Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Centennial Kitchen

The kitchen has had so many updates, I just had to share some progress pics!!

Old kitchen - will be home office in renovated home
As a reminder, we moved the kitchen to the other side of the original house, to make it the true center of the home and in a much larger space.  It also lets the new owner stare out the window at Willard Beach and the shipping channel - not a bad place to do the dishes!!
Soon-to-be New Kitchen
Once we opened up the walls and updated the windows, the guys got the white cabinets installed around the perimeter.  We added a big stainless farmhouse sink (which promptly got wrapped in cardboard so we wouldn't mess it up during the rest of the kitchen build).

To offset all the white cabinets, we installed a black island in the center of the room.

Kyle custom cut a walnut butcher block top for the island.  The curve provides room for a couple of stools - the perfect spot for a quick breakfast or a glass of wine while chatting with the chef.

I started finishing the walnut top.  Can you believe how beautiful the wood is as it gets coated???

The rest of the countertops are made of hard wearing quartz.  It's easy to take care of and looks so good!

And my favorite feature?  This dramatic tile.  It ties our color scheme together and provides a bit of a wow!

What else have we done?  Well, the old staircase is now a kitchen pantry, with lots of storage for all your non-perishables.  Can you tell where the stairs were?  It's certainly a quirky conversation piece!

The new gas Thermador range has arrived and will be installed next week.  And of course all the knobs and pulls need to be installed as well as the dishwasher panel and exhaust hood.  Still lots to do, but it's all the finishing details that really make a kitchen shine.

Stay tuned for more updates!!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Living Room Update

This living room might be the brightest room we've ever done.  It has lots of windows on 3 sides and catches both the morning and afternoon sun.  It just glows!!!  And of course the new fireplace will have its own special glow!

This is a big room - 26x15 - and is the first thing you see as you come in the front door.  So we wanted it to have a 'wow' focal point, something warm and inviting.

The fireplace was installed during initial construction and we put a spotlight above it, so the owners will be able to highlight artwork on the mantle. We added drywall to each side and a non-combustible cement board to the face.  That let me install herringbone Carrera marble tile on the front.

Kyle built the rest of the fireplace wall for me - we started with nickel gap paneling above the mantle, which helps make the room feel much taller

For the fireplace surround, I wanted something sleek and simple, topped with a custom built oak mantle top.

The oak mantle will mirror the giant stair treads on the new staircase, at the opposite end of the room.

The guys from Embers Stove Shop came out to do the final install - what a difference the trim makes!
We added window seats to either side of the fireplace, to provide additional storage and seating.

I'm pretty excited about the color scheme.  I found this amazing rowboat fabric that is a bit contemporary, but also very 'Maine' with its boating theme.  My friend Faith is custom making cushions made of the tweedy Sunbrella fabric pictured below.  It will be able to take a beating, but still look and feel great!  (remember when these hard wearing fabrics felt like plastic???  They've come a long way!)

The 'to do' list is long, we still need the room painted.  And I need to stain the mantle and finish the window treatments.  It's getting so close - can't wait until it's all finished. But doesn't it look great already?  That warm, cozy focal point is going to be amazing!

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Creating a Bold Staircase

For the last 5 months, every single building product had to be dragged up and down ladders.  As you can imagine, that got old in a hurry!   The original staircase in the house was unsafe, so we had to install a new one.  But it was a big job, so it waited until late in the project.

And because it's the first thing you see as you come in the front door, I wanted it to be dramatic.  The stairwell is tall, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking water views.  It's a wow!!  And it brings so much light into the house, the staircase needs to be open, light and bright.

My first thought was to do one of the new metal open staircases with giant treads - but as many of you pointed out, the metal frame would feel like a commercial building and I was worried it would be noisy (would it sounds like a fire escape every time you went up and down the stairs??).

So instead, I set my heart on wood stringers and big giant treads.  That would give us the best of both worlds, the open look I wanted and a warm, natural material.  And the guys were game to custom build them!

First up was creating the giant treads.  I wanted white oak and we quickly learned from local experts that you can't get a solid slab of white oak 3 3/4" thick, because white oak tends to check and crack when you get a piece that large.  So instead, they had to custom build box treads - all 24 of them!

Once they were built, they had to be sanded and stained, to exactly match the rest of the flooring.

Stained and finished - ready to be installed
But the most challenging part of the project was creating each run of stairs.  The stringers are actually beams - large timbers of fir that were planed down to give us a full 3x12 inch stringer.  They were cut to shape and then the treads were bolted in one by one.

Once each run was completed, they were carefully lifted to connect with the landing.
First set of stairs in place!
Admiring their handiwork!
These are incredibly heavy and incredibly solid.  Once they were in place, they didn't move!!

To hide the holes, they custom made plugs and popped them into place.

And suddenly, we can run from the first floor all the way to the third floor!  What a novel concept.  It feels like such a luxury after all these months of ladders :-)
  We're still finalizing the railing design and will move forward with that soon.  In the meantime, I think I'll run up and down the stairs a few more times, just for fun!  

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Centennial Cottage - Master Suite Update

It occurred to me that if we were one of those reality shows, this is the point in the episode where they would say the open house is 3 days away.  In our case, we'll be lucky to be 3 weeks away!!  I guess we don't have the magic of television to speed things along!  But we are making steady progress - particularly on the more decorative elements of the house.  So I thought it would be nice to share a few sneak peeks of progress in the master suite.

Located in the new addition, the master suite has windows on three sides, which will be fantastic for breezes off of Casco Bay in the summertime (But if it gets too warm the new owners can just switch to the air conditioning with the new heat pump system!).

Last week, the new flooring was installed - a wide plank white oak that we used for our own home.  It's one of my favorites!

With that many windows, the room is nice and bright - so I can add some color to create a bit of drama.  I went looking and discovered this blue and white fabric.
I'm not sure why, but I absolutely love it.  The pattern is a bit contemporary, but still ties to that transitional style we're going for.  I've started working on draperies for the big windows.

For the bed, we'll use this chain-stitch embroidered duvet cover from Crate & Barrel that has been in the storage facility for a couple of years.... just waiting for the right spot!

With all the white in the room, I'm giving serious thought to a 'feature wall' of blue on the bed wall.  It would provide a pop of color that might look pretty nice!

Every master bedroom needs storage and we'll have 4 wardrobes to provide lots and lots of storage space!  The wardrobes will have drawers, cubbies, shoe racks, hanging space and more.

The master bath is also taking shape. This double vanity kicked off the design of the room.

Next it needed tile and I fell in love with this dramatic tile the moment I saw it.  Hexagonal tile is always great in a bathroom!  And with its shade variations, this is a great compliment to the vanity and provides some real interest for the floor.
Glass Wall in Process!
And for the shower, I'm doing a glass feature wall, that complements the vanity and floor.
As you can see, we have lots more to do.  But it's starting to look pretty good!!  And while the open house won't be in 3 days,  I'm hoping to have it at the end of the month.  

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