Google+ House Revivals: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Shower Tile Ideas

I'm still here!  My posts have been a bit farther apart than I like, lately, as we continue our moves into the new city condo, and the beach house.  This transition involves a condo, an apartment, a beach house, two renovations, and four storage lockers in two different states.  It made me tired just to type that....

Our big urgent project this weekend is to finish tiling the condo shower.  I won't share a picture of that, yet, as it's just a big ugly mess.  Instead, I will share some inspiration images from Pinterest (are you just loving Pinterest)?

This tile design stops. my. heart.  

I love how cheery and unpredictable this colorful shower is!

I'm loving the play on rhythm in this elegant bathroom -- from the quatrefoil tiles, to the running bond pattern on the ceiling, to the herringbone parquetry on the floor.  Understated, without being boring....

Basket-weave floor tile and white subway tile in a running bond pattern.  It doesn't get more classic than this.

Does this shower conjure images of mermaids for you?

The dark grout in this shower lends a rustic, casual feel....

Clever use of space....

And finally, how about some heat sensitive shower tiles?  I think it would be fun to have these in a guest bath -- and not tell your guests they were heat sensitive, so they could experience the surprise.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!  I have move-out cleaning and tiling a shower on my agenda :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gray Kitchen Cabinets!

Are you just loving painted kitchen cabinets?  I've always loved them, and because our beach house has sooooo much wood, I was happy to include a painted finish in our renovation.  Sometimes adding yet another layer of natural wood just makes a space feel too heavy.  (I'm not opposed to wood finishes, it's just that the beach house house has a crazy amount of wood already)

We did a gray finish on our cabinets.  I'll be so happy when the kitchen is finally finished -- we're so close, and so far away, and sometimes it feels a little disheartening.  This week I have been re-staining the ceiling beams, and painting the pantry cabinets -- a wall of cabinetry opposite the one shown above, that won't be replaced until the next phase of the remodel.  For now, we're just having part of it re-built, and giving the whole thing a coat of paint. 

For inspiration, and to see what others are doing with gray, I've been exploring Google images.  Here are a few bits of loveliness I've found.

Gwyneth Paltrow's kitchen.  Love that the window trim matches the cabinet finish. And I love how rich the gray is.

The clean, modern lines, and the warm wood floors and stools really balance each other out in this soft gray kitchen.

Gorgeous kitchen!  Love the more modern glass mosaic with the tradition cabinetry.

This eat in English cottage kitchen from the movie The Holiday is absolutely charming.

And, speaking of set kitchens, wasn't it Martha's gray kitchen that started it all?

Two different colors of gray cabinetry with the gorgeous texture of these rustic brick floors keep things from getting too boring in this Sally Wheat kitchen.

Sally Wheat's own kitchen, painted in Benjamin Moore's Fieldstone Gray.

More Martha Stewart -- she has the best stylists!

Gray easily goes from sweet to traditional to industrial to super chic!

Are you feeling inspired by all this gray loveliness?  Or are you more of a natural wood person?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fixer-Upper City Condo Gets a Toilet

Well, we did it.  We really bought the condo.  The fixer-upper in the city.  The one with NO WORKING bathroom.  Are you detecting a pattern here?   We were at least able to put in a toilet last weekend....

Of course, nothing is ever easy, is it?  This is our condo bathroom.   The previous owner bought the condo to renovate and flip.  Unfortunately, his only experience consisted of watching people fix houses on TV.

He decided to remove the tub and put in a huge custom shower. 
Clearly, he had no idea what he was doing.  When he enlarged the shower, he needed to move the rough-in for the toilet.   I am a huge fan of DIY, but if you don't know what you're doing, SEEK INFORMATION, do some research, go to the library, search the internet, ask for advice at the hardware store.  The information you need is out there. 

This poor man did none of those things.  He moved the rough-in for the toilet too close to the wall, too close to the lavatory plumbing, and too far from the water line for the toilet (which is now on the wrong side for most American toilets).  Basically, he made a big mess.  We were able to find a small toilet that just squeaked into place, and we cobbled together a longer water line, but....
... first we had to remove this, rotate it slightly, and replace it.  Bless his heart, the previous owner didn't quite understand that the toilet would sit at an odd angle to the wall, the way he had it rotated.

There is still a ton of stuff to do to make the condo even remotely livable, so having a working toilet will be nice.  And there's a sink in the kitchen.... 

On a really off-beat note, we found out the story behind the boat that was parked in our boat slip.

As you may know, there is a marina under our building, and our condo comes with a boat slip. 

