Week 44: Painting & Bar Top

This week was Spring Break for Cameron and I was out of town for a work event so I wasn’t at the house too much.  The painting continues to be the main star of the show for the house progress.  They finished painting the trimwork for the basement and have moved on to painting the trim upstairs.  My absolute favorite part of the house that was painted this week is the fireplace – hands down.  It turned out fantastic and seeing it all in white really make such a difference.  We’re both thrilled!

The other major thing to see progress is the bar countertop downstairs.  We selected fantasy brown quartzite with a leathered finish.  It has a great texture and just the right mix of gray and brown to tie into the java cabinets.  For the backwall of the bar, we had a custom bar drain made – at 5’6″ long, it’s really a focal point.  We won’t have the taps installed right away, but since the countertop needed a cut-out for the drain, we had to have that created sooner rather than later.  The drain will connect into the sink drain, so it’ll be super easy to clean.  And the sink was installed as well.  It’s coming together – Joel couldn’t be happier!

 

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Week 41: Countertops & Tile

This week there’s been a lot happening at the house this week including continuing on the trim work – there’s tons to do still including wrapping all of the doorways and baseboards.  And the painters were also there painting doors and other trimwork.  But I barely even took pictures of those since the best thing about this week was all of the countertops and tile that were installed!  The absolute white quartzite was installed throughout the main level and it looks ‘absolute’ly amazing!

So now that the fireplace hearth is installed, and I’m not 100% sure about the tile that my mom and I picked out for the fireplace surround.  Originally we picked out 3″x6″ tiles from Walker Zanger’s Rue Pierre Antique Gris Marble.  Now I’m not so sure about it.  It’s definitely similar colors as the absolute white quartzite, but  has more of a striped white/gray pattern to it.  I’m wondering if maybe something more consistent in color like cararra marble will look/flow better.  For the record, my mom actually liked the carrara better originally.  It’s pretty similar to the hearth quartzite though…too similar?  Ah dilemmas!

The laundry room floor was installed this week (still missing the grout), and so were the counters!  We went with MSI’s Sparkling White Quartz which has some green glass and mirror flecks in it for the counters and kept it simple with Daltile’s Octagon Dot floor tile in white.  Once the white grout is installed it will tone down the patterning in the floor for sure!

The flooring in the mudroom was also installed this week – actually weekend!  They were out there installing it on Saturday when I was there for a visit.  We went with 12″ x 24″ Florida Tile’s “Mingle” in the Cool Summer color set in a 1/3″ stepped offset pattern.  The vanity, sink and countertops were also delivered from Restoration Hardware this week for the mudroom bathroom.  I chose the Cartwright Powder Room Vanity with the Italian Pietra Grigio Marble top.

And downstairs, lots of things happened this week too!  The hardwood flooring was installed, although by the week’s end it was covered with a protective layer of Ram Board which I think will stay on it until we’re ready for cleaning and moving in.  The new narrower sink base arrived for the bar and looks fantastic!  The sink barely fits in it, yikes!  Hopefully it’ll work still though.

The boys bathroom flooring was also grouted.  Although one piece of tile needs to be replaced – someone dropped a tool on it (probably when installing the door) and the tile broke.  Once that’s done the floor (and grout) will be complete.  The counter tops and sinks were also installed in the boys’ and guest bathrooms.  The boys’ countertops I selected are a gray/blue color – Wilsonart’s Quartz in Amalfi Coast and the counters in the guest bath is Pental Quartz’ Grey Savoie.

At the beginning of the week, the Skyline Tile and Marble were out measuring for the bar downstairs and for the farm sink placement in the kitchen.  Then I went to their shop in the afternoon on Monday to choose where I wanted the counters to be placed on the slabs.  We ended up having to purchase two slabs since the bar is in a U-shape and we needed the graining of the counters to all be in the same direction.  There’s so much left over though!  We may end up using it for a backsplash.  We’ll see how much that’ll cost!  My mom and I chose these slabs back in October at META Marble and Granite.  They’re fantasy brown quartzite with a leathered/textured finish.  With the gray & brown that they have, they’re going to look great with the cabinetry and room color.

