Thursday, March 31, 2011

Everything is Beautiful. . .

     Each time we go to the house now, another element to making our home has been added, completed or is being installed! And with each addition, completion or  installation, I get more and more excited. Excited (one) because we are almost there and (two) all these months of selections and decisions are  really paying
off. . . in our favor! Everything is beautiful!
     We took a little road trip this past week to Memphis and were not able to go to the house for five days. As exciting as seeing all the things going on at the house, it was equally as exciting to see the family in Memphis and visit with them for a few days. Liz was able to join us from Atlanta and Grandma had all her grandchildren there at the same time which is getting harder and harder to do as they are out and about living their lives. It was a wonderful few days with family, and of course, we made time to go to the Rendevous for a "pig platta" and some ribs!
     When we went to the house on Tuesday, not only were there trucks everywhere (which made us have to park at our neighbors) there were "subs" all over the place working inside and outside the house. I knew there had been a lot going on in those few days but it was unreal how fast things are happening now! My first clue was seeing the columns being constructed for the front of the house. Believe me, these photos do not do them justice, especially when it come to their size. Here is the first stage. . . and don't worry they will be painted white and they will look beautiful!

     As I walked inside the house (through the garage) the first room I saw was the laundry room. I have added a photo that was on my last post of the laundry room floor to help you see how this room  is coming together. Anyone know where I can find some big baskets for my shelves?

     For all of you who tried to talk me out of getting black countertops, I do appreciate and thank you for your advice and it is duly noted that it will show the dust and lint, but aren't they beautiful?
    From the laundry room, back out in the hallway, we realized the stair rail and bannisters have been installed!  I can't tell you how much easier it is getting downstairs having something to hold on to. . . for me at least! I can already see my garland draped over this at Christmas time. I think that will look beautiful!

     Downstairs, we were so surprised to see that the stone fireplace had been completed! H had told me the mantle was in place before we left for Memphis. It actually wraps around the wall on both sides but this photo doesn't show it. The stone is actually left over from the front of the house and we were hoping there would be enough to do this fireplace. We think it turned out beautiful! 

The great room mantle and bookcases are coming tomorrow and I can't wait to see how the cabinet maker interpeted my drawings.  You will have to wait, like me, until they are in to see if they turned out beautiful.

 Back upstairs in the kitchen the vent hood  has been extended towards the ceiling. There will be crown moulding around the top to complete it.

Across the room, the bar has a new addition. The wine rack has been installed to complete the cabinetry that makes it a bar. It has been wired in case we some day may want to add a wine and beverage cooler. Our electrician, Mike, covered all our bases! I can't wait until the granite for the counters, island and bar go on then the backsplash!  Now won't that look beautiful?

            I apologize for the quality of this picture. I promise to take a better one when the granite goes on and the back splash is done.

    Outside there is alot going on as well. The screened porch now has tile. Doesn't this view look like we are hanging out over the lake?  Won't that look beautiful? 
   The deck has almost been completed. oops! They ran out of tile! Unfortunately, the rain this week has made the slope down to the house quite muddy and the trucks that will deliver the rest of the tile and granite were unable to unload.  Word is, they will be delivered tomorrow.

    Meanwhile the Alabama Power Company came to the site today to dig the trench to install the wiring for our electricity! Yeah! We will soon have light! Boo! Look at the mess they are making. There is also a huge hole in the road that had to be dug up because whoever paved the road covered up the underground cable that they need to hook up to. Now that's NOT beautiful!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind . . . .

