Durham Project: Progress City

The homeowners at the Durham project really steamrolled through this quick update with the help of their contractor who actually listened when they said, we have to finish this in a month before our baby is born.

What happened in about 3 weeks time? Interior paint, new flooring throughout most of the downstairs, kitchen cabinets painted, quartz counters on!

The Cosmos Carrara Classic counters are in, as well as their new faucet and single bowl undermount stainless steel sink. Subway tile backsplash awaits a light gray grout.

quartz countertop

 

Newly opened up space, combining the kitchen with the family room, the hub of the house. New flooring and paint color unites the space.

Flooring & paint progress

Unfortunately, the client couldn’t put hidden hinges on the existing cabinets, so they went on a quick hunt for polished nickel hinges to match our chosen kitchen cabinet hardware.

hardware matchup

Family room looking extremely fresh with new recessed lighting, Benjamin Moore Moonshine on the walls. The fireplace is primed in this photo. The homeowner liked the washed brick look and in a clutch decision decided not to paint the fireplace brick white.

Family Room moonshine

Horizontal backsplash border, some folks opt for a vertical bullnose border on the ends of the backsplash.

vertical backsplash border

Primed fireplace brick up close.

brick fireplace close

The TV is now mounted on the fireplace and the built-ins were repaired and got fitted with new shaker style cabinet doors.

TV installed2

Picking the right light gray grout for backsplash.

grout choice

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Durham Project: Kitchen Plan

Here’s a little work up I did just to make sure the client and I were on the same page. As it turned out we were. This is the general direction we’re sending that 1980s colonial kitchen at the Durham project,

Lighten up baby.

Durham Kitchen plan

You know why you see white subway tile and marble or a quartz that looks like marble’s second cousin everywhere? Because it’s a winning combination that looks great for a long, long time.

This is where we came from,

durham kitchen before

and here we are in progress,

Durham kitchen progress

Things are moving swiftly at the Durham project. Remember time is of the essence there because there will be a baby girl there in the first week of November. They expect appliance delivery this Friday.

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Durham Project: TV Placement

You were introduced last week to the Durham project, thats the neo-colonial getting a little update. We want to tackle the determination of where to place the TV and how to improve, repair or remove the existing built-ins on either side of the fireplace in the family room.

Here’s the current space,

durham family room

 

Hmmm glad to see those lines in the carpet so that we know it was freshly vacuumed! I think this image definitely draws focus to the fact that the carpet needs to be replaced with hardwood which the homeowners plan to do.

What we know we have to do-

  • paint brick fireplace white
  • paint built-ins (if they remain) white
  • replace cabinet hardware on built-ins (if they remain)
  • paint room trim white

TV placement is what we’ve got to figure out and I’ve narrowed the inspirational images down.

Durham TV placement

 

My official position on the built-ins is KEEP them. After that, I would recommend that they ask their carpenter or cabinetmaker to create new bottom cabinets for the right side.

As much as I am intrigued by the last inspiration image with the TV to the right of the fireplace, I don’t think we have the width on the side to accommodate a 55″ flat screen. So we’re saving that idea for another day.

The TV is best placed over the fireplace and then the sofa floats in the middle of the room. The homeowners have a 55″ flat screen and we have enough space if the mantel and brick corbels are eliminated.

There was some concern about building code’s spacial requirement between a mantle or in this case a TV and the top of the fireplace. Some quick internet research on the part of a general contractor tells us that we are required to have a minimum of something like 6″ if the TV is more than an inch deep. If for some reason we did not meet the code requirement, I think the clients would consider not using the gas logs. It’s not really that big of a loss in North Carolina unless the power goes out in an ice storm and then gas logs are helpful.

This change really makes me excited for these guys because I think this change and layout rank high on the importance scale. It updates the main living area and changes the way the house feels and lives.

