – here is the front...
... and side. Love this contemporary light from Lumens
While I may have spent on the light above, I saved here!
These were inexpensive angled sign lights from
I was looking for a clean silhouette in a galvalume finish, and these
were the best fit I found. The price was a bonus.
My dad helped me plant more arborvitae down the side, love how these turned out.
(The group in the back was there, but the group in the front is new)

While I don't think we have the appetite to move forward with Phase 2 right now, you never know when the reno bug will hit...


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Forever Garage

Hi friends,

It's obviously been forever and a day since I posted. This has been the never-ending project. I paused for a while because the contractor poured the driveway incorrectly. The specs for tinted driveways weren't followed, and in addition to that, they selected to pour it on a day before a big snow. Therefore, the driveway did not last. It started crusting and flaking within a week. Ensure a couple of months of pushback by the contractor, then finally, in April, a new driveway. I can't say driveway #2 is even perfect, but at this point it's "good enough" as we have given up!

It has not been a great experience with the contractor we chose – almost everything the contractor has done, has been done wrong, and then has been RE-done, miraculously, sometimes wrong again the second time! Sort of sad because I used to love blogging, but these people have just worn me down...

Here are a few pictures of where we are, just to stay somewhat caught up:

Oh how fun – the second driveway digging!
New driveway #2.
New door #1 – the door, I actually happen to love, so hopefully there will not be a door #2
– unless they happen to screw this up already installed!

First siding attempt (I told you they have done everything twice).

On this first round of siding, they overdid the nails, nailing them in a ceiling pattern instead.
Isn't it bizarre looking how many nails they decided to use? 

The good news is that we are nearing the end. I will post pics of the Round #2, completed siding, and other updates again, soon.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

50 Shades of Grey

This post won't be nearly as spicy as the title :)

I don't know if many of you remember how many grey paint tests I went through when painting the house, but the timing lesson was learned, and I decided to get a jump on the paint color earlier this time. Having done the house makes it easier – because it only makes sense for the garage to be either 1) the house color, or 2) the trim color. (There are a couple of caveats – such as the kind of paint that has to be used on corrugated metal is a special blend, so I won't be able to fully match the Ben Moore paint on the house and will have to custom mix to get as close as possible BUT regardless, it's light, or dark.)

To help make this decision, below is a very quick exercise in Adobe Ilustrator without the proper dimensionality added in, but enough to see the idea of the 2 colors:

This one matches the trim color on the house and which was our original plan, to go dark grey

BUT I have to say I'm really liking the light grey – which matches the overall house color

Thinking this could be influenced by the neighbor who just renovated, and painted their garage the same color as their house – but hey I'm liking this new direction...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Inside Job

Well we got close to a foot of snow here in Charlotte last week so construction remains at a standstill. 

In the meantime, I can't help but be addicted to Pinterest and dream of a finished project. It's really torturous because we're a long way off from furnishing the interior of the new garage, since we are doing this in phases and that phase isn't happening yet — but I do it anyway!

These are all pulls of what we're hoping the upstairs will eventually feel like. The purpose of the room will be a "movie watching / music playing" room, occasionally housing guests. Talking about wearing a lot of hats!

Love the cozy vibes of these rooms:

Some additional features we'd like to incorporate in our room:
A cozy reading nook: a good reading chair goes upscale – Eames
A great desk nook: in case either Mike or me needs to work from home
Incorporating Mike's guitars is a good design challenge –
this is the guitar room of one of the Dixie Chicks
And another playing space
Will create a space for Mike's vinyl collection
And here are some pieces I've had my eye on already:
This is the current leading sleeper sectional conteder, found at Room and Board—
The Oxford Custom Platform Pop-Up Sleeper Sofa
We wanted something that pulled out to a Queen, not a Double..
This wardrobe would be a nice way to address a guest's clothing without taking up wall space for a closet.
This would double for other storage.
Love these mid-century modern chairs...
And the cozy vibe of this chair (by Mitchell Gold + Bob WIlliams)
A great coatrack is always useful —
we have only a very small space for coats at the downstairs entrance

And a classic Nelson clock always spices things up!
We're going to have vaulted ceilings like this (well, not THIS vaulted, but still)...
...wouldn't a great statement chandelier look awesome? 
I could go on for days about lights, but here's a couple only for now:
This one, the Etched Steel web pendant by Tom Dixon
Will look for some great little occasional tables in metallics to open up the space
Here's another set. Again, inexpensive and from West Elm
This may be the most beautiful bookshelf I've ever seen by Architect Victor Vasilev—
Wishful thinking that this may one day be mine!
We'll add a lot of floor pillows for guests, and poufs like this one...
Or this one from Jonathan Adler
Love this little console table —
I see something like this at the top of the stairs with a mirror over it
Baskets with storage for throws and pillows
And of course a bar cart — shouldn't every room have one of these?!
Last but not least — a sculpture by Curtis Jere —
While we do have one in the house, this is a perfect opportunity for a little extra sparkle!