     I know I am constantly writing about all the decisions we need to make as we build this house, but up until now, all the decisions we have needed to make, have more or less been narrowed down to one or two or three choices. Nothing final. These are all things that we have been thinking about, talking about, doing research on or going to places to get an up close and personal look. This is so we would have some ideas about what we want when the time comes. Well, THE TIME HAS COME.  Our builder gave us a major list of "home"work to do this week (pun intended) and we have just about exhausted ourselves to get them all accompolished.  I think I mentioned all the things we needed to do in my last post. . .  so every day this week we had an appointment with someone to "make up our minds". I am writing this blog ,with drink in hand,to get this post down before I forget what we have done and collaspe in bed. We just returned home from the last appointment this week. We spent 3 1/2 hours picking out all the light fixtures  for our house. We are pleased with all our selections but we still have to return next week to pick out the 13 ceiling fans and tweak a couple of ideas after taking a few meaurements. Most of these selections were fairly simple but the chandeliers for the foyer and dining room has had us in a quandry for several days.  H liked one style, I liked another.  We found one we both liked, but couldn't find a companion piece to go with it. . . or the size or price was wrong.  Another problem we kept having was deciding on the finish of the piece. Today we hit the jackpot! This was one we and the designer liked, it has a companion piece for the foyer, the size was perfect  for both places, the price fit the budget, AND it is in stock! The electrician will be called back next week to get started on these projects.  (By the way, he (the electrician) called me at home to make sure which color of plugs and switch plates we wanted. Considering there are 109 outlet plates and 111 switches and covers, he wanted to make sure he had the right color :)
     So, the lighting is done, we picked out all the remaining plumbing "stuff" on Tuesday, and met with the tile person on Wednesday to design a backsplash for my kitchen which, by the way, will be sporting UBATUBA granite counters. I went with a neutral color 3x6 tumbled stone for the backsplash and it will be laid on the diagonal in a herringbone pattern in case you are wondering :).  I always knew I wanted a nuetral color and nothing trendy so I kept it plain and simple. I even decided against doing some fancy design underneath the vent.  I decided I am going for the big "Ta-Da" over the island in the way of pendants. Still TBD. H is not quiet on board with this one yet. Will  tell you more once the decision is made.
     Thursday, as we drove to Pelham (about a 35-40 mile drive, each way) it hit us how tired we were and that we were really looking forward to this phase being over before it was no longer fun.  We met with the designer to pick up the fabric we had ordered for the sofa and the two wingbacks (still loving that choice). She also was to help us choose the remaining carpet for the house. We had already picked out the great room, dining room and foyer rugs but now we needed the carpet for all the bedrooms and both stairways. We also needed to pick out a 9x12 area carpet for the LL great room floor. The bedrooms were a no brainer after I found the quality I wanted, but I have to share, that for this area rug, we went  waaaaaaaaaay out of the box, for us at least! Here is a photo to let you see what I mean. 
     This photo shows you a swatch of the sofa (on the left), on top is a piece of the  fabric (a kind of bonded leather) that the green wingback and ottoman (we had in the den) will be re-upholstered in, a sample of the floor is on the right (this shows it much lighter that it really is), the bottom is a hint of the wood from the bar cabinet and right in the center of this box, is the carpet!  When the designer first pulled this out, I couldn't help but say to myself, "what the H - - -  is she thinking? But after realizing that all the other elements in this room are pretty much a solid color and oh yeah, there is a chocolate leather recliner in there also, we thought maybe this room could use a little WOW! This is a lake home after all, and there are some trees left on the property. . . so it's only natural that there are leaves on my floor too! Go figure.

     In between all the appointements (one a day), we had to squeeze in a couple of Dr. appts., hair cuts,  and
a lite supper and devotional for Lent on Wednesday night.  I would like to add at this point that this time last year, we were getting started on the renovation of our home in Virginia. We celebrated our 41st anniversary discussing our future. Considering the roller coaster we have been on since then, I am proud to announce we made it to our 42nd anniversary this week! The next 42 years should be a cake walk!
     We also made a couple of trips to the site to check on progress and give out checks this week. If I thought things were happening fast before...I was more than amazed at what I saw had taken place since Monday!  The tilers have been hard at work and I have a few sneak peeks to show you.
The first photo is the black and white tile floor in my laundry room.  The black diamonds are 2x2 pieces of granite that had to be cut for this design. Below it is a corner shot showing the cabinets, floor and wall color. The countertop will be a black laminate.  You can't tell in this photo, but on the cabinets doors and drawers are black, square knobs set on the diagonal. (Always thinking ) The open shelves will be for four baskets. There is another area like this for four more baskets on down the counter.  I thought this would break up the long spance of cabinetry. Can't decide if I will spray paint the baskets black or white. . .once I find them.  Any thoughts? (This is the room the builder says can't be called a laundry room anymore. :)


The guest bathrooms are quite simple but turned out nice. Below is a photo of Rosanne's bathroom. Now she can see her room color. Don't worry, that's only the first coat of paint. Should look better when trimed out around the window and base board. (The floor tile and shower have more beige in it than it shows in these photos.) Joan, you could have removed the blue painter's tape before taking the photo? DUH!


     The master bathroom is still a work in progress but I will show you what I saw as of today. The floor had not been laid by the time we left but I'm sure it is by now. There was a slight glitch where they put the soap dish. One of us was unable to reach it! So there will now be three shelves in the corner. Two for soap, one for bottles. It was easier to add one more soap dish in the center than take out and re-tile the top one.  See my bench seat poking out?

