Construction Update – Surviving the move and Kitchen Progress

March 31st, 2014

Okay okay, I must beg your forgiveness on not posting for the past 5 weeks. I’ve gotten emails, texts, and calls from friends and readers begging for more updates. The beat goes on, so they say, and I’ve been on quite the ride the past 5 weeks. We had to move out of our rental before the house was done. I’ll tell you right now that this is a logistical nightmare. Even more so with 2 small children and a husband who is busy finishing a house.

If you want to hear all about it… read below, otherwise, skip to the pictures of the kitchen build!

So for 3 weeks were were without stable housing. I took the boys and went and stayed with my parents for nearly a week. This was great… and not so great. They live an hour from the house build, and with so much going on, I really needed to be close by the build site. Also with limited child care available, it was nearly impossible to work. And work is kind of a priority. So the boys and I headed back to the construction site and found a hotel a few miles away. Not quite a vacation, but not terrible either, we were able to get somewhat settled in a hotel, and have our regular babysitter help with the kids (a Godsend), and I was able to work once again. With an unknown closing date, we weren’t too thrilled to be paying for a hotel for days and days. So after a week, we packed up again and headed to a friend’s house for another week. Once we got the OK to move in, I was beyond thrilled, however the excitement was somewhat dampened by the fact that Mr. Project was going on a business trip early the following morning. Not so exciting being in an empty new house with just the kids and very limited toys/clothes/cooking implements/work supplies (who needs a desk anyway??). Not to mention no furniture, TVs, INTERNET (kill me!), and towels. Needless to say there were many break-downs most of which were me, not the children. Mr. Project was gone for 2 days, and in a twist of fate, we all caught a stomach bug upon his arrival back home… luckily I had found some towels and the washer and dryer were installed before he left. Unluckily, I was pretty much down for 2 days, and Mr. Project was right there after me.

After recovering, the past two weeks+ have been spent unpacking, organizing, moving everything into the house from the garage, and of course working. So blogging has been low on the priority list. It’s also been a bit overwhelming. So many pictures to edit, and wondering how exactly to divide the updates into digestible bits. At the end of the day its just easier to go get cozy in bed and rest then to commit to blogging.

But here I am, back and ready to get all these exciting pictures and moments documented. I’m just going to start small, and hopefully with momentum get  a lot posted in a short time period. Lets get started with the kitchen build!

To get an idea for the layout and design of the kitchen check out my Kitchen Inspiration & Style Guide. Looking back at it, we really did follow this pretty closely.

Mr. Project built all the cabinets for the entire kitchen+island. So these pics are all the various stages of install.

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First step was the wall cabinets where the range goes. This image is missing one last drawer cabinet on the far right. This was a little tricky in that the cabinets had to be installed before the countetops could be installed before the wall trim could be installed. So a lot was hinging on getting these cabinets in place.

The adjacent appliance wall was a BEAST. We were going for these built-in looking columns which funny enough required building actual columns. So build them Mr. Project did! 4 columns total.

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Here you can see the finished column on the right, and kind of see the one on the left. kitchen-progress-columns2-theprojectgirl

Mr. Project building one of the center columns using MDF (full weight), and 2x4s.

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The Project House – Custom Trim update

January 25th, 2014

I should title this post “Mr. Project is the most amazing person, I’ve ever met. Lets see all the beautiful things he’s created for this house” But it got kind of wordy there at the end ;) . But seriously, Mr. Project is so incredibly talented and hardworking, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to see his handiwork all around us in this new house. He did nearly all the millwork/trim/carpentry in this house, needless to say, he hasn’t been sleeping much.

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When we designed the house, I wanted an entry way that had door portals so you felt you were actually inside of a room instead of a wide hallway. I also wanted a formal room right off the entry for a piano (which we don’t have yet), and a little seating area.

I thought about having columns built out to separate the spaces, but decided that columns were more formal than the look I was going for. I wanted to keep things simple, okay maybe simple isn’t the word, I wanted to keep all the lines very concise and all the trim work very flat. So a lot of detail, but simple detail. Instead of columns I went with trimmed out portals, so the trim work is all around you when you walk through. I carried this portal idea throughout the main floor, and all of the portals are 18″ deep.

Mr. Project installed all of the trim in the entryway, including the “tongue and groove”  ceiling. This tongue and groove has a big “V” groove at the seams.

