Friday, February 13, 2009

A Light in the Attic

Let the drywalling begin!!! The inside of the house is really starting to take shape! With the new walls up we can finally see what our happy little home is going to look like!

Here is a view at the attic!

this is the left side of the attic (we left the overhead beams and original brick chimney exposed!)
the right side of the attic will have closet space running the length of the wall with three closet doors to come!

that same chimney that you saw in the attic pictures is from the original kitchen stove--way back when--we think the laundry room was the original kitchen. so in our laundry room this part of the chimney (see below) was covered in plaster. We had the chimney exposed and then drywalled around it. the chimney doesn't function anymore but we love the brick!
ok, the next picture was taken inside the master bedroom. here you are facing east (the master bedroom is on the second floor at the very front of the house.) the white door you see was probably once a dressing room or nursery off of this bedroom. we will be using it for a walk-in closet. but we took some of the space off of that dressing room---and some of the space off of the guest bathroom that is in the hallway--to make a small master bathroom (which is what the other door cut out leads to.) it has not yet been trimmed. we are planning to install a barn door track system across the wall and then attach two painted doors that will slide back and forth (instead of regular doors on hinges.)
the doorway in the picture that turns the corner leads out into the hallway. make sense?

now, you might have to squint but this picture is taken from the living room looking north into the parlor. we just had that doorway in between the two rooms framed in and drywalled so we have more definition between the two rooms.
so let me walk you through this. the thing that looks like a new pine door frame is actually a built in shelf. it's just not painted yet and the shelves haven't been hung. (this was there when we bought the house, but unfinished.) (now, just for reference...the first floor bathroom is to the right of that built in shelf. and if you're looking at this picture, the kitchen is behind you.)
ok, moving forward. we had jerry create a similar built in shelf inside the entryway between the parlor and the living room. that is what that dark rectangle is on the left side of the picture. the window in the background is on the front of the house. that is what we are calling the parlor. the front door is just right (east) of that window and the office is just past that.
can you picture the layout yet?

and here comes the dining room. the walls are framed, the drywall hung, roof on and windows in!!
aside from the floor...this room is almost done! this view is from the kitchen. now remember, this used to be a 3 season porch that we ripped off completely and rebuilt. we kept the walls between the porch and the kitchen--which have the original cedar siding on them. i think you can see them in an earlier blog post.
and this is the new dining room from the outside.

the garage sure is coming along! and here's our handy dandy builder to prove it!

that's all for now. i am sure you are all wondering what we decided to do with the exterior colors....well, we made the decision to put on the james hardie cement board siding in --IRON GRAY and use a very mild khaki for the trim. Still planning on the mustard color door and black shutters but those we will paint by hand.
Interior colors have been selected too but you'll just have to wait to preview those...
Siding should start going up in about two weeks. stay tuned!

Friday, February 6, 2009

this week's progress

here you are looking at the inside of the dining room. the doorway with the plywood will be the entrance into the kitchen (it's just boarded up right now to conserve heat.) the window to the right of the door will stay and we will be able to use it as a pass through window into the kitchen. the actual door to the left of the boarded up doorway currently leads into the living room but will soon be removed and the hole will be drywalled. the dining room will be two steps down from the kitchen and along the ceiling we will run old barn beams to give it character.

hooray the garage is being framed!

the flat roof over the dining room is down (this flat roof will also support the deck that will be off of one of the first guest bedroom.)

There is progress in the attic! Jerry put up all of the insulation. Even though it's not drywalled yet, you can really get an idea of how this room is coming together. Just a big open lofty space! The "attic" is really on the second floor, just one step up.

the framing on the right side of this last picture is going to be built in storage closets in the attic.
So although we still haven't worked our way through the Color Struggle...we ARE making progress!! Our builder has been hard at work all week! I think this is the exciting part as the projects are finally starting to resemble the vision!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Color Struggle

Well there is not much new to report. I mean, there is a TON going on...much nothing that has evolved enough to really confirm in this "super-official" blog. But, I guess I will fill you in on some things that we're working on....even though they are all subject to change!