 

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Durham Project: Introduction

Allow me to introduce you to my newest gig, the Durham project. The Durham project is a neo-colonial, two-story house constructed in the 1980s. It’s the first home for this growing family and they’ve saved and budgeted for some remodeling and updating and that’s where I come in.

We’re on a tight timeline with this remodel because the aforementioned growing family is expecting a baby girl at the beginning of November and the construction is just getting underway. Some might say they are nuts to have a newborn AND a renovation. But I’ve assured them that they can handle it, it will not always be easy and it will be unpleasant at times but it’s certainly do-able.

The Main Components of the Durham project remodel:

durham master bath

 

durham master bath2

Remodel Master Bathroom

The master bath is a narrow space where currently you’ll find that you can sit on the toilet and lean over to the shower to wash your hair at the same time. How do you say…ah not cool. We’ll expand the room just inches because the room is sandwiched between an exterior wall and the stairs but we’ll eliminate that whole simultaneous shower/toilet situation. Dated cabinetry goes bye bye, things get shifted and we add more glass to provide the illusion that the room is larger.

durham family room

Focus on Family (Room)

This couple isn’t shy about telling you they like their TV and I like mine too and I recognize and value the importance of a comfy, stylish, well constructed space to watch the new season of Game of Thrones in. They’ve inherited built-ins in the family room but they are a little off. They need paint, hardware and a little tweaking. We need to create a fireplace/TV/built-in dynamic that makes this a functional gathering space for the whole fam.

durham kitchen

Kitchen Update

A lot of the budget will be spent in the kitchen and it needs an update. Stainless appliances, rehabbing and painting cabinets, bringing the hardwood flooring in, new electrical, countertops and a backsplash will move us in the right direction.

durham wall

Open Up

A wall stands now separating the dining nook and the family room. If removed all of the important main spaces will benefit. You will be able to see all the goings on in the family room from the kitchen, the space will feel modernized, receive more natural light, feel more open and spacious.

durham dining nook

Banquette on Wish List

A banquette in the dining nook in the kitchen is on the wish list.  Everybody loves them and it’s a great little character add-on. Once we open up that wall between the family room and the kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to add on a banquette or window seat on to the bay window.

 

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Black Frame Windows

7th_street_residence_black window framesvia PullTab

I’ve been feeling rather drawn toward black frame windows.

It’s an industrial vibe, a warehouse look, and it’s had my attention for some time — but lately I’m noticing it more and more as it mixes traditional residential architecture with modernized interiors and it’s really impressing me and that has me thinking about my own new home.

This particular home decor trend is not adopted without some commitment to the cause. Many times the executions are impressive because they were an architectural choice at the time of installation. However, painting an otherwise normal window frame is an option for upping the aesthetic ante. Painting windows can be a real pain though, especially if you are covering up oil based paint. Many folks wouldn’t be willing to get into this without real commitment to the look.

We are trying to make that decision for ourselves now. I’m growing more and more committed each day though. It started as an quick idea that I brushed away almost as soon as I thought it. It has since evolved from that to the “Heffe would never buy it” stage to this full on campaign for his consideration. This marks the official launch of my efforts to convert the dude into a believer.

First, let’s have another look at the windows in the new hizz. There are 13 in the sunroom alone. They are lovely old french panes and they are painted blue on the outside, which is an endearing feature that made me fall head over heels for this home.

But, from the inside, you can see that blue sneaking and peeking around the edges, blurring and distorting the frames and distracting from the view beyond the jungle greenery. The addition of the screens, which we only have on the windows that open, makes for an illusory sense of color in the frames, ie, not white, but very fuzzy.
the-windows-at-shaniqua-the-estate-of-things

You can clearly see the illusory color effects happening in these pics. They are already imperfect — why NOT paint them black? My feeling is that the strength of the black mullions and transoms will stand up with a bit more visual strength to the sunlight and the screens, providing a more cohesive grid like effect on the windows and thus improving the view overall. I’ve photoshopped it below.

