Choices, choices and more choices

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

We’ve had a few setbacks in the last couple of weeks.  Not catastrophic, but enough to have a little pause in the construction.

First, the electrician that we were working with had an emergency, so a new electrician had to be brought in.  I don’t think he was fully in the loop, because he has installed some electrical components that will either not work in their present location or they will have to be changed out because they don’t work with our overall plan.  The trickiest part of the electrical is trying to figure out lighting because, unless we install track lighting, we cannot install overhead lighting due to the beamed ceiling.  Lighting in the new addition is my biggest concern.

Next, the guy that is in charge of the project went on vacation.  I do not begrudge anyone from going on vacation, but some of the things that we talked to him about did not translate to the other trades.  For example, I wanted to find out about installing pocket doors into the Master Bathroom and into the new walk in closet.  Both rooms have been framed for a standard door.  I wanted to install a larger bathtub in the main bath, and a new small one has been installed and plumbed.  Small things, but they need to be addressed.  And, the electrical has been installed in the kitchen without the benefit of the cabinet and appliance plan.

Nice new small bathtub

Nice new small bathtub

To top it all off, the building inspector has been by and he has gotten very, very picky.  We are now going to have to hire an engineer because the inspector will not tell us how to fix a minor framing issue.  The biggest problem that we are having with the building department and, in some ways, the contractor, is that they do not understand that none of the interior walls are load bearing.  The beams run from the middle of the house, which is a large brick fireplace to the exterior walls.  They insist that we install posts and other things to “hold up the ceiling” when we have removed an interior wall.  Sigh.  I’m sure this will eventually all work out.

Shower pan installed

Shower pan installed

Good news is that the new shower pan has been installed in the Master Bath.  It is huge…7 feet long and almost 3 feet wide.  Pretty durn luxurious.

So, while the house is on hold, we got together with the cabinet guy to go over the final plans for the kitchen and the two baths.  We really like the cabinet guy and he comes highly recommended.  However, we just got the bid yesterday and I just about passed out.  In an effort to keep the costs under control, I think we may have to get rid of some things like “soft-close” drawers and cabinet doors on every single door and drawer…and there are probably 50, at least, involved.  I looked up the Blu-motion soft close hardware on Amazon and each one is over $80.00.  Our cabinet guy can probably get a better price, but that is a huge chunk to put out so the doors and drawers don’t slam.  I think I’ve lived with hard close drawers and doors for this long, I can probably live with them in the new house.

Also, he has included full extension drawers…all of them. That’s probably 30 drawers.  I don’t think we need that on every single drawer.  The big ones, yes.  The small ones will probably be fine with regular extension.  I think those two things will put a dent in the bid.

Next, the hubster and I ventured over to Ferguson Plumbing and Appliance.  We were there for three hours and we will probably find out the damage (bid) today or tomorrow.  We picked out faucets and toilets (self-closing seats!), bathtub, dishwasher, fridge, stove, hood, sinks…etc.  I was way overwhelmed after that experience.  But, we went ahead to a tile store after that to choose our tile.

Bathroom tile:  Grey and white

Bathroom tile: Grey and white

I am trying to keep the color scheme for the house true to the Mid-Century Modern style, which is very neutral and natural.  I chose the above tile for the two bathrooms.  Grey tile with white grout on the floor and off white/white tile on the surrounds.  I will be including a colorful accent tile for the insets in the bath and shower.  I love the wavy colorful glass that is in the picture at the top of this post,. It is expensive, but I won’t need that much, so I think we will go for it.

As far as the kitchen backsplash goes, I love the geometric green clear and frosted glass that is depicted next to the wavy tile at the top of the page.  If I can swing it, I will go for it, but it is over $20.00 per square foot.  If we find that it is just too expensive, then I will probably choose a ceramic subway-like tile.  I chose two colors that I liked and brought them home to audition.

Tile under four different lighting conditions

Tile under four different lighting conditions

I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a photographer by trade.  Because of that, I am very conscious of light and how it effects color. (I keep my computer monitor calibrated to make sure the colors are true to what I am seeing.)  You can see that light very much affects how color looks. (This becomes particularly important when I photograph food.  It is also almost as important when it comes to skin tones.)  That is also why when you chose a paint color, you should paint a little swatch and live with it under different lighting conditions to make sure it is the color that you want.  The color that I am looking for looks closest to the upper right box under LED lighting.

(We just installed LED lighting in our present kitchen and I can’t believe the difference it makes.)

Lastly, I want to speak a little about details in our Mid-Century Modern house.

This house was built in 1961 and my family moved in when it wasn’t quite completed because they could not afford things like carpet and hardwood flooring.  So, linoleum was installed throughout most of the house and the living room and my parent’s bedroom was painted plywood subfloor.  There was no landscaping and there was no deck.  However, the house had some nice details.


The lighting fixtures, which mostly remain today, are very cool.  Above are some of the fixtures that are in the house, presently.  We also have two large globe overhead lighting fixtures in the kitchen.  I still need to find a few sconces for the Master and the kitchen and figure out what kind of pendent lighting we will have over the counter.  We will stay within the Mid-Century Modern style.

You will also note that there are two brick planters built-in to the house next to each fireplace.  My mom loved plants and she loved lots of light.  So we will fill the planters with gravel and place some nice potted plants (easy care and not fussy) in the planters.

We also like the front door hardware and we will probably keep it.  I also have some cool cracked glass that my mom had collected.  Because the house will be very neutral, we will add color with furniture and accessories.  So, the brightly colored cracked glass will be great.

Colorful cracked glass for colorful accents

Colorful cracked glass for colorful accents

Hopefully, we can move forward by the end of this week.  We met with the substitute project head yesterday and he was not upset (nor were we) with a few of the snafus.  I’m sure all will work out.

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