Friday, June 28, 2013

Anatomy Of A Bathroom

The bathroom isn't finished.  It's almost. 

Today, as I was selecting pictures, I noticed I've been taking a picture from one perspective that's shown the majority of the work so far.  I mean, how big is our tiny bathroom?  There IS only one perspective. 

Reminds me of flip books when I was young...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome...Please Excuse The Dust

Face it.  The house is a construction zone.  It looks like a bomb went off. 

Let's look past the parts that make me want to reach for a broom and see the progress. 

Here's where we were:

New Staircase

And here's where we are:

New Entry Closet

The closet doors practically reach the ceiling.  I love it!

Left Side
Right Side

It's too shallow for a rail.  Which is fine with us.  We decided to keep the square footage in the living room.  So those boards are going to hold some hooks.  Adult height and child height. 

And those shelves are deeeeep!  I'm already hunting down the perfect baskets.  I've got 5 shelves on either side.  Plus the space on the floor.  Bring on winter and all the mitts, hats & scarves we can find!

Living Room

Speaking of the living room, here it is.  Full of s-t-u-f-f.  That trim has to live somewhere during installation...

View From The Stairs

I love seeing the openness when walking down the stairs.  The house feels 100 times bigger without that wall running down the middle.  A little more exposed, yes.  But the unified living space makes up for it.

View From The Couch

Now walk into the living room and "sit down" on the "couch".  (This was taken pre-appliances) You can see the powder room has a door and trim!

Powder Room

She's tiny, but she's a powder room.  Population: 1.  For short periods of time.

That niche on the wall will hold toilet paper & a backup hand towel. 
Minimalism at it's best.  

View From The Kitchen

Can you tell most of the work happens within the frame of this picture?  The tools, table & material just might give it away. 

While it's hard to point out progress here, it will make for a memorable "during" picture when everything renovation-related is out and the living begins....

I'm counting down the days....!!! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Love Me An Ikea Kitchen

I've been trying to blog, but this renovation keeps getting in the way.  That's sarcasm, dad.

Too much has happened to sum up in one post, so I'm dividing by room.  Or type.  Or floor. 

Ok, let's just forget the intro this time and get to the meat.  Which is exactly what we'll be cooking in this kitchen very soon.

Here's where we were in one day.

Step One

And then it continued into the dining room.

Step Two

We had a little hiccup with the island.  A couple of weeks ago, IKEA had a country-wide shortage of material including the 3' x 8' cover panel.  As I write this post, they still do!  Who knew a carpenter's strike could have such an effect. 

Of course, as the kitchen was being built, I was told we were short one panel.  Enter a very smart carpenter who knows IKEA. 


That is the back of the island, where the marble counter will overhang.  Those are IKEA toekicks.  Brilliant.

Turn around to the pantry.  Here's where we were before.  

Hi George

And now.


I will be living in that pantry.  No joke.  Just get the sink and countertop in place and I'm set.  You'll notice the base cabinetry changed.  The original piece was built shallower than the design, so the sink wouldn't fit.  Kudos to a contractor who notices, fixes and installs before the client can say a word.

Turn to the left, here's the shelving towers.  

Groovy Baseboards

Both bottoms of the towers are cold air returns.  So the baseboards are grooved for airflow.  When they are painted out white, they should be unnoticeable. 

Now turn around.  Here's the fridge area.

Custom & IKEA

The vertical cabinetry to the left of the fridge is custom.  The fridge area and above is IKEA.  Instead of trying to match perfectly, we're going with walnut doors on the custom cabinets.  Same as the shelves in the tower pictures above.


Did you see that coming?  I did.  It was on my calendar.  And I am in love. 

It is huge.  And it will feed 3 growing boys. 

This showed up, too.

What Am I?

And now it's here.

Follow That Red Line
Double Fist Pump

In love.  Serious love.  Love for life. 
Cause we're never buying new appliances again.

Steve's Love

It's not installed, but it's in the house.  And Steve has a major crush. 

Is it weird to love a kitchen this much!?!?

In the meantime, here's what the rest of the house looks like.

Dust Writing

Layers and layers and layers. 

Every time I'm at the house, I have to fight the urge to clean everything everywhere.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Our house is finishing up faster than I could have imagined.  I blink and something else is complete.  From the very beginning, the target move in date was June 30 and -o-m-g- we're gonna make it!!

Over the last few weeks, which feel like forever but are actually rushing by, I caught myself taking pictures of a few things I fell in love with by surprise. 

