Sunday, August 03, 2008

Overdue Update

Well, hello there. Nice of you to drop by! We've been spending almost every lovely summer weekend at our place, and it's really beginning to feel like ours. Who would've thought there would still be so much to do after a year of construction. I guess it's the difference between making a house and making a home. Here are some updated pics.

Landscaping still has to happen, but Walter did install some pretty cool shale steps going up to the backyard from the driveway. We were surprised, but they look great. And inside the house...

Above is guest bedroom #1 so far. This is the room Bill got to decorate. It's coming along swimmingly. Much more zen than my bedroom below...

It's got a little further to go than the first one. And below is the master. Check out our massive bed. Apologies for the lackluster text, but Mad Men is on and I'm distracted. Bye Bye.

OK, this is Bill, editing Nina's post to add a couple of notes. Nina and I designed the bed above (and below), and had it fabricated by the same guy who built our dining table, fireplace cabinetry, mirrors and stair rail cap (more on the mirrors and railing below). The pictures don't really show how huge this thing is. It's a king size mattress, with an additional 12 inches of platform on either side, and about 18 inches at the foot of the bed to be used as a bench. Solid walnut construction with integrated light switches (the sockets above the bed will be replaced with custom AvroKo designed fixtures soon).

Below is our mater bath. Jay installed our mirror this week, made from reclaimed snow fence and aged brass. It's nice and long. In front of the mirror are a few edison bulbs.

A view down our upstairs hallway. At the end is a very cool antique copper wedding tray given to us by my boss. It's very happy in this location, marking the entrance to the master bedroom. Thanks Robin!

The walnut cap was added to the stair railing last week. It's quite a bit bigger than we had expected, but the grain of the wood is absolutely perfect. Beyond, you can see the only wallpaper in the house.

Finally, a shot of the living room. We now have a rug, an interesting version of a coffee table, and some objects for the fireplace cabinetry.

OK, that's all. Landscaping is the next big challenge, so look for some updated outdoor pics soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm putting up another post to show the overall panoramas we've been showing throughout the process. Above you can get a MUCH better idea of how it'll look when it's done. They've installed in-ground irrigation, lay some sod, and we have a landscaper on board to make the whole place look more like it did when we found it. Lots of tall grasses, some flowering plants, some ferns, and some trees that will turn pretty colors in the fall, like maples.

And yes, the pool is swimmable. It's insanely sweet. Plus, the views of the hillside from down in the pool are even better than expected. Love it.

We even have some wild monkeys.

Lawn & Pool

Hello folks. It's amazing what a difference some grass makes. Our backyard has been transformed from a giant dust bowl to my favorite place in the world almost overnight. We were up there this weekend with friends, swimming, cooking, and playing rock band. Below is a shot of Sarah and I relaxing poolside.

In the above shot, note that the lounge chairs are over on the patio. They will be moved to the grass on the side of the pool (near side in this photo). We're just keeping everything off the sod for a few weeks. We don't want to disturb the grass while it's trying to get roots into the top soil underneath.

Above is another shot of Sarah. This picture is taken from where one of the lounge chairs will be. It's a really pretty view across the pool and up the hill into the woods.

OK, that's all for now. Nina took some panoramic photos this weekend, so maybe she'll post those. We'll see you all upstate soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

What a weekend. The weather couldn't have been any better and we took full advantage of it. Friends came up on Saturday afternoon. Above, Sarah was hard at work making dinner for everyone. Below is a shot of our pasta with homemade meatballs.

On Sunday, we went wine touring to Millbrook and Clinton vineyards...

When we got back to the house, we grilled up some burgers and had a fire...

OK, on to house progress. The backsplash has been installed, but still needs grout. Pretty sweet finishing piece for the kitchen.

Our walnut entry closet doors were hung last week, and they're amazing. They slide toward the exterior walls and can be used to close off the den (see second picture below).

Here's a shot of the den. We moved the Eames chair upstate because the cats think it's a scratching post. The coffee table is made from reclaimed wood and steel.

Our fireplace is from a company called Spark.

Here's a closeup of the mirror over the fireplace. It's antique mirror glass with a custom frame. The frame is made from reclaimed snow fence from Wyoming. It's the same material we used on the walls in the powder room.

Our millworker Jay built us this dining table out of reclaimed oak that he's been storing for a while. There's even some old paint on the apron + legs. It's 9 feet long. Good for entertaining. It also has two shallow drawers hidden in the apron we can use for napkins and placemats.

The first of many dance parties happened on this deck.

The bluestone coping was installed on the pool last week. We're hoping to have grass in about 2 weeks.

Till next time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pool, Millwork, Railing, Concrete, Progress

Hey there blog fans.  A lot has been done in the last two weeks.  As you can see above, our pool has been shot with gunnite, and is ready to be plastered.  The yard has been mostly graded, and more small trees were cleared in order to shape the landscape a bit more.  It's coming together.

Above are the floor-to-ceiling walnut doors that will serve as the mudroom closet doors, and also to separate the den from the rest of the house when someone needs to use it as a bedroom.  They were dropped off, but not yet installed, which is why they are on the floor in the photo.  Also...

