Sunday, October 28, 2007

Guest bathroom

As mentioned in the last post, will tiles were very intimidating. Mr. Big, our designer, and virtually everyone in the store spent no less than an hour trying to convince me that a mosaic tile would be appealing for our guest bathroom shower. To be honest, I wasn't completely sold, but went along with the majority opinion. Apparently I need to do this much more often because it is looking great so far.

The glass shower enclosure has been ordered and once the tile makes its way around the floor of the shower, the cabinets will be installed. Once again, it's nice to see our selections come together. And yes, I'm learning through this process.

Master bath

Wall tiles intimidated me in stores. Everything looked amazing and I found myself easily distracted. Fortunately, our designer joined when our final selections were made. He kept us moderately on much as possible anyway. The tiles are making their way to our walls and we thought it was time to show them off. :)

These still require grout, but it is certainly exciting seeing them come up. As for the layout of the bathroom, there are two sinks...can you guess which side is Mr. Big's?

Mudroom and wine storage

Before we hired our designer, our plans called for a tiny laundry area which was next to an equally tiny wine storage area. The entrance from the garage required us to pass through both spaces before entering the kitchen and the rest of the house. Thanks to creative minds, we now have a beautiful mudroom with loads of storage in a soothing palette.

The cabinet handles went on recently and the appliances should be coming in two weeks. Once the undermount lights are in, the wall tiling and painting will be completed.

As for the wine storage, Mr. Big's favorite spot in the house is developing well below the stairwell. The terracotta floors should like striking against dark wood wine racking, which will be constructed over the holidays with our families.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What's going on?

There hasn't been much activity on here recently because Mr. Big and I were traveling for the past two weeks. We spent a day power shopping in San Francisco (okay Mr. Big was in the sports bar and I was shopping...), four days in our favorite spot Sonoma (Mr. Big shopped there...), and then celebrated the wedding of this fantastic couple for five days in Huntington Beach. I'll spare you the chick-flick rundown (that we all know I could put you through), but will summarize that it was an amazing time. Congrats guys!

My wonderful new sister and always-entertaining (and very lucky) brother

During our trip, my eyes were wide open for different decorating inspirations. We stayed at the Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency, which absolutely solidified that we made the right choice sticking with white as an exterior color. But most of all, Hotel Healdsburg once again had my head spinning with beautiful neutral color schemes and gorgeous paintings from one of my favorite artists Wade Hoefer.

It frightens me to think of what I would do to get my hands on one of his pieces (Mr. Big shudders in the background). They perfectly capture Sonoma for me. Probably not ironically, his artwork also adorns the label of one of my favorite wines, Bella Vineyards Lily Hill Zin. Mmmm...

So there you's been quiet in here because we've been away. But a lot is taking place on the house and we'll get updates coming starting later today!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Yes, I realize that this is not likely in our price range, but boy, is it ever beautiful...and unique. From Helen Amy Murray as featured on Style Files.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rugs and more

Just a quick post for a rug featured on Desire to Inspire from Vixen at Designer Rugs. It has nice detail without being too sweet.

Friday, October 12, 2007


We both feel so fortunate to be where we are...building a life on a cozy island. What a sweet journey with many highs, some numbing lows, but many beautiful moments along the way.

Thank you to all those who have been with us along the way. For my lovely husband, I may love our house, but you are my home.

Ok, enough with the chick flick, we'll be back to the building progress in no time... ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What have we here?

This was a last minute addition to our project. No, not the Great Expectations-like vines taking over the property, but the outdoor entertainment room, commonly referred to by our architect as the pavilion. I commonly refer to it as Mr. Big's outdoor sports bar. This is where we hope to barbeque, entertain, relax and all the other good things that you do outside on weekends.

It's positioned just off to the side of the house so that the run from the barbeque to the house isn't too challenging. :) Originally we were going to have French doors in each of the openings, but due to budget constraints, we will try and leave it open for the the first few years. Yes, there may be a time in the future when those doors get ordered. Until now, we will be mosquito terminators!

Our architect did a great job with the roof design. (There was a threat that it was going to have to be torn off last week, but I'm letting the memory become a bit more distant before I revisit here for your entertainment. Ugh). It will be great to see the underside once it's all been stained dark.

So there you have it...the very early images of Mr. Big's poolside party room. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cabinet update

Here's a quick peek at how the cabinets have come along in the past week. The drawers and doors haven't been put up/on yet, but the boxes are all in place. We were keen on having lots of storage. Apparently we achieved that objective.

