Monday, February 28, 2011

Bathroom vanities

After looking around and going through all of the options within the budget, we've picked out our bathroom vanities.  Ann should be ordering them soon, today or tomorrow I believe, so it will soon be official.  Here's what we picked out:

Downstairs bath - from Lowes

Upstairs guest bath - from Costco

Master vanity (we will be selecting a granite or marble top separately) - from Lowes

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Exterior paint colors

Another decision has been made....

This is what we're going for:

I'm in love with yellow doors now, and I love the dark gray (with a little bit of blue) with the yellow.  The colors we've picked are the same colors that were used on the that last picture:

Brick (Dark gray): Outerspace, Sherwin Williams
Trim (White): Toque White, Sherwin Williams
Door (Yellow): Showtime, Benjamin Moore

I'm excited to see what it is going to look like!  I'm feeling pretty bold...... 

Framing in progress...

On Friday, my parents and my brother came over to see the house and see the progress being made.  They've started framing (and they were also working yesterday and today - so they've probably made even more progress!).  Here are a few pictures of the progress.... (not the best quality - the sun was starting to set)

 The pantry

 Upstairs guest bath

The master closet and the dining area to the right of it

The entryway into the living areas.  To the left is a coat closet and to the right is the master closet

Kitchen area

Downstairs looking at the future garage and standing in the future bedrooms

More of the work downstairs - looking at the staircase that is staying to the far left

Looking at the master bedroom to the right (I think...)

Notice that the two large trees flanking the front are gone.  Also, the extra door has been moved and the front door we'll use has been relocated.  We also made the entryway porch a little smaller.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updated demolition pics....

It's amazing how much they can get done in just a couple of days....

I just got back from the house and here are a few pictures of the updated progress:

Demolition begins!

Here are some shots of the demolition as of Sunday.  It's all starting to move really fast so we're going to be doing our best to keep up with it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We passed!

Before demolition could begin on House #2, Arthur had to perform a lead paint test to ensure there was no lead paint in the house.  If there had been, it wouldn't have been a huge deal, but would have meant we'd have to spend more on safety procedures during demolition.  And we are all about saving money!  Here are the sites he performed the test and the results:

We passed!  Demolition has already started and I'll be back soon with pictures of the progress that's been made....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Entryway clean-up

Unfortunately, I'm home today with a fever.  I should be on my way to Nashville with some of my best friends to meet the newest baby in our group (2-month-old Wendy) but, alas, I can't put her in danger of catching what I have.  So I thought I would catch up with everything that has been going on at House #1 (the current house) and House #2 (the new house) by making a few blog posts.

Since it's already almost another weekend, I thought it was time for a quick update on what we worked on last weekend to spruce House #1 up:

I know it doesn't look like much but it definitely looks better.  We painted the black railings and painted the white trim around the door.  The railings were peeling pretty badly and you could pretty much see every single color they had ever been painted (blue, green, orange, and black of course).  Now, even if they still aren't perfectly smooth, they are all one color.  And it looks much better.  The white trim around the door was disgusting and could barely be called white anymore.  It was very dirty - but now it's bright and clean!  Our goal here isn't to make anyone think "Wow, I loved their entryway", but to make sure no one remembers the entryway for the WRONG reasons.  We don't want anyone leaving and thinking "man, that front door area was a mess".  Hopefully we've done our job!

We'll have a lot more updates after this weekend.  Kyle's brother is coming in town to help him get a lot done.  And we definitely still have a lot to do....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finalized kitchen plans

We took a break last weekend from working on our current house (I really feel like we need to come up with some kind of name for each house so I can have a consistent and short way of referring to each house - but my mind isn't feeling very creative right now so we'll hold off on that).  Anyways, we took a break from DIY projects to make some important decisions for the new house.

We spent all morning with Angela at Builders Surplus:

planning our future kitchen.  I posted about our inspiration kitchen here, and I kept this in mind while we made all of the hard decisions.  And what follows is a record of all the decisions and some discussion surrounding them.

To start with - all the cabinets are made by Wellborn.  This is what our contractors typically use, and also the same type of cabinets that we put in our current kitchen (which we have really liked).  So there was no doubt about what brand of cabinets we would use.

We chose the Hanover Cherry Full Overlay style of door in espresso:

Here is an example of this style in the espresso color (from the Wellborn website):

Why did we choose this?  Well, I knew I wanted a Shaker-style door.  Every kitchen that I've seen and liked in the last few years has had this style door (and I definitely frequent design blogs - one of my favorite pastimes!)  So that made the door style a very simple and painless decision.  The color choice was much more difficult.  Kyle had vetoed white cabinets (and my sister already has a beautiful white kitchen - when we already have such similar houses it's a good thing to keep the interiors different!) and I veer to the far other side when white is out of the option.  I love super dark, rich looking wood.  And the espresso finish had that look for me.  Originally my fear was that it would be TOO dark and close things in.  But I lost that fear once we decided on two islands and only one wall with upper cabinetry.  And, of course, my inspiration kitchen is a very good example of very-dark cabinets done well.

So now I'm brought back to why the color choice was more difficult.  Well, see, the espresso finish was more expensive.  It came in the slightly higher-end line and was only available in cherry (whereas other styles were available in maple).  We went back and forth between the espresso and another color, Sienna, which we could get for less.  At the end of the day it came down to two questions: What is in our budget and which would I be most comfortable with?  After pricing everything out, the espresso came out just at our budget.  And what made my decision easy was thinking about how I would feel after we left the showroom.  With the sienna cabinets, I knew I would be worried and second-guessing the decision until the cabinets arrived.  And my worst fear was looking at them and thinking "That's just not what I wanted".  But with the espresso cabinets, I knew I would be very excited and looking forward to the day the cabinets were installed.  So we went with my vision!  Luckily, everyone handled my slow decision-making very well.  Kyle wasn't surprised of course, he knows that even when I go shopping for clothes I'll start heading to the register and by the time I'm there I've put back half of what I'd already decided to buy (and I'm sure he loves that).  But I'm not known for making decisions quickly or easily.  Much less huge decisions like this.  But I'm really excited and can't wait to see them installed.