And finally, there has been some sunny storms over the past couple of weeks…check out that rainbow!

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Just a touch of rainbow to brighten up the sunny and rainy day!

 

Week 40: Hardwood, Doors, Cabinetry & Countertops

This week the absolute biggest change has been the installation of the hardwood floors.  They were able to install the entire first floor and they look fantastic!  We ended up choosing a hand scraped and wire brushed 8″ European Oak in a natural finish by Plank.  We originally wanted a white oak finished on-site but because the basement is a slab on grade they didn’t recommend us installing solid hardwoods down there. I didn’t want the upstairs hardwood to be different from the downstairs so we ended up choosing an engineered hardwood that could be installed both upstairs and downstairs.  It took us quite a while to pick out the flooring – the colors and finishes really vary brand to brand and so does the warranties.  The Plank brand had the wide planks that Joel wanted, the color I wanted, and with more than 80% of the boards being at least 6′ long (Some brands have little lengths of boards that makes the floors look really choppy).  I really like that the color was a warm almost neutral color that didn’t have a pink or white tint (like some of the others we saw), and I really like that the boards have some knots to add character.  The  finish has a 50 year warranty and a lifetime structural warranty – they were a little pricier, but it was the warranty that sealed the deal for us.  Some brands we saw only had a 2 year finish warranty…no thanks!

More of the cabinetry and moulding were installed this week as well.  My favorite cabinet in the entire house has to be the hood above the range.  The cabinet company (Canyon Creek) didn’t have anything that I liked so I ended up being able to custom design the exact hood that I wanted.  I absolutely love it.  And it will look even better once the crown moulding is installed around the top of the hood (and on top of the cabinets).  The butler’s pantry was installed too – love the upper cabinets with the “X” design!  The glass still needs to be added, but I think they look great even now.  And I haven’t decided yet if we’ll install glass shelving in the uppers too…my mom and aunt caution me against glass shelves because of the dust that will show with all of the natural light in the house.  Downstairs, we ended up deciding to reduce the width of Joel’s bar by 6″, and the backside of the bar was installed with the dark java stained wood.  It’s still missing the trim pieces, but it’s coming along!

The farmhouse sink was also installed this week.  Choosing this sink took me quite a while.  I knew that I wanted a really wide sink and initially I was looking at the 40″ Rutherford Sink from Shaw Sinks, but it wasn’t available in USA so I would have had to drive up to Canada to pick it up or had it shipped directly from the UK.  The sink was actually considerably cheaper in the UK, so shipping would have been affordable.  The problem was that based on reviews online, some sinks have arrived cracked since they’re fireclay.  And since they’re handmade there could be some undulations in the sink bottom that may not flow all the water to the drain.  The thought of having puddled water in the sink wasn’t that appealing to me.  Also, some people have had cracking in the glazing finish overtime.  With raising two boys (plus Joel) I knew there was no way that I could have a sink that wouldn’t hold up to their abuse.  I ended up choosing the Kohler Whitehaven Apron Sink which is cast iron and during demonstrations people took hammers to it.  I figured – that’s the sink for us!  The only downside is that it doesn’t come in a 40″ size…their largest was 36″.  A small sacrifice for big time durability and availability.  The size works great and fits really well in proportion to the center window above.

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Love the farmhouse sink! Now the countertop company can come back next week and template this countertop for the sink opening.  The feet are still missing on this base cabinet, but don’t the floors look good?!?

A lot of the interior doors were installed as well.  And windows and doorways continue to be wrapped and some of the baseboards have been installed in the rooms that are getting carpet (bedrooms + playroom).  The baseboards are 6″ tall, just like the trim above the doorways.

