Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our 'New Old House'

It's been a bit since my last house progress report, so here goes. This week it feels like we've made some good progress. Last week was painfully slow; the interior trim work is underway, and seeing a couple more doors and windows framed each day, well... it's not all that exciting. Major noteworthy events this week include the fact that we now have newel posts (which we had custom milled, to make them a bit chunkier than the standard) and banisters on the staircase (though we are still lacking the all-important pickets that will keep us from plunging to our deaths). The banisters have been stained to match the bamboo floors, or so we hope - only time will tell. Baseboards are up throughout much of the house. We chose a non-standard baseboard too, and we're breathing sighs of relief that they look as good in person as they did in our mind's eyes.

More exciting still, we've seen the addition of a few details that lend the vibe of what is commonly called, on internet homebuilding forums, the New Old House - in other words, new construction that incorporates old fashioned details. Our design sensibility tends toward the retro and I am giddy over some of the finishing touches we've started to see that reflect this. First up was the surprise installation of the shower tile in the master bath - we just showed up one day, and it was done. This was a decision we agonized over, considering subway tile (too trendy, despite the fact that it's a classic, and a bit too plain for my tastes); glass mosaic (too trendy, period, and spendy as well), small bricks (even spendier than glass)... the list goes on. We are not really natural stone people, and we spent hours looking at sample boards, until we hit the octagon tile with grey diamond inserts. It's the perfect blend of something retro and something with a bit of colour - better still that the colour is a neutral (because goodness knows nothing else in this house is!) I love the locker room type vibe it imparts, and it looks great up against the blue walls.

And now - be still my heart - the floors are going in. And the first floors to be laid are the ones I have been waiting for for years - my beloved Marmoleum floors. I have coveted these puppies since the first time I saw them, and they do not disappoint! They are soft underfoot, antibacterical, easy to clean (well... that's yet to be proven), colourfully fun, and, yes, retro. The guy installing them made a comment about how our laundry room looks like his grandma's old house. Ding ding ding! - mission accomplished then. We did a blue and white check in the laundry room, and it came out better than I'd even hoped for. I think I want to move into the laundry room and sleep on the floor.

We got a call from our builder last night, saying the electrician was in today so could we please bring over the light fixtures. ACK. That was one of my jobs, and I finished 95% of it and left that last 5% until the last minute. So last night I made a mad dash out to Home Depot before they closed to pick up a few closet fixtures and spent $200 on light bulbs. $200!! On light bulbs!! They are all compact fluorescents, which explains the bill (2 chandeliers x 6 bulbs each x $8/bulb = OUCH). I am counting on not needing to change a light bulb, like, ever. Chad labelled everything while I was out shopping, and we loaded up the truck in the rain late last night. This morning Chad left at the crack of dawn to deliver them to the house before the work crews arrived. He was surprised to find our GC there already working, and we got some exciting news - the GC says he often sees deer wandering through our back yard in the early morning, heading down to the creek to drink. Liam is going to FLIP.

I'm super excited to see the light fixtures installed - picking them out was totally a labour of love for me. The Marmoleum is supposed to be finished on the weekend, and the carpet install begins next week. The bamboo will be delivered any day now, too, to let it acclimatize before installation. Last weekend I got 5 blinds finished off, and then I ran out of fabric. My super kind friend Steph took me to the fabric store and stocked me up again using her frequent shopper card - I was going to buy a membership, but they run August to August, so there's no sense paying for one now that will only last two weeks. She stocked me up with enough goods to get me through until I have a card of my own. There's only 6 weeks left until we move, and sitting idle for 2 weeks would have been a waste of precious time - we need to keep up our forward momentum.


Dawn said...

Is that blue 'Ice Sculpture' by Benjamin Moore that is only available in Canada?? :o)

mandy said...

I love that you are sharing all these pictures. It makes me want to build a new house instead of buy an existing, but all the choices and a husband who would try to rush me through some of them is a bit daunting.

For now, I live vicariously through you.