But first, join me as we journey through a world of black frame window inspiration and what got the old wheels spinning in the first place. Most of these painted frames maintain their original white window trim, so it is only the frame that should get the black treatment in our home. This is the look that I’m after. Of additional note, some of these are most definitely metal frames and some have no trim at all.

Black Window Framesvia Carter Kay

ellen-and-portiasvia Architectural Digest
Ellen & Portia’s foyer has got it going on and their black frames are definitely an architectural statement. Plus there is a large dose of Serge Mouille at play, which is another recurring trend in the images I’m pinning. I’m feeling all wanty inside.

chenault james black windowsvia Chenault James

Amber-Interiors-Black-window-panesvia Amber Interiors.
Amber’s recent client reveal showcases an impressive architectural statement with its black warehouse window wall.
Peep the before and after post to get a load of just how this feature sings agains that brilliant white.

french windows painted greyvia Rethink Design Studio
Just for fun, here is a room with the french frames painted grey.

black windows Feldman Architecturevia Feldman Architecture, Inc.

So, I put our home in its mid-renovation state into photoshop, to help us see what our little spot could look like. I’m rather loving the turnout. Let’s do it!

black-window-frames

black-looking-into-the-dining-room-shaniqua-the-estate-of-things

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Designing Our New Home From Scratch

Part of the move-in process includes a fresh start by repainting the entire interior. I’m talking walls, trim, windows, doors and ceilings. It’s no minor task designing our new home from scratch. Every day presents a new decision, but we’ll start first with a fresh coat!

Sarah and I are having an email dialog about the perils of choosing paint colors. How lucky am I to have her expert consultation at my fingertips?

It makes me anxious to hear her say she needs to know more about the vibe we are after in order to help me suss out the differences between whites! But this post is my attempt in communicating our desires.

To start, there is nothing like experiencing the room throughout the day, and getting a feeling for the light as it passes from east to west.

Here is a look at the vacant living room.Shaniqua Living Room 700

Shaniqua Living Room other side 700

We have already removed the drapes and the brass fire screen. The large built-in will be torn out next week, and despite falling rather in love with it at first sight, those interior french doors are going away too. Our whole M.O. up in here, is to simplify and modernize.

I have pondered removing almost all of the trim detail from door jams to window casings, but I don’t believe I can readily get the dude on board with that. It seems like it’s a worthy consideration though.

The walls are already white. Part of me thinks it is kind of crazy to come in and repaint it all a shade or two brighter (especially with the associated price tag,) but we decided that while she’s vacant, we want the fresh coat either way, and the current white is a creamy yellow that reads super warm, where we are looking for that crisp cool bright white we’ve all grown to love. We love the rustic wood beams, and will be leaving them as is.

Are you the kind of person that belabors the decision making process? Mostly, I am not. I’m usually in and out. I don’t really like to test or sample, I hate trying clothes on, and I don’t need a yelp review to decide where to eat. Let’s just go, it’ll be fine. I’m willing to live with my often less than perfect results.

Except for when it comes to white paint, apparently.

Due to the price tag, this isn’t something to take lightly, and it definitely isn’t something to throw up to chance. I must choose ONE white from the seemingly infinite array of whites that exist on our paint chip fan.

white-paint-chips

We are narrowing down some choices that we will next paint in large swatches on the wall. The room sees an array of hues with the passing of the California sunshine overhead. The dead center chip is called Oxford White and is seeing high favor from both me and Heffe throughout the days and nights. That top left is “swiss coffee,” I believe it’s the closest to what is already happening on the walls throughout the home.  We are also partial to the top right chip, Dogwood Blossom, but it definitely reads less crisp white and more greige. I’m not sure we want the hue.

