Saturday, August 29, 2015

Are we done yet ?

This week at the house was varied in activity. We finally finished the tiles in the living area, installed, grouted,  and sealed.

The bathroom trim was finally grouted,  and regrouted  where needed.

The dryer was finally delivered after Lowes lost it, they came back to stack it because it required a kit.  That meant staying at home for two installation trips from Lowes, but I shouldn't gripe, they arrived, and they have the steam option that I am hoping will help me preshrink wool.

The kitchen cabinet doors have finally arrived, they need to be primed and painted.  The painting was to be DIY, so some practice is upcoming.

I finally got to see the gargoyles in action, they make me smile.

The storage unit is officially empty.

There was also painting, cleaning, reorganizing and fabric inventory.

So much to do, still. I miss sewing.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

100 yards and point in curbing the fabric addiction.

I've been amassing home dec fabric for the past two years.  It's a good thing I did because at  last count I will need at a minimum, 100 yards to cover all the windows in the houses, and this is if I stick to a little under a 2-1 ratio for fullness, and one layer of fabric, so either blackouts or sheers not both.  The building is mostly made up of windows I think.

 1- 12 foot wide sliding glass door
 5 - 8 Foot wide sliding glass doors
 2 - 12 foot wide windows
 1- 8' wide window
 4 - 36" wide windows

 and the smaller ones which will use scrap.

Since the purchases have been made at thrift stores, I tried to keep to colors I like and neutrals.  Nothing too crazy because these houses are supposed to be casual.  I started off really well with linens, and silks, and last month I hit a thrift store that had decorator fabrics.  Initially I had walked away because they weren't in keeping with the plans but then I thought be damned with the plans, the bedroom can be more opulent than the living room, I'm not a shaker after all.  This is the thinking that plagues those with fabric addiction, but I tell myself this will payoff in the end.

  These followed me home......

These are not silk, and they are shiny, more Tudor opulent, then simple and earthy, so watch for how I try to use these in the space.  The white will go in the master bedroom, probably matched with my old IKEA linen curtains.  

Matching the yardage to space will be the biggest challenge yet, they don't mark how much yardage is on each rolls, so it will be a surprise.  Whatever isn't used will be made up in panels and packaged and given back to the thrift store that I purchased them from.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rug Lucky and the price of tiling....

The tiling job on the bungalow was a bit pricey, more than I had budgeted but once you are committed, you need to finish, there is no going back.

Tiles $1.99 sq ft            $1667.00
Mortar bullnose misc      $400.00                      
Ditra underlayment      $1,000.00
Rimoldi Leveling             $286.00

Equipment rental            $200.00
demolition hammer

Delivery (truck rental $153.00)

790 sq feet $4,70 sq foot

This left me with a deficit for floor coverings for the big house I had thought the cost of the tile would be the cost of the floor, but did not factor in the under layment, the floor preparation, and misc, in the initial budget.  This is a shortfall of $1,500.00 I will need to get creative in the big house.

 I've been very lucky to find 4 area rugs.  Three Oriental hand knotted rugs, and one rug that looks like needlepoint.  They were purchased because I liked them but after some research, they look to be very good rugs.

This was the first, the colors were neutral, and it had a label which was not visible when purchased.
It is 10' x 14'.  I buckled down and paid $150 for it, it is wool, and had one or two snags but no stains.

I purchased it for the small house, as you can see it looks good with the grey tile.  I was going to have it cut down to fit the room, then did a little research and found this.  The sticker on the back claims Stark, as the manufacturer.  I had never heard of them.

After a few months, I happen upon another thrift store and the carpets were thrown in the back, face out and rolled with secured with packing tape.  They all looked pretty grimy, I was willing to have whatever I found cleaned.  They were having a sale trying to move merchandise to make space for more donations.

Enter, the Persian rug, now I've always wanted one of these, I had one years ago, that wasn't nearly as nice but gave it to my brother when my cat arrived.  I couldn't bear the thought of the kitty ruining it.

This one is aprox 12' x 9', and I bought it for the big house (the one that won't be ready until next year).  This one was $60, I liked the back almost as much as the face.

I vacuumed the face and flipped it over to vacuum the back, I was very surprised to see the amount of dirt that was in it.  I continued to flip and vacuum until nothing else came out.  This brought out the shine in the rug, this mystery would soon be solved.....

It's a Persian Rug, made in Tabriz, and the pattern is Mahi (fish) pattern.  The fibers are wool and silk woven on cotton yarns.  The prices I have seen range from $1,400 to $6,000.  I'm unsure about the quality, which is measured by knots per square inch, it is at least 150 which is on the lower side but would have to research it some more to see how the threads are knotted and what the criteria is for counting threads.  I'll need a loupe because my eyes are not what they used to be.

