Sunday, November 11, 2012

Progress photos - cabinets


Our custom cabinets have arrived and the cabinet maker has been hard at work installing them.  You might be wondering "If they're on such a tight budget,  how and why did they end up with custom cabinets?"  As always, it's important to shop around and collect bids.  We looked at several larger cabinet manufacturers and as it ended up, the custom guy came in lower.  It's really a win/win when you get custom cabinets, because you know that you're getting a piece to fit exactly into the space. 

We spent quite a bit of time on our cabinet design.  Here's my cabinet wish list:

  • white cabinets with a simple Shaker style recessed panel
  • simple crown molding to top the kitchen cabinets
  • lots of drawers with built in rolling shelves, for easy access to pots, pans, casserole and serving dishes
  • a built in desk in the kitchen to function as a place to put mail, cookbooks and my laptop - the finished height for the desk at 32" to comfortably house a person sitting on a chair
  • butcher block cutting boards, undermounted beneath the countertops
  • a large island for storage and baking
Great Room
  • cabinets set at 36" to house things like: board games, throw blankets, audio/visual equipment
  • built in shelving above the cabinets to display books, pictures and other things
Mud Room
  • upper and lower cabinets to store cleaning solutions, keys and all sorts of random junk
  • room for a utility sink
  • maximize the window seat by putting in built in cabinets that can function as filing cabinets
Laundry Room
  • white, melamine cabinets to stay on budget
  • room for a utility sink
  • lots of countertop space for folding laundry and ironing
  • drying bar for wet clothes
  • sewing counter set at 30" to allow for comfortable sewing
Guest Bath
  • knotty alder cabinets to add a more masculine feel (FYI: stained cabinets happen to be less expensive than painted)
  • two set of drawer banks for plenty of storage
  • enough elbow room to comfortably use the sink - in other words: make sure that you allow for a bit of room when placing dual vanity sinks
  • countertop height at 32" for comfort
Master Bath
  • white cabinets with a simple Shaker Style recessed panel
  • a built in hutch in between the two sinks, in lieu of a medicine cabinet
  • enough elbow room to comfortably use the sink
  • countertop height at 36" - a bit higher than your traditional vanity height, but ideal for washing your face (we had this height in our old home and loved it)

Wondering about paint colors? 

  • All cabinets, millwork, doors and ceilings: Sherwin Williams SW7008 "Alabaster." 
  • Guest bath: Sherwin Williams SW3119-B "Burnished Walnut" stain
And finally, here are the progress pics:
Built in filing cabinets in the office

Kitchen cabinets with half of the island installed

Kitchen cabinets with the entire island installed

Kitchen cabinets, looking at the space for the range and vent hood

Kitchen cabinets - the empty space on the wall will house the dishwasher

Lots of drawers in the island

Great room cabinets

Great room cabinets and shelving
Powder room vanity

Laundry room sewing counter

Laundry room upper and lower cabinets

Guest room cabinets

Built in hutch between master bedroom and master bath

Master bath dual vanity
I also ordered hardware for our cabinets from Overstock.  While I love the look and feel of solid brass knobs and pulls, they just weren't in our budget.  In talking with our cabinet maker, he said "You can order a $50 pull or a $5 pull, and the $50 one isn't always going to be better or hold up longer."  Just in case, I ordered a few extra knobs and pulls in the event that we need to replace them. 
While our plumbing fixtures are polished chrome, the cabinet hardware will be satin nickel.  In talking with our designer, she recommending mixing no more than 2 metals throughout the house.  That means all of our light fixtures, door hardware and plumbing fixtures will be either polished chrome or satin nickel. She also suggested that we try and stay less than $5 per knob/pull. 
Stone Mill Satin Nickel Nantucket Cabinet Pull - $2.95/ea

