Archive for the ‘downstairs’ Category

an idea starts to come together

Friday, January 18th, 2013

It’s been a while since we went to the bathroom together. David and Joe have been making progress on the built-ins in there, so maybe it’s time for a peek — even if it’s not quite done yet.

Let’s start at the beginning. A couple of years ago, I handed David a rudimentary scribble of what I pictured for our new bathroom vanity…

my first sink scribble












David drew it mo betta with measurements — I know I’ve shown you this before. This includes the shelf/bench and wall of walnut (to the right of the sink) that I was also hoping for…

layout of sink area




















Drawing is SO much easier than building. Here comes the hard part.

First, there was figuring out the complex, irregular curves of an imperfect  sink — not as right-angled as woodworker might hope — in order to get the wood to mate up with it…

figuring out the curves


Required some math but they figured it out, as I trusted they would. So they continued on to constructing the vanity box…

building the vanity box




















The open end will face the toilet. That’s where the toilet paper and the occasional book or magazine will hide to keep things from getting messy.

Once that was done, they propped the vanity up on sawhorses and made sure it fit the space as intended with the sink and the faucet roughly in place…

testing the sink on the vanity


There was the tricky veneering stage…

veneering the vanity












And then they secured to the wall and made the necessary tweaks…

making adjustments




















They stained it in place. Here it is with two coats — it still has to be made waterproof (that’s another story)…

hanging the box on the wall





















Just to the right of the sink is the walnut panel that will eventually have three hooks on it for hanging up clothes…

walnut panel installed




















The bench/shelf that extends from below the sink still needs to be built. But isn’t that gorgeous?!

In that same corner there’s now the built-in linen cabinet that David began last June. Just look at that walnut! Love love love.  Just needs a little tweak on that bottom drawer and it’s good to go…

walnut storage wall




















Love how the minimal fingerpulls worked out. Perfect…





















Inside, there’s plenty of room for towels and any bathroom paraphernalia…

a look at the shelves




















There’s even a recharging station for an electric shaver! So spoiled…

recharging station




















The drawers are nice and deep…

nice deep drawers




















Yes, the back of the cabinet and the drawers are angled to accommodate our angled wall. This should give you a better idea of the wall when you look at the other side. See how the lights are on angle, too?

record storage wall and hallway




















Btw, that’s the record storage wall, in progress. More on that another time.

So, back to the bathroom. Here you can begin to get an idea of how the walnut built-ins will look together — in an outage. I need light!

walnut corner




















Argh. So impossible to take decent pictures in this tiny bathroom — especially when the lighting isn’t done yet. Oh well.

Before I go, take a peek at the fantastic custom pocket door David and Joe designed, built and installed…

custom walnut pocket door




















A better look at the door project next week. That’s it for now.


potty time

Friday, November 16th, 2012

I haven’t talked about the work going on in the downstairs bathroom since back in September. I blame slow progress and work eating up all my time. Excuses, excuses. Now that my work is becoming more manageable again, let me show you what’s up down there.

Great news: our shiny new Hans Grohe shower hardware is now installed and working!

the new shower hardware is in



















Hans Grohe showerhead




















Ooh! Aah!

Caulking between the tile and the ceiling still needs to be attended to… all in due time. The shower controls are on the opposite wall…

the shiny shower controls




















The teak slatted shower tray still needs to be made, but that pretty much does it for the shower.

The wall-mounted Duravit Vero toilet is finally in, too. Rectangular! (Try to ignore the construction debris under the toilet.)

Duravit toilet



















don’t worry, the hole in the seat is oval... ish




















The water-saving dual-flush mechanism got set into the wall. You know, save the planet with every flush. The large button is for #2. The small button is for #1.

the flusher, on the wall




















Still to come: the sink and vanity, plus a bench/storage cabinet. And then this room is ready to roll!

the not so big wallpaper reveal

Monday, August 20th, 2012

It may seem like I’ve been on vacation but no. August projects have just been slow to pick up momentum. However, this week it looks like I’ll have new things to show you.

The first: the wallpaper is up!

Shall I get right to it? Remodel detritus blocking the full view, sorry I can’t get a better shot. As always, click to biggify…

view from the left












view from the right












So there you have it. A black and white photo mural from SurfaceView — Brushwood, from Ella Doran’s Trees and Leaves collection. It unites my split personalities, organic and modern. Dramatic without being overwhelming. Can’t wait to see this with the TV on the wall and furniture in the room.

I selected the linen texture to keep it from being too flat and reflective…

Surface View linen texture sample




















Mmmm, nubbly. Looks great closeup…

wallpaper closeup




















Soon I’ll have more to show you downstairs. Keep your pants on!


projects update: built-ins + butterflies

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Let’s see… when we left off on Day 9, it was almost time for our monarch butterfly to bust out of her chrysalis, fan us with her awe-inspiring wings and flutter on out of here. So what’s up?

DAY 10

monarch pupa: day 10




















DAY 11

monarch pupa: day 11



















DAY 12

monarch pupa: day 12




















So much for the 10-day cycle. Ever waited for a cat to have kittens? It’s kind of like that. I go outside and check the chrysalis throughout the day. When something happens I’ll let you know.

In other news that might actually be news, David and Joe are downstairs banging out the built-ins. Here’s your sneak-peek…

built-ins: joe and david at work



















built-in: record rack



















built-ins: bookcases and whatnot





















Once they’re in, David can tell you all about them. Also waiting in the wings: our murphy bed hardware. So there’s that to look forward to, as well.