On Monday, morning I picked up 5 bathroom sinks for the house from Fergusons.  Luckily they open at 6:30 so I was back at the house by 8am when Skyline Tile and Marble came to template for the countertops.  I spent about an hour with them to drop off the sinks as well as go over the overhangs and layouts that I wanted in each room.  Most were pretty standard, but it was good to talk about some of the detailed areas – like the kitchen pass through and the eating space on the kitchen island.

Tuesday I met the Skyline guys at their shop up in Woodinville to layout where I wanted the templates to be placed on each slab.  We started with the bigger most important counter areas (like the kitchen islands) to make sure they had unique areas of white and gray from the slabs and we ended with some of the smaller spaces.  We purchased 4 slabs of the Super White Quartzite.  That gave us enough flexibility for the main areas in the house to get the look that we wanted – soft white and gray without the upkeep of marble.  We ended using the slabs for the kitchen, fireplace hearth, master bath and powder bath.  A couple of the spaces – fireplace and master shower bench weren’t ready for templating so we just left spaces for those to be cut next time they come out to measure.

Week 34: Wall Colors & Wall Texture

This week we had to finalize our wall color selections.  My mom and I ended up going to check out the slabs (which we hadn’t seen in probably a good 5 months) to see if the wall color looked good with them.  We brought up a few different samples – the flooring color, trim/cabinetry color and a couple different wall colors.  And after our trip up to Woodinville to see the slabs we ended up selecting Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White @ 50% for the main wall color.  We’ll have a few rooms painted different colors, but wanted a neutral gray for the rest of the house.  We have a winner!!

Trying to decide between paint colors and ended up choosing the one on the right - F&B's Cornforth White @ 50%.

Trying to decide between paint colors and ended up choosing the one on the right – F&B’s Cornforth White reduced to 50%.  Light & Airy!

The flooring we selected is Plank's European Oak - with the wall color, and then our slabs as a backdrop.

The flooring we selected is Plank’s European Oak – with the wall color, and then our slabs as a backdrop.

At the house this week, the painters were there and taped/plastic’d off all of the doors and windows which now makes the whole house feel REALLY dark.  Thank God we put in all the windows that we did to bring in lots of natural light.  And by Friday they were done with all of the texturing on the walls.  We ended up doing a light texture – nothing heavy.  Now it’s all ready for them to start painting on Monday!

The windows and doors are all covered in plastic - and spray texture!

The windows and doors are all covered in plastic – and spray texture!

It's so crazy how dark the rooms feel now - I can't wait to get all the plastic off the windows.

It’s so crazy how dark the rooms feel now – I can’t wait to get all the plastic off the windows.

Of course all Spencer wanted to do was rip the plastic off the windows! Not so fast buddy!

Of course all Spencer wanted to do was rip the plastic off the windows! Not so fast buddy!

Week 18: Getting Ready for a Roof, Window Walkthrough & Countertops

This week seemed like there wasn’t all that much progress when I look at where the house was last week compared to this week, but they actually got quite a bit done.  There were random wall & ceilings that needed to be finished up (or changed…because things didn’t look quite right and I wanted little things slightly different than what was originally planned…hello change order)!  In addition to these little framing things, they were really getting ready for the roof to be put on next week – which meant getting all of the plates/brackets/etc put in the right spots – something that I really don’t even notice.

It's coming along!!

It’s coming along!!

A view of the front from the other direction.

A view of the front from the other direction.

The garage doors were framed this week.

The garage doors were framed this week.

They finished the last little shed roof above the master closet this week.

They finished the last little shed roof above the master closet this week.

Also this week, we decided not to put the windows in the garage. My mom convinced me that there's really no use, and all it does is let people see all the junk in the garage. And with the basketball hoop going in near the garage, maybe they'd just end up broken anyhow.

Also this week, we decided not to put the windows in the garage. My mom convinced me that there’s really no use, and all it does is let people see all the junk in the garage. And with the basketball hoop going in near the garage, maybe they’d just end up broken anyhow.