Stone Mill Satin Nickel Round Cabinet Knobs - $2.75/ea

Clear glass cabinet knob from A Look In the Attic - $2.29/ea

Clear glass cabinet pull from A Look In the Attic - $6.99/ea

For the laundry room cabinet hardware, I wanted to add a bit of sparkle, keeping the space fun and feminine.  I found some beautiful glass hardware at Look In the Attic.
In the end, I was able to all of our cabinet hardware for less than $400!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Design Inspiration - Rejuvenation Seattle

Today I decided to make a trip down to Rejuvenation.  One of the biggest things on my "to do" list is to pick light fixtures for the house.  I have almost all of the light fixtures selected, with the exception of the office and the great room.  Since those are the 2 rooms that you pass by upon entering the house, I wanted the light fixtures to have some sort of architectural interest and character. 
I've always been drawn to the schoolhouse style lighting, but had a hard time getting over the amount of glass on the actual fixtures.  In hopes of finding something different, off to Rejuvenation I went!
Rejuvenation Seattle

The awesome warehouse interior

Tables of milk glass and Jadeite

Tables of salvage goods - lots of glass, crates, copper and brass

Beautiful hardwood floors
 I spent the first part of my time just wandering around the store.  I had no idea that Rejuvenation was more than just a lighting store.  They have some bath accessories (towel bars, soap dishes), door hardware, knobs and pulls and tons of odds and ends.  I loved the overall feel of the store with the rustic flooring, high ceilings and raw timber beams. 

Once I finally got over the milk glass and Jadeite, I started to focus on the lights.  Rejuvenation offers several shades for their schoolhouse fixtures, in various colors.  The shade that I was attracted to the most was the "Eggshell" shade, which has a few bands of opaque coloring around the actual shade - visible when the light is on, hidden when the light is off.  It's just enough detail to give off some visual interest, but not so much detail that the shade becomes overpowering. 

The light below is the 14" schoolhouse light:
Rejuvenation schoolhouse light with "eggshell" shade

Another shot of the Rejuvenation schoolhouse light with "eggshell" shade
Another project that I've been working on is outfitting the doors with hardware.  Since our 5 panel doors came with chrome hinges, we're sort of locked into using chrome to keep the look consistent.  Initially I had requested that the builder change the hardware to satin nickel, but the idea of having the screws replaced in every single door started to seem like a pretty big logistical and financial undertaking. 
I was pleasantly surprised to see a chrome knob in the flesh today, and I really liked how it looked.  It's a nice pop of color on an otherwise traditional door.  I'll be putting up a separate post on door hardware sometime soon!
4 panel door with chrome knobs

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Progress photos - hardwood floors

Our hardwood floors are in!  We couldn't me more thrilled with how they look.  The color and feel are a combination of everything we were looking for: dark but warm, rich but casual. 

We ended up using Kentwood Originals Engineered Maple Del Rio hardwoods.  The floors are hand scraped, distressed, covered with a high performance polyurethane and come with a 25 year residential wear warranty. 

We stopped by late on Halloween to find the hardwood guy installing the floors.  Here are a few pics:
Hardwoods in the kitchen

Vapor barrier
The finished product, in the office. 
We used remnant pieces to create a small hearth in front of the master bedroom fireplace
Here's a tip when designing the installation of your hardwood floors: remember to consider the orientation of your floor boards.  We decided to install the boards parallel to the front door, running across the house from side to side.  This prevents having the "bowling alley" effect, which we had in our last house (and to be quite honest, it never really bothered me), where the boards of the floor create a bowling alley lane leading from the front door to the back of the house.

Progress photos - interior paint

Our first coat of interior paint is up, and it looks great!  Unfortunately, we've had some exceptionally gray weather over the past week, and since we only have one floodlight in the inside, you'll have to take the actual color in the pictures with a grain of salt.  Obviously the lighting is suboptimal.

Our painter will be coming back once the hardwoods, millwork and cabinets are installed to put a final coat on each of the walls. 

The main paint color throughout our house: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Revere Pewter

Master bath: Benjamin Moore 1551 La Paloma Gray

Child's room: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Revere Pewter

Guest bathroom: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Stratton Blue

Another shot of the guest bath: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Stratton Blue

Progress photos - solid wood front door

Our beautiful front door arrived this week and we were thrilled to see how it looked after installation. 

