Thursday, April 30, 2009


30 Days and counting

It's official now. I just gave notice to our landlords that we'll be moving out the end of May.

I'm now officially in panic mode. Excited, but feeling just a tad overwhelmed.

Not only do we have an awful lot of work to do on the house to make it habitable, then must clean it so we're not wading through dust, but we have to clean the rental house we're in and return it to a state that will make someone else want to rent it.
I've been spending so much time on the new house that I've let things slide in our temporary home worse than usual. Even the laundry is piling up, which is unusual - that's one thing that I'm always on top of, (sometimes the only thing).

Tonight I'll be going straight to the house from work again to help Kim finish casing & trimming the windows. This weekend I have a bathroom floor to tile (the largest one) and doors to sand & stain.

I'll have to tell the boys to turn their underwear inside-out to get a second wearing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Last Saturday was a full day of errands and shopping.

First stop was a lovely visit with our banker who gave us an ultimatum: be moved in by June 1st "whether the house is finished or not". I guess we've used up all our extensions and extra draws on our builder's loan. Panic is starting to set in, we're so close, yet so far.

That declaration and the news that the carpet we ordered is ready to be picked up (already! - that was fast) caused us to change our plans for 'house-work'. We need to get all the messy stuff finished upstairs RIGHT NOW before the carpet can be installed. So I got pulled off of bathroom tiling & painting duty to help case windows.

Kim has been casing and trimming the windows this week (after a great lesson from Brad, who spent last weekend hanging all of our fabulous fir doors) and has almost finished downstairs. What a difference it makes to the look of the house when you can't see bare studs anymore.

Following our new ramped-up schedule, Kim cut & built the window casings while I installed them and later Cole, now aka "bondo-man", joined us, following behind me filling nail holes. They both quickly overtook me as I learned that tiling isn't the only thing that I'm painfully slow at.

I realize I haven't posted pictures of any of my tiling projects - coming soon. I quite enjoy doing the tiling even though it's hard on the knees and I could probably sand the walls with my bare hands, they're so rough.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Delicate surgery

We have light!

We had a houseful of electricians a couple of weeks ago. They installed the trim kits for all the recessed light cans, put in the xenon puck lights under the kitchen cabinets (they really make our granite counters sparkle) and hooked up our electrical outlets.
It is so nice to walk through the house at night without carrying a tippy construction light and tripping over long extension cords plugged into one of three outlets in the house. And Kim no longer has to choose between having good lighting in the room where he's sawing or in the room where he's hammering? (decisions, decisions - to cut fingers off or just smash them to a pulp?)

We still have to pick out the light fixtures we want for those areas without pot-lights. And then the electrician's crew will spend one more day installing everything else electrical. (he keeps telling us emphatically "only one more" does that mean he was getting a little tired of us calling him every time we thought up another thing we wanted?) At least in those rooms still waiting for lights we now have a choice of outlets to plug a lamp into. Even Shea commented on the fact that there is an outlet on every wall of his bedroom. "Is that a mistake? That's almost as many outlets as we have in the entire house where we're renting." Ahh, the joys of having up-to-code electrical. Can't wait.

Another thing we asked the electricians to do was to correct a boo-boo made when they did the rough-in lighting in the kitchen. The transformer & wires for the puck lights were right smack in the middle of the wall where the range hood goes, not where they should have been, hidden by the cabinets. (It may have been my error; I vaguely remember being asked if there was a valance that would hide the transformer. Yes, a malfunctioning memory error - it was the cabinet company we didn't go with who's design included a valance.)

When I told the electrician the transformer needed to be moved he asked if we were going to tile the backsplash all the way up behind the range hood.
And when I said "yes" what I really meant was "yes, it's one of the things that I plan to do but since it's not as crucial as having functioning bathrooms, floors, window coverings, etc, etc, and it's perfectly acceptable to have a painted backsplash, it's quite far down my list of things I would like to do eventually"

Yikes! Looks like "tile kitchen backslash" just got bumped way up the list.

Do you think they could have done an uglier butcher job on my freshly painted wall if they'd tried very very hard? I don't.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time to compromise

Kim told me recently that I've used up my quota of "getting my own way".

What?! How did that happen? I'm very cooperative & give in to him all the time.

Hmmmm, could it be my choice of 'Misty Memories' (a soft lavender) and 'Sea Life' purple for our bedroom?click on pic for the full impact

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cab Install

The installation of my beautiful kitchen cabinets.

Here we are all painted and not-quite-ready just before the delivery guys show up. They are rather blunt, blabbing on with me about how huge this kitchen must be, it's a full truckload, etc etc, before they find out that I'm not a hired painter but one of the owners.

Unboxed & waiting to be installed. This is where we spent the evening oooohing and ahhing over the beautiful cherry wood. We specified natural finish, no stain and the natural colour is beautiful, with quite a few examples of chatoyance (where the wood shimmers and changes depending on direction viewed from, with some depth almost like 'mica shift' in polymer clay) which I didn't know was a characteristic of cherry. What a fabulous bonus..

The installer was great, a very friendly guy who really knew his stuff. He pointed out and helped solve a couple of potential problems not the least of which was being open-minded enough to brain-storm with me to find an unconventional way around a big plumbing screw-up. See those white things sticking up in front of the cab box in the island? That's the water lines for the sink. They are supposed to be inside that cabinet. If we had located the island so they were where they were supposed to be we would have had a very narrow space for hallway and eating bar and a huge expanse between the two main work surfaces (stove & sink). When I said I wouldn't mind giving up some of the under-bar cupboard space to house the plumbing the installer made it work. Now we have lots of room for traffic and bar-stools - as long as everyone learns to push their stools back under the bar, and not leave them in the middle of the hall. I'm dreaming aren't I - have to be optimistic though.

This is the view when you come down the stairs and shows two of my favourite features.
That little cabinet facing into the hall is our "communications centre". That's where the permanently-plugged-in phone will be, nice & central for those times when the mobile one is hidden in someone's bed or between the couch cushions. That drawer is for storing all the re-chargers when they're not plugged in. Another thing to try to train the boys to do: put rechargers back in the drawer. In the cupboard above I'm going to put holders for everyone's mail - a hidden version of the pigeon-holes that one designer suggested that really didn't work with our clean look.
I love the way the raised end of the island looks with those glass doors - that's where my nice glass-ware and teacups and teapots will go. That's if I have any teapots left by then, I seem to go through them like you wouldn't believe. Cole knocked the last casualty off the counter a couple of weeks ago.

It's a two-toned kitchen. The island and desk are stained maple. The colour, if I remember correctly, is Witchcraft. We'd originally planned for black, pretty opaque, more painted than stained which I wasn't crazy about. We saw a sample of Witchcraft in the showroom that we liked better but decided it was too brown for the blue-grey granite I'd chosen. Well, by the time the designer came by for the final sign-off Kim had ditched my nice sophisticated 'Desert Eyes' for the more flamboyant 'Bianco Antiquo'. So I took a gamble & changed the island colour to Witchcraft, thinking it would work fine with our new granite choice.

Chose a colour that I'd seen a sample of only once, months before. I spent the next six months holding my breath, with my fingers crossed, hoping it would look good. A little crazy? If I wasn't before I am now.

And here is is with our fancy-pants granite tops.

The faucet and cooktop were just there for the photo-op (and to make sure they fit) and are now back in storage waiting until everything else is ready for the plumber & gas-fitter to do their thing.