The mudroom door was FINALLY added this week. The framers made a mistake originally and forgot to put it in! On top of that, we also had them increase the size of the windows in the mudroom (left) and the mudroom bathroom (right).

The mudroom door was FINALLY added this week. The framers made a mistake originally and forgot to put it in! On top of that, we also had them increase the size of the windows in the mudroom (left) and the mudroom bathroom (right).

The laundry room ceiling was finished up this week - I love how the ceiling over the window is sloped and connects with the rest of the vaulted ceiling. A little hard to tell in this picture, but once it's drywalled it'll look amazing!

The laundry room ceiling was finished up this week – I love how the ceiling over the window is sloped and connects with the rest of the vaulted ceiling. A little hard to tell in this picture, but once it’s drywalled it’ll look amazing!

On Friday I met Matt and Andy from Grove Window Supply at the house and we measured & walked through each window and what I wanted the grids to look like.  It took a little over an hour, but it was definitely worth it to be out there.  A few of the windows we hadn’t quite sized or figured out how they open, and Andy had great ideas.  My most favorite decision we made was the window in the staircase.  Because of the stair placement, the window couldn’t be the same size as the others in the lower rec room.  I was going to have it be a little odd in size, and just deal with it, but Andy came up with an awesome idea of just doing the upper 1/2 of the window so that it still aligns with the others in the room…and it looks fantastic!  Such a great idea and I never would have thought of it.  My favorite window is definitely the one above the bathtub in our master – we decided to switch it up as a focal point and put the grids in a diamond pattern.  I think it’s going to be such a cute detail.

We have stairs! Now we can finally get downstairs without walking around the house!

We have stairs! Now we can finally get downstairs without walking around the house! And check out the window at the bottom of the stairs.

I love the new window shape in the staircase. So simple, yet I never would have thought of it!

I love the new window shape in the staircase. So simple, yet I never would have thought of it!

Here's how the lower rec area looks like from the back of the house. The 1/2 window in the staircase is on the lower right.

Here’s how the lower rec area looks like from the back of the house. The 1/2 window in the staircase is on the lower right.

Besides picking out Windows, my mom and I met up on Friday to pick out countertops.  We had gone a couple weeks ago to look at slabs, and found absolutely white quartzite that we loved, but it was at a random fabricator’s shop and Matt had no idea of the quality they’d do.  But lucky for us, we found the same slabs at MSI in Seattle!  Score!!  So now we can have our own (recommended) fabricators do the install and there’s nothing to worry about!  We found 4 slabs, so that’ll take care of the kitchen, powder room & master bathroom.

Slab #1

Slab #1

Slabs #2 & #3 are book-matched.

Slabs #2 & #3 are book-matched.

Another shot of slab #2.

Another shot of slab #2.

Slab #4

Slab #4

Quartzite is so beautiful - check out what sunlight looks like through Slab #2 when it travels through the slab. So gorgeous! Too bad we'll never see it like that in the house.

Quartzite is so beautiful – check out what sunlight looks like through Slab #2 when it travels through the slab. So gorgeous! Too bad we’ll never see it like that in the house.

The slab is so beautiful up close - love the crystal-esque pieces in it.

The slab is so beautiful up close – love the crystal-esque pieces in it.

Close up of the countertop.

Close up of the countertop.

Another detail picture

Another detail picture

Four slabs of absolute white quartzite - yes please!

Four slabs of absolute white quartzite – yes please!

While we were at MSI, we also checked out the quartz slabs that they had.  Quartz is a man made stone and it super durable, and we’re thinking of using it in the laundry room and boys’ bathroom.  They had a really cute white slab of quartz with little blue-green glass and mirror pieces in it, and we found this green glass tile.  We thought it might be cute for the laundry room – super clean feeling.

Sparkling white quartz - maybe an option for the laundry room!