Since the unit was a foreclosure, and sat empty for several months, an enterprising boater who owns a different slip in the same marina decided to lease our slip out.  We honestly don't know whether to laugh or be shocked.  Of course, the other boat slip owner is in a bit of a pickle, now that we own the slip that he is leasing out.  We have suggested that he "honor" his agreement to allow the boater to rent the slip through October, and donate all of his proceeds from renting out the slip to the Boat Owner's Association.  Do you think he'll take our suggestion?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beach House Kitchen Year in Review

When we look back over the last year of our beach house remodel, sometimes I wonder what on earth possessed us to take this on!  And, although the construction portion of our phase-one remodel is completed, there are still many details and finishes left to do.
 We will get there.

Here is our beach house kitchen, as we first found it.  The house had suffered much deferred maintenance, then a foreclosure, then a period of vacancy, following by a flipper/ investor who lost interest in the project after gutting much of the interior.
That's where we stepped in.  This kitchen was a mess of rot and mold and rat poo, but the light was amazing (that's a huge deal in the PNW), the bones were great, and there was potential for extraordinary views of the beach, a harbor, city lights from across the harbor, a mountain range, and even a volcano!
The first thing we did was demo the rot and mold, and we cleaned up the rat poo.  LOTS of bleach was involved!
Then, we lifted the house nine feet to capture those magnificent views.

Unfortunately, we also captured some rooftop views of neighboring homes that were less than ideal, so we did a lighting study on a dark winter day, to see if we could live with fewer windows.
We decided we could definitely lose one of the seven windows in this kitchen, without losing too much light.
A bonus to losing the window would be the addition of some upper cabinets, and the creation of a focal point featuring our vintage stove.
We installed shaker style cabinets, with a painted and glazed finish, an enormous heavy gauge stainless steel sink, and a Paperstone countertop.
We had our plumber install our new faucet -- perfect for giant crab pots!
 (A local fisherman sells live crab daily from his boat at a nearby marina.)
The Paperstone countertops got three coats of carnauba wax, followed by a beeswax topcoat.
The original flagstone floors were restored -- a project that involved back-breaking labor, including crawling around on hands and knees with a scraper and a wire brush, followed by several passes with a floor polisher, followed by more crawling and scraping and brushing, and so on....  Ultimately, the floor was deemed clean, and a sealer was applied.
The flipper/ investor we bought the house from had attempted to paint the ceiling, and in the process had gotten paint and primer all over the existing beams.  After much scrubbing, the paint splotches are gone, but we will need to re-stain the beams, as the scrubbing removed part of the finish....
Rewiring the ceiling was out of the question, so we devised a track lighting design using existing wiring locations.  It's turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this renovation!
And can you believe the glass globes were only fifty-four cents a piece on clearance?  They remind me of milk glass.
The stove has been moved from the garage into the kitchen... where it stands in the middle of the floor, waiting to be plumbed in to the gas line....
And we still await the installation of a stove vent (which is a nice way of saying I need to make up my mind about some things)...

Lots of little details are still left to accomplish, but the really hard stuff is done.  And that makes Dexter and me want to do the happy dance on our restored flagstone floors!

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beach House Remodel, How Far We've Come

Do you ever just feel totally overwhelmed by all the millions of little details you need to take care of?  That's how I've been feeling, lately.  Here is an idea of what we've been doing in just the last couple of days.

Staining uprights and railings.  In the picture below, you can see some of the old orange color of the handrail, contrasted with the part I had already stained.

Staining about thirteen million of these little guys...

to cover the screw holes for these guys... which I also stained.

I've also been staining thresholds....

... and the occasional door.

Of course, you know about the mirrors....

I've also been polishing the new Paperstone countertops...

and polishing the flagstone floors.

And, speaking of floors, the loft floors are being painted... temporarily.  So far, they're only primed....

The kitchen doors are also primed...

... and the entry doors have a first coat of paint.

The fireplace got some paint -- just a bit of dry brushing, to make it look limey,..

... but first it needed the soot stains scrubbed with a stiff brush.

There are lots of other "little things," but they will need to go into another post.  Because I have a date with a floor polisher this morning, and a paint roller this afternoon.   When I start to feel a little down about all the things left to do, I remember the state of the house last Christmas.

And remind myself how far we've come!  Nine feet, to be exact.  That's how far we raised the house last winter.

I was wondering through the house this week, feeling overwhelmed, and wondering what in the world possessed me to take this project on...

... then looked out the window.... and felt very blessed, indeed.

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