Our front door is one of my favorite features of the house. We had seen a similar door in a home being built, but it had stain glass “X”s. I actually found that door at Simpson Doors, and I had my door provider price out the sourced door, and a custom built door, and the custom built door was about 25% cheaper than the pre-made one. The only difference was that the “X”s would be made of wood. It turned out so lovely, and so much a statement piece. I love it so much.
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I wanted an perfect paneled wall  (no doors etc.) in the entry as a backdrop for my entry table vignette. I also made sure there was a plug so I could have lamps etc. there. theprojecthouse-paneled-entry-wall

Moving onto the formal living/music room – We had more time than we expected to finish up trim projects (due to Christmas and new years keeping subs away), and Mr. Project asked if I had any other trim projects I wanted done. I sheepishly said that I wanted a full paneled wall in the living room, and he was happy to oblige. I think this wall took him 3-4 hours. I’m super excited for this room as the paneled wall will be white (all the millwork in the house will be white), and the wood floor will be next to it, and on the opposite wall is a huge picture window that doesn’t get direct light. So it will be a very lovely place to take photographs. theprojecthouse-paneled-wall

Moving to the great room… We had our builder do most of the ceiling work in the house. They build this beautiful coffered arch ceiling. It turned out so beautiful, it looks quite formal now, but once it’s painted white, it should look a little more casual beach-house. Mr. Project framed out the doors with trim above, which I think will look quite striking once there are curtains on them. The doors will be painted black. I love me some black doors. Also from this view, you can see just a peek-a-boo of the kitchen windows being trimmed out. Those won’t be finished till the kitchen cabinets are all in, so I didn’t take a picture of that space.

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Here’s another detail view of the ceiling. The planking is the same tongue and groove trim boards.
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I pulled out my wide-angle lens for this shoot – so you get a much better view of the linen built-ins. These are going to be painted a very pale ice aqua color. Mr. Project built this unit, and it’s just phenomenal and really makes the space look incredible.
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Here is one of the door portals that I was talking about. We recessed the bedroom doors and created this trimmed-out portal effect, complete with a light in the top. All of this will be white, but the door itself will be black. Mr. Project wanted these portals to look really unique and so he mitered all the outside corners. This was a considerable amount of work, but makes them look very clean, and different.

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Here’s the master bedroom portalL
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This is what the doors look like (and the regular casing) – and I snapped this picture because this door is a pocket door – the first one that was installed and it made me so happy!
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The nursery got some board & batten. I wanted a more masculine skinny stripe for the verticals, and I think it turned out perfectly. This will actually be painted NOT WHITE haha, it will be a mid gray color, and the window trim will all be the same color. theprojecthouse-paneled-bedroom

This room has a little niche, so Mr. Project added these beefy shelves. I can’t wait to decorate!!

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Mr. Project paneled out the master window wall. The builder did the ceiling planking, and there will also be some cool beam work that will make that portion of the ceiling look like rafters/attic floor.
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Mr. Project suggested a planked ceiling in the master bath, and I was over the moon excited! I’m thinking about painting it a light gray color.

 

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I’m so loving our master bathroom. The marble and mosaic floor turned out incredibly, and I love all the trim details (not done yet!).theprojecthouse-bathroom-trim

Mr. Project paneled out the bathtub (with waterproof/resistant material called Medex). I’m so happy we went this route instead of tile up the side. I think it makes the space look so romantic. He also paneled the window out (still missing the bottom trim piece). This space will have a pretty rectangle chandelier over it. (see Master Bath Style Guide)

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I couldn’t resist a detail shot of the floor:theprojecthouse-tile-border-hexagon

Mr. Project paneled out this portal just a little differently than the others due to the tile placement. I LOVE it! He used this 3″x.5″ pre-cut trim material for this door, and I love the proportion. He’s also going to panel out a the mirror part of the wall with a space specifically for the mirror etc.theprojecthouse-door-trim

And the closet system all done and trimmed out.

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I love all my drawers!
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And then onto the basement family room… We created a similar room-divider space in our last house to visually divide two spaces, and decided that we loved the look so much, we wanted to incorporate it into our design here. Mr. Project made the base cabinets, and they have doors on both sides. He also used these gorgeous solid live-edge walnut slabs for the tops, and then built these beefy columns to reach up to the beam that we had the framers build. I love how it makes the space seem not so big and boring.

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And of course the focal point of the room, is the fireplace planking. All the corners are mitered and it looks awesome. Mr. Project just built a reclaimed lumber mantel for the space and it looks amazing. The wood here is going to be painted gray, with white shelves and cabinets.

theprojecthouse-wood-planked-mantleAnd last, but not least, my craft closet! Lots of shelves, and this bin/cubby hutch in the middle with a space for my big elfa drawer units (from the container store).

 

theprojecthouse-craft-closetSoooooo that’s the trim work/millwork/carpentry projects in the house. There are a few more little things, and the ceiling work has to be finished, but for the most part we’re really close to being able to paint! So so exciting! I’m loving seeing it start to look like the home I imagined, and I really just can’t wait to move in. Actually I don’t believe it’s ours, I’m going to have to pinch myself every morning when I wake up and walk through this beautiful home.

Post post notes:

*I posted about our built-in bench/shelving earlier this week, so it doesn’t appear in this post.