The ALL WHITE EVERYTHING phase that is going on in decor at the moment is the move of the decade. It’s certainly rampant in SoCal design, borrowed from Scandinavian design and quite prolific in the French interiors that I have been digging into since our vacation to Paris last week, where we stayed in this incredible flat.

incredible paris flat on instagram betsymoyer
From the mix of those influences, there is a vibe that we’re after, and I hope that we can achieve it. A crisp white backdrop is part of that look, but rustic woods and black accents play an important role as well.

Here are a few more inspiration images that I have gathered to help us set the tone.

Patrick Dempseys Malibu homebeautiful newfie in living roomImportant first and foremost because of Newfie, but of additional note this room features Serge Mouille lighting, warm rustic textures and use of pattern! Sarah, you actually linked to this same room in your Serge roundup!
I found the Newfie pic on Instagram

the bridge houseThe Bridge House is notable for its mix of whites, woods and black accents, which is a trend that you will see in the following photos as well. Let’s call this the vibe that we’re after. It has a sense of a rustic, worn, lived-in modernism.

wood kitchen cabinetryOriginal Source unknown, via Pinterest

white walls wood floors black trimThe large black warehouse frame look is achieved with a mirror. I’m totally into that trick, since I probably wouldn’t be allowed to go so bold & paint the trim on our french windows in black. Could be a great way to try out the black grid accent without the major commitment.

The kids rooms will be painted the colors of their choosing. We’re tossing around some ideas to toss some color on the hallway doors and the ceiling in the sunroom is going to be blue. But any other color choices will come about later, once the all white walls living commences.  I hope we get it right.

See more visual notes on the Shaniqua pinterest board.
We’ll see what comes together, but for now I’ve done my best to give Sarah a glimpse into the vibe we’re hoping to achieve.

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Lofty Dreams of Attic Conversions

My mind is often prone to wander off towards dreams and fantasies of a more unrealistic nature, which is why I presume – when we have a whole brand new house to plan for with reasonable needs like space planning and painting, I can’t stop thinking about the attic.

It’s a real romantic notion.

Since my childhood I’ve journaled. The voice has changed throughout the years but most times I write as if I’m communicating with an audience. That audience is often a girl that came after me, maybe I helped to make her, my child or my grandchild. This girl is sitting up in an old attic somewhere, breathing in the must of a generation gone by, flipping through the pages of all my most silly dreams and tales of the times that I lived in, interesting if only because they happened in the past.

It’s dramatic and it looks like something like a scene from the NeverEnding Story.

the-never-ending-story-attic

With that in mind, imagine my surprise when we popped our heads through the attic opening to find this roomy, spacey spot in our new home.

shaniqua-attic-unfinished

Wouldn’t it be irresponsible of us to have this much space above our heads without some usability?

My mind wanders from storage and stories to a full on finished conversion.

We had a contractor over this weekend, and he appeared overwhelmed with the thought of re-routing all of the pipes and ducts which proved the dude right, that I was pre-mature for pondering it, but I’m thinking long game here. There is an INCREDIBLE view on the other side of those eaves.

For now, I’ll settle my silly notions with thoughts of HVAC and insulation and we’ll pocket this dream for another time in the future, but since I’ve already indulged myself, I’ll share the attic conversion inspiration images that I gathered while dreaming.

attic bath attic master

attic queen bed

attic romantic embellishment guest room

attic working space

bold window end that I  ove

crazy talk but what about a solarium over the kitchen

glass dormer

 

 

 

 

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Bennett Kitchen: Shop the Look

We revealed the Bennett Kitchen renovation last week and I thought it would be nice to chat for a minute about the design process and that final layer, the one where all of the living and working comes into play.

BENNETT KITCHEN AFTER for blog

I’ve been living in an old house that needs the kind of renovation that I offer my clients regularly. I have been feeling particularly fed up with the downsides of age, so for this kitchen, I really keyed up the the crisp finishes. We ended up with a really strong modern take on a cottage kitchen with classic bones.

After beefing up the architectural elements of the space (applying quintessential Craftsman millwork on the doors and window frames and heightening the cabinets with a shaker style front, we finished the backsplash, counter tops and flooring in modern slate floor tiles, crisp subway tile and a quartz counter top.

