Thursday, October 30, 2008

french doors

this isn't so much an inspiration photo but what i was so excited to see is these are basically exactly what i anticipate the french doors from the hallway into the kitchen will look like! ...even the same number of window lites, if i'm not mistaken and the ORB hardware. I love finding photos like this as much, if not even a little more than finding inspriation photos.... because it gives me an idea of what things will actually look like.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

red white and blue...

.... pipes! going all through our home. Blue must be for the COLD water and red for HOT. I haven't seen these in person but insisted that M. bring the camera over. It looks pretty cool.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

bathtub has arrived

Also, our bathtub arrived! At first I didn't notice-- I had whites on the brain. But then I looked up stairs and started yelling, "wow, wow the bathtub is here!!!" (it's the little things, you know?) That was fast bc i think we just officially ordered it on Thursday(?) Friday(?) and goodness knows how they deliver this giant, heavy cast iron tub and get it up the stairs! Anyway it looks great. Also there are small changes throughout the house that we didn't notice at first- places where they have set up the pvc piping and other places where they've drilled through the wood to make room for the pipes. It's kind of cool to see where our shower in the master bedroom will drain.
Well now it's Sunday and before I leave to go teach piano lessons I'm excited to go over and see how Linen White looks!!! I hope I like it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

put to the test

We went to the hardware/paint store this morning - in search of the little paint samples of the three finalists. Truth be in known, I had five little swatches in my back pocket and was going to make a last minute decision on the final three. But everything was about to take a major turn-- turns out they had NONE of the whites I had narrowed it down to in the $4 sample size. M. calmly asked what the next option was and they said a $15 can of paint. I was upset. I was overwhelmed. I was also hungry for lunch and so couldn't quite take the disappointment. We decided to take a break, get a sandwich at the deli and think on it. Over lunch I pulled out my paint swatches once again-- holding them up, two at a time for M. to choose "right or left".
Ultimately we narrowed it down to linen white and marscarpone which, since it's an aura color, comes on a pre-painted large swatch. We splurged on the $15 can of linen white and went back to the house- salvaged a piece of wood and here you can see my on my little arts and crafts project. We'll head back over tomorrow to make our final choice. Special thinks to dear husband for his infinite patience today as his wife obsesses over whites....

i'm in love

with my benajamin moore fan deck. best $17 i've spent in a very long time. color is an amazing thing. it's sad that i can entertain myself for a ridiculously long time pouring through these colors..... i think the whites are the most stressful. i'll be happy when that's pinned down-- hope seeing them on a larger scale makes it easier...

i dream in white

yes, last night i actually had dreams about the different paint samples. i've narrowed it down and today i'm headed over to the hardware store to buy the little samples of 1. Marscarpone 2. Bavarian Cream and 3. Linen white. That said, I'm still hemming and hawing that maybe I should take a closer look at White Down and Mayonnaise (despite the name). Anyway to give you some idea of what poor M is putting up with here are some photos from around the apartment. ...


it looks quite bright in this picture, but this has always been one of my favorites. it's from the new Aura Affinity line

Bavarian Cream

is another one that's made it to the final selection:

linen white

Friday, October 24, 2008

white insanity II

More Benajmin Moore whites:

1. White down (gorgeous kitchen, no?)

2. White dove (top contender)

3. Vanilla white (top contender)

4. Simply white (another stark white)

5. Navajo (this is aparently one of their best-selling whites. i'm puzzled it looks brown on the chip)

white insanity

Benjamin Moore painted cabinets:

1. Lambskin (this looks pink on the little chip)

2. Grand teton white (very white)

3. China white (again a v. white one)

4. Antique white w/ trim in Lancester.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

which white?!

i'm overwhelmed. heard from our cab guys that the deadline for deciding on our "creamy white" is monday!!!! there are countless shades of white that benjamin moore makes. i think i've narrowed it down and then i look again and it's too yellow or too green or too grey or too blue or too brown. the other problem i have is i'm highly influenced by the names. here are my current top contenders:

vanilla ice cream

white dove

mayonnaise (uh. problem with the name, though!)

bavarian cream (suggested by our builder-- thank you!)


linen white

calming cream


hunting online for photos of kitchens with Benjamin Moore painted cabs to get some sense of what these things look like over a large surface and whether it works or doesn't work. The stressful part of this is that the cabinet color will likely carry over and be our trim/doors/moldings throughout the house. I was thinking that this would make the most sense for consistency but my mom brought up the other very good point that if/when there were any white touch-ups we wouldn't have to figure out which white we were working with. The other stressful part is we're not in the house.... so i'm looking at these little chips under the florescent lighting of our little apartment (and of NJ transit!) i think i have to narrow it down to two or three and bite the bullet and buy the $4 sample to paint a board or something.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


We're hoping we can figure out how to do soapstone for our kitchen counter tops. Soapstone is softer than, say granite, but is much more dense, and thus nonporous and impenetrable to stains. Soapstone cannot be harmed by hot pots, citrus, acids or wine. It's virtually heat proof and has been used to construct wood burning stoves and cookware. Unlike granite, soapstone does not need to be sealed. The maintenance is a mineral oil treatment that enhances the darkening process (as seen in the photo above) and brings out the inherent natural veining and crystallization characteristics of the stone.
Though soapstone can scratch, most scratches will disappear with oiling or, if it's a deeper scratch, you can take 120 grit sandpaper, sand it out with some water added to the area and then re oil.
Soapstone will not have the pristine, perfect look that granite will have. Our builders made a good comparison that it's like a pair of blue jeans--- the idea is that the soapstone will be broken in and wear and patina over time. M. and I were first attracted to the look (the veining is gorgeous) and feel of soapstone (it just begs to be touched!) but have also come to love the idea of a counter top that can stand to be beat up a bit in a well-loved kitchen.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

the star of the kitchen

here she is. some men dream of porche convertables... my husband dreams of a blue star... six powerful burners, two with 22 btu's of power plus a gentle simmer that can melt chocolate or butter (or your heart!) without burning. this is a workhorse of a cooking machine which we hope will offer durability, functionality, beauty... and many a good meal!

