30 April 2018

The Backyard Art House

The Backyard House was being neglected for a minute while we let the Main House shine. However the plan was set. Back there I wanted to have a more contemporary Art-House color blocked Studio vibe. Something like the colors in this floorplan-

Watch as it slowly changes from a pile of mud to the beginning stages of that plan! 

Starting with that bathroom. Hello!

The original exterior door was closed up first.

Then they started leveling off and smoothing the floor. Re-working all the plumbing as well. 

They built the half wall to separate the shower for me while I was gone. You'll see we edit it a little bit later.  

In the main space the floors are all smoothed out! 

The pathway from the Main House is repaved.

A constant state of disarray in that backyard until we finish. I can't wait to clear it out and grow some grass! Yuck 😜

Back in the bathroom they're adding my step for a dry changing area before you enter the shower!

We were going to keep it simple back here and keep all the floors cement, but Anne Marie, my landlord really wanted tile in the bathroom. And we did have some leftover of my favvvv. We had to get a little more. But now this bathroom is going to be beautiful! We decided to lay them subway tile style in here to keep it easy.

Happy that our great tile guys are back!

And now into the main space, after the paint went up! 

And white in the bathroom. 

It's crazy how much a coat of paint can do! Don't you love how this little studio is turning out?! I can't wait to splash in my color with all of the accessories! :)  One more shot of the outside. We added a little ledge around the bottom to fix some water damage, and it's looking cuter now!

So exciteddddd! Who wants to come visit us now?! :) In the next blog we have some finishing touches in both kitchens. Getting there guys! Thanks for reading along!


26 April 2018

A Design Plan Directly Into Action!

In the last entry, I searched and found the tiles and cabinetry color that we would be using. Since I now had this information, when I went back home to Rubengera I was able to really put my interior design plan together, so I could make better decisions throughout the rest of the renovation. I knew the ceiling and floors were pretty light, so I had some room to go dark with walls. I also knew that in the Main House I wanted to get a little more sophisticated and neutral (a little more) than our Rubengera home, which was supposed to have a more tropical vacation feel. So I put a board together mostly for the Main House first. Check it out! 

The floorplan is very open yet still cozy. And the color palette is more refined. Here is the visualization board for the main room as well.

Here you can see in the living room area, I wanted a nice charcoal colored wall anchoring that space, and a very comfortable relaxed feeling sectional. Then in the kitchen using dark cabinetry yet bright white on the walls allows for the eye to still be drawn through the space and feel light and bright. I added a banquet with a fun pop of blue, and the terra-cotta color of the exposed brick features is also threaded throughout the space. A couple touches of green with plants and an accent chair as well. A very strong base of black white and gray, more neutral color pops and organic earthy pieces throughout. These are our next steps in getting there!

The cabinets were being made according to my drawings, and with the color chosen. 

I always have fun visiting in on the progress of these things!

A fun surprise was that we also were allowed to choose the outlets and switches and placements and amounts. Patrick was super obsessed with this, and we placed a LOT of outlets throughout the Main House. It was very satisfying. :) 

We got gold. :):) On the dark walls! Mmmm! 

We bought some lighting for the house, and recessed lights for the kitchen.

And then the painting began! This painter is my favorite. But this day he was VERY mad at me. There was dust and dirt all over the walls from the demolition, and he started painting on top of it. I insisted that he clean the walls before painting or the paint won't stick, and he said he did. πŸ˜‘Eventually the walls got cleaned, dried, and painted properly. He was just not my biggest fan that day. We made up though! He's still my favorite.

Gun Metal Gray. Love it or hate it??? I LOVVEEEEE it! 😍

This one was the first fight of the day though. It was a baaaad day. 😁 The electrician was installing all the outlet plates, etc before we were about to paint that very same day. So I told him not to since they would get paint all over them, it didn't make sense yet. He was very mad at me, saying why did he come at all? They'll paint around them, and clean up after... Yeah, I've seen how that works. He got over it as well, removed the plates, covered them with plastic, and worked on hanging our other lights. I was not very popular that day. However, things were getting done!

Oh, moody dark archway, hello!

Putting in our new globe pendants!! 

They're perfect! 

Putting in the puck lights!

And there's the cool terra cotta color Scandi pendant light we found too! So fun!

Anne Marie, my landlord and supervisor-buddy! :) She looks scared, but I swear she was digging it.

We have electricity! 

It's really coming together now! Once we got the cabinets finished and delivered tooooooo!!!!! :) 

Do you remember this place?!

We are all pretty excited at this point. It is starting to feel like OUR house now. Everything is going so smoothly and looking so good as it's installed. This ended up being not SO bad of a day. ;) Next up I'll bring you up to date on the Backyard House. 

23 April 2018

Top to the Bottom

After a quick demolition of the interior walls, we were feeling good about our design plan. The space felt big and open finally. The next steps were ceiling and floors. 

We decided to keep the ceiling that was in the original main room, and extend it back through the kitchen. 

It's not the best quality, and the ceiling is a little wavy. But it is better for sure. 

Then the next move they wanted to do was choose floor tiles! (While this is very fun and exciting for me, I do wish that flooring would happen in the end like in the US so that the tiles don't get scratched and chipped and painted on throughout the renovation. I am still being reassured that in the end, it will all be fixed. We'll see...)

In a sea of bad tile repeated one store at a time, the challenge was that much more exciting to find the diamond in the rough...

And there she is. The BEST tile ever. Faux wood ceramic tile. Love. Wait 'til you see them laid on the floor. You're about to die. Just keep reading.

Back home, the archway was being worked on by an overly confident non-specialist at making archways. I saw this rebar going in, and explained how it's not symmetrical, yet he reassured me that it would be fixed by cement in the end... 😐


Unfortunately during this renovation I did have to return home to Rubengera at some points while work carried on, so I couldn't supervise everything. In future renovations however, it is necessary to be present pretty constantly no matter how much of a nag I probably come off as. 😜

Another outing was choosing the color of our kitchen cabinetry that was going to be built. We chose...

Dark Grey! Just picture it with brass handles and those floor tiles. 😍 

While we were gone back home they tore up the old floor tile getting ready for these new beauties! :) Also- check out the half wall we built to separate the kitchen. 

And now... The moment we've all been waiting for... The new tiles!!!

This is the pattern I laid out to show the installers how we wanted to do them in herringbone.

The floors were cemented out and leveled first.

Then I helped to re-line them up in the actual space, making sure the arrow of the herringbone lined up straight, and the team took off from there! The most talented installers we worked with by far. They were so good! And from renovations in the US I can vouch that this is hard work. My contractors there never wanted to lay tiles in herringbone. It is much more difficult with a lot of math, and cuts. But these guys did such a good job. Watch and see!  

Here it is!!!!!

Whatttttt?!?!!? And with the ceiling painted!???!!....

She's working on the exposed brick wall and column we had built with the extra bricks from the demo. So goooooood...

Another use for those extra bricks! 

And the back house gets some exposed brick love too...

My oh my what a quick transformation in the Main House! From the top to the bottom, the space has been lightened so much. Next move will be the walls and kitchen cabinetry! 

Thanks for reading along!