This makes for a timeless base that should age gracefully and one that can evolve with the homeowner’s style.

Here is a design board that we pulled together, to guide us and the homeowners towards filling up the open shelving and counter tops with layers of warm form and function.

Bennett shop the look

 

1. Vintage Indigo Mudcloth Pillow | 2. Schoolhouse Electric Princeton Junior Sconce| 3. The Estate of Things Antique Bread board| 4. Restoration Hardware Aubrey pull| 5. Adesso Harvest Drum pendant| 6. Ribba picture ledge| 7. Dot & Bo Kelley Dining table| 8. Azzo Mid Century Shell Chair| 9. Lake Michigan print| 10. Fiesta ware dishes| 11. As You Are print| 12. Mornings Away print| 13. Vintage Swedish rag rug

 

 

 

 

 

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Bennett Kitchen: The Final Reveal

The Bennett kitchen renovation is ready for its debut.

There’s no two ways about it the Bennett kitchen was one sick puppy but now it’s a charming southern cottage kitchen with a splash of SoCal.

Let’s take a look at that renovation,

Bennett Kitchen Before After

It’s really gratifying to see the plan come to life and I love it to pieces. While I didn’t need to change the footprint of the room I did need to move the appliances around to create a layout that functioned more efficiently. The refrigerator and stove changed position, we added a dishwasher and put the microwave on a shelf freeing up valuable counter space.

The fridge was just sitting on a blank wall by itself. We needed to nestle that in and put that blank wall to work.

bennett before2

This is what became of that blank wall,

AFTER BENNETT KITCHEN Range 700

A custom range hood with shaker panels, a classic white subway tile backsplash, open shelves and white enamel sconces to set the whole situation off.

bennett stove backsplash

The old yellow linoleum floor was replaced with 24″ long charcoal grey tiles with a modern slate vibe. Storage space was maximized in cabinets that now extend to the ceiling and our cabinet maker, Quality Cabinet Co., built a blocked crown molding at my request with straighter lines to marry the cabinetry to the ceiling.

I was convinced for weeks that I wanted to paint the pocket door a pacific/denim blue color. I sampled several of those colors.

bennett paint samples

and then I was sitting in the room during construction contemplating something and I glanced over to see my turquoise Fiesta coffee mug sitting on the counter. A knee jerk decision to paint the pocket door a bright turquoise yields this.

BENNETT KITCHEN AFTER for blog

I chose Cosmos Quartz Carrera Classic for the counter top. Quartz for the durability and Carrera Classic for the classic look and subtle veining.

Bennett cut board

We added a built-in banquette for four with a ship lap back and shaker panels on the seat to match our cabinets.

AFTER the dining nook built in banquette 700

We already had our West Elm pendant on the ready to hang over the banquette.

bennett banquette after

I know you will definitely want to know what our color picks were in this kitchen and we’re happy to oblige, in a forthcoming post.

 

So who is ready to renovate their kitchen?

 

 

 

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Shaniqua: Designing Ideas for our New Home

At some point in the house hunt, the dude and I started referring to the blue paned house, aka Silver Springs as Shaniqua. It is a reference to the street it’s on, but really it’s more about personifying the home that we couldn’t get out of mind. The name has since grown on us, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even Heffe’s kids have taken to it.

We got to take them over on Saturday and get a few measurements. Part of our negotiations allowed the previous homeowners a leaseback for 30 days after closing. We had to make formal arrangements to see the home, but we were thrilled to find it mostly empty.

It feels more real than ever now, and we’ll be glad to finally have full access at the end of the month.

welcome shaniqua

Step into her little foyer, where you are immediately greeted with a set of stairs! I’d really like to change that, but we’ll have to wait and see what’s possible.

Come on up!