Sparkling white quartz – maybe an option for the laundry room!

We found this arctic ice glass subway tile (the top one), that is super clean and fresh looking.

We found this arctic ice glass subway tile (the top one), that is super clean and fresh looking.

Here's a close-up of what the slab and tile look like together.

Here’s a close-up of what the slab and tile look like together.  Both of these look so much prettier in person – but it gives you an idea of the look.

Week 17: Framing Continues and Interior Selections – Flooring, Counters & Some Tile

This week they focused on more framing on the house.  The gable on the front of the garage was completed and the roof sheathing was finished up.  They also framed both of the shed dormers above the laundry room and the master closet.  It’s looking pretty good, and it’s exciting to see what it feels like with a ‘roof’.  I was out there earlier in the week talking with Matt about locations for blocking for things like towel rings and millwork.  There’s so many details – and things you normally don’t have to think about – like which side you like the toilet paper holder located on.

The front of the house is getting pretty far along. The gable is up in above the garage and the roof line is finished above the laundry room shed dormer.

The front of the house is getting pretty far along. The gable is up in above the garage and the roof line is finished above the laundry room shed dormer.

The gable above the garage was worked on this week. I think it turned out great!

The gable above the garage was worked on this week. I think it turned out great!

Here's the progress made on the back of the house.

Here’s the progress made on the back of the house – the sheathing is all finished!

The view of the back of the kitchen windows.

The view of the back of the kitchen windows.

Here's what the back of the house looks like from right underneath it.

Here’s what the back of the house looks like from right underneath it.

Here's a panoramic of the back of the house.

Here’s a panoramic of the back of the house.

The shed dormer was put in laundry room this week.

The shed dormer was built to finish up the laundry room roof this week.

This wall will eventually have our stove centered between the doors. The opening on the right leads to the butler's pantry & dining room. And the opening on the left leads to the pantry, laundry & mudroom.

This wall will eventually have our stove centered between the doors. The opening on the right leads to the butler’s pantry & dining room. And the opening on the left leads to the pantry, laundry & mudroom.

This is a view from the kitchen into the great room. The opening on the left will be a pass-through with cabinetry in front of it.

This is a view from the kitchen into the great room. The opening on the left will be a pass-through with cabinetry in front of it.

Spencer came with us today to check out the progress on the house. He said that the house is built, it just needs a 'couple more things'!

Spencer came with us today to check out the progress on the house. He said that the house is built, it just needs a ‘couple more things’!

There's Joel - checking out the kitchen!

There’s Joel – checking out the kitchen!

Here's a view of the kitchen windows. Joel and I can't decide if we want built-in benches here and where to add them in the space.

Here’s a view of the kitchen windows. Joel and I can’t decide if we want built-in benches here and where to add them in the space.

The great room looks really good - although the ceiling is too high, so we decided this week that we're going to drop that down.

The great room looks really good – although the ceiling is too high, so we decided this week that we’re going to drop that down.

On Saturday, we scheduled our first trip to pick out some of the finishes.  My mom and I went up to Everett to CFM which has a lot of selections to choose from.  We spent a couple hours with the designer (Jodi) and really didn’t get a whole lot picked out.  We settled white oak floors finished on site.  That’ll be the main floor covering for the upstairs and downstairs.  Because the downstairs is a slab on grade we had to go with an engineered hardwood.  But we can actually get engineered wood that can be finished onsite so we can have it exactly match the upstairs – love that!  I’m pretty sure that we’ll go with a hardwood stain that’ll be pretty close (maybe a touch lighter) than natural white oak, but since it’ll be finished onsite we’ll get to choose the stain color after it’s installed.

Here's an example of the color of white oak that we'll have. Since we're having it finished onsite it won't really exactly look like this, but it at least gives us an idea of what the finish will ultimately look like.

Here’s an example of the color of white oak that we’ll have. Since we’re having it finished onsite it won’t really exactly look like this, but it at least gives us an idea of what the finish will ultimately look like.

