Tag Archives: Remodeling

Some of the Upstairs Rooms…

25 Aug

I haven’t really focused on telling you much about the upstairs once we finished installing the hardwood floors, but let me circle back to that for a minute.  Like the other rooms I want to show you clean ‘After’ pictures without furnishings to see the difference.  I’ll later post furnished and decorated pics.  I have two before pictures –  the first is of the upstairs landing and the other is one of the guest rooms.  This particular guest bedroom had built-in furniture including a desk, headboard for the beds and the twin bed frames.  It was really horrible!  Formica built-in furniture, does that not remind you of a hospital or worse?  These things were built to last a lifetime however, because they were tough to demo.  Once the built-in furniture was torn out some patching on the walls was necessary where they were damaged from the removal.  The landing was updated with the same wrought iron balusters that are on the stairways.  The biggest improvement upstairs was painting the rooms a nice, soothing color (no more peachy/orange) and of course the hard wood floors throughout the second floor.

Blitz week is finished!

15 Jun

Believe it or not we are actually on the countdown to moving upstairs at long last.   The past two weeks were hugely productive and we have completed everything necessary in order to move in.  Exterior painting, HVAC rework, last bit of drywall repairs, paint touch-up, stone front steps, interior blinds, hardwood floors, last bit of electrical, stair balusters and rails all wrapped up yesterday!!    We have come a long way so next up start looking for posts on all before and after pictures.  I’ve shown some reveals all along but am almost ready now to post them all.  Our move in date is Monday!  The house was cleaned today and I can’t tell you how nice it is to smell fresh cleaner smells instead of paint and epoxy.  It’s a good thing I’m a beach person and don’t mind having dirty feet because that’s what it’s been like living here.  It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of the shower and dressed in clean clothes, by the time you walk around upstairs your feet have a light coat of dust all over them and your flip-flops have that dusty toe outline – and that’s from being inside, not out in the sand!  After the end of long days, once in a while I’d drag myself upstairs carrying a towel, nightgown and a glass of wine, wearing flip-flops like I was going to a public shower to take a few minutes of relaxation in the bath tub.  It was worth it though, believe me, but I am ready to start living normally again and having a clean and orderly home.  So two days of little details to attend to, I need to finalize the furniture placement of the things we’re moving from the old house and then 8:00 am Monday we move!  I certainly had moments along the way where I was super excited about this house but couldn’t quite emotionally let go of our old home.  That home holds a lot of great memories and we poured a lot of ourselves into fixing it up, but we are now attached to this house and plan to start making happy memories here as well.  We already have during this process.  I had planned that we’d have a house-warming party as soon as we are unpacked and settled, but right on the heels of that I think we’ll be hosting a wedding reception.  Yes, my sister-in-law is getting married and I think we’re having the reception here.  That will be so much fun!!  We love to entertain so what better opportunity?

Great! The Granite gets here…

5 May

Today was a big day!  Our granite has arrived and is being installed.  This has become a really high-tech process.  The guy came to the house to do the template and used a machine that electronically measures and calculates the radius of the cuts by touching the areas against the wall and at the edge of the cabinet base with an electronic wand.  The machine then stores the measurements and translates it into a CAD drawing and from that they produce the template.  I proofed the template last week and today it is here.  We have a really big island in our kitchen measuring 9 x 5 feet.  It took a complete slab of granite to cover the island.  Getting that into the kitchen however was quite a feat of strength.  You know they move these things around at the granite yard with cranes and lifts.  The company sent three crews and a supervisor here this morning to deliver and install.   Eleven men gathered here to heft the granite top from the truck to the dolly, into the house, down the hall and finally onto the island base.  Here’s some pictures.  I must say that they were a super professional crew and definitely know their stuff.  I will add them to my list of preferred contractors.  Crowe Custom Countertops are the best!  Here you can see the crew bringing in the granite and some after shots.

Color Palette Choices…

30 Apr

The whole house color palette is now selected and the painting is under way.  Here are the colors I went with.  Choosing the paint color is always a tough one.  It really is a good idea to go ahead and get the little sample sizes and paint a section of the wall with it just to check if you’re the least bit uncertain.  One of the colors that I really liked ended up looking totally grey when it was on the wall, not a sage green like I wanted so it got scrapped, but the color swatch didn’t show up the grey that much.  I think contrast is good between your wall, floor and furniture colors.  You want what’s in the room to stand out against the palette of color that is the wall.  I wanted a subtle change of color from room to room.  My idea with the colors I chose was to have earthy, but soft shades, a couple of rooms in the dark brown, but only where light would allow a dark painted wall.  I also wanted to keep them in a warm tone to go with my Tuscan theme.  I am showing the full palette first.  Next are the three darkest shades.  The darkest brown is the library wall color, then the master bathroom and the living room, dining room and foyer.   In the next palette the first color shown is the hall and stairwell color.  This lighter green is also on the rounded parts of the ceiling in the foyer and living room that offsets the darker sage of the walls.  The silvery blue color is for one of the guest bedrooms and bath.  The third color here is probably my favorite.  It is the color for the den, kitchen, laundry and upstairs landing.  It is a very soft green/grey tone depending on the lighting.  It goes great with the stone in the den.  The last color palette shows the colors for the master bedroom and the rest of the guest bedrooms and baths.  The off white shade is what I used for the top ceilings just to give a little variation from ceiling white to make the crown moulding pop somewhat.   I picked ten different colors for the whole house and only one of them ‘Beach House’ was a no go.  It just looked sort of muddy when it was on the wall so it was replaced with the Buff.  Like I said try it on a wall in different types of light before you paint the whole room.  One bonus to painting our bathroom dark brown is that it has ‘fixed’ our window issue.  I have not been in love with the beveled glass windows in the bathroom because they have a mauve glass pane in them, but after painting the walls brown the mauve panes actually take on that shade and look brown now!!  Good thing, because we were headed for new windows….now my husband won’t have to know that!!

