Sunday, September 30, 2007

Exterior color fun

Well, this is fun for us anyway..! There haven't been many photos of the exterior of the house recently, mainly because not much has changed. Our builder has requested our exterior colors, but we've been struggling a bit. I always imagined a stronger base color with lighter trims. Originally, we were thinking very dark, but ultimately have come to admire a light neutral similar to the following.

Our designer was in town this week and he suggested a true Mediterranean palette, being mainly white. This was an image that our architect originally sent through for inspiration which essentially flips the color palette with a light base and slightly warmer trims.

The latter would certainly require a lot of vegetation, but we were hoping for this anyway. Here is an exterior image (prior to the various indecisive paint swatches that now covered the front walls).

After looking at everything in one place (see this blog is useful for something), we seem to be leaning one way. For fun, we would love to see if others would lean the same way!

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's looking like a house (again)

Those words have been used here a few times already. Truth be told, we seem to say it to each other, albeit with a bit more emphasis, virtually every time that we are at the site now. There must be another way to convey our excitement, but apparently we are just that dull.

The cabinets arrived on the site on Tuesday. As expected, we scurried out to the house to find all sorts of boxes ready to be unloaded and installed. Boxes in the shapes of tall cabinets, short cabinets, drawers, mirrors, and all sorts of other treasures were divvied up into their respective rooms of installation. This truly feels like Christmas.

A mid-day trip on Thursday revealed a great deal of progress had been made on the installation. The kitchen and mudroom are taking shape very quickly. The installer is a lovely guy who is fanatical about getting it right. No doubt that this is the guy that you want on the job.

View from mudroom through to kitchen (sorry for the ladder in the way...)

It's a pretty busy place at the moment between the installers, the electricians, and the framers on the outside pavilion. And in the midst of all that commotion, I heard someone quietly proclaim "let there be light". And there was! The first lights have been witnessed. No, the angels did not start singing, but there was a bit of triumph nonetheless. :)

When we were planning the kitchen, we planned for ceiling height cabinetry given that Mr. Big is so tall. Well, he may be tall, but even he is going to need a stool to get to those top shelves. As for me, my reach will be more concentrated in these...

After months (ok, years...) of planning, it's very exciting to see the final product. Up to this point, the house was really a shell with simply walls and doors. There was a lot of possibility with it at that stage. Now that the livable features have been introduced, it's looking like a house...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Time out

There are certainly much more important tasks at hand these days than pining over beautiful rugs. But when the style files provided more beauties from Paola Lenti, I just couldn't help myself. The design in the final rug is wonderful. I'm not too sure how easy it would be to clean, but I'm sure that the sacrifice would be worth it.

And I realize that it's far too late to make any major changes to the house, but it's never too late to admire the work of others. Once again, the style files presented a beautiful home that mixes many different elements (modern, natural, rustic) seamlessly. Kate Hume designed this beautiful home in south west France. Ah, inspiration...

Yes, I will focus my attention back to tangible tasks here soon. With just over six weeks until our proposed move-in date, lingering on design websites needs to take a back seat (or so I try to tell myself...)

Searching for "the one"...

Maybe a bit pink? Too bright? Too dark? These were the questions that we posed to each other this weekend as we took our first step into paint selections. Wow, is this ever a process?!? . Who would have ever imagined that four different shades of the same color could look so different...from each other and from our expectations. And oops, I just dropped a big glob on the floor...

In my mind, I had fantasized that dark neutral baseboards would pop against light neutral walls and a rustic floor. Not surprisingly, it didn't turn out quite as fabulously as I had imagined. :) And the wall colors turned a hint too beige, a hint too grey, or a bit too transparent. At the end of the day, we had a fun first step putting colors up on the walls. The colors were checked in the morning light, in the evening light, in different rooms...and we still didn't have a clear winner. Maybe next weekend we'll find "the one"...

Crossed telephone lines

It's not a good sign when you arrive on site to hear the jackhammer fighting against your newly-laid stone stairway. Yikes. All of a sudden flashes of 7th grade summer camp start flying across your vision. Somewhere between being asked how the stairs should be finished and the actual men laying the stone, our telephone message was transcribed. Fortunately for us, our builder had it fixed immediately. A bit of extra dust and a few grumpy workers later and the stairs look great. Hats off to our builder for getting us to the right spot.

Besides that little bit of excitement, we were pleased this weekend to find that the first floor guest shower is beginning to take shape. This shower enclosure will be covered in a subtle mosaic tile which has just arrived on site. Boy, oh boy, is it ever tempting to sneak a peek into the materials.

All sorts of goodies should start making their way out into the open over the upcoming weeks...exciting! And just to make sure that the telephone wires remain in tact, our designer has paid a visit to check on things first hand. Ah the comfort of the independent eye...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Garage doors

Does anyone out there have a source for affordable wood garage doors? A few weeks ago we were told that our garage doors had been ordered from a good source that our builder had. At the time it sounded a bit odd because we had no input on what they would look like, what materials would be used, etc. As it turns out, they were never ordered and we are back at square one. Worse off, this economic source is no longer an option. Darn.