      We plan to put rimless glass on the shower. The shower design will be carried out around the garden tub. The mosaic tile will be on the top and the bottom of the diagonal tiles but it is hard to tell in this photo. We did decide to put a wooden front on the tub to match the vanities. *That will be my front yard and driveway you see out the bathroom window. Gotta make an appointment for window treatments pretty soon after we move in don't you think? I'm thinking white plantation shutters.
      Besides the tilers this week, the painters are still hard at work putting finishing coats of paint on all the rooms. The trim is all second coated in most of the rooms and looks great! They have started on the second coats for some of the rooms and should be done fairly soon.  The weather today was in the 80's and they have started framing out the screened porch and will be ready to tile the deck next week.  We will go back to the site this weekend to meet with Frankie who will start the boathouse on Monday.  The landscaper has been on site this week back filling the sea wall with rocks and grading it all over. I can't tell you how much more yard space this gives us. I tried taking a photo but wasn't able to get enough in the picture to show you. He has more grading to do, so I will hold off showing you that photo and include it with the boathouse photos in my next post. 
     Speaking of posts, I am sure there will be lots to Show and Tell for my next one. It will be a week or 10 days before I post again. We are taking a much needed pause in our part of this home building to go to Memphis to see H's Mom and family for a long weekend. Liz will be joining us and we can't wait to see her! We haven't seen her since December 9th and we both need a "fix". It's hard to believe how close we are and such a long time between visits. There is a lot going on in all our lives right now but we hope that will change soon.
    If this much got done this week, I can't wait to share with you the next set of photos!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Vibrations. . .

     That is what I get now every time I go to my house, good vibrations!  Each time we go, more and more things have been done and as it is all gradually coming together. . . I am loving it more and more! Yesterday, was the first time I have been to the house since last Friday. All the paint colors are on the walls, trim work and crown is up and primed, cabinets are all in place, the front door stained, all the stair rails are being painted/stained and  ready for installation.  I couldn't help but take a few photos just to give you a sneak preview.

      This is the kitchen taken from the great room. The island is 8.3 ft. x 4 ft. and will accomadate 4-6 counter stools. You can see the first coat of paint on the walls.I love it! AND Yeah! Ubatuba won out as the kitchen granite!
      The next photo is of the bar and refrigerator area. (Forget all that stuff in the must use your imagination :) The door (closed) in the corner is the pantry, the other door opening, next to 'fridge  leads down the hall  and/or down the stairs.

Below is a photo of the bar/kitchette area  on the lower level. The opening is for a refrigerator and the louver door to the left if for the washer/dryer unit for the lower level.

Liz and Lauren, this one's for is the Jack and Jill bathroom cabinets. You each have a sink, a set of doors and a bank of drawers. The blue wall color is the medium shade of blue that is on the walls of the room on either side (one darker, one lighter). Hope you like it! Rosanne, your cabinet looks about the same only smaller and your bedroom is khaki. Photo does not do it justice but I really like it! 

     We will meet again with the builder on Monday for our week's "home"work assignment. Next week we have to have all the lighting (to include chandeliers and pendants) picked out, all the plumbing fixtures picked out, all the fans (13)  picked out and carpet  for 4 bedrooms picked out! We also need to meet one more time with the tile designer to decide on the kitchen backsplash now that the granite is ordered. Oneof those days we will need to stop by and pick up the fabrics we ordered for the great room furniture. I can't wait so see it! We have also ordered ALL the new beds and furniture for the guest rooms but, according to the budget, you may need to bring your own mattress :)
    Meanwhile, the stone masons are still hard at work finishing up the stone on the front of the house. These two supports for the wooden columns are huge. I hope they have enough stone left over for the fireplace on the lower level! Speaking of fireplaces, did I mention that I designed the fireplace mantel and over mantel as well as the two bookcases on either side for the greatroom? I drew it all out, making a composite of several ideas that we both liked, gave it to the cabinet builder and said a little prayer. Remember, that is the 18 ft. wall.  I hope it turns out how I see it in my mind's eye. . .if not, oh well, I only have myself to blame. But I digress, back to the stonework. . .

     They will begin laying the tile on the deck next week and finish the screened porch once that has been completed. (We have been pricing rockers for the deck :) H has already declared that will be his favorite spot!
    The sea wall is completed and they will start building the boathouse this coming week.  The landscaper cut down 7 or 8 more trees last week and really opened the view! He is getting ready to grade the property and finish the retaining wall so the driveway and terrace can be poured.
  As a side note, we had a bit of a delay this week when I had to take H to the ER to find out what was in his eye Tuesday night. The ER told him it was a corneal abrasion, they put in some antibiotic drops, patched it and told him to see the eye doctor ASAP! Turns out to be a cornea ulcer. Without going into all details and following all the doctor's orders to the letter, H is doing fine now, his eye is healing and he has his "charm" back. We have used this time (not traveling back and forth to B'ham) getting all our ducks in a row and are ready to hit the road once more come Tuesday!
     As far as I know, we are still on schedule for an April move in. OMG! That's next month! 
NOTE TO SELF: Call movers in Virginia to give them a heads up.