Thursday, October 29, 2009


The countertops went in on Monday in the kitchen and bathrooms. They're all carrera marble. They did a beautiful job installing them. These guys are real perfectionists. I'm obsessing though over the seam on the kitchen sink. It was a decision that was made without me. The kitchen measures 96.5" on the side with the sink and the prefab slabs that I bought were 96". Instead of slicing off 1/2" from another slab and tacking it on to the end where I think it would be less noticeable, the boys decided to do it down the center of the sink. Everyone tells me that this is the most professional place to do the seam, but why?! I don't get it. I could live with it except that I feel like the seam is really dark. It's all I can stare at right now. I think that the sink can be one of the most elegant features in a kitchen, so I don't understand why you'd put the seam there to begin with. After spending an hour contemplating ripping out all the counters and finding new marble delaying everything by weeks, I have come to my senses. I've called the counter guys to see what they can do about lightening the seam. I suppose that there's always at least one thing that haunts you in a remodel. This is at the top of my list. I haven't heard back yet. Maybe I'm being a Jeff lewis drama queen on this, but I just want that kitchen to be perfect after all this!

Painted Lady

Standing in the living room looking through the dining room and kitchen to the back of the house.
Standing at the front door looking down the hallway.
Master bath.
Master bedroom.
Family room.

The backyard!
The office.
Obviously, I need a class on architectural photography. I try to work on it for the final shots!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


While our canine companion has done a fantastic job as supervisor/social coordinator of the overall remodel, it's our feline residents who were kind enough to offer to stay in residence upstairs to manage all of the demolition and construction. They are amazing little troopers. Completely displaced into the backyard most of the time, they have managed to survive it all. Not only do they spend their days sunning themselves in the dirt under the rose bushes out back, but we quickly filled up the entire backyard with various items from the remodel leaving them even less room to roam. For example, our range and Cupcake's crib have been living in the backyard for 5 or so months now along with a delightful assortment of tools and random reno crap. They have a lot to say every morning when we venture upstairs to feed them. In fact, they have a lot to say every time I enter the upstairs. Their tone is never particularly pleasant which I more than understand. I am quite confident that the two of them talk to anyone willing to listen who may be working upstairs in their house. At least my girls may have learned a little Spanish over the last 6 months. They are clearly counting the minutes more than anyone until we have their chairs at the front windows again ready for hours of snoozing. These photos capture them at the front door in a classic morning greeting. Here I think they look like little prisoners contemplating their tragic existence. Hang in there, girls! We're almost there.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Million Shades of Beige

We started painting two weeks ago! I really never thought that this day would come. I can almost taste the finish line now. We did about 15 different shades of beige upstairs and finally made some choices. The same color looks different in every room and different every hour of the day. The process drove us a little nutty. We went with the Benjamin Moore Aura low VOC on everything except for the primer on the trim where we did do the toxic blend. It took the painters two weeks just to do all the trim. There was an enormous amount of prep work and they are perfectionists. I love them. They show up when they say they'll show and are very nice. We even have pleasant conversations about the weather. A far cry from Dour Donald!

The painting will be done by the end of next week and then we're on to the countertop installations, tiling in the kitchen and the finished plumbing and electrical. Hoorah!

Tired of Looking at Doorknobs?

Here is little Cupcake. She is the reason why Little Lantern has been dark for almost 2 months now. This little angel has been keeping us very busy and this lady has found it hard to find a moment to blog when she could staring at those delicious cheeks. She turned eight weeks today, so I decided that enough was enough in my neglect of poor Little Lantern.

Luckily, the house project has continued -- albeit at a much slower pace. You will be glad to know that while I was in the hospital bed in labor, I made J call the flooring guy to confirm that he was in fact coming the next day to stain the floors. I was not about to allow this project to derail simply because we were in the process of experiencing the miracle of life! We needed a home for our little miracle. J didn't take me seriously the first two times that I asked him. He must have thought that I was delirious.
Luckily, the flooring guys showed and did two coats of that glorious ebony. We were a little nervous, but are really happy about how the dark color turned out. Here's a tiny glimpse of what it looks like.

After the floors were done, it was time to tackle the moldings. The lady was in dire need of some dressing up. We ended up going hog wild in the end doing high baseboards which was comprised of two separate pieces, picture frame moldings, door casings with plaster bits in the corners, plaster ceiling medallions, and mammoth crown moldings. Our incredible friend, Pat, was able to do all the carpentry for us. He saved our sorry butts yet again not only because it's done, but because it's done properly. It's really hard to tell from the pics, but here's a glimpse of what it looks like. The photo of the moldings barely does it justice. The floors were immediately covered to protect them from any work that was being done, so it looks kind of odd with the red paper.