Now on to the layout choices.  This wasn't very hard since we already had a general layout from the floorplans our architect put together.  Here are 3D views the computer put together for us (imagine this with the espresso cabinets, all stainless steel appliances, and light colored granite):

That back wall in the first picture is where the pantry is.  Imagine a door in that wall.  Also imagine a microwave in that empty cut out space to the left of the range.

I mentioned that this was easy to put together.  The hardest part was coming up with a plan that satisfied the actuary in me who demands symmetry.  Originally the range wasn't exactly centered between the two islands and the islands weren't centered enough in the room.  But Angela did a great job working with us and getting the cabinets we needed to make it symmetrical. 

Here are the dimensions and sketches:
Floorplan from above

Cabinets on the back wall

The cabinets on the island that is by the back wall, these are the drawers that face the sink and dishwasher on the other island.

The island near the front of the kitchen - this shows the trashcan pullout, sink, and dishwasher - faces the other island

The island near the front of the kitchen - these are the cabinets that face out to the living area

A few notes regarding our layout choices:

- After talking to my sister, my mom, Ann, and reading other opinions, I was sold on the fact that deep drawers are much more convenient than base cabinets.  So we decided to put drawers instead of base cabinets where we could.  The back wall with all the cabinets has two big, deep drawers at the very left.  These will be used to store all our pots and pans (and maybe a few baking dishes).  The drawers on the far island will be used to store a lot of our dishes (convenient since they are right behind the dishwasher).
- We used a few of the specialty cabinets we love from our current house (remember, we have the same types of cabinets - Wellborn).  We knew that without a doubt we wanted a double trashcan.  We love the double trashcan we currently have to the left of our sink.  So that's what's to the left of the sink in the new floorplan.  And we really like the spice drawer and cookie sheet cabinets we have flanking our range in our kitchen now.  So, when we were trying to get the range centered between the two islands, I mentioned that we would love those same cabinets there.  And it fit in perfectly!
-  I am in awe of the islands.  Really.  They are both 7' x 3' and I am already daydreaming about baking and cooking on them.
-  The space behind the back island isn't very large.  It's pretty much wide enough for someone to squeeze behind a stool.  But we're fine with that because there really isn't much of a reason for anyone to need to go back there.  They'll just walk in between the two islands instead.
-  I'm so happy not to be dealing with any lost storage space in corners.  Our kitchen now has two lazy susans, and while I know they are the best use of space for a corner, I still get really frustrated with them.  It's hard find the right things to store in them that won't get caught while you turn it around.

And one last closing thought before I end this insanely long post.  The kitchen was one area of the house I had finally come to a decision regarding what I wanted (with Kyle's input, of course).  So by the time we got to the kitchen planner's desk I had a very specific image in my mind of what our kitchen would look like.  This was both a blessing and a curse.  It was a blessing because it caused the planning and tweaking and changes to go pretty quickly and smoothly.  It was a curse since, of course, what fit my image was more expensive.  We were lucky enough that what I wanted was just within the budget.  But it caused a bit of anxiety when wondering if I would have to let go of the vision I had.  However, after all is said and done, I can truly say this is pretty much my dream kitchen.  Now I just can't wait for it to become reality!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lots and lots of painting....

We have continued our productivity in getting our house ready to be put on the market (we're already running out of weekends!)  Last week we finished up painting the closet doors:

Not sure if you can actually tell a difference from the last pictures I posted, but these pictures have three coats of white paint.  I never would have guessed it would take that much paint but we finally finished it all up.

While my closet was a mess, I decided it was a good chance to organize everything.  This is what it looks like now (or, well, last Saturday after I first cleaned.  I'm trying my hardest to keep it clean.... really.....):

We still aren't quite finished with painting, but we got a HUGE project out of the way this weekend.  Here are a few pictures:



And we can't forget this huge part of the bathroom:

(the ceiling)

Basically, our bathroom desperately needed a makeover.  Even if you happen to like the teal color it was before (we weren't the biggest fans), the paint was in poor condition with discoloring and peeling in places.  The bathroom was one of the few rooms we didn't paint when we moved in (not really sure why, except that we just weren't up to painting anything else) and we've been talking about painting it since then.  And, now that we're selling, it was finally time!  Interesting story on how we got the nice beige color for the walls... My sister mentioned that she had some extra paint from their house (remember that last year they bought and remodeled the house next door to our new house) that we could use.  So we went over, they gave us a huge bucket full of paint, and she assured me it would look good in the bathroom.  So, as we're painting, we're both talking about how curious we are to see what color it's going to end up!  It worked out well I think.  Nice, neutral color - good for selling a house.

And the ceiling - what a project.  I'll give credit where it's due though - Kyle did most of it.  First he had to clean the whole ceiling (I did help a bit there!), and then he had to paint it.  We love the beams our ceiling has but they sure do make any kind of painting a huge pain.  It looks great though - really makes a difference in the bathroom.  They needed painting even more than the walls.  

We still have a few more, smaller, painting projects that we're going to hopefully finish up this weekend.  And lots of other projects to get done as well.  Slowly but surely we're marking things off our To Do list.  Wish us luck!