Shaniqua Living Room 700

We previously discussed the wall of traditional shelving. After seeing the home empty, I’m leaning more towards removing the entire thing. It’s just so heavy and that crown moulding and cabinet facing is not speaking my language.

I’m curious to hear from Sarah, and you if you have any opinion on the matter.

It might be interesting to see what the dude and I could do with some more personal choices for that wall. I’ve seen his carpentry work firsthand, he’s gifted. We might prefer to design something ourselves, but what would that look like?

Where do you see a football & futball lover’s gigantic TV fitting in?

Shaniqua Living Room other side 700

To help me think, I’ve taken to the drawing board. While we there on Saturday, we grabbed all the measurements so I could put together a floor plan. It was a rather painstaking process, but I’ve finally got it pulled together, and relatively to scale.

I used Homestyler by AutoDesk. It was fun and I really lost myself working on it for hours. You can even go fantasy furniture shopping and outfit your entire house with new products from select retailers that they have partnered with. Pretty futuristic robot awesome if you ask me.

Now that I have saved the base floorplan on my free account, I can really play around with thoughts of moving doors, busting out built-ins and contemplating kitchen reconfigurations. I’ll be fantasizing here until we actually get moved in!

304 Chautauqua Floorplan

Shaniqua Floor Plan 3D

 

 

 

 

 

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House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all

Now that the house purchase is complete, we will happily be bringing the HOUSE HUNTING series to a close.
(… until Sarah decides to move again, which could happen any minute knowing her crew.)

But as for us, let’s have a cheer since we are donezo! I’ve never been more grateful.

The news came in last Friday that we officially closed (10 days and ten thousand headaches beyond our contract close date.) We were pulled through the mire a bit on the nuances of lending protocol, so it was hard to feel anything more than mere relief. The champagne is still chillin’ in the fridge.

Thank God for our real estate agent, Joyce Gottlieb though, who I can’t recommend enough. She was super savvy and tough as nails on hard core sellers and less than stellar funding agents. God bless her! I wish I could buy 50 more houses with her.

So, here we are! We own a home, and it’s literally a fairytale of an entrance. It’s like the Southern California version of the little cottage in the woods that lured Hansel and Gretel. Though I promise I won’t be tossing any children into cauldrons up in here.

storybook front entry

In slightly anti-climatic news, we agreed to allow the sellers to remain in the home for an expressed 30 day period after the closing. We heard that we may have access as soon as next Friday. Fingers are crossed for that, since I’m chomping at the bit to get inside and I’ve already purchased a gigantic piece of rattan furniture (a total wacko thrift store score cause that’s how I roll) for some of the SoCal style that this home calls for.

I can’t wait to style the newest batch of TEOT Pillows on it.

Until then, I have upwards of 200 cellphone photos to pour through, but I cannot WAIT to get inside the emptied out version of our new home, devoid of the Safari-luxe style of the sellers, and onto a blank canvas. I’m starting to brainstorm a bit, and so far my fantasies are a bit unbridled. Dude already said no to a swinging hammock in the Sunroom. Please let his mind be changed.

This is the future hammock room. Upon close inspection, I realized that this room has been sponge painted… and it made me laugh because it’s hideous and horrible and just weeks ago I was trying to convince everyone that this faux finish deserved a new reputation. I still believe it needs a new approach.

Sunroom at shaniqua

Sunroom at shaniqua 2

But for this room, I’m contemplating paying some homage to my southern roots, and painting that beadboard ceiling a plantation porch blue, as seen here.

Of course, I don’t even know what we will put in this room if not a hammock. It will take some living in this house for sure, to see how we spread into these spaces. We clearly do not need multiple dining tables as the current homeowners have. Boy, I can’t wait to open all of those windows and capture the ocean breeze as it creeps up the canyon! We’re only 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean!