Other than that, we decided on the type of carpet (which was a super soft one from Shaw), but haven’t chosen the color yet.  Jodi is going to get us a bigger carpet samples in the colors we like so that we don’t have to choose from mini carpet squares – and even that we’ll wait until after the hardwood stain has been chosen and we can see the carpet in our house.  It was so difficult to really see the true color of the carpet samples anyhow, so I’m glad we’ll get to choose once we’re more finished with the house.  We tried to pick out some of our tile, but Jodi was bummed that we didn’t have our counters picked out yet since that really determines the backsplash and floor tile colors.  We looked at a bunch of tiles while we were there, but it was difficult to find exactly what we were looking for.  And it’s surprising how fast 2 hours speeds by!

So, after a couple hours with Jodi, my mom and I went on our own.  First we headed to United Tile just down the street where we actually found the floor tile that we’re going to use in the mudroom.  We ended up going with the Crossville Buenos Aires Mood Porcelain in the color Pilar.  It will be a 12×24 tile – laid at a brick pattern.  And we might end up putting some tile around the border of the room – same tile, just a different size.  We’ll see!

We chose this tile for the mudroom flooring. The flooring in the background is the hardwood that we're going to have.

We chose this tile for the mudroom flooring. The flooring in the background is the hardwood that we’re going to have.

Then we headed down to Georgetown in Seattle to look at slabs for countertops.  We now realize that it’s a priority for us to pick those out before we choose any of the other tile, so we were on a mission.  The first place we went to was META and we found the perfect slab for Joel’s bar downstairs.  It’s a Fantasy Brown Quartzite with a Leathered finish.  The bar cabinets are going to be gray, with a wood bar top, so this is the perfect blend of gray/white/brown to tie everything together.

Joel's bar countertop for downstairs.

Joel’s bar countertop for downstairs.

We found it at META Marble & Granite in Seattle - it's called Fantasy Brown Quartzite with a leathered finish.

We found it at META Marble & Granite in Seattle – it’s called Fantasy Brown Quartzite with a leathered finish.

We went to so many places – MSI, Oregon Tile & Marble, Pental, Daltile and META and didn’t find any that we liked for the rest of the house!  Last year when we were looking at slabs for my mom’s kitchen I found this quartzite and totally loved it!  I should have just bought it back then, but hindsight’s 20/20 I guess.  We couldn’t find any gray/white quartzite that I liked in Seattle.

Last year we found this amazing Silver Storm Quartzite...should have just bought it back then!

Last year we found this amazing Silver Storm Quartzite…should have just bought it back then!

Next we headed to Kent to check out a couple of places we knew about. And we ended up finding this quartzite at Cosmos.  It’s just ok – I don’t think I’m a big fan of how splotchy/spotted it looks.  I like the colors, but the patterning of the stone isn’t something I’d be happy with in the long run.

This slab of

This slab of “New Super White” Quartzite had the right colors – but was too splotchy and not quite right.

After passing on the stone at Cosmos, we checked out Marble & Granite Specialties and found this one.  LOVE!!!  Isn’t it great?  Gray/white, simple, clean – exactly what we were looking for.  The problem though – M&GS is a fabricator and they own the slab.  That means that if we want these slabs, then we have to use them to fabricate them (cut & install the slabs).  And that means we can’t use Jodi’s fabricator – and since Matt’s never used them before we really have no clue if they do a quality job or not.  Such a bummer.  We have a call into Jodi so see if she could find it elsewhere for us.  Cross our fingers.  If she can’t find it, we’ll have to choose if we want to wait to find something different that Jodi can get and install for us, or if we want to take a chance and have the other people fabricate it.

This Absolute White Quartzite is perfect! Hopefully Jodi can find it for us so we can use her fabricators.

This Absolute White Quartzite is great! Hopefully Jodi can find it for us so we can use her fabricators.