COLORS---you might think that this is the part that would excite me the most...or even the part that I might be good at. It's true, I LOVE colors. I have always lived for the brighter side of life--which, in my little world, involves colors. It would seem to be the softer, friendlier side of a construction project. Well, this all SOUNDS great but the truth of the matter is...colors and I, well we have a love/hate relationship. I think it's my problem though, you see, I have trouble committing. Yep, me, the one who knows what I want and almost always finds a way to get it. Some might call this Bratty. Me, I prefer to call it Driven. :) Regardless of what you call it...the problem is that this little character trait of mine is flawed when it comes to COLORS. We're talking mostly exterior now. (Interior, also a difficult decision but much easier to change so I am not worrying about it yet.) But exterior colors are sooo permanent. Especially because now we are back to thinking that we might have to put siding up over the old wood. I know, I know I bragged all the way up and down this blog about us saving the original wood. But...I guess I bragged too soon because now there is about a 75% chance that it's not going to be possible. So, we're looking at cement board siding--thus, the color we choose is even that much more important because it has like a 25 year warranty on it. Which means that we'd be crazy to paint for 25 years! So as you can imagine I am freaking out thinking "holy cow I have to live in the same color house until I am 56 and a half??" Ok, ok, so we could paint over the siding if we wanted to and just forfeit the warranty. That's always an option...and the warranty might actually be more like 15 years instead of 25. Those are little details that I don't pay much attention to at this time because to me, even 15 years sounds like an eternity.

Ok, you must be thinking--"Abby, get to the point already!" So here it goes. Currently (when I say currently I mean THIS WEEK) we are leaning towards siding the house in a color called Iron Gray. (it actually looks like a very dark navy/slate color.) The trim would then be a khaki color, black shutters, and a mustard (or what I like to call "curry") colored front door---just to give it a little PUNCH!

You see, I am not telling you the whole truth here. It's not that I didn't have any clue as to what colors I wanted. I knew exactly what I didn't want. (which was also a problem for a while because the only thing I didn't want was White.....which of course was Taylor's first choice.) But now we have come to agree that a dark color will look best on the house--especially if we have to put siding on. We feel that the siding looks most like authentic wood if it is in a dark color. So there, that narrowed it down quite a bit. And, then, if you look around our new neighborhood you would see that some beautiful dark colors have already been used. process of elimination--a dark navy or slate color is probably our best option. Also....I am quite easily influenced and respect the opinions of experienced individuals and both my mother-in-law and her friend Judy think dark gray with black shutters would look good (and it was them who gave me the idea of the mustard door--which I have now stolen and call "curry" just to put my own spin on it!) But Taylor and I think that maybe the khaki trim would be a nice compliment, just to freshen up the look a little bit. But you see, we've never painted a house before so we don't really know what is going to look good. And it's not like we can test drive a color (especially a siding color.) So...we might just close our eyes and J.U.M.P.!! and hope that the color turns out!!

So I don't really have pictures of the complete vision, but I am showing you a couple pictures of our current inspiration. The town house picture is new construction in downtown G.R. and it is sided with James Hardie fiber cement board (which is the product we would use.) The color is Iron Gray so it gives you a good idea of the base color we are leaning towards. However, the picture doesn't represent it perfectly. In real life the trim is olive and the windows are a dark red vinyl window. Again, we would do khaki trim, black shutters and a curry colored door.

The other picture is a little shop in Saugatuck. It is a wood structure and it painted a similar color but has a little more navy in it. The trim is a light khaki and the shutters and door are like a faded olive.
So...any thoughts? I would love some feedback. Don't be offended if I don't take your suggestions. I like to gather up all of my options before making a decision...but just know ideas ARE appreciated! This is the current question. Will the curry door and the khaki trim look ok together? I think the Iron Gray house with Black shutters and a Curry door would look great. And I also think that a Iron Gray house with Black shutters and Khaki trim would look great. But will they all look great together? And then the next question is what color should the garage door be??? Black or Khaki?? Oh brother!
One more quick thing---the James Hardie siding would be a 5" reveal which is exactly what the wood siding on the house is it really would still keep the character of the original 1865 home. Hmmm...I wonder if I just wrote that to reassure you---or myself?? (I am not sold on the idea of siding. But I am told it is probably our best and most practical and energy efficient option.) I think this whole discussion deserves another "OH BROTHER!"