Thankfully, my husband and I have very similar taste in our preferred color palettes. However, as I have mentioned previously, my husband has opinions on every aspect of our interior and exterior home design. So…
I will explain. Our home is a sweet, stucco, Mediterranean Bungalow. When we first purchased the house, it was painted a nondescript, warm white. A couple of years ago, we decided to repaint, as a maintenance item. No problem, we thought. This will be fun!
We began looking around at other homes similar to ours, in pursuit of a new color. We walked neighborhoods. I wrote letters to homeowners, requesting the name of their exterior paint. I knocked on stranger’s doors, requesting colors. I pulled paint chips every time I was in a hardware store. We finally narrowed it down to 7 or 8 colors. I purchased quart-sized samples of each paint and painted huge 4-foot-wide swaths on the west wall of our home. We made a point of visiting “the wall” during various times of the day as the sunlight shifted. This went on for months.
The decision was made. The decision was remade. The jury went back and forth, back and forth. Whatever decision I made, he hated, and whatever decision he made, I hated. It was time-consuming, exhausting and wasteful. Finally, I acquiesced, and gave him full power to choose. He chose. The exterior of our home is painted beige.
Needles to say, I was not looking forward to choosing paint for our remodel. I asked colleagues and friends for help. When Mary Meisner’s name was suggested three times in two days, all from different sources, I knew she was the one.
Mary came yesterday at 3:00 p.m. with her swatch book. She left at 3:45 with the colors specified for 6 rooms, including trim and ceilings. Better yet, Jimmy chose the initial color, and she keyed everything else around that. I love the colors, and Jimmy is happy too! What is the value of paying a professional? Priceless.
The half bath has been the most difficult aspect of this project. It is small, so all the components have to work together well.
I have found it difficult to imagine the end product with no existing components. So, I can’t decide what the mirror should look like without having the sink in place. And…
I can’t determine the faucet without the mirror.
I can’t determine the light fixture without knowing the mirror and faucet.
I can’t determine whether there should be wainscoting (like our original large bathroom), until all the above are installed.
Unfortunately, the sink will not be installed until the floors have been installed, and so it goes. Each component will be installed in its own time. Additionally, to add to the puzzle, some of the components are backordered or have long lead times.
I am a big fan of researching and purchasing online. My husband feels that you should be able to drive to the store, purchase it, and that’s it. Today, while he was at work, I delved into it and ordered one faucet set, two light fixtures, four mirrors, and researched shelving, and storage.
Our painting crew has been here for the past several days. They are working on prepping the walls and trim for paint. Of course, we have so much new trim work, and all of it fashioned to replicate the original, but there is plenty of old wood also.
So, another round of dust, dust, dust as they sand and smooth, and prepare. The new drywall is sanded, and all of the old wooden trim is too. It’s interesting to see the layers of paint and the evolution of colors all the way back to 1926! And, no doubt, there is lead in that dust, as household paint was manufactured with lead up until 1978.
Also, we relocated and reused our old heater grates. The crew sanded those down to metal (no easy task).
They have been working on the wood trim for the past few days. Both Jimmy and I feel that that has had the largest visual impact in bringing everything together.
We wanted to replicate the original woodwork of the house. That means that the trim around the door has to be 4.5”, and the baseboards have to be approximately 6”. We could not replicate them exactly, but Joe was able to find a combination of two moldings for the baseboards and another combination for the door trim that comes very close.
Our house has its original picture molding in all rooms but the bathroom, kitchen and mud porch. Instead of crown molding (which is very popular now), I am having the picture molding replicated to tie it into the original feel of the house.
Additionally, in attempt to make the new floor plan feel like it was original, we have re-inserted the heater grate in the hallway (surrounded with new trim). Also, I kept the telephone niche and the built-in ironing board. The telephone niche has been reinstalled in the hallway, but I have not been able to identify a place for the ironing board.
Next, we need to decide the floor and surround for the half bath. Currently, our full bath is covered in Carrera 12×12 tiles. Do I choose hexagon for the small bathroom (traditional), basket weave (I love this, but too busy?), or subway Carrera? What do you think?
We chose the most diminutive, yet functional sink and toilet for the half bath. I had wanted a vanity for some storage under the sink, but can you imagine: the available space is 32” wide and 19” deep! So we chose a sweet pedestal sink, with a rim wide enough to set your contact lens case and solution on while preparing your contacts for the day.
Its time to order the doorknobs for our new doors. Every original doorknob in our home is glass and a combination of very worn brass, and something silver-toned.
Do I choose antique brass, or do I choose brushed nickel? The decision making never ends…
Lions and tigers and drawer pulls, oh my! Okay, now I see why it’s smart to hire a professional! Do these decisions about coordination ever end?
I have been dreaming of un-lacquered brass drawer pulls. I love the old-timey look, I love that you don’t see them that much, and I love that they will warm up the look of the kitchen. Belmont Hardware is the place to go for selection. That building is so unassuming from the exterior, but it is a museum of hardware inside!
I chose 18 or 20 different knobs and bin pulls, in different finishes and sizes, to try holding up to the new cabinets. I got brass, polished nickel, brushed nickel, antique pewter, dark bronze, white bronze and satin nickel. Oh dear. Well, right away, I found out that the brass does not work, as it make the marble look way too gray. Jimmy likes the satin nickel (yawn), and I like the contrast of the shiny polished nickel.
I wanted latches on all of the cupboards and bin pulls on all the drawers. Well, now I can see how impractical that will be, and those danged latches are about $40 each. They’re very high quality, but still! So, we have decided on latches for only the very top cupboards. We’ll use knobs for those within reaching distance, and cup pulls. Okay, and we’ve also decided that everything should be shiny. Now to visit Belmont Hardware to find a manufacturer who makes all three so that the finish and colors will work.