First set of railings done!

I am so very glad that we went with the cable railing for the banister over the kitchen! It is modern but the feeling is so light and open.


Countertops, Round 1.

I dragged my feet on ordering our Master Bath cabinet, so it's still production. Meaning, that there will be a Round 2 in about 2 weeks.

But the results of Round 1, well, I couldn't be happier!


Bath #3:

I'll do a whole product round up and why we did certain things when it's all done!


We've got toilets!



It's been 2 crazy weeks of carpentry!

It all stared on April 7th. After weeks of emptiness and dust and more dust and more emptiness, the house came back to life and has been buzzing ever since.

The "trades" are all working alongside each other, trying not to get in each other's way nor hold each other up. This has to get done before that but that has to get done after that. It's a like a well oiled machine at the moment and there is one man who is responsible for all of that.

Lucky for us he's also a craftsman and a really good woodworker. Not only is he managing all of this craziness, he's in it. Everyday. And he handiwork is everywhere.

The tall linen storage for the master bath:

The built-in cubbies in bath #3, alongside an Ikea hack vanity:

The powder room vanity:

The stair railing:

And the banister:


Phase 2 resubmitted

Yup, back to the city with answers to their comments an questions.

We'll hear back on April 30th!


Uncovering the kitchen

There she is! It's been a while!

Did I mention I want to get the new countertops for the kitchen now? And cut out this last remaining country details and add custom doors that match the rest to this weird nook now? Didn't think our scope could creep much more.

So much for the breakfast nook upholstery. Six months under cover has left it moldy and unusable. That's ok, I wanted to check it up anyway. 


White Dove

That's what it's called. White Dove by Benjamin Moore.

I did my research and across the board, this color is loved.

So we went with it.

And it's looking pretty dreamy!


Watching bath #3 come to life

I have been fascinated watching this process unfold.

This Francisco dumping water into the shower pan about 6 hours after it was installed. Who knew you had to test it? But yes, makes sense.

Sadly, it leaked. The closet in the boys room downstairs has new sheetrock on the ceiling now. But better now than later. So the tilers had to re-do and we had to re-schedule the shower pan inspection.

Three days delay but we passed. They can get to the tiling!

And the vanities...

And then the walls...

And then the grout...

I love it. The wall tile and the shower pan herringbone.

BUT, I do I wish I had told them that I wanted the threshold (water barrier) to be the floor tile and not the wall tile to as to have a seamless monochromatic floor color. Now I know to tell them for the master bath.

And I am thinking a darker grout would have been a better look, kind of like the image without the grout.

All a learning lesson.


Making a custom powder room vanity

At one point early on, I had a vision for the vanity in the powder room. It's a small space so I din't want to take up a lot of it with a full vanity and pedestal sink. I wanted something floating and wall mounted. I showed John a picture and said "This is the basic idea."

And his interpretation: build a floating vanity out of our old lumber that used to be holding up our house. That's him milling the lumber in our back yard.

Then it looked like this for a while:

Then like this:

And then:

Stay tuned for the final reveal next week!


First shower walls!

And there are the tub shower walls!


First sighting of the floor tile!

I did something really lazy: I picked one porcelain tile that I love and it's going in all 3 bathrooms and the laundry room.

Here's the reason: I am trying to create cohesiveness in a house that was all over the map in terms of style, functionality, space planning and floor layout. It is still not perfect but it's really good and a HUGE improvement to how it was before.

One way to create cohesiveness is to stick with a very tight color palette that gets carried throughout every room.

Each bath has very distinct and unique features which will stand out against the foundation of the gray floor.

For months I carried around the sample in order to color match it to the other textures and finishes in each room. And then the boxes of tile sat in the garage for the last 6 weeks, just waiting.

And now, it's in. And it's even better than I imagined.


Doors are in!

In the morning they were leaning in the future places.

In the afternoon they were all in!


How I assembled the laundry cabinets

About 3 weeks ago, I knew it was time to get serious about the cabinets. From day one, I knew we would be using IKEA cabinets in the laundry room. For one, you can't beat the price, anywhere. And two, the look is clean and simple. And three, I was able to get my long, deep drawers which are by far a better choice for storage that shelves with doors, in my opinion. I knew the style, the design and that it all measured 24" deep. Standard depth, no other option.

Then I measured. And I measured again.

And I looked at the plans. And yes indeed, the cabinets were drawn at 18". Which means the door to the powder room was built to allow an 18" deep cabinet, not a 24" one.

So I stressed myself out, looked at other options, thought about just ordering something cheap from Home Depot that would still cost over $1500 and then I just ended up back where I had started: I wanted the IKEA cabinets.

Solution: make the door frame smaller to the powder room and order a new door.

And so we did. Actually John did. And I went shopping.

I came home with a crazy amount of boxes, all of which are not shown below, and knew that I had some solid hours of assembly ahead of me. I could have had John assemble them, but when you pay your contractor his hourly rate of $65 to assemble IKEA cabinets then your IKEA cabinets are not really that inexpensive anymore. And besides, I like the assembly part. I know a lot of people loath Ikea furniture for that reason. I'm a little strange. I get a huge amount of satisfaction when I have indeed completed the task.

My husband took care of the boys and I headed over to a dark and empty house with a flashlight and set of tools. The guys had left one of their work lights on for me and I found a good Pandora station and got to work.

At 7:35PM it looked like this:

At 9:05PM, it was all done:

And by the end of the next day, it looked like this:

PS Those are the floors tiles. I love them!

PSS The old laundry door is not wasted by the way nor a major cash loss. It's put aside and will be the door we use for the storage space in Phase 2. I like it when things turn out that way.


Trim tools

Trim tools are big. And need lots of space. Luckily, we had some of that.

And then there is the "throw everything else in it" room. High fixtures, vanities, hardware, oh my. It just keeps arriving and right now we have quite a stockpile.

A week from today, this room may just look totally different.