Then I went back to the same place and they had a coordinating runner. This one was $50. The prices don't make much sense, this is 10' x 3' vs 12' x 9' for $10 more.

The fourth rug was a salvage project, when they were loading it in the car they dropped it, and a large plume of dust exploded.  I took it in to be cleaned professionally, and that one will be ready next week.  The cost of cleaning is between $2 - $4 a square foot, so keep that in mind if you find one. That rug will go into the bedroom 10' x 8', it had a few stains on it but if they can't get them out, they will be covered by furniture.  That one was $40 and the fringe is worn in places, one of my first sewing projects in the new house might be to find a fringe and repair the end.

Anyhoo, what I am trying to say, is that if you are working on a project with cost over runs, don't lose hope that the universe will help you make up for it in the future.  Also tiling is not as cheap as it seems, and it is back breaking work.  If I had it to do all over again, I might just hire someone to prepare the floor and install the tile, which runs about $2 - $3 sq foot.  It would have been just a touch more money, but it would have been finished sooner.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Is paint quality better or worse now....

Painting is what I have been doing for two weeks now, painting the home I'm selling, and the one I will be moving to.  I've tried almost every brand of paint, Behr, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Pratt and Lambert and now Farrow & Ball.  Is the paint getting better or worse?  Maybe it's low VOC but it takes more than two coats to get a nice even coat.

I prime everything, here I used Kilz (just in case), and then used the Farrow & Ball undercoat (primer), and two coats of the Blackened.  This is a two coat paint.

I was going to move onto the bedroom but when this happened.... I popped into a nearby Sherwin Williams and bought something comparable.  My Farrow and Ball dealer, doesn't carry paint, only undercoats, and the paint itself is ordered and shipped from Canada.  It's expensive so this shot was sent to the dealer, and they will replace it free of charge but I needed it yesterday, so that was disappointing.  For anyone considering delving into F&B, it's a commitment of time and money, I can't speak to the durability of the paint just yet, time will tell.

This was the Sherwin Williams version of Slipper Satin from Farrow & Ball.  Surprisingly or not, SW already has formulas for all of the F&B colors.  They were running a sale this weekend 35% off of their premium matte paints.  It took, 2 coats and many touch ups to get it uniform.  I'm not going back to SW again.  The baseboard is Wevet eggshell from F&B.

It really is a pleasure to paint an empty room.

So back to my original question are paints getting better or worse?  I remember painting with Sherwin Williams Cashmere, it has lasted 10 years and still looks good, my bedroom is painted with Pratt & Lambert and it looks great and easy to clean up.  I am hoping that the recently painted rooms will hold up, or wall paper may be in the future.

Oh and finally the score of the century, an oriental rug for $60.
I've always wanted one of these, so thank you universe!!  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kitchen progress

Now with the walls painted we are ready to put the counter top on.  The contractor finished cutting the insert for the farmhouse sink, the sink was placed, and the faucet installed.  There are four layers of food safe Tung Oil on the butcher block.  It looks really pretty.

The sink was a craigslist find, which had to be refinished.  That happened back in January.  We've been working for what seems like forever.

We decided to center the faucet between the window.  The drain pan extends over to the neighboring cabinet, because IKEA doesn't make a 42" under sink cabinet.  These are the little design details that confound the mind.  The doors and hinges will be changed on the top cabinets and the boxes will be refinished.  The kitchen should be finished around mid September.  The bedroom and closet will be next, while we wait.

A well deserved first cuppa in the new place.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fog settles in.... Farrow & Ball Blackened

I think in every large project there is a point where decision fatigue sets in, and it doesn't matter how enthusiastic you were at the start.  This is where we are.  The project has evolved so much it no longer resembles what was originally envisioned.  However it will be pretty when finished, and still respects the original idea of having a place that was beautiful, and easy to clean, with a wink to a Modern British lake cottage.  It's not in the UK, but that won't stop us.

In that spirit, I used Farrow & Ball paint, which was a bit of a luxury, but I wanted to see if it is worth the bother and expense.  The walls are painted in Modern Emulsion 7% sheen, in the color Blackened.  The top cabinets and trim will eventually be Wevet, and the base cabinets Blue Black, in Eggshell.

Blackened is actually a pearl grey, the Black Blue is more of an intense blue, and Wevet is a brighter white.

This is what Blackened looks like on the walls.

I did a lot of research about application and none of what I read mirrored my experience.  Some said that it dried slowly, mine did not, some said a brush was better than a roller, not for me.  The first coat of paint looked terrible and I was almost very angry that I fell for the hype, but once the second coat was applied, I fell in love with the soft grey.

There were many nights of priming, undercoating and painting.