Sunday, September 18, 2011

Doorknobs and Broomsticks

While I was stressing over getting the old house on the market, Alan and Nathan were diligently installing all the door knobs.


On the main floor we put  Emtek crystal door knobs.  I love the old fashioned look.

Looking down the hall into the master bath, they look so elegant.


Upstairs, we’ve kept the trim much simpler and opted for a simpler, but still old fashioned, door knob.


And again, looking into one of the bathrooms…


Now here’s where the broomstick part comes in.


We had ten pocket doors.


And those are a real pain to hang, adjust and then… the hardware…


but doesn’t it look great?  Having grown up in Druid Hills with all those grand old houses with the double pocket doors, it just looks so right to me.

And now that I’ve got the doorknobs all sorted out, it’s on to cabinet knobs.


Big? Little? Round? Oval?


What’s the right placement? Up here or down on the corner?


And then we have the drawers…knobs or…


bin pulls?


And then what to do with this cabinet with its doors and drawers?  All knobs?  All handles?  Knobs and bin pulls?  The possibilities are endless…

By the time I get it sorted out, I might really be ready to mount my broom.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Template Fugit

Time flies. It was two years ago when I first began researching and planning my kitchen. I became enamored with the idea of soapstone counters.  But soon I realized that every kitchen showroom I went to had a soapstone counter that was chipped, scratched, banged and beat up.  My crew is pretty hard on things, so I started looking for something else.

Then I thought about slate countertops.  That would have the soft, matte, grey/black of the soapstone.  I took another look at the slate walk and entry in our current house.  I decided that was a flaky idea.

Browsing around and hanging out on some forums, I learned of a granite called Virginia Mist.  It seemed like it would have all the appeal of soapstone without all the fuss.  Early on, I found a slab in Atlanta that was great, but it was much too early to buy granite.  When it came time to buy a slab, I couldn’t find Virginia Mist anywhere.  Finally, an internet search turned up one slab out in Winston, GA. I moved quickly and nabbed it.

Several weeks ago, it was time to template the granite.  Builder Gary and I went to have a look.  First we looked at the Virginia Mist:


With the template applied, it was just right.


I actually got our granite guy to flip it, because I wanted these swirls and veins to be a part of the seating are instead of being cut out for the sink.


Then on the Crystal Pearl Quartzite, David the Granite Guy was laying out the templates for the perimeter counters and the bathroom vanities.


We were trying to avoid the amber steaks on the slabs that are where fissures in the rock got filled with epoxy resin to make it stronger.

This slab, though, was giving him fits. It had quite a bit of the amber veining.


So, I decided that if you can’t fix it, feature it.


This is the counter for the coffee maker, so we may as well pre-stain it!


While I was at the granite fab shop, I got to see the CNC granite saw at work.  If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know I like big machines.  I used to program a CNC router, so I enjoyed watching this water-spraying granite-chewing beast at work.  I think they would have let me cut my own slab, but I decided to leave it up to the professionals.


See what a great job they did?  A stress free coffee maker spot. No need to fuss when someone slops their coffee.  It will just blend right in. 


I had more fun watching the installers drill the hole for the faucet on the island.


It reminded me of the time I had the bright idea to have a dinosaur birthday party with about 10 of those blocks of grit that you scratch into to “excavate” the dinosaur bones.  This was a lot tidier.


The clean up sink had a few more holes to drill and I forgot one faucet.  Oops!  Hope they don’t mind drilling one more hole for the water filter!  I wouldn’t want them to think I was taking them for granite.


And here you have the whole shebang. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fawning Over the Floora

Let’s start this update from the floor and go up and out.


After two weeks of being in a cool. air conditioned 73 degrees, the floor boards made their way from being everyone’s favorite lunch spot to being actual floors.


The boards were gorgeous.  Drew had quartersawn what he could and we had a selection of 3”,  4”, and 5” boards to choose from for a random pattern.


We decided to use the cleanest, knot free boards in the public rooms and save the knotty boards for the closets and pantry.


I had to laugh when I went back to check on the master bedroom.  I guess I should have told them where the bed is going, when I instructed them to use the knotty boards under the bed.


Even unfinished, the floor looks great with the morning light streaming in through the paint caked living room windows.


When it came time to choose a finish, Charles the Floor Guy got down on his knees and begged me to use tung oil.


Okay,  he’s actually putting wood filler in the dings and knots. 


But he really did want me to use tung oil.  Waterlox to be exact.

I agreed and the next thing I saw was this:


Of course I just had to peek.


Ooooh.  And down the foyer to the dining room.  Aaah.


Then I clambered up on the side porch and peeked in around the mudroom doorway from the butler’s pantry back through the kitchen and family room to the back porch.


Once it was dry, I couldn’t resist taking more shots.


Here’s the library with the bookcases partially installed.


And the knotty master bedroom floor.


I actually like the knots, too. Plus it serves me right for being a knot head.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crash and Burn

What a month!

Lest you think the worst from the post title, the new house has neither crashed nor burned, but I have and in sympathy, so did my motherboard on my computer.

You see, I had the bright idea to go ahead and put our current house on the market now rather than wait for the new house to be complete.  Well, it wasn’t completely my idea.  My realtors thought that there was enough activity in the market to make it worth the effort.

They brought in a stager.  Brave woman.  We have been in our house since 1992 and have raised 4 kids in it.  She didn’t know what she was getting into.

7 hours later, we had moved a bed to the basement and turned that bedroom into a study, emptied and moved a very heavy buffet that was going to be built into the butlers pantry in the new house, and basically turned our house on its head.  Then she told me what else needed to be done. I was a sport, though, and I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

In the middle of the first week, I was on a first name basis with the workers at the local Goodwill and the liquor store – for boxes, I swear, for boxes!

And my computer died.  I moved aside the legos and the outgrown clothes in the back of my Suburban and hauled it to the computer store.  They broke the news gently.  Apparently the power supply failed and fried the mother board.  I didn’t know about my motherboard, but at this point my power supply was pretty close to failing.  The good news was that the computer’s hard drive was fine.  All I needed was a new computer and I would be back in business.

Like I had time to shop for a new computer.

So, I packed the whole business into a box in the basement and pulled a Scarlett O’ Hara  (as in “Fiddle de dee.  I’ll think about it tomorrow”).

As the second week of packing, stacking, and hauling to the Goodwill came to a close, the Goodwill fellas were talking about naming a store for me and I was eyeing more than the boxes at the liquor store. 

Luckily, I got a great tip from the guys at the Goodwill that kept me on the straight and narrow: Egg boxes make great packing boxes.  The only trick is that you have to call the grocery store at 7 AM when they are stocking the dairy case and ask them to save you the egg boxes.

It was at about this point that I lost it.

I was having photos of the house done on Friday, I wasn’t eating or sleeping (or cooking—just ask my family).  I was a packing and stacking fool.  Then one day I was checking out the progress in the new house.  I *hated* the way the light fixtures I had chosen for the breakfast area and family room looked together.  I walked into a son’s bedroom and realized that we had somehow managed to get the light switches  behind the door as it opened.

I snapped.

There was no need for a padded room; I had a nice soft pile of dirty laundry to collapse into back home.

My loving and supporting family jumped into action.  One boy who knows the way to my heart is to sweep the floor grabbed the broom and dustpan.  My better half retrieved the hard drive from the dead but not yet buried computer and set me up on an old laptop.

So, now that the real estate photos are done and the caravan has happened, I have gotten all my files back within reach. I am trying to catch up on the blog.

Stay tuned.  A lot has happened.