29 January 2011

Counter Tops

At this stage of construction I wish I were able to spend each day, all day, at the house and watch the contractors work.  I really enjoy watching and learning how these guys do their job.  On the other hand, I would probably be a nervous wreck watching them and they would probably drive me from the house.

I'd really like to watch them cut and work the granite, but I would stress that at any moment a great big crack would run the length of the slab.  

Roque, the granite guy (isn't that a great name for someone who works with stone?) started putting the cabinet tops on.  Last week I paid a visit to his workshop to deliver the two kitchen sinks and had the opportunity to see them cutting out the  templates for the four bathroom lavatories.  It is my understanding that they have to cut out the holes for undermount sinks at the shop because the edges have to be polished.  The holes for drop-in sinks (like the sink for the utility sink) and the range top will be done on sight because the raw edges are won't show.

I simply cannot believe that I didn't have my camera with me so you aren't able to see photos from his shop.

But, I did get photos of the work they did at the house.  This is getting really fun for me and I find myself smiling a lot.  I'm telling you, I cannot wait to start cooking in the kitchen.  Here are some pictures of the granite counter tops.

The baking center.  The height of this cabinet is dropped to 30" so I can easily knead dough on it (being the shorty that I am).

This is where the range top will be dropped in.  9/10 of this slab will be cut out for the range top to drop in.  I wonder why they just couldn't install the two little pieces on each side of where the range will go?  I'm sure there is a reason.  I've requested the cut-out piece to be sliced up so I can use for fruit and cheese platters.

The backsplash here will also be granite but BtB wants to install at the same time the vent hood goes in.

I can't get enough of the island.  I love the island.

I want to wrap my arms around it and hug it.  I want to tap dance on it.

I want to...... oh, never mind.  I'm sorry.

The primary sink.  The window sill will be granite as well.

Some of the cabinet tops with the back splash complete.

The empty space under the counter top will be the wine refrigerator.  To the right, you can see where the cabinet top drops down in the baking center.

Some photos of the pantry.  These are the bookshelves; once there are actual shelves installed.

The desk area.  We'll keep the computer here.  The door into the kitchen is just to the left.

A work counter for wrapping gifts and other crafty stuff.

Another shot of the book shelves and storage space below.  Due to the design of this house and the lack of wall space in the great room (because of the windows) there is not much space for pieces of furniture that store things; primarily china and crystal.  The china hutches and buffets that used to go in the formal dining room are now sold since there is no place for them.  Thus, the pantry is also serving as storage room for things like that.

I didn't take a photo of it but there are actually shelves along the wall (in the right side of this photo) for groceries and the like.

This is the Jack guest bathroom.  The Jill is identical.  These cabinet tops are travertine.

The powder room has the same travertine.  I'll add a photo later.

One of the lavatories in the Master bath.  Just like the flooring, the cabinet tops are Emperador Dark marble.

27 January 2011

Lights!! We Have Juice!!

The electricians worked for several days to get all of the light fixtures hung.   They flipped the power on and I must say, a little rush came over me the first time I walked through the house with the lights on.  It's as if the house has really come to life. 

Here are some of the fixtures C and I found over the past several years.

These are the coach lamps on the front porch.  There are two of them

This is the chandelier in the entry hall.  It's from an outfit called Salamander Glass Studio.  It's very Bohemian in nature.  The iron is hand forged and the shades are hand blown and decorated.  I like that each shade is unique, different and signed by the artist.  These shades are called Desert Sunrise.

This is another art glass piece.  We have this in the hallway going to the guest rooms.

This iron piece is in one of the guest rooms.  If I were a better photographer you could see the ivy leaves that are entwined throughout the fixture.  The bulbs were in the fixture when we bought it and we'll eventually change these out and add some small shades to it.

This is in the other guest bedroom.  I like the seeded glass panels.

We found two of these funky alabaster fixtures and put one in each of the guest bedroom closets.

This is a larger version of the fixture in the guest bedroom.  We hung this in the Master bedroom.

Track lighting in the great room.  There are four of these; two on each wall.  We'll play around with these and point them here and there.

This is probably my favorite.  It's a leaded Tiffany-style ceiling fixture that we hung over the island in the kitchen.  We found this a couple of years ago and for two years I marveled at how large it was.  Once it was hung...

it shrunk.  But I still love it.

This is a small fixture for the pantry that is part of the Island chandelier suite.

24 January 2011

Granite, Stone & Marble

I love granite.  I love stone. 

 See the slabs on the right with the black labels?  Notice how smooth the ends are and the edges are cut smooth and straight?  That is how you can tell that the company that mined it had really fine, expensive equipment to use in their processing techniques.

The netting on the underside of the slabs is put on at the quarry and give it a little more strength and stabilization during transport.  Many granites have lots of irregularities in them which is what makes them so interesting to look at. They have veins, streaks of quartz, lots of movement.  These irregularities that make them so gorgeous to look at also makes them more fragile. So they are reinforced with mesh to keep them from cracking during transport and fabrication.
 Giallo Ornamental - This slab will provide the cabinet top in the Utility Room.  It has its origins in Brazil.  You can find it in golds, creams and browns.  The slab we selected is in the cream and brown range.

 Colonial Cream - A granite from India.  This is the granite we selected for the kitchen and pantry

 Aquarama - This is another granite from Brazil.  It had alot of greens and coppers with a lot of movement.  We wanted this piece for the powder room.  When time came to put a hold on it we were notified that it was "spoken for". 

 Sorry for the "Road to Damascus" shine from the camera.  This is Dark Emperador; a marble from Spain.  The master bath has this same material on the floor and in the shower.  This slab will become the cabinet-tops in there.

Fantastico!  This made my heart go pitter patter.  It is so beautiful; one of the prettiest pieces of onyx I've seen.  See the "made in Italy" sticker on the upper right-hand corner of the slab?  It made me laugh.  Technically it was 'made' in Italy, but not by the hands of a nimble-handed sculpture named Guisseppi.  No, I think God had something to do with this beautiful piece of stone. 

We really would have loved to have this but it would have required selling a grandchild or two.

10 January 2011


The preparations alone for staining and painting are gynormous!  In the case of our house they had to cover everything with a thick, brown paper which makes it very dark in the house.  Believe me, I am using that excuse for my really bad photos. 

Even the windows had to be covered up.

Look, here's a little peep hole in the kitchen window they made for themselves.  It would drive me batty too if I couldn't look out.

Here's another one in one of the great room windows.

We chose a dark walnut stain for the cabinets and trim.

This whole process seems very messy to me.  Look at all of this stuff!! 

If you promise not to think bad of me I'll tell you a secret.  I love the smell of stain, paint and varnish.  There, it's out.  I don't know why but I love the smell.  I also love the smell of magic markers.  As a child I'm sure it was a constant battle for my mother to keep me away from the car tailpipe.   Which makes me think of something else I love the smell of....the diesel from the snow cats on the ski slopes.  There was just something about that smell in the winter....  Wow, I am really scaring myself here.  If I don't post here for awhile, I may be locked away in a rehab; the subject of an intervention to face my addiction to nasty fumes.

This is the pantry door which will be a swinging door.

 The kitchen cabinets
 The mud room bench

 and more drawers.  If you look closely you'll see a number written on the bottom of the drawers.  This tells the painer where to return the drawer to so each drawer will go back in its very own place.

The beams got stained as well. 

The walls have actually been painted as well, but it was very hard to get any photos with it being so dark.  Once all of the paper comes off windows I may be able to get some decent pics of the paint.  Until then....

We did get a little snow the day we were out getting these photos.