A Travertine Reboot…

15 Apr

This was a decision that came a little late in the game because when we got the house everything looked so bad that the travertine in the hall and foyer looked great so we thought let’s keep it.  It was one less thing to have to do so that was our original plan but after all the other new flooring was installed the existing tiles looked bad.  To begin with they were not installed with the precision and expertise that Chris has with his work.  The more familiar you become with floor installation the more noticeable these things are.  First off travertine has a much smaller grout line than does ceramic or porcelain tile or even slate.  It is typically installed with a 1/16 or a 1/8 inch grout line, very tiny, and unsanded grout is used instead of the typical sanded grout.  The more we looked at the existing floor the more we thought we would regret keeping it.  Everything else is new and fresh and done right but this floor had huge grout lines and it was uneven.  If you stood at the bedroom door and looked down the hall to the kitchen you could see the waviness in the lines and the cuts were uneven.  There would be a 4 inch piece on one side and on the other side would be a little chip so we decided to 86 the floors and do it right.  When the tile crew tore out the old tile the foyer came out as expected.  You could see some residue from the previous thin set but it was pretty much a flat surface.  The hallway, on the other hand, came out in huge chunks.  It looked like the surface of the moon and just awful.  They had to pour a concrete layer as well as leveling compound to adjust for all of the unevenness – just a huge ordeal.  Here are the pictures of the ‘before’ travertine, the concrete floor of the ‘betweens’ and the new ‘after’.

Den Fireplace and Built In Bookcases Reveal…

10 Apr

Like I said in my last post we’ve been working on the house for months but just now are you able to see the real transformation.  It takes time!  This is the biggest transformation to date – the den fireplace and built ins!  If you’re in my age group you probably remember playing with ‘Dawn’ dolls.  They were the very small dolls, smaller than Barbie, and they had really long straight hair.   My cousin and I would play with Dawn and her friends for hours.  They made a super cool ‘Modern’ apartment for Dawn.  It had contemporary furniture and a round fireplace, that as kids, seemed super cool.  The builder of this house must have been channeling their Dawn doll memories when the put in the fireplace in the den because even though this house was built in 1991 it had a very 70ish style fireplace.  The builder seemed to like round edges a lot because there are tons of them everywhere that we are replacing.  I don’t like round edges – it seems retro and contemporary and my tastes lie in the more traditional styles.  We chose to replace the fireplace with stone, dry stacked and interspersed with field stone.  Note to anyone planning to stone a fireplace.  You must pick out all the material yourself and stay on top of the project the entire time.  Our stone mason did beautiful work, but I had selected the stack and field stone from the stone yard and he was responsible for the flagstone for the hearth.  He chose Crab Orchard flagstone “because that goes with everything and that’s what everyone uses”.  Well I had been out for a good bit of the time they were laying the stone and came back and found this orangey looking flag stone in the drive.  That’s what they were planning to use for the hearth.  We really went round and round on this one because he had paid for the material and brought it here and if we changed it he would have to budget another whole day of labor.  It was the end of the work day and he wanted to wrap up our project that day.   I had to hold firm and even get a little ugly and made him wait and continue the next day with different stone.  I went to the stone yard and selected Hickory stone for the hearth.  That was the right color to go with the stack and field pieces.  Believe me you don’t really want to mix some of these stone colors.  That would have ruined the look of our new fireplace.  We decided to build new book cases and stain them the same Spanish walnut color as the kitchen cabinetry.  This is the style needed to complement our Tuscan theme that we’re creating elsewhere in the house.  Our house was crying for this fireplace and built-in makeover!  Here it is!!

Kitchen Preview…

3 Apr

After months of planning, demolition, design and construction you are finally seeing the transformation take place!  We have gone from a dated, neglected house to a construction zone – well technically we’re still in a construction zone, but now when we leave our basement quarters and walk upstairs and look around we can envision the new house!  It is coming together.  The kitchen is complete with all plumbing and electrical in, cabinets installed and painted and slate floors installed.  All that’s left is the counter tops and appliances and they should be installed in around two weeks or so.  Oh and paint…yes when you look at the pictures and see a few drywall holes and patched up paint, well we’re doing that too, but that’s the very last touch.  That’s progress!!  Here’s the peak.  I can’t wait to show you that’s why you’re seeing each stage, not just the befores and afters – all the in betweens.

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