First love - the brick.

We reeeeeeeally love the matte, dusty finish of the exposed brick.  Our biggest fear was that we'd seal the wall and it would look glossy and wet forever.  I owe it to my better half for finding this post from to save the day.  

I immediately ran to Home Depot to buy the same sealer.

Low-Lustre...For Reals

And it worked!!  This is just one coat.

Yes, This Is Sealed!

Not glossy at all.  I had to run my hand over it in various places just to make sure it was actually sealed. 

That exposed brick detail will always be a warm fuzzy for me.  I still can't believe we did it ourselves!

Second love - transitions.


Or lack thereof?!?  I didn't plan or think or discuss thresholds or transitions even one bit.  Then I came into the house one night to see this.  And I love it.

Main Bathroom to 2nd Floor Hallway

That precision is a great detail.  I love it because I don't notice it :)

Third love - repetition.

View From Main Bathroom

I took this picture to show the tile installation, but when I showed it to Steve, I couldn't help but look at the staircase.  I love how the linear tiles match the linear floating steps. 

Of course, now that the grout is in the wall tiles, the lines aren't as defined.  Add a towel bar above the switches, some trim around the door and the railing to cover a few of those steps...and maybe the repetition won't be as eye-catching.  We'll see.  But I love that it's there if you can see it.

Off to take more pictures of the house.  In two weeks from today, we'll be back in for sure...and loving every minute of it!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Happened Today

Rome wasn't built in a day.  But my kitchen almost was.

It started here.


Then it continued.


And it finished here for the day.


(It's amazing to see the different light patterns in the same space!)

So when I "sit" on my living room "couch," this is what I see.

Main Floor

I'm exhausted tonight because of how excited I was each time I visited the house today.  I know we're not finished.  We can't move in yet.  It's totally not ready. 

But it's coming to life.  And I can see us living in the space!

Especially this guy.

George in the Pantry

He can reach the light switch...uh oh!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Anniversary White

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary.  And while we are stressed to the max with this renovation (more the living-in-the-apartment part versus the project going on at the house), we are in a celebratory mood.

If only because all we're seeing is white. 

Let me starting with the railings.

Here's where we left off...

Last Week

And here's where we are now.

This Week

Wrapped and ready to go with a pony wall railing up the side.

Side View

Then we drywalled it.


Taping and sanding is happening as I type.  Even more white :)

It's really thin, as a railing should be. 

Basement Entry

Drywalled & Partially Mudded

I think the finished width will be 3".  Since we have little kids who will treat these railings with lots of love in the form of fingerprints, scratches, bumps and kicks, we are going to trim the top with wood and paint it out white to match the wall.  For extra protection, the wood will waterfall down the edge you see here. 

2nd Floor Top of Stairs

Here you can see how they built it, using 2"x 2"s to make a skeleton.  Go back a few pictures to see the plywood cap and drywall on top of that.  Trust me, it's sturdy.  That was my biggest fear for a house with 3 boys.

2nd Floor Drywalled & Partially Mudded

And it's higher than the old railing.  We made sure it was to code, but to minimum.  The hallway is narrow enough, we didn't want to feel completely closed in. 

2nd Floor Hallway

You can see how the 2nd floor staircase is narrower than the opening for the main floor staircase.  We had to play with the railing and do a little overlap corner thing.

View from the Boys' Room

We also had to integrate the 2nd floor staircase bottom landing.  It looks jigsawed now, but once it's painted and the wood railing goes on, it will look great.

What else is white, you say?  How about the bathroom.

Where's Waldo?

Can you find the line of tile that's out of order?  (sorry for the bad lighting)


It's ok if you can't, because it's gone now.  A little white tile vertigo was to blame, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. 


Even whiter, now that it's been grouted.  It's a light grout.  So the lines are still there, but a bit more subtle.  I love.


Bad lighting.  But more white :)

Lastly, there's white in the form of IKEA.

Master Bedroom Closet

There are the PAX closet frames.  Not quite set exactly in place, but in the vicinity of where they will live. 


Turn your head to the right and this is the space we're left with for the bed.  It should be comfortable enough for our Queen bed and floating nightstands.

Kitchen Cabinets

Lastly, there's even a bit more white on the main floor.

Can you spot them?  That bunch of white rectangles in the background next to the window.  There they are.  There they are!!!  The kitchen!  So exciting. 

White is my new favorite color! :)