The kitchen

The mudroom

The first floor bathrooms will be started soon. The floors for the second floor bathrooms were done so those rooms can start quickly thereafter. I am thrilled with the terracotta tiles in the second floor shared bathroom.


Look what arrived today

It was pretty exciting to find our first floor doors being installed today. This was a fairly particular purchase for Mr. Big and I'm very excited for him to see them tomorrow. These 8 ft solid wood beauties were made by Sun Door in Kansas, of all places. We'll get them stained dark a bit later on in the process, but for now, it's nice to finally see them.

The second floor installation will be slightly behind because they have to wait for the wood floors to arrive. And our front door is finally on site, but boarded up for safety.

And some of you may recall that we had some last minute decisions that about door hinges (as posted about here), everything appears to have worked out fine. I'm sure you were all real worried... ;)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Talk about inspiration...

...apparently The Container Store is having their annual shelving sale just in time for our project. You can enter the dimensions of your space and then call their service center to have them custom design a solution for you. But to be honest, the standard sets that they have are far beyond what we have now. My favorite has to be the garage recreation center.

Garage Recreation Center

Reach in closet in birch and white

Garage Gardening Center

Okay mom, you can stopping laughing at the gardening center now. We do fully intend to have a nice fruit garden, herb garden and overall lush Caribbean space...all cultivated in the many leisurely hours that we will have once the house is done.

Oh any by the way, how many people now want to paint their garage because of that last photo? My hand is up!

Time for some more inspiration

Yes, we are past the point of changing much in our home, but never past the point of admiring another's talent.

Any guesses on where this home is located?

Totally not needed, but fun to think of...

I'm just going to leave this post here for my margarita-loving husband to find. This is just that type of guy-gadget that he would find amusing.

Original Margaritaville Margarita Maker from Frontgate

And we all know that this little island can get quite hot. For those afternoons spent in the garage, this could be a welcome relief.

High-velocity garage fan from Frontgate

We very likely could be investing in something along the lines of this step ladder to reach the top of our kitchen shelves (more images to come soon).

Foldaway ladders from Frontgate

And finally, the ladies out there may be able to appreciate this shaving pedestal.

Just a few little ideas that we may come back to in time...

Trust issues

Tall guys often get short changed when it comes to tubs. Apparently they get all squished up and taking a bath just is not a relaxing or enjoyable experience. When it came to planning for the house, Mr. Big wanted to make sure that we found something that fit him (understandably so). There were not a lot of options available, but our designer ended up finding one. Honestly, it's so big that you could literally sail a boat in.

While the picture above doesn't make it look so large, let me assure you that this baby is 6 ft long by 3.5 ft wide. 6 ft long! Mr. Big was thrilled.

Our builder uses an exporter who has the ability to negotiate wholesale prices for most of the finishings for our house. When I saw the price that he obtained the tub for, I was certain that the wrong one was ordered (being the drop-in tub rather than the freestanding). We were assured that it was correct, but I must admit that I was skeptical because the price was ,000's below what we were expecting to pay.

Well, the tub arrived on site this week is the right one! Believe it or not, the exporter was able to get this baby for exactly one third the retail price. Wow! I am extremely impressed. Now I need to go work on my trust issues...

Leave it out

Mr. Big always laughs at me because I'm constantly removing items from our countertops (not so big on the clutter over here...). But these are great...leave them out!

Fruit vessels by Helena Schepens via Crib Candy

I would get one of these immediately if I could figure out where to get them? And for those who love who enjoy browsing home decor websites, be forewarned that Crib Candy is a major time sucker. (Yes, that means you up there in Calgary with the new condo....) :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Garage door

We've received quite a bit of input from others on wood garage doors. To us, they will really complete the exterior of the house. However, our builder has warned many, many, many times that there is a high level of maintenance with staining in the future, coupled with the possibility of warping. (Now wouldn't that be a bummer if we literally could not get to work because our garage door wouldn't let us out...)

After a bit of research, we came across a product from IDC Doors. It is a steel, hurricane-rated garage door, which has a 1/2 inch wood overlay on it. Plus, they offer a lifetime guarantee on the product (even for owners outside of the U.S.). At the moment, a staining process every 6-12 months does not seem too cumbersome for the overall benefit. So if this production addresses all of our other concerns, hopefully we won't find having wood garage doors such a nuisance.

And of course, there is always the female angle to such decisions...we seem to have found a door that is simple, but has effect. Hopefully they will look something along these lines minus the windows...and the snow of course!

Whew, it's nice to get another decision done with. I'm sure that our builder will be calling with another matter by the end of the day, but we'll just relish this while we can. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pavers picked

Another decision down. Hopefully the paver order will be placed soon!