Wednesday, March 18, 2015

settling in

We have been living in the apartment portion of the house for about a month now and it's hard to put into words how it feels.  All the decisions and details have come together and the apartment lives very comfortably.  The diagonal views out the windows look out to our garden as well as the neighboring garden.  The light is Vita Lighting Cuna Pendant Light.   After a couple intense days of adjustment,  Chessie finally settled in and found her go to spot...of course in the sun.


Eventually, we will have a way of covering the TV whether it's a blind or a pair of doors.

We were a little short on our layout for the backsplash, so we added glass tiles between the 4x12 white tiles.  I am really happy with how it turned out.  A simple way to dress up $2 / SF tile.  The countertops are Wilsonart laminate over Apple Ply.  Custom maple cabinets with a light white tint added to the finish.  Stove is Blomberg and the fridge is LG, both 24" wide and deep. 


 The lights are Astron from Rejuvenation.


The apartment is 530 SF with one bedroom.  The extra deep drawers below take advantage of the space under the stairs leading up to the rest of the house.  The sliding door hardware came from Home Depot.


Monday, January 5, 2015

apartment bathroom tile




Just waiting on grout!  Thinking of white epoxy grout on the white tiles and switching to a gray grout to blend more with the glass tile.  We used a 4x12 white tile and 2x12 glass tile.  The glass tile was slightly smaller than the 4x12 so we brick set versus stack set like the white.  For the window liner, ledges, curb, and bench seat, we used a white quartz to reduce grout lines.



The red is the waterproofing.  Below we were evaluating how much overhang for the seat.  Decided on a flush condition...so no overhang.  The bench base is angled slightly back.

On the floor we are installing gray pebbles.  We both have put them in clients' homes for years and I've always wanted them.  We will also install them in our main upstairs bathroom shower.




water heat and floor heat

This is our very fancy, highly efficient, heat pump water heater.  We are an all electric house and this  Airgenerate Airtap Hybrid meets the strict energy requirements required by the organization that will be monitoring our house.  It captures heat from the air to heat the water inside with a backup heating element for high use times.

Neil actually installed our boiler for the radiant floors.  The main heat in the accessory dwelling unit (ADU aka apartment) is from the in-slab radiant heat.

The manifold for the ADU is in the closet.  You can see the tubes sticking up in the above photo.  Actually if you look closely at the above photo you can see the in and the out tube going to the ADU manifold.  We have 2 zones for the lower level of the house.  The ADU and our main entry, office areas, and laundry.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

apartment kitchen - almost done!



Even though it may not look like it in this photo, we are getting close to having the accessory dwelling unit (ADU aka apartment) part of the house done!  It's very exciting.  We have been making a flurry of final material decisions and the above photo (and photoshop) was used to help choose the pendant light fixtures we just ordered.

The custom maple cabinets have been installed and after getting a quote for about $3000 for quartz countertops, we decided to go with what is in our current home...laminate over apple ply.  It's worked well for us, looks fresh and is pretty durable and cost about $500.

We like seeing the built-up layers of the plywood.

Next up was to choose cabinet pulls.  Here again we decided to keep it simple and go with bar pulls on all the drawers and doors. 



For the backsplash we are using the same 4x12 white tile we are installing in the bathroom.  The layout was a couple inches short so we added the thin glass tile pieces between. These glass tiles were left over from another job.


Monday, December 22, 2014

low winter sun

We have had a few sunny days this December and it's been exciting to see the play of light coming in.  The overhangs were designed to block the high summer sun while allowing the low winter sun to come right in and allow for some passive solar gain.


The Ram Board was installed to protect our finished hardwood floors during the rest of construction. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

main kitchen pendants


I am slowly going mad trying to find the right lighting for the house.  I think I've easily browsed 5,000 lights...probably more.  I have also gone to lighting stores to see options.  Out of all the finishes and design decisions, this is probably the one I like the least.  I have, though, enjoyed using Pinterest to keep track of possibilities. Gathering the top picks in one location that also keeps track of the webpage I found them on is really invaluable.  Another tool is Photoshop.  I needed a break from selecting the apartment fixtures, so I looked at our top 3 fixtures for our pendant lights in our main kitchen.  I used a screen grab of the model as the base, but one could also use a photo of the actual space.  Then I just added images of the different lights that I had grabbed from the internet.  The first image is top contender right now.






Click here to go directly to my Pinterest light fixture board.

Friday, November 21, 2014

finished hardwood floors


Our floors are finished! We looked at going even darker, but this is a little darker than we have in our current home which we have really liked.  It grounds the room.  It will be a nice base for the cabinets, bookcases and eventually furniture.  Interestingly this picture above shows how the primer on the walls is picking up a slight pink tone...not as much in the next photo.  This is coming into play when we are choosing paint color....that's a future post.





The floors are 5" white oak rift and quarter sawn character grade.  This above photo shows the life of the wood.  The sealer after the stain was Bona DTS and the finish top coat was Bona Traffic.  While the stain was solvent based, Duraseal quick coat, the sealer and finish coat were both low VOC with the Greenguard seal of approval for indoor air quality.


 Choosing the right color and darkness was a process.  We worked with Andy Mills of Genesee Woodworking on the Karina house and after he installed and sanded the floors we started to look at the stain.  First they applied a black tint to the floor which is the middle lightest color below.  This evened out some of the contrasting tones of the boards. The color to the right of that is another layer of tint...but we stuck with just one.  Then he applied 3 different stains.  We liked the one all the way to the left called coffee.


 Next he tinted a larger board and applied the stain we liked and then we took it up to see it in the space.  I thought it was just a tad too dark and we were loosing some of the grain character.  So he made up another board and we went with that.