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.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Floors Sealed, More Light Fixtures, Mattresses

Our floors have been sanded and sealed with a matte water-based polyurethane.  They look incredible.  In the above picture, note that (a) the floors are finished, (b) the back island panel has been applied, (c) three of the five dining room pendants have been installed, and (d) the refrigerator panels are ready to be installed - they're against the wall on the right.

In the above photo, you can see the wall sconces on the fireplace wall (that's the fireplace on the floor waiting to be installed - the cabinetry should be ready for installation this week).

Above is a close-up of the floors.  We love the rustic character, and we chose not to fill any knots.

Above is another shot of the floors.  The color looks much different in this shot.  In reality, the color is closest to the first picture in this post.

And finally, this is a shot of our finished stairs.  To the right, you can see the dark gray hexagonal tiles on the entry floor.  The walls in the entry were painted a light green, but we really don't like it, so it's being repainted to match the rest of the downstairs.  Also check out the sweet light fixture we got for the entry and the mercury glass pendants above the stairs.

After going to the house, Nina and I headed to Sleepy's and bought four beds (a king for our room, a queen for one guest room, and 2 twins for the other guest room).  They're being delivered a week from Saturday, so we might just stay up there that night!

This should be another week of significant progress.  Hopefully the plumbing fixtures will be installed, painting will be complete, the remaining lights will be installed, the kitchen counter will arrive, and our custom fireplace and master bath cabinetry will arrive.  Hopefully...