Floors and more

I did get to the flooring store yesterday and after spending 2 hours going through and choosing samples to bring home, got what I thought could work for us.  Turns out it will.  Chose a dark slate tile with not a lot of “action” in it, but some subtle color variations of lighter grays and some coppery streaks.  It will go in entry hall, entry powder, kitchen, dining (with a little fanciful tile rug detailing), gallery hall, and into laundry. It is American Tile & Stone, W-Slate in Dark (they only have Light, Dark, or Indigo).

The carpet turned out to be serendipitous as the store owner showed me a couple carpets that have come up with special pricing and were in the warehouse.  He brought samples to me and I liked them both.  In the store I was leaning to the more solid gray, but bringing them both home, the abundant light we have in our home really played up the other carpets colors better and it seemed to glow.  The photo I took shows it more red than it really is.   It is a tweedy blend of coppers, sage greens, grays, blues, golds and creams that makes it come alive and blend in with all the tile and wall colors I am working with.  It will go in the living, up the stairs to my husband’s office, and down the guest hall into guest bedroom, and in the sitting/family room into the master bedroom.  The bedrooms will have a Sherwin Williams Jersey Cream wall color.  The living spaces, kitchen, dining and halls will be Sherwin Williams Buckram Binding.

The guest bath floor tile and master bath floor tile will both be the same Interceramic Tessuto, a textured linen look in color Ecru Gray, a light silvery gray.  It will look great with the chrome fixtures in the master and the satin nickel fixture in the guest bath.  The walls in the baths have not been finalized yet.  I imagine they will just be painted.  Possibly the same Jersey Cream in the master bath as the bedroom, and a Sherwin- Williams Sensitive Tint (a very soft pale lavender) in the guest.  It’s what I have now in the same spaces and love the softness of both colors.

It’s a good thing I stopped procrastinating on the floors because I got a shock when I went by the house to check on it and found the cabinets had all been delivered and installed.  They all turned out great.

We are down to just a few final decisions and we just need to put our orders in.  The carpet and floor tiles with grout colors will be ordered next week.    The granites we have chosen and just need to put deposits on next week to hold them (we visited that place twice before deciding), and ceiling fans need to be decided on and ordered.

The cabinets will be stained, and a few painted (in laundry and guest bath), but the finishes we have chosen already.  I am glad I know what wall paint colors I want because that is another decision that can be very hard to pin down.  What we have now I like a lot ( I personally painted this entire house inside, every single wall,  before we moved into it eight years ago) and the same colors will work just as well in the new house.

I have ordered all the door hardware and it should be here next week.  The appliances have been ordered and are waiting to be installed.   We bought all the bath fixtures a couple months ago and they are waiting in our spare bedroom.   It will be fast and furious the next few weeks finishing it all up.

Inside is looking up

Front door entry hallway with powder room on right

Front door entry hallway with powder room on right

Hallway to two guest bedrooms and guest bath; built in cabinet storage will line the wall on right.

Hallway to two guest bedrooms and guest bath; built in cabinet storage will line the wall on right.

custom trim out into laundry room hallway with storage and coat closets; a barn door will be fitted to cover the entrance

custom trim out into laundry room hallway with storage and coat closets; a barn door will be fitted to cover the entrance

Master bathroom trimwork in progress; water closet on left and shower on right with dressing area in the middle; center window is an awning style and the other two are fixed. These are high on the wall and not a privacy issue. Dressing area will be fitted with bench and towel bars.

Master bathroom trimwork in progress; water closet on left and shower on right with dressing area in the middle; center window is an awning style and the other two are fixed. These are high on the wall and not a privacy issue. Dressing area will be fitted with bench and towel bars.

So the trim carpenters have started trimming out the doors, baseboards, and doors have been hung.  The garage doors are in but the openers have not been installed.  It has been a challenge to get everyone to lock up the house and close and lock the windows before they leave.  Today it started pouring down rain as I ran by to check on the house and found windows open and the front door did get locked tight.  We will speak with the builder who probably doesn’t know they are slacking on this.

The cabinets arrived and are all in place; they look fabulous.  Our specific requests (blocky feet with curved apron for the kitchen) and a custom cabinet copied from a picture I found are just perfection.  The next step is making sure the stains and finishes are what we want (mid-tone oak with a flat finish; not everyone understands that shiny glossy is not always preferred).

