Friday, April 29, 2011

Floor It

Flooring....options abound in flooring materials these days. Stone, ceramic, porcelain, polished concrete, bamboo, cork...but nothing speaks warmth like stained hard-wood floors with a glossy or satin finish. The glow in lamplight is the stuff that poets write about!

Last week, I promised a peek at the floors on this project. I was lucky enough to be on site during a day of the final installation. Due to major changes in room configuration, new flooring was specified for the entire first floor. Oak was chosen.

Once all the planks are installed, the floors are machine sanded to even up all surfaces. Then, good installers will come behind with smaller sanders to hit any spots the large machines have missed.

Final stain color should be sampled and selected on-site to insure the finish is exactly what you want it to be.

This is the view of the new spaces, looking from the kitchen down the pantry hall, through the dining room and living room, and into the entry area.

Imagine this view with the finished beautiful, you can almost taste it!

The day after these photos were taken, the floors were stained and varnished, and the house was sealed for the rest of the week for the finish to dry. Don't know about you, but I can't wait to see them done.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Counter Intelligence

Counter tops are going in at this project. There are so many unique and beautiful offerings available in counter top materials that the choice can be a difficult one. Natural stone is always a wonderful option, and a trip to a stone yard can be as exciting as taking a 6 year old to FAO Schwartz! Marble, quartz, granite, colors, veining, much to choose from!

This homeowner has chosen two different natural stone materials that coordinate beautifully--one for the kitchen cabinet counter tops, and one for the island.

The counter tops are a fairly uniformly speckled stone, in a pale green and creamy-gray tone.

And the island is a darker marble that has gorgeous green veining through it.

These great counter tops were fabricated by Custom Marble Works here in Tampa. We have worked with them for many years, and can always count on their great selection and unparalleled abilities.

When the counter tops are in, it's a sure sign that the finishing details are underway on the project, as all the pieces begin to fall into place. Next week we'll take a closer look at flooring!

Friday, April 15, 2011


We've been concentrating on interior changes at this project over the past few weeks. Let's take a look at what's been happening outside. The front area has been excavated, and waiting to be re-graded. Retaining walls have been formed at the sidewalk and on each side of the entry walkway. A "mini-deck" on the side of the house was an afterthought, but a great way to claim an unused exterior corner. And a door was added to allow direct access from the living area. The garage is progressing well. Though it's position and height may seem surprising at first glance, when the beautiful new structure is complete, and the garden and pool area transformations take place, the garage and house will work together to create an intimate setting around the pool area, that will truly act as an additional room entered from the kitchen and family rooms. The view from the second story area of this garage will have perfect views of the pool and garden, before you know it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here and There

Progress is apparent all over the house on this project! Marble tile has gone down on the floor and into the shower stall in the master bathroom. (Covered on the floor for protection during construction!)

More porcelain tile ready to be installed in another bathroom. An existing fireplace surround has been removed in preparation of new tile and trims. The existing ceiling wood adds a neat texture to the new stairwell.

Paint is appearing on the walls, and slowly but surely details are appearing that will give this old home it's shiny new personality.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cabinet Base-ics

Still a ways to go, but base cabinet delivery and installation means that the dirtiest of the dirty work is behind you! Once demolition has been completed, and new walls are framed, the cabinet shop will come in to take final measurements to begin production on the boxes. In this project, the cabinets are solid wood, and the final finish will be painted. A paint-grade wood vs. stain-grade will affect the cost of finished cabinetry. Often, painted cabinetry will be well suited for a vintage (or vintage-feel) home. Here are some of the cabinets in place...or close.

Here is the base for the kitchen island, not yet slid into place. And here is the cabinetry that will house the stacking ovens. Of course the real personality comes through when the counter tops and doors are installed, but even with just the bases, you really start to get a feel of the space and how it will work. Cabinet doors are generally one of the last things installed in a renovation, in order to reduce damage to the finish. Progress in other areas to follow!