Our concrete was installed!  Above is a photo of the fireplace cabinetry countertop, and below is a photo of our master bedroom vanity.  The guest bath tub deck also has concrete, but since the tile is still being installed, it was covered up and I couldn't see it.  

Our blackened steel railing was also installed, and it looks great despite the fact that we were getting kind of used to the nice clean look of no railing.  But I suppose it's necessary.  The handrail will be installed later, as it's not been fabricated yet.  But it will be a sappy walnut, so there will be lighter streaks running through it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pool Pic

Just got this picture from our pool builder. The concrete is formed, the steps are done, and they're working on the U-shaped bench that will be between the steps. That's all for now. I'm heading up this weekend and will take more photos then.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

First Night

This weekend, Nina and I stayed at the house for the first time. Don't get us wrong, there's still much to do, but it is finally at the point where we have enough amenities to actually spend the night. Our master bath shower is working (but doesn't have a real enclosure yet) and the powder room downstairs is up and running. What else do you need?

The above shot was taken shortly before dusk last night.

The below shot shows our nearly finished kitchen. The sinks and faucets are in, and the fridge has been paneled and turned on. The only thing left is to put up the backsplash (there's a picture in an older post). Check out the stools too.

Below is a view toward the dining/living room. All the dining lights have been installed, and you can see a couple of our dining chairs. The "table" you see is actually our den sofa. In the distance is our recently delivered living room sofa. It's huge.

The other direction...

Our range was hooked up and is now functional. I'm going to burn so much stuff on this thing.

Our guest bath tiles have finally arrived (they were severely delayed), and they're working on finishing up that bathroom now. We didn't realize how irregular these tiles are - they require a 3/8" grout line, which is huge. We're going to use a dark grout which will hopefully make it look more deliberate.

No blog next week, but check us again in two weeks. Cheers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


WE'RE GETTING A POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! How sweet is that? The hole is dug, and they were laying the rebar today (see below). hopefully next week it will be shot with gunite. Maybe we'll be swimming by the end of June (fingers crossed).

Ugh. So the last time we were up, we laid out the location of the pool, scooting it off to the side, so it wasn't the center of attention in the back yard. After they cleared the necessary trees, and graded the land a bit with some of the dirt + shale they dug up, what do you know, the pool seems to be pretty front and center in our yard. Which bothers me to no end! They put it in the right place, we just happened to locate it in the wrong place. To ameliorate the situation, we'll have to do some creative landscaping - planting a few more trees on the north side (left side of pic), and re-grading the southside a bit more to make it feel like less of a presence. The above pic was shot from our upstairs porch. And now for the eye candy...

This week, we saw some more kitchen progress. Above is the arrangement of our backsplash tiles laid out on the floor. It's a made-to-order pattern from Ann Sacks, who, by the way, did not include a diagram for this along with the tile shipment. But Walter the master puzzlesmith figured it out. And below, you can see our countertops, complete with this crazy-awesome pop-up electrical outlet (there's one on either side of the range). The countertops are Ceasarstone, which is a man-made quartz aggregate, and is pretty darn-near indestructible and extremely low-maintenance.

How cool is that? They are connected to a GFI (ground fault interrupted - used in all wet areas like kitchen + bathroom) electrical supply in the cabinet chase below, and are gasketed at the top (it forms a seal in the closed position in case you spill anything.) Also installed this past week was some of our millwork! Below is our fireplace cabinetry. It's all solid walnut and walnut veneer, with a tool-blackened steel face on the fireplace box, and leather cabinet doors. The countertop on that will be concrete, which is being fabricated right now.

A detail shot of the cabinet doors...

The leather is from Moore + Giles, who seem to be the only tannery that makes anything close to a worn saddle/jacket leather. All I wanted was to clad my doors in someone's old motor-cycle jacket. Is that so much to ask? I think they came pretty close, though. Click on it for some sweet grain detail. Below is another detail shot. Note the grille cut into the wood at the bottom. This was genius HVAC-ing on Walter's end. Instead of slicing up our ceiling or floor with return grilles, he hid them in the fireplace cabinetry, and also in the kicks of our kitchen cabinetry at the other end of the room.

More millwork in the master bathroom upstairs - the vanity we posted earlier was finally installed, along with a removable ipe deck for our shower. It's tiled below, but since we had some left over from the upstairs porch deck, we decided to make our shower a bit more spa-like with a wood floor.
Below is the vanity, which will also get a concrete top. I should mention that the concrete is being done by Mark Lacko of Betonas Concrete in Garrison. He was referred by our millworker, Jay Brennan, who I would also pimp with a link, if he weren't still living in the stone age and without a website. So, I'll just say that we are blown away by his work so far, and have hired him to do a ton of other custom furniture in our house.

The powder room (below) is almost done now, it's just waiting for a custom light fixture. And a mirror. Billy beat me to the inaugural pee. The toilet is Toto, and the sink is Duravit.

I just liked this photo above, so I threw it in the mix. You can kind of see from the first level that the pool really is more off to the side than it appears to be from the second floor.

And our mattresses were delivered today. No beds yet, but we've got mattresses. Which is a good thing, because next weekend, since Billy's mom is taking over our place in the city, we'll be spending our first night in the house! Stay tuned.