I am a person of extremes. This is no secret. I love a lot of things; I hate a lot of things. One of the things I hate most in this world: Spring Forward. I dread daylight savings time for weeks leading up to it, and the night before ‘spring forward’ is reminiscent of the night before my law school finals. This year, the only reason I didn’t completely loathe the arrival of ‘spring forward’ was my belief that the extra daylight hours would give me all kinds of motivation to put in long hours at the house.
I was mistaken. Between the distraction of warm weather and Erica’s Saint Patrick’s Day party luring me to Louisville, I have gotten little to nothing done in the last couple weeks…. both at the house or on the blog.
Fortunately, the progress has been pushed along by the two people who never let me down: my parents.
Their contributions to this project are not new; they have put in hundreds of hours since the fall. At the risk of sounding like a little kid, this process has brought back my childhood belief that my dad truly can do anything- whether it’s lay an impeccable hardwood floor, plan out a kitchen, or do professional quality tile work. I have done most of the grunt work, but anything that required fine skill has fallen to my dad. My mom, on the other hand, has no qualms about taking on the much less glamorous, yet incredibly valuable, roles. She has probably cleaned my house more times in the last six months than she has cleaned her own, even though it’s my dad and I generating the dust, debris, and very mess that she’s cleaning. Without their support and skill, I would be stubbornly living in a hastily and poorly finished version of what my house is on its way to becoming.
I have never been more thankful for their effort than these last two weeks when the only progress at all was their doing. In fact, they worked the whole weekend while I was in Louisville… having a few extra beers to compensate for my guilt that they were working there without me. They got so much accomplished, with no help from me whatsoever.
My dad did a phenomenal job tiling the shower.
The majority of the shower is a basic glossy, white ceramic tile. I debated a more modern look with larger, colored tiles, but for resale purposes, I opted for a look that was timeless, simple, and clean with the white squares. For the sake of some unique quality, I picked out the smaller version of the floor tiles to use as an accent strip around eye height inside the shower. The purpose was not only to add some variety to a basic design, but to tie the shower in with the look / color scheme of the rest of the room and create some overall consistency.
When he wasn’t tiling, my parents installed the door to the left closet in the back bedroom, primed the left door, and put a first coat of paint on the right door which had been hung last week.
Seeing both doors hung definitely brought a feeling of progress to this room. I hope to have the window seat sanded and primed before my dad returns from his annual golf trip; yes, I felt that he was entitled to a break from slaving away on my behalf. Only a few rows of floor have been laid in here thus far. One day in the next few weeks, my dad and I will continue installing the floor. Then the room will truly feel as though it’s near completion.
If you recall from earlier posts, the front bedroom is essentially finished, awaiting just the installations of the crown molding and the base boards (which are patiently laying in place against the walls). To allow my brother and I to move forward on repairing the living room walls— as much as I hate the idea of returning to the soul-consuming process of drywall patching and sanding—- we have relocated the pile of unlaid flooring to the front bedroom.
The most exciting event recently was the installation of the perimeter counters.
The perimeter counters were manufactured and installed by KBR Counter Top Specialists (http://www.kbrmfg.com). The experience with them was positive from original measurements, to selecting the exact slab from the yard, to installation; definite recommendation. The granite I picked out for the perimeters was called “Absolute Black”.
The black counters were deliberately picked for a clean, consistent design that would be a stark contrast to the white cabinets and brighter island top. The room looked great even before they came, but I honestly think that the addition of the shiny black granite around the outside draws the whole room together even further.
While he was waiting on the counter guys / cable guy on his day off Friday (I wasn’t kidding when I said they have gone above and beyond lately while I have been slacking), my dad took the chance to put up window trim around a few windows. I mentioned this plan in an earlier post. The windows throughout the house were just sitting in the walls with zero decor or framing to dress them up. My dad had the idea to frame them in using pre-cut molding purchased at Home Depot, and the result is great. Unfortunately, it is seemingly impossible to get a decent picture of the window trim and the drastic effect it has on the aesthetics of the window, because the light coming through the window always messes with the settings on my phone, which makes it too dark to get a picture. This picture of the trim in the bathroom is the best depiction I have been able to get of the effect of the window trim.
I’m well aware that the addition of the window trim isn’t exactly a jaw-dropping “before and after.” However, I can assure you that this is largely due to the quality of the pictures I am able to take with the light and my phone settings. The pictures simply do not capture it accurately. In addition to the bathroom, he trimmed the big window in the front bedroom, as well as the two windows in the kitchen. This is the best depiction I could gather of the window over the kitchen sink without trim and with trim:
I am slowly getting back into the hang of working multiple days a week for long hours, although many would question the merit of what my time is being focused on. If you read my basement entry, you know how instantly I formed an attachment to the basement of this house… the visions of my home theater and March Madness swirling through my head. With the primary renovations to the first floor taking longer than I originally, no actual improvement has been done to the basement, although I have torn out all the 60’s paneling, carpet, and tiled ceiling. Unfinished as the basement and the rest of the house may be, March Madness is taking place just as I promised myself it would.
Some thank you’s are in order:
-To my Uncle Kelly for loaning a temporary screen and helping me get my projector up and running
-To my Uncle Tim for getting my cable and internet setup throughout the house, including the basement
-To my friend Greg for helping me fine tune the projector and sound system for optimal results.
With their week-night help, I have some perfect accommodations for the obscene amount of basketball watching that is about to take place this week. Tis the season, friends. Go Cats.