Another space that I’m all geeked about, besides the dudebar that I shared with you last week, is the art studio. I’m not sure how this coin landed on heads, but Heffe volunteers up this extra space that was carved out behind the garage to me and his sweet daughter, my right hand / partner in artistic crime, for our studio. Again, once we start living, we’ll see what the living brings… but I’m thinking this is TEOT headquarters for sure, especially since the demand for more pillow inventory is upon us. Can’t wait to build out some storage shelving, a little spot for photography and of course a desk and inspiration board to tack up all my fancies. One day, we’ may even carve out a spot for a pottery wheel. #dreamsarefree

shaniqua art studio

art studio 1

Maybe we’ll get adventurous and take a sledgehammer to that bathroom too!

The short story version of this home, and how we were able to snag it in this redonk market is that it has some structural issues that were scaring buyers away left and right. The sellers had been under contract more than a handful of times and each time the deal got away from them when the buyers discovered undisclosed information about some settling that has occurred over the past 50 years.

By the time we came along, the seller’s agent was shoving engineer’s reports and buyer inspections into our hands at the mere mention of possibility. You may recall that I started swooning and acting like a maniac over this home back in Feb. I practically tricked Jeff into going to see it since it was listed as a 2br and we needed no less than 3 for our fam situation.

Between the fact that the home was falling down a hill and its lack of legit bedrooms (despite its rather large footprint) we wrote it off.

But we just kept coming back to it, and as born witness on this very blog, we had a heck of a time competing with all cash buyers on every other house that we put a bid in on. So, along with our genius agent, we submitted an intent to purchase at a price that we felt accommodated the worth of the home taking into account the massive repairs it warranted. So basically, we got what we felt like was a deal, and they finally got to sell their house, albeit not for what they thought it was worth. We had several consultations with structural and geological engineers, and all of the reports were studied until we found some peace in the risk of buying a home that is settling into the ground. And we went for it.

Anywhozitz, that is behind us! YAY.

Here is a look from the master into what was once a third bedroom. The seller had converted it into the mister’s dressing room and office by opening the wall with an arch. We feel that we can easily close this up and bring the hallway door towards us to reclaim that space for one of Heffe’s youngins. Word on the street is that this will be an Xbox dungeon for gamers only. I can’t wait to find out if I’m going to have to walk by closed doors, or if we will be able to satisfy the carnal need for Call of Duty decor without compromising aesthetic palpability. We shall see.

rustic-midcentury-renovation

There will also be a struggle with the built-ins, and I would love to hear your opinion. Part of me wants to remove them completely. They are uber traditional in stature , and they are taking up the only good portion of wall that we have in the whole living room. Meanwhile, our only choice for mounting the largest tv of all time is either within the shelves of this monster, on the fireplace (where there is currently no mantle) orrrrr we have discussed a hidden screen/projector combo.

built ins at shaniqua

This is the room it sits in.

living room silver spring

shaniqua-living-room-bookshelves

This post has grown so long, I won’t launch into the landscaping and my dire hopes to claim some access from the garage into the foyer, nor will I bore you just yet with manometer readings and what a settling house on the terraces of the Pacific Palisades really means for the structural stability of this home if we indeed ever get rain again here in Southern California. We’ll talk about that another day, I’m sure!

But thank you so much for bearing with me and for allowing me to relish in this excitement. It’s truly an unbelievable house and I’m so excited to see how the dude, the homies and I turn it into our home! <3

For more pics of the home, see SILVER SPRING & DON’T JINX IT.

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House Hunting: It’s DONE Y’all was originally created for The Estate of Things. Join us for more home renovation ideas.

House Hunting: The Renovation that Never Shall Be

Are we all getting bored of this house hunt yet? Lord knows I am.

The last offer was void of the normal adrenaline rush. I mean, it’s always a roller coaster, and believe me — when the news came in that we had lost, again (to all cash offers, again) there was a reaction that bordered on intense…

Suffice to say, we’re over it. With this home on el Hito, we wanted the house hunt to be done. With each offer – we feel less and less emotion about the actual house and more and more emotion about the damn pursuit just being over, so that we can get to the part where we are living, cooking,  training a puppy, organizing a garage, and setting up our play areas.