A bit of internet searching today led us to the following two favorites for wood doors.

Summit Door

Carriage House Door Company

The arches mimic other architectural elements on the house. But most importantly, they just look nice to us. We hope to get something ordered this week so there's a bit of scurrying taking place at the moment....hopefully we can find a source soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cabinets have arrived

They went through months of excruciating deliberation, weeks of production, surely a bumpy ride on their voyage from Canada, and have now finally arrived on island...early! Love that. Actually, they aren't on site yet, but they will be this afternoon. We met with the installer over the weekend and he will be starting on Thursday. Exciting! Things are really starting to take shape.

A happy, happy couple :)

The floor is almost completely down on the first floor. We really were hoping to get a natural, relaxed feel from the tile and it has been perfect so far. Over the weekend, the lead tiler convinced us to fill in the cracks and groves in the middles of the tiles to help keep the floor cleaner in the future. It shouldn't make much of a difference, but Mr. Big seems a tad hesitant that this will impact his rustic floors. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll be happy with the decision.

The concrete board has been fastened to the feature wall in the great room. With this now completed, the drywall crew has left the site. Mr. Big and I are in complete agreement that they did a phenomenal job. The house looks great.

It will be really interesting to see how the tilers fasten stone to this wall. They discussed it with us briefly this weekend and the stone will be laid in such a way that every third vertical row will be individually braced. I wasn't nervous until they told me that this is done so that the entire wall doesn't come crashing down. Ugh...not a pretty thought. We're a few weeks off from receiving the materials for this install, but it will be great to see the wall finished.

Well, there's a bit of an update. Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh lovely floors...

...we wondered how you would look in a larger space...we were excited about your variations...we anticipated your pattern...and you have delivered completely. Oh lovely floors...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our new friend

My lovely husband came home with a new friend tonight...a companion that will be with us for a while and is sure to stir things up a bit.

Island cocktail blender station by Cal Flame

Island Cocktail Blender Station
This Island Cocktail Blender, made of commercial-grade 304 stainless steel, is the perfect accessory to your Outdoor Kitchen Island. Nothing beats the convenience of being able to blend your cocktails or ice cream shakes outside. While you are entertaining guests you can blend their favorite drink, and it’s conveniently located so you don’t have to walk too far from the grill. This Outdoor Kitchen Island Cocktail Blender from Cal Flame is one of the most innovative ideas yet. Now, you can have the essential items outdoor and maintain effortless catering to you friends and family.
Phew, it's good to know that we won't have to hoof it all the way into the house to plug in the blender to get you a drink. How yesterday. Boys and their toys.... :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bathroom lights

Bathroom vanity lights or regular wall sconces? Bathroom searches have not been too exciting to this point so we've reverted to regular wall sconces. Here are the front runners at the moment.
Chip wall sconce by Fire Farm Lighting (leader to this point)

Dot sconce by Lampa

Silhouette sconce by Archer Collection

Broadway wall sconce by Fire Farm Lighting

Dau by Zaneen

Iris by Justice Design

Metra Twin bar wall sconce by Hubbardton Forge

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Good idea or just plain bad?

In the quest for a dining room light that would be unique and fit within our budget (imagine that...), I came across Ingo Maurer's Zettel'z light a number of times. It looked a bit "out there" the first ten times I saw it, but then the brightly lit pages, handwritten notes, and fresh aura all started to appeal to me. I'm sure that I've proven some psychological phenomenon associated with repetitive exposure, but I digress...

The light is a combination of Japanese cane papers, some of which are already pre-printed with romantic notes in many different languages. There are then equally as many blank pages for future inspirations. While I'm not sure that Mr. Big or I would want to subject our guests to our passionate love letters (hahaha), it could become a really unique guest book from those many special people who visit us. This could potentially become a memory book of sorts that could spur on discussions at the dinner table.

I just don't know if this is, in fact, a neat idea, or if I really need to get a life, and select a more normal fixture (example left...a bit boring compared to the above images...). Would the Zettel'z be unique and fun or are we better off with a more traditional light piece?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Flipping the pages of the calendar

The first floor tiles were originally supposed to go in last Monday, then today, then Wednesday, and now it appears to be Saturday. Obviously, this is a bit disappointing, but it is what it is. At least the tiles are on site and ready to go.

The mudding and taping was completed today. We've been fortunate to have a really good crew working on this aspect of the house. On Friday evening, we decided to take a peek at the progress. The radio was blaring through the house, but we couldn't find anyone there. ? When we made it to the master bedroom, we found the crew enjoying the late evening breezes. Perfect! This was exactly what we created the area for (as discussed here). They confirmed our intentions. :)

Here's an example of their hard work (being the view from the kitchen area into the great room). They'll be finishing up by sanding everything down tomorrow.

We met with the plumber and our builder today to go over various questions. A bunch of our supplies have arrived, including our tub in the jack-and-jill bathroom. Another two pallets of plumbing fixtures have been stored on site, but it will be a while until we get to see the goodies inside. It's encouraging to see some of the finishing details start to arrive. Only a few more months....