One last note: the wallpaper decision has been made. I’m saving it as a surprise. All will be revealed with the fullness of time.


scenes from the woodshop

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I met up with David at Tim’s graciously provided woodshop yesterday to figure out the size and location of fingerpulls for the bathroom cabinet doors and drawer fronts. It’s a small detail but one we want to repeat on built-ins that will go upstairs as well.

We explored several design options (you can see a few on my no-hardware cabs Pinterest page, if you like) and settled on a slim rectangular notch. David mocked them up in paper…

fingerpulls laid out on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts




















Minimal. Nothing to jut out into the small space. Echoes the slim rectangular tiles in the bathroom. So there you go, one more decision down.

In other news, David and Joe started setting up the scaffolding in anticipation of rebuilding the deck…

david and joe about to set up the scaffolding




















The deck rebuild has been on hold since March. Excitement ensues.

wallpaper dilemma: HELP!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

February 22nd, 2011. My year-old Cavern Blackbird wallpaper got torn down as the downstairs remodel officially got underway…





















So I guess installing it was a little premature. But how was I to know David would decide to insulate the wall? Erf.

My plan all along has been to replace it with the same wallpaper. I liked that it was screened onto actual kraft paper. Nice texture and a strong graphic. Plus I really wanted to bring a little of the outside into that dark space. But it turns out they’ve changed the paper. I do not like the sample. Blech.

Rethinking is necessary.

While in L.A., I dropped by Walnut Wallpaper (across the street from Heath Ceramics, yum)…

walnut wallpaper store in l.a.




















I’ve stalked their site for years, so I had a good idea of what was inside. Rack after rack of oohs and aahs…

thistle in 3 shades by timorous beasties




















I was seriously tempted by that black on black. But I decided the straight rows of mirror-image thistle that Walnut had on one of their own walls felt a little too formal. What gorgeous illustration, though…

thistle on the wall at walnut




















Back in Providence, I ordered scads of wallpaper samples to hold up to our crazy new Mustard Olive paint — which is looking particularly bright in the light here…

benjamin moore’s mustard olive




















Below are shots of my wallpaper samples (rollover images for name) — believe me, I know, wallpaper is such a personal thing. You may hate all of these but these are the ones I thought might work. Unfortunately, my multiple personalities are showing and I can’t decide which one wins.

One last thing: this room is the fun room. Movies will be watched here. Games will be played here. Records will be listened to here. The wet bar will get much use. And upon occasion, guests will sleep here. I’d like to think of it as a really awesome boutique hotel room with a 7-year-old on the couch.

Oh, and for better images of these and more, pop up my Pinterest wallpaper page.



Disclaimer on the first two wallpapers: I couldn’t capture the true black of the paper. They read a lot darker in person and look pretty great. My Pinterest link has more realistic images.

wallpaper sample: branch from fermliving



















wilderness in black from fermliving














Wallpaper + math = love.

hexagono in black by i have no idea












ooh, metallic! squares in black silver by fermliving



















labyrinth in black and beige by cole and son



















vapor in licorice by flavor paper



















hexagon in dark grey by cole and son




















This one may be overkill but I couldn’t resist sending your brain into spasms. (Be sure to see the larger image via Pinterest.)

pleasure dome in sugar by flavor paper






















Because I am a geek, I confess that this may be my favorite of the bunch…

imperial forces by brian flynn




















No, really! Imperial Forces, launched at the end of last year. Here’s a larger sheet at Walnut. Go ahead, gawk…

imperial forces sample shot at walnut l.a. store




















Did I mention it’s flocked? Flocked! The TV is going to be on top of whatever paper we choose, so this might be a fitting choice.

However, I have not decided. A black wall would look fabulous, certainly, but is it too serious? David says geometrics will be distracting — like anyone’s going to look past the television, right. Is Star Wars too fun? I just can’t decide and I need to order paper right away. Tell me what you think.

scenes from the woodshop

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

David says the bathroom cabinet has been drilled for future usefulness…

cabinet being drilled for shelf holes




















The man himself explains:
“Those wacky Europeans, they came up with this 32mm system. A series of 5mm holes are drilled 32mm apart a set distance from the front edge of the sides of the cabinet. A parallel row is drilled some multiple of 32mm back from the first row at the back of the cabinet. The holes can be used for door hinges, drawer slides or shelf pins. An ingenious way to make easily customizable cabinetry!”

cabinet drilled for shelves




















That is all.

scenes from the woodshop

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

David reports in again from Tim’s remote Smithfield woodshop with visual proof of progress. Right now, it’s all about edge taping the walnut cabinet parts.

First, he rigged up an edge-taping management system…

David’s DIY edge tape dispenser




















Then he whipped up a way to hold the cab parts steady…

let the edge taping begin!




















Then he applied heat…

and the edge tape goes on




















Trimmed off the excess…

trim off the excess




















And VIOLA! Edge taped.

finished panel edges










scenes from the woodshop

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

David sends us progress updates from Tim’s woodshop.

The walnut, cut and labeled…

scenes from the woodshop: walnut cut and pieces labeled




















Pieces selected for the office area built-ins…

scenes from the woodshop: for the office area built-ins




















And pieces for the bathroom cabinet…

scenes from the woodshop: for the bathroom cabinet




















More news as it comes in!

making sawdust

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

walnut plywood




















The walnut has arrived for the built-ins in the bathroom.

And now David gets to put his mad woodworking skillz to work…

the cutting has begun




















Stay tuned. Thanks, Tim, for the use of your woodshop!