Today I stopped by and picked up floor tile samples and carpet samples.  It is so mind boggling I have been putting  this off for weeks.  We will take all the samples with us to the house and see if we can choose from these, or if we have to go back to the floor store and pick out some others.  Luckily I know the wall paint colors so I have the samples of those to work with against the floor samples.  We are leaning towards slate look floors in a rather uniform coloration; I don’t do “busy patterns” very well.  The carpeted living and family room will coordinate, and the kitchen granites and backsplash will also coordinate.  The bathrooms will be a pale neutral “linen” finish floor tile.

A few pics of baseboards and door trims are attached.  The doorway into the laundry will be covered by a sliding barn  door to be installed at some point.

Exterior completed; interiors are the focus

living walls finishmaster br walls finishbrick completedwindows are in

The exterior is completed, except for just this little fireplace bump out that needs roofing. Maybe they are finishing that today. Pleased with our CBC brick in Everwood.

Got the big triangles installed and bricked; they fit perfectly. Have been very pleased with the Maritech windows we got, in color Clay. We have all kinds: fixed, single hungs, awnings, casements, and these custom triangles.

The walls have been sheetrocked, taped and bedded, the wall texturing done in a “light” orange peel, the garage doors will be arriving, and the interior doors are waiting installation.

Our custom doors from DeFord’s are a Craftsman 3 panel. I will be ordering the door knob hardware in black, which is hard to find on the shelf anywhere, but I found the Schlage’s Addison Collection with Georgian knob in black that will look very nice on the doors.

Tomorrow we have to make final decisions on all the flooring. Each space must blend into the next, for me anyway, and we have different areas that will be tiled or carpeted. Not much carpet; just the living room and up the stairs and the office, and then 3 bedrooms. The rest will be tiled that need to complement and blend with each other.

Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_architecture2.html#TmxDHmYKPcY2DRUe.99

House plan, part four

I will reiterate that creating a house plan entirely from scratch is overwhelming. As well as mind blowing, time stealing, argument invoking and just plain tedious.  However, if you want a house that you will love, it is a necessity to go through the process with a fine-toothed comb to arrive at a plan  you will ultimately love, and a house you will love to live in.

The tediousness of creating a plan means you must know how you live and entertain, what hobbies and tasks need their own space, and how much space to allot to everything. 

It means making a list of the rooms you want (3 or 4 bedrooms, how many full baths and how many powders, luxury laundry or just enough space to manage in, etc.).

It also means being realistic with your budget.  This is the first tedious thing to address because your budget determines everything.  Not only the size of the house, but how elaborate you want all the fixtures and “decorations”, and don’t forget furnishings.  We figured that our dated double ended recliner sofa needed to be replaced, but that our living rooms furniture (still sturdy and a timeless name-brand tuxedo style look) could be reupholstered in new and fresh fabrics.  I hate shopping for furniture and will reupholster a second set of love seats for the second time because they are very sturdy and usable in small places, like guest bedrooms.

We measured every nook and cranny practically of our very livable current house, tweaking spaces to fit our desired square footage.  Combining uses (two hallways have bookshelves recessed in the walls) and using spaces creatively to get more everyday use out of them.  I really don’t like spaces to sit unused (guest bedrooms since we don’t have kids at home now); what a waste.

Plan for future uses, either for yourself or others.  We designed a “public” sitting room/TV room outside the master bedroom.  It is convenient for us to use daily as an additional TV and computer space.  It is actually and open room with walls on 3 sides and a hallway along the fourth “open” side.  However,  we had them frame it so that a wall with a door entry could be easily installed  along that hall if a private bedroom was ever needed, and it could make a fantastic nursery for a future homeowner since it is right off the master bedroom entry.   Just look at all your spaces and see if a multi-function space can be incorporated without taking up much more space.  For instance, our elliptical exercise machine has it’s own corner in the laundry room, right in front of the double French doors that open onto the small back porch and looking out to the pond.  Rather than put it in it’s own space or in a public area, we just bumped out a couple more feet along one wall  to make room for it.

The expense of fixtures like faucets, sinks, door knobs, flooring, etc., can be estimated in advance so you can figure how expensive your tastes are.  We knew we wanted a nice metal roof and we determined we could make up the difference between a shingle style and metal roof by economizing in flooring (a nice looking  economical tile) , appliances (no expensive  “commercial” style anything for us), and hardware and faucet options have some very nice looking ones at reasonable prices (we like “plain and simple”).  I did put some unique “pitcher pump” style faucets in all the bath sinks, but we shopped around to find these.  Some of those brands had prices that seemed unnecessarily high.  I kept looking and found them all at prices in my budget and got them immediately.  They were very hard to find.   Remember to shop online at some of the big box home supply stores.  They have “online only” items that you can’t find in the store, but if you buy and need to return, you can return at the store.  Double check return policies for sale and online only merchandise before ordering, however.