Sunday, February 12, 2017

A place for everything

It's been a few weeks since we've posted but we've been working on one of my very favorite projects, the master closet!  After much thought and debate, we decided to use pre-built boxes to customize the space.  On the last house, we completely custom-built the master bedroom closets (along with most of the other closets), using nothing more than plywood and 1x2 trim - and while we were very happy with the end result, it took a fair bit of time to custom build, paint, and finish everything.  This time, we have an even larger master closet and wanted even more customization so it would have been an even bigger project to do from scratch.  At the same time, we just couldn't bring ourselves to pay someone else to build a custom closet for us so the solution, surprisingly (to me anyway), was to use Ikea's Pax system and customize the installation.

We started with a blank canvas - just your basic room here.  The later pictures get a lot better as we finally bought a little attachment to turn an iPhone camera into a wide angle lens, which makes it much easier to photograph rooms like this.  But for now, this will have to do.  Nothing to see here but blank white walls anyway!

We knew we wanted to use a very dark gray trim so up went the paint swatches:

These are (from left to right): Restoration Hardware Flint, Glidden Gray Tabby, Behr Dark Ash, and Behr Asphalt Gray - they all look really similar to each other but we ultimately went with the most black/gray, which was Behr Asphalt Gray
Once we had a color, we painted all three walls that would have boxes so that the backs match the trim:

No going back now!

This is suddenly a very dark room
Next up - building the boxes - because of their height (we used the 93 1/8"), it was easier to build them in place.  We skipped the backs so that the dark walls would be visible and added a brace at the top of each box, which provided better stability than the rather flimsy backs that are included.

Two down, many to go

Getting all the boxes in place and starting to space them out

Before we started adding trim, we put a first coat of paint on the 1x3 trim.  We placed a big order of floor and window/door trim, along with the closet trim, so suddenly our living room turned back into a storage facility:

This is a lot of trim

We'll be busy for the next few months!
Setting up a painting station for trim
Now that's the right color!
We spaced out the boxes so that 1x3 trim fit the sides and 1x4 is on the top and bottom.  We'll add crown moulding to the top as well for a full built-in look but that will come later.

With top and bottom trim

And now with sides
Using the wide angle lens

Halfway there 

Trim in place

Next up was adding the shelves and drawers.  We forgot to take pictures before we moved all our stuff in so...this will have to do!  We went with a mix of hanging spaces, drawers, and shelves and it has increased our storage space dramatically.  Since it's one of the few closets we have finished so far, it's stuffed with lots of stuff that might not otherwise be in the master closet, but happily, everything still fit.  It's a huge improvement and we're really happy to have this project nearly finished.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Slow and Steady

Since the master bath became the first official 100% done room we decided to keep that theme going and finish off the master completely. We had to fix the ceiling in the master closet first so that just needed another skim coat and repaint. Then we started and finished the hardwood flooring in the room. Our choices for master closet were completely custom or some sort of closet system. Custom would have taken a couple months so that wasn't our first choice, but we wanted the closet to be a big selling feature. We settled on the IKEA Pax system and will use some trim and paint to give it a custom look... hopefully. IKEA trip has been made and materials purchased so now we just need to pick out some paint and get things installed. I actually like putting together IKEA stuff and I love that we don't have to paint everything - just the walls and the trim - so it should make for a much faster installation. We're looking forward to being able to have all our clothes out and organized and finally unpacking the rest of the boxes floating around. Not many pictures of the wood flooring installation so we'll have to take some of the closet as we get to installing.

Almost like I planned that super slick transition from wood to tile! You may not be able to tell from there, but it's a perfect seam. 

Looking into the master closet and door to the bathroom. Super long run of flooring and even though I used a laser line it wasn't perfect and had to adjust as we went across the room. I think the flooring annoyingly isn't exactly the same size from piece to piece. I think it can vary 1/32" which adds up. But you can adjust and any gaps are not noticeable in the end. Just a bit frustrating to work with! This is the last of the long runs in the house so the rest should be easy. 

First snow of the year!

I don't think we ever showed the fully finished master shower. The nicest shower yet!

Even hung the chandelier.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Finishing Touches

We've been working away here on a number of finishing touches.  First up, the master bathroom.  After living with one bathroom/one sink since selling the last house, we're both extremely happy to have double sinks in our lives again!  We used a quartz product for the first time - this is Viatera Cirrus, with a marble-like look.  It's more white than the marble trim in the shower but works well with the tub and white trim in the bathroom.  We'll see how it holds up and decide if we want to use quartz again elsewhere.

Countertop in - the in-house plumber (Brian) is ready to start working on the fixtures
Fixtures (Moen Icon) are in!
And the finished product
Moving back to the kitchen - Brian fired up his welding torch to craft a custom steel base for the walnut bartop extension and finished the bartop itself.  This might be my new favorite part of the house (double sinks notwithstanding) as it's hard to state how gorgeous the wood is.  So, on to the pictures...

Setting up the welding shop in the garage
Getting all the legs on
Frame in place on the island
Back to working on the slab
Now with finish
All put together and in place!

Loving the live edge
Big island with bar top extension in place!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pull up a seat

Now that the master bathroom is largely under control (and mostly waiting on others, like the shower glass and countertop installers), we've turned to a pet project - building furniture!  And by "we," I mostly mean Brian as my contribution here consists largely of helping to carry around the materials and cleaning up the sawdust.  But it's all for a good cause as our kitchen is getting some new custom touches!

First up - I keep wanting to change the header picture (and maybe will get around to it one of these days!) but in the meantime, here are some updated pictures of the front of the house now that the trees and grasses we planted in the spring are filling in.

And onto the furniture building!  This weekend was all about the prototypes - we're working on a live edge slab bar top for the kitchen island and a custom table for the banquette.  For both, we bought beautiful walnut - a big slab for the bar top and some nice 3x3s for the table.  Since we really only get one shot at installing both, we worked on finishing the slab and then set it up with 2x4s to see how it all worked.  Brian will later weld up a steel frame to replace the wood.  For the table, Brian built a prototype out of regular 4x4s and then will recreate the table later with the walnut now that he has all the measurements calculated.  So, off the pictures...

Getting started - first we had to build a big work table in the basement to support the slab, which measured around 110" x 22" in its original form

Getting everything level and starting with the router

Here comes the sawdust!  Using the router to level the slab

We had to go back and forth with the router on both sides to get it ready

Moving outdoors to cut the flat edge - we debated for awhile whether to keep the big knot or the smoother side but ultimately decided the knot might be a little too rustic looking
Setting up to see how it looks!

And now trimmed to fit the island

Hello kitchen!  Slab in place (with temporary 2 x 4s, not the steel that will eventually be installed) - and new custom-made table in the background!
Another picture - eventually the table will be replaced with the walnut table legs too

Close up of the table - still need new chairs, banquette seat cushion, paint, and, of course, walnut table legs, but not bad for a test run!

And the bar top from the other side - we still need to finish it with oil and replace the 2x4s with a steel frame but it's starting to come together!