mistakes happen

What is wrong with these photos? These are a few little, minor mistakes that we caught last week while walking through. Our builders are amazing-- they had actually picked up on these already and they'll be fixed shortly, but it just goes to show that with so many little details, there's bound to be something. So-- first photo-- the window hardware should be white. We would have loved to do oil rubbed bronze, but it's a significant step up, so we chose the standard white to match the trim. Instead we got some standard champagne(?) but aparently it's easy enough to change. Second photo-- can you spot it? I noticed this right away and it drove me nuts. I was so relieved to learn that it wasn't an issue of the windows actually being a different size. The issue is that one window in the back room is 8 over 8 (lites) while every other window in almost the whole house is 6 over 6 (lites)... good news is it was just a mistake and again one that is easy enough to fix. Last photo-- the fireplace was NOT suppose to vent out the back like that. that was the whole reason we built up the chimney and bought the model fireplace we did. They are coming back to reinstall it and fix the venting so it goes up the chimney....


Photos from this morning. Our family room-- the gas(!) fireplace, the sliding doors in the dining room out to what will be the deck... and lastly looking from the family room through the dining room and into the kitchen. it's truly so amazing to walk through these spaces....

front door

here she is ready to be installed!

media armoire

Here's the media armoire we're thinking about. My requirement I want something that has doors over the television. This comes in different stains, colors. We might price out the possibility that someone might be able to build something similar for a lower price point. (for my reference the dimentions are: Overall System: 83.5” w x 27” d x 76” h which includes the side cabs)

field trip!!!

well, today i've convinced dear husband to take me on a field trip to one of my new favorite places-- home expo! now usually i get completely overwhelmed excited like a kid in a toy store and have no plan of action and get lost for hours until my cell phone rings and it's M. saying "where are you? are you still in the kitchen showroom or did you move on to the appliances?" meanwhile by that time i've cycled through the entire kitchen, appliances, plumbing, tile, curtains, outdoor furniture and am rounding back through the laundry showroom...

okay. so today i'm trying to be good and going with a specific plan. today's reconaissance mission is for the following things:

1. kitchen faucets. I think i can get the best price by buying this from an online vendor, but i also think i need to do that soon... so today i think we should make a definitive choice on whether it's the vinnata or the aberdeen and what finish.

2. entry sets and door knobs. specifically looking at baldwin vs. emtek vs schlage... both for entry sets, but also for the finish of door knobs. as i'm writing this i'm wishing that i had a sample of the marvin ORB hardware which will be on the sliding door out to the deck.... best if they all match. hm...

(by this time M. might be pretty weary and needing a snack. I might send him over to wegman's to pick out what he might like to cook for dinner at this point, but if he's still going strong we'll then hit the lighting department)

3. ceiling fans and lighting fixtures.

4. lastly i'd like to go open and close the GE profile french door refridgerator that we've already ordered (not from expo, it's a good place to look, but their prices are astronomical!). I'm excited for that fridge and like to "visit" it whenever we pass by an appliance showroom and picture the fresh produce in the produce drawers that are right at arm's length.

Okay. first go teach lessons, then to the bank, library, to the music store to get another beginning piano book, then over to our friend's house to pick up the shower valves that are stored in their garage to deliver to our builder... then(!) to expo we go!!!


I found a website a number of months ago when hunting for a dining table made of salvaged wood. A few months ago, my mom mentioned a site she found, "some place in maine" and we laughed when we realized that it was the same place. Then last night, M. said that he found some really great looking tables on some website "country maine or something".... It seems so serendipidous that we've all stumbled upon the same site but I guess it's the marvels of google. In any case, here are a couple of photos of their gorgeous tables. They completely customize them, so you can choose everything from the style of leg (or trestle) to the stain/paint and all the dimentions. Might be worth a trip to maine this winter. We'll bring our snowshoes ;)

oh and here's the site

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shaws farmhouse

Here's a photo of the Shaws farmhouse sink we're so excited about. how great will it be able to wash a cookie sheet without the water waterfallling onto the counter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here's a photo I found of a dark brick color door with ORB hardware. I think it works. we have time to decide on the color of the front door. M is leaning towards a red, so I'm trying to find photos.... I'm actually leaning towards white-- same as the house-- for a really clean/simple look that'll make the hardware pop. but this red i could clearly live with.

Friday, October 10, 2008

wowy wow wow windows!

i have not seen these in person, having gotten home well after dark tonight, but here are the photos I oogled over that m. took. plan is to wake up early and head over to the house to see for myself, but in the meantime....
also, i love our builders. we told them that our parents were coming this saturday and that they had not seen anything since the fire destruction. the builders made a point to clean up the whole site-- from inside the house and the surrounding. how dear is that?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

door knobs

here are a couple of inspiration photos of how oil rubbed bronze knobs look on white interior doors.

front door knobs

Here are our top contenders as of now. We will definitely do an oil rubbed bronze, but you can't always find a photo online of the exact knob in the exact finish, so use your imagination on the ones here in the shiny brassy color. Here goes. Oh and then the world of interior knobs calls.... stay tuned.