It might be all that snow that inspired the "ski chalet chic" look of half of these photos, I'm now realizing... Will I feel differently in the summer?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Waiting Game

Happy Monday everyone...

Not too much to report on our garage project in terms of progress. We're playing the waiting game with needing drying time for the new concrete added in with 2 waves of snow (in the South?!)

So I've been trying to get ahead with shopping and planning in the meantime, and think I've finalized the lighting for the exterior.

This is the last picture I took outside.
(Reminds me I need call Duke Energy and see where they are with
coming to bury that power line that's running across this photo!)
Originally the vision was for 2 sconces on either side of the large door. Once that hole got cut for the door, I realized the space on either side of it was too slim to hold those well. The door had already been ordered, so onto plan B...

I found this picture on Pinterest (my favorite site, of course) and it oddly looked very similar to the door we were having made. I can't see their lighting super-well, but liked the idea of light washing over the door from above.

So taking cues from this mystery house, we decided to go with angled sign lights above our door. They are typically seen in commercial spaces, and work well with the corrugated siding that we'll have. Here are a few pics of sign lights:

We plan to run 3 sign lights across the front of the garage, evenly spaced over the door.

After buying one of these that was not the quality we were hoping for, I stumbled across Barn Light Electric. They have just about every kind of these style lights you could ever ask for, and each is custom made upon ordering, so the level of quality seems good. The one we chose, below comes in dozens of projections and angles, and lots of color choices.

Fire Chief Angle Sign Light with a "G24" Gooseneck Arm
The one I chose will have this neck shape, but will be in Metallic Silver.
Can't wait to get this in the mail and test it out!
For the side door, I found a little sconce at YLighting that will illuminate the entry. They have great pieces if you are looking for lighting with a contemporary twist, and a great sister site called YLiving for the same with furnishings.

Rubix Sconce  5" Outdoor Wall Light.
Got this in already and it looks great in person.
That's about all to report for now. Next up on construction should be the garage door staining and installation. Can't wait!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


We are cemented!
The driveway went in last week, as expected. Here's the day going down:
Cement truck arrives...
They start in the back – putting down the sidewalk that runs
alongside the garage 
By about noon they were out to the larger driveway space
outside the back door
As each large section went down it got smoothed out...
...all the way down to the front of the house 
We paved over the sidewalk as planned in the previous post
After all the concrete was laid, they went back and really
fine-tuned the finishing by hand, as well as cut v-joints at 10 ft pads.
We went with v-joints as opposed to saw-cut joints which
appear more minimal (a plus) but aren't as deep therefore may not
block all stress and cracking (a bigger minus!).
Before and after:
You can see the difference that the hand-finishing made.
It was really interesting to watch – truly an art form.
These guys were really detailed – after the hand-finishing,
they went back and did a picture frame edging – thinner between pads
and a thicker edge frame. If you drive around, you don't see much of
this kind of finish work, and I was very pleased with the level of detail
of these sub-contractors – Thomas Concrete in Charlotte, NC,
if anyone is shopping!
Here is the finished pour in the front – although color not quite accurate.
Despite the deep tinted color, we were told it would dry a good bit lighter.
The finished pour in the back 
And 24 hours later the snow!
(We were told it wouldn't hurt it.)
And here was the front today fully dry – you can see it did dry a fair amount
lighter – it's a lovely pewter color that matches our roof. For color comparison,
our neighbors to the left in this photo just got a new driveway as well,
and there's is the regular untinted color. In about a month we will seal our
drive which is an extra step but ensures to lock in the color that we strove for.
The driveway was really fun despite being a total mess. Pretty sure that's the last time I'll do that – at least for a long time. After all, nothing says permanence like 35 yards of cement.