So, we didn’t get it and there was some frustration, but then we immediately bounced back and moved along, and we just keep going back to the faith that what is meant to be will be. Perhaps there is still hope for my blue paned fantasy home.

At any rate, during the time between when we put in our offer and when we found out that we didn’t get the home – I started to brainstorm the renovation that would be needed. Here is the inspiration board that came together.

El-Hito-Renovation-Inspiration

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Bennett Kitchen: Weekly Progress

We are really cooking now in the Bennett kitchen, um not literally, but we are getting really close. This is the fun part of a renovation. When the cabinets are installed I get really excited because the space and design finally starts to take shape. After the cabinets come all of the finish details like– backsplashes, shelving, appliances, hardware and light fixtures. We’ve already come along way with just the cabinets in!

Bennett progress April

The rain slowed us down a little but the crew worked under the cover of the porch and framed the banquette.

On Monday, one of our local stone fabricators, Blarney Stoneworks came to template the countertops and install is happening tomorrow. A lot of times in a kitchen renovation, there is a lag time that can last weeks between the template process and countertop install but Blarney came through on a tight timeline for this project. Their ability to get to our project on relatively short order is what kept this project moving forward.

Ruvati-RVM4250-Undermount-16-Gauge-30-Kitchen-Sink-Single-Bowl-3ab1ed5f-f4d9-4a02-9628-52e69bf44054_600

 

 

In preparation for the counter template, I ordered this undermount sink and I usually order 90% of the sinks for renovation projects from Overstock. Generally I find some great sinks usually for a better price.

What we’ll tackle this week:

  • Install floating shelves either side of range hood
  • Install floor transitions
  • Complete trim out
  • Appliance delivery

 

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Bennett Kitchen: Plan & Progress

The Bennett kitchen renovation is in it’s 4th week. We should check in because things are really starting to move along now. What the crew has already completed:

  • demo
  • removed old hazardous electrical wiring underneath house
  • installed new plumbing pipes and water lines
  • replaced 3 exterior spigots, all leaking
  • electrical rough-in
  • replaced subfloor
  • framed pocket door & new door opening
  • drywall, mud & sanding
  • trim out

bennett kitchen progress

What I’ve scheduled for this week:

  • floor tile install
  • tankless water heater install
  • painting

bennett kitchen progress2

Here’s one of the most exciting parts of the plan, the stove wall-

bennett kitchen drawing

We’ve got some sconce and reclaimed floating shelf action on tap which I’m particularly excited about as are you I’m sure. I think I’ve found some old timbers in our barn that I think will work but I haven’t ran those by Joseph yet, Joseph is the lead carpenter on the crew.

This is my overall plan and mockup for the Bennett kitchen which will be subject to a little change here and there,

Bennett kitchen plan

I haven’t decided on countertop material yet as you can see. It will be one of those three pietra del cardoso, carrera quartz or honed black pearl granite. I’m waiting on quotes now.

Full disclosure- on Saturday I emailed the cabinetmaker to inquire as to whether or not it was too late to do a custom color on the lower cabinets. I was thinking about switching things up and doing a navy/gray lower cabinet.

 

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Pretty Pantry Doors

The door to the laundry room at the Bennett kitchen renovation is a newly installed pocket door. I’m thinking about painting it an accent color and I’m considering a bright, pacific blue like this fabric,

pocket fabric

Aqua is a big fan favorite as an accent color but I don’t think that’s right for this project. I want a more saturated, stand out color. Here’s the path that others have taken,

 

pocket gray

I really like this one,

pocket blue

 

pocket yellow

 

pocket turqouise

 

pocket red

 

 

pocket blue gray

This makes me want to go lime green,

pocket lime

 

pocket aqua

 

 

pocket blue gambrel

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