Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sometimes It's a Rocky Road...

We just returned from a sojourn to Utah, the land of many rocks and much dust. We took our Landcruiser out into the desert with lofty goals and high hopes.

Don't ask what the bucket is for. Leave No Trace, y'all

Our trip felt more like this, however. A series of unfortunate uncontrollable events with a stunning backdrop. We lived through a real life sandstorm, snow, mechanical surprises, bruised and scraped shins, warm beers, and family. Now back to the house!

We had some plain jane door openings in the kitchen. They are narrow enough that we didn't want to do a full wood casing. I got on the internet's and ordered some steel and welded up some very lovely very thin jambs and painted them black.

I hadn't welded since 9th grade shop class, so I had to call my brother and dad a couple times. I'm not going to show you the welds. But those casings aren't coming apart.

I think they turned out pretty well. I just glued them in place with construction adhesive. I pre drilled a few holes and filled them with brass screws just for a little variety.


That is one fine view.

Then we began tiling. and tiling, and tiling. 

We went to Norway one time, and were in a museum in Oslo. And I'm sure there was some cool stuff, and pretty paintings and famous things. I think the only picture we have is of a mechanical closet that had been tiled over blend it into the wall. I thought it was so cool. So that's what I did in my kitchen. Thanks, Norway!

And then we tiled more.

Tiles for miles! This pic below is weird. It's the whole kitchen, if we lived in a Dr. Seuss book.

We are buttoning up the kitchen quickly and it's the highlight of the house. I infilled the spaces up by the ceiling with the same material we built the ceiling joists with.

AND THEN...We started on the floor. We laid this herringbone floor a few months ago with the assistance of a few good friends and family and promptly covered it up. It was a huge deal to pull the protective cover and start the finishing process. I put Lauren on the big sander with some headphones and turned her loose.

Is she listening to that new Lamar jam? a lecture on existentialism? The soothing sounds of the mandolin?  We'll never know.

We used a product called Rubio Monocoat. I wiped it on and let it sit for a bit and then wiped it back off. Pretty boring. It turned the floor really white. I followed that up the next day with a wax sealer that brought a lot of color back to the floor and made it really similar to the original wood. I am really impressed with that product. Our floor is white oak, and we love the natural color. Most finishes tint wood darker and tend to be glossy. We really wanted a matte finish and a light floor. This stuff nailed it. The most noticeable difference is where the wood had a yellowish hue to it naturally it was a more pink hue now. Love it. 

Of course, the first thing I did was screw up some plumbing and get water all over it. It held up fine.

I can imagine drinking my coffee here. Sooner than later...

So then we get into the main rooms of the house.  We had ordered plaster from a company in Seattle called Stucco Italiano. Lauren picked a neutral warm color and after a lot of wall prep we did some walls. Once we covered our 11 foot tall walls with it, the color felt a lot less neutral. I immediately did not like this color. It felt really old fashioned and stuffy to me. So we started playing with tints and tried to take some of the color out of it 

Have you ever heard someone say "I couldn't find the right shade of white!" Well I always thought that was kind of lame. My tune has changed. The further down the rabbit hole of whites we went the more frustrating it got. My eyes were crossed and my head hurt.

Every sample here is different.  Like a flite of beers. I need a beer. A flite of beers.

This was our mad science laboratory. Our painter, Sam has a ton of plaster experience, and worked diligently to bleach out that peach/pink tone. But to no avail. We eventually went back to Stucco Italiano and had them send new samples that match our trim white. So this project is still unfolding. 

The chimney on this side of our house was looking pretty rough, so Daren and I got up there on Easter and repointed it and sealed it with masonry sealer. Or as they call it around here, masonary sealer. Yes that's six levels of scaffolding. Yes it was terrifying up at the top.

So next up: We got our fridge in, tankless hot water heater is in, range is going in today. Real time updating tends to occur here. We are finishing up the kitchen this week. Gonna start in on the master bath, and we may even SLEEP IN OUR OWN HOUSE! 

Thanks for visiting!

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