Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 19 - And now for the inside ....

The work continues this week. Interior framing and plumbing are done this week, HVAC stuff is largely done as well, moving now to the electrician. Our mason starts next week, putting up the stone. We still have to pick our siding and our "hardy board" which is a stucco like product. Picked beautiful Ariscraft stone (sort of a beige olive green colour) It's here. Ours is the smooth one on the bottom.

Have to get the lighting organized. We are doing potlights throughout the house, but I have to pick some ceiling fans and decide on a dining room light and the island lighting. Not too promising so far on the contemporary ceiling fans, but I haven't hit the biggest stores yet. Am thinking streamlined, steel, maybe kind of art deco looking, 20's feel. Like this or this:

Time to turn to the fun stuff ... the inside. As you all know, I love to shop. And shopping for furniture is one of my very favourite things in this entire world. The husband will even do it with me - so that makes it even more fun (and I don' t have to hide the bags ...)

Last weekend in Toronto, we bought these lovely chairs, to go in our library area. I love the nailheads. Have been dreaming and craving nailheads. Have been drooling over anything with nailheads. We got both, floor models, for a steal. While shopping is good, shopping with a deal is even better. It's like the fudge sauce on an ice cream sundae. Anyone can pick something expensive and have it look great -- but not everyone can find chairs like these for HALF PRICE. Ah, my talents have to lie somewhere .....

I sat in them and bought them in about five minutes. Literally. Ok, they are sitting in Toronto right now, we couldn't bring them home in our car. But I will find a way. Oh, yes. I will find a way, my friends.

Then, we found these cool stools: We wanted ones that swiveled, and we wanted backs and we wanted white leatha ... So haven't bought them, but will pick them up when we grab the chairs.

For the kids rooms, I am starting there with the decorating schemes. The kids rooms will be very cool -but small. We are doing loft beds and built ins. Check out this very cool bedding set I got for the 4 year old. Love it. His room is a dark tealish grey blue and the orange in the picture.

He is v. excited about it - and wants the bean bag!
Must sign off. My life is very exciting - have to go pick up toilets.....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday August 12, 2009: Almost Enclosed!

A very exciting week.
Our windows are in and they are gorgeous! We are thrilled with them, they make the house feel so much more like what's drawn on the plans. We spent a large part of the day at the house last Thursday, doing a million things. That house - it sucks you in. There are so many questions, issues etc. that require our input, we can spend hours there and never leave. On this particular day we were doing a walk through with the plumber, working with the HVAC guy on the cold air returns, re-jigging some framing, getting quotes from the smart wiring guy, dealing with the exterior cladding stone guy, and doing the day to day stuff with Mark. It's a lot to manage - especially in one day! But, the more we stay on top, the faster we move, so we're really concientious about sticking close by, being on site every day, and being readily available for whatever comes up. However, it can be draining. The husband's phone never stops ringing .....

For anyone building or planning to build (or renovate) I think this is the single most critical aspect of a successful project to keep in mind. On site, available, and able to move on decisions quickly. Do your research as much in advance as you can, that way when the decisions are required - you're not starting from scratch. Delays - in my view - are almost always the fault of the owners.

Here is the how the house looks from the street right now with the windows in:

Also last Thursday, the framer guys were installing the windows the whole time we were there.. There are so many and some of them are so big that it's quite a process - first unloading from a large semi truck parked around the corner, then using a smaller truck to bring them to the house. See picture below. Then, they hauled these huge windows through the house, up the ladders - with nothing but their bare hands and brute strength. Then, it's like a puzzle to figure out which goes where. the doors are on their way in, as well. They were literally dangling them from upper floors and throwing them around quite a bit.

Golden Windows were highly recommended by our builder Mark. We are really glad we chose them. Here is the view from inside looking out:

In other news:
  • We ordered both garage doors - the "real" one and the commercial windowed one for our back terrace/dining room. It will be very cool to see the back one installed. This is the riskiest thing we're doing and I really hope it lives up to it's promise.

  • We ditched the idea of a steamroom in the shower. It was getting too complicated, we didn't have the space for the unit, and it was much pricier than we thought. So now we have this great option of doing an open door into the shower which will not require floor to ceiling glass and which will be great looking design wise. Tanner, our designer guy, has a great concept of an all glass tile back wall done in "stripes" of glass tile in two colours. We love it. It's going to be stunning. Kinda like this:

  • Also, we bought a hot tub (I know, I know, a hot tub in an "eco" house is a bit of a juxtaposition, but it's a second hand one, so that counts!!) It is going to be on the balcony off our master bedroom and will be like a very a large outdoor bathtub for us in lieu of one in the master bathroom. Our upper balcony is taking form - and it's much larger than we thought it would be. Looks like it will be a real terrace area, with a real "rooftop" feel. I'm dying to get some great loungers up there where I imagine I will read and sip champagne cocktails! (Note: this will never, never actually happen ..... just a figment of my imagination. I may accidentally sit on one of the loungers to fold laundry, that's as good as it will get.) Anyway, some crazy hot tub delivery guy is somehow dragging it up through the house, to the second story and to our balcony. This seems impossible to me. He said he'd been doing it for 30 years and had never had a house that he couldn't get a hot tub into. We said, come and check out ours. He did, and said he was worried .. THAT'S how narrow our lot is. Anyway, he says it will go - just may require removing a header. Our framers will be thrilled, I'm sure to un-do their work and re-do it again.
And as a bonus, here is the four year old and Olive the dog, on the front steps .. getting used to the place!