*More updates coming soon, so keep checking back. for daily updates subscribe to my Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

*To see past updates – view my Canyon View House Category.

*If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, just leave a comment!

 

The Project House – Tile update part 1

January 23rd, 2014

Usually when you build a house, you don’t source your own tile – you go through your contractor or builder. And if you want anything custom-looking, you pay way more than you should. However, we are doing our home build as a “Cost-Plus” build. This basically means that we pay our builder/contractor a flat rate to build/subcontract the house, and then all the bills/invoices are paid by us without any sort of mark-up. This has several benefits, one of which is that we can provide anything (or any subcontractors) that we want for the house and at the end of the day there isn’t any sort of credit/allowance issues that we have to deal with. It basically gives us complete artistic freedom to do anything to the house and any changes/upgrades etc without having to deal with logistical issues. For us creatives, it’s the perfect way to build a house. We have total control over the spending, materials, and subcontractors, but we don’t have to actually manage the build, pay invoices, or make sure people show up. It also allows us to do some serious budget shopping to save money in areas where people normally spend the most.

Anyway, back to the tile… When we were in the design phase of the build, we visited a local tile design center. We happily looked through tile samples and found 3 that we liked a lot for the kitchen backsplash. The sales associate looked up the price on her computer, and the tile that we liked best was $93.00/sq. ft. No misplaced decimals… 93 bones! It was fabulous tile, but not even remotely close to our budget. I knew I could find something else that worked just as well for a fraction of the price. I started searching online, and went to several online tile retailers to see what the prices and selection was available.

It’s interesting buying something like tile online. Unlike things like 2x4s and drywall, finishes for a home are an emotional/design purchase. You want to connect in someway with the surfaces that you are going to interact with on a daily basis. As a creative person I’m completely picky about my environment, so I have to be 100% happy with the products going into my home. I was a little nervous about the prospect of buying my tile online, but I figured if I could look at sample tiles, and save a lot of money, it was worth the risk of possibly being dissatisfied and having to look elsewhere. I’ll tell you right now, that I have been so incredibly impressed with the style and quality of every tile product that I ordered. Even Mr. Project, who is very hard to impress, has commented numerous times on the quality of the tile that we ordered from BuildDirect.

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When I came across BuildDirect.com I found exactly what I was looking for. They had a great selection of 12×24 floor tile that I wanted for several areas of the house. They also had white subway tile, glass subway tile, and even 12×24 sheets of white marble – all the classic items I was wanting to put in my home. And the best part was that the prices were better than I’d seen at the other online stores (in most cases by a lot). I ordered some free samples (first 5 are free including shipping!) and I was so impressed with their tile samples, and customer service that I knew they were a perfect fit for our build. Knowing that their product was perfect for the look and style of our home, I took a chance and contacted them about being a blog sponsor.  They were excited to see a big project like our Project House unfold in real time, and we worked out some details to make it all happen. Throughout the whole tile process (ordering, receiving, ordering more last minute, quick shipments, and installation etc), I’ve been impressed over and over again by their great customer service, and quality of product. I really could not recommend them more, and not just because they were kind enough to sponsor my blog, but also because I know that if you order tile from them, you will have a great experience.

Okay so really, onto the (drool-worthy) tile.

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About a week after ordering my tile, I started to get boxes… and palettes (I ordered a lot of tile). Getting your first box is always the most exciting, and my first was this GORGEOUS ice mist 3×6 glass subway tile. I was really nervous about this color – I decided on this tile at the last minute and didn’t have time to get a sample. So I was just crossing my fingers that the color was correct. The color that the BuildDirect website shows was a little more green then I was hoping for, but I decided to just go with it and hope for the best. When I got the box and opened it, I jumped with joy because the color was absolutely PERFECT. Seriously perfect. And for a designer to say a color is perfect means a lot. If you’re looking for a great ice-aqua color glass tile, this is the tile for you. I also ended up ordering the same tile but in 4×12 for the boy’s shower/toilet room. I haven’t received it yet, but it should be here in a few days.

The next day I received this beautiful Marble Basket-weave tile. This tile is so beautiful in person. I love mosaic tile, and really love how the basket weave mixes just a little contrasting black into the pattern. I also was excited to find a basket-weave in marble as most of the ones I’ve seen are porcelain.

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Maybe an hour after receiving the basket-weave tile, a truck pulled up with 2 palettes of tile… thats a lot of tile. Nearly 3000 lbs!

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I could hardly wait to open it and see what it all was. It was seriously like Christmas!

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After carting (literally using a hand cart – well not me – but the very  nice neighbor) a few boxes in the house, I opened up this glorious 12×24 white marble tile. So pretty and so heavy. I ordered a lot of it too – for the master shower, floor, and tub surround.

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