One of the things that we were most concerned about was the potential for moisture absorption and warping.  Since we're well into the rainy season here in Seattle, we wanted to make sure that the door got a coat of Benite as soon as possible. 

From Daly's Paint:

Benite Wood Conditioner

A Little History of Benite...

BENITE. Now there's a name for you! Benite was a magic elixir that Walter J. Daly (our founding father) knew about in Texas and brought it with him to the great Northwest. Eventually he got the right to distribute BENITE here on the coast. Daly's eventually discovered that the founders for BENJAMIN CHEMICAL Company had a falling out and that we were their sole customer! By the late 1960's the survivor of the partnership in Michigan, Mr. St. Johns, decided he was too old to fool around with this stuff and wanted out. We were now over a barrel. A BENITE Barrel. In order to continue with it we'd have to start making it ourselves and buy the rights to it for CASH - A LOT OF IT!

By this time we'd taken Benite a bit further and developed BenMatte, known at that time as a "Modern Danish Oil Finish" (No reference to Tung Oil yet.) Plus our Benite stain line and everything else Herb, in our own factory, could think of tossing BENITE into.

Anyway, Mr. St. Johns told us he'd send us the formula, the vats, and himself too, to help us set up the process of making Benite at Daly's. Trouble is, his vats were rusted and he was too...he never showed up.

Daly's -- or better yet Herb was on his own for that first batch.

Here's what happened:

By 8:00p.m. that July day in 1969 when Herb made the first batch, the odor had crept up the alley to the street. The stuff had been in the cooker since 2:00 p.m. or so and it was the worst smell ever. Jim Daly went home for diner at 6:30 and on his way back he could smell this unusual odor for about a mile. As he got to the corner of 36th and Stone (where the store and factory are located), he noticed smoke coming out of the old building thinking for sure that "THAT WAS IT!" Turns out the problem was in the gas jets not being large enough, preventing the 100 gallons or so from heating fast enough to reach a certain critical temp. Poor Herb, but by the next couple of batches he could get to the critical temp in a couple of hours or so, and not produce quite so much smoke in the process.

In later batches, the odor was bad enough so that people couldn't work in the office. You see, at that time the office was in an old building right above the Benite Cooker. We moved the office in 1970. Did our Benite batches have anything to do with the move???

Needless to say, Herb had perfected the Benite recipe, and we no longer alarm anyone on our street. At least, not that we are aware of!

With the Benite now protecting our front door, we can rest easy until we pick a color of stain for the front door, side panels and tongue and groove ceiling on the front porch. 

Here are a few pics of our door, from Simpson Door

Solid wood 8 foot fir door, from Simpson Door Company

Close up of our Simpson fir door

Beautiful wood grain

View of the door and side lights from the interior

Door specs

Curious as to why we chose a Simpson front door?  Not only is Simpson a local Pacific Northwest company, but here's some interesting historical information for you, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Simpson Company is also notable for the construction and operations of its own logging railroad known as the Simpson Railroad. It is one of the last logging railroad operations in the continental United States and dates back some 120 years. The railroad was once extensive and branched out into several hundred miles of forestland in the Olympic Peninsula but is now limited to less than fifteen miles of operational track. The rail line was used not only to transport lumber but also as a transportation network to remote logging camps and towns. Construction of the railroad line was an engineering feat as demonstrated by the large and complex bridges built to span gorges as well as the mountainous terrain the railroad traveled through. Perhaps the most notable landmarks of the now mostly abandoned line are the Vance Creek Bridge and the High Steel Bridge. Both bridges were built in 1929 and in use until the 1950s when the line was abandoned. The bridges still stand with the High Steel Bridge still in use as a forest road. The High Steel Bridge also has the distinction of being one of the tallest rail bridges in the United States and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A picture taken in the 1940s of the Vance Creek Bridge with a Simpson train