November 1, 2010
November 1, 2010
Our kitchen cabinets were delivered! I happened to peek at the webcam from work just in time to see this huge truck backing up to the front door (above). Guess this is why the landscaping can't happen until the end of project! Tom and crew will start installing them later this week, but here's a sneak peak.
September 23, 2010
Friends and neighbors warned us that we'd have tons of decisions to make during our renovation, so we thought we knew what to expect. NOT! As it turns out, picking all of the interior finishes for the house—especially with our open floor plan, where all the rooms need to work together—has been even more overwhelming than we anticipated. I thought I'd use this post to give you a glimpse into some the things we've decided on thus far, and to say how incredibly fortunate we are to have interior designer Melissa Gulley guiding us through the decision process.
When the folks at This Old House first asked us whether we had an interior designer, I thought, "Seriously? We're not fancy, decorator-type people." The term 'interior designer' evoked visions of ultra-formal furniture, and overly fancy window treatments. But when Melissa joined our project team back in June, she quickly understood the style that we like. ( Hint: it doesn't include ultra-formal furniture and overly fancy window treatments.) Since then, Melissa's helped us choose everything from lighting fixtures to rugs, from kitchen countertops to paint colors, and from tile to—yep—window treatments. (Not overly fancy, just simple and colorful.) She's also helped ensure that the colors, styles, and finishes in one room work well with those in the next room (again, pretty key with our open floorplan). Thus, while the decisions are still overwhelming—due, primarily, to the sheer volume of them—we feel great about what we've picked with Melissa's guidance, and confident that the finished product is going to look fantastic.
(Side note... have I mentioned how much I can't wait to see 'the finished product'? By my estimation the finished product will be ready 12.5 weeks from today, but really... who's counting?!)
Here's a glimpse into some of the many interior choices we've made over the past month or two:
Melissa with Danny Puccio from Stone Technologies. They're looking at the Antiqued Black Zimbabwe granite we chose for the perimeter counters in the kitchen, juxtaposed with the green glass tile we're using for our backsplash, the green (island) and white (perimeter) cabinets colors, and our wood island top.
Melissa showing us how the calacatta marble top we've chosen for our master bath vanity will look with the mosaic tile we've chosen for the floor in that bathroom, the bluish grey vanity, and the white and grey fabric we'll use for simple window valances in that room.
Raveen, Melissa and Jaime Ferris from Tile Showcase, choosing 'fun but simple' black and white tile for the kids' bathroom. Our kids are 7 and 9 now, but will be pre-teens and teens before we know it... so we wanted something sort of ageless that can be easily updated with paint and accessories as the kids get older.
Raveen and Melissa using paper towels to mock up furniture placement in our new sunroom. We were measuring for a new rug that day, and wanted to see how the furniture (our existing couches and chair/ottoman combo) might be laid out. We're planning to use an amazingly soft tufted rug from Merida Meridian. Since they custom-make their natural-fiber rugs, we can pick just the right colors to tie into the adjoining living room/dining room/kitchen area. Stay tuned to the show to see one of our rugs being made at their factory in Fall River, Massachusetts!
August 18, 2010
Things are still insanely busy (my excuse for not posting in the last couple weeks). We've had many, many late nights recently, poring over decorative lighting and plumbing fixtures (electrician Allen Gallant and TOH plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey need our choices asap!) So I'm pretty bleary-eyed as I write this. But here it goes ...
August 11, 2010
newly remodeled kitchens. You know what I'm talking about: Those sleek, clean, ridiculously functional kitchens with acres of granite countertops, and shiny, stainless-steel appliances. But despite the novelty of modern-day luxuries, such as refrigerated drawers, and built-in espresso machines, the kitchens the two of us love best all have one thing in common: an island that serves as a central gathering spot.
Having an island—and being awesome—are the two things we're insisting upon for our new kitchen. And according to the sketch (above) that our son recently drew up, it had better be professional grade to boot. Apparently, he wants to have his own "kitchen stadium," in which he can become a true Iron Chef!
July 26, 2010
So what's it like to be the homeowner on a This Old House project? It's a unique experience, for sure, and BUSY (a major renovation is always busy, but in our case we also have (1) a compressed timeframe and (2) the small matter of documenting the whole thing for TV and a magazine!) I thought I'd share 'A week in the Life of a This Old House Homeowner' to give you all a feel for what it's like. Every week is different, of course, but read on to see what happened during the week of July 19, 2010. (And if readers enjoy this'week in the life' snapshot, let me know and I'll do it again some other week!)
Monday, July 19, 8:15 am
We started the week with our weekly jobsite meeting at the house. Since there's nowhere to sit inside the house (we moved all the furniture out in May), we've been meeting in the front yard at a picnic table. So far the weather has cooperated! Most weeks, the meeting consists of Raveen and I, Tom Silva, our architect Chris Chu, our interior designer Melissa Gulley, and one or both of the This Old House producers (Deborah Hood and Jen Wells). The focus of this week's meeting was budget, and Tom reviewed a few areas where we're over-budget so that we can plan accordingly -- fun, fun!
July 14, 2010
The job site has been hopping! Last week, the new entryway really came together, as Tom and crew added the plywood sheathing and gabled roof. It looks fantastic! I'm excited to see the formerly "blank and featureless" front of the house start to come alive, since that was one of the main goals of our renovation. And already, the awkwardly protruding garage appears less so, since the entryway comes out and meets it halfway.
July 10, 2010
window seat? The thought of one conjures up many visions, relaxing, reading a book, or just gazing out into the world with a big steaming cup of coffee. With that in mind, we found two potential spots on the main floor of our house to put window seats.
The first was in the kitchen along a wall near the door to the deck. The idea here was to provide a comfortable spot to sit in while hanging out and being part of the action. Then we started thinking about it. Would you sit there a little bit off to the side, slightly lower than the chef? Or, would you prefer to sit at the island and have a better view of whats going on? Could we use the extra counter space?
July 9, 2010
I have to pinch myself these days, I really do. For the past few weeks since we moved out of our old house, my routine has been to drop the kids off at the school bus stop in our old neighborhood and head down the street to say good morning to Tom Silva and his crew working away on our house. It's a pretty amazing way to start the day, seeing dedicated professionals building something for you. I always leave happy.
June 30, 2010
Given the big project that Raveen and I taking on with This Old House, you might wonder if we are experienced renovators. The answer is a resounding NO! Sure, we've done a few small projects here and there (minor bathroom remodels, painting, planting, etc.), but nothing anywhere near the magnitude of our current project. So we have LOTS to learn.
One subject in which we've been taking a crash course recently is lighting. Who knew there was so much to learn? We certainly didn't, but we now know that lighting can have a huge impact on the look and feel of a room, so it pays to get it right.