Friday, November 11, 2011

The day before the move...I think.

Like most things here, they are done last minute. So we have workers coming to the house the day before the move, during the move and still now...TODAY...11/11/11!!! Yes, the electrician you see below is back today to finish up on the out door lighting. Now, this delay is totally not his fault. Alex and I never decided on outdoor lighting, and finally got it together after season ended. Good thing we waited, as our budget was totally stretched and with the current tax changes, we needed to go with some less expensive lights. I will take those photos later, but for now, here are some photos of the finishing up process, pre move.

Below, you can see the loft space and the kitchen. The tiles we ordered for the back splash are only one row at this point. We mis-ordered, easy to do, apparently. When we went to order another batch, we found out that the supplier had been robbed in Athens, and had none to send down. We ended up taking every available tile they had in storage and teaming them with plain grey, by the same manufacturer. Again, I will get a photo of the finished kitchen...eventually.

The move was amazing, as everything kept getting dusty and dirty, even with two cleaning women coming in. But, what can you do when you move into an unfinshed house. You basically end up mopping every day.

Here the finshed nitches in the dining room. Cleanest part of the house at this point.

Adding color

Sorry for the massive delay in blogging. But, for those who do not know, we are actually in the house now. We moved in the first week of may, the same week I (Jenn) went back to work. We were without a phone or internet for several months. Once we got that techy stuff done, we could not find the cable for the camera and were also way to busy to blog. As most of you know, I was working 2 jobs from mid August until the end of October. Now, I have a card reader and here come the updates, whether you want them or not!

Going back in time, you can see the paint job first. The top photo is Sianna's room, a raspberry ice like pink. with the main "white" of the house. Sianna's room has since turned into the bedroom for both the girls. They decided that they wanted to be together, which is good, as the other room has a flat roof and we noticed gets much more wam in the summer. Now that it is winter, it gets the least amount of sun light and remains the coldest!
So, what was to be, Olivia's room, is now the playroom. It is a soft lavendar with white...and is generally a disaster area these days. I did find a very cool lamp from RICE, and will get a "done" photo in due time. Gotta keep you wanting more...
Here is our "short" wall in our bedroom, it is a darker beige/ khaki color. I like how it turned out, but feel the same about it as I do with the other colors. They all would have looked better had they been teamed with the WHITE that I chose, not the crap we ended up with. Basically, the architect had told our painter the "custom" color he likes to use...the painter went and got it, rather then listening to the home owners who kept saying that it was too yellow. I even had a paint sample of what I wanted. Supposedly he took it to be "lightened" up, but trust me... it is yellowish. The reason I don't like it is that the exposed wooden beams were white washed and the cool tone looks crappy next to the warm tone. It is not uniform. Also, yellowish whites always look dingy to me, and we have very small windows for natural light.

But, below you can see the sink and the tile work on the wooden counter that was made for the downstairs bath. This came out nice, and the pinkish plastering that Sianna chose looks great. It has variations in color and depth to it when you look at it.

Here is a peak from the kitchen with the arched door and the interior arch in the bathroom. We still need a mirror and light fixture, but it is usable....I will find a photo of the faucet...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

evidence & hostages...

Look, there is evidence that the painters have been around... but, where are they??? Yes, the painters are "in" but they are working at a pre-Easter pace. Having put all their efforts into getting local hotels ready for the summer invasion of tourists from Scandinavia, they seem a bit tired and -invisible- to tell you the truth. There was a lot of prep work to do, and that seems to be done now, so the actual painting can begin. We are not sure exactly what time they show up, as no one is willing to go to the house at 8 or 8:30 and wait, but Takis had been past at noon one day, and they were working. I decided I would also go, just to see if my suspicions were true, and they were! They were cleaned up and gone by 2pm the same day. The next day they did not even show up. Sianna and I could paint the house faster using Q-tips at this rate! But, they had primed the railing, and at this point it is actually painted...but Alex forgot the camera to get a shot.
Below is a shot of our bathroom and our "Hostage." The Sink! The sink is the correct style from Duravit, but not the correct model. It came in last November, with only one hole for a faucet, even though the faucet we ordered from the same store (Plagos) is a triple! Every week they tell us the replacement sink will be here in 10 days, and it never shows. The sales girl also says, "Why not just take that sink and we have your faucet as a single." We HATE the faucet as a single, it is so ugly it is not even a thought, and to go with a different single means that it will not match the shower or the bidet. So, we took the sink so that our carpenter could at least use to build the vanity...and are holding it hostage. They don't get it back until we get the correct one, and NO we have not paid for it. If this runs on to a point where we will not be able to get the correct sink, I am keeping the hostage, GRATIS! Perhaps I will try to contact Duravit directly, or their distributor in Athens, but Plagos is the only shop on Crete that carries this product.
No worries though, the girls sink came in chipped, but was replaced in a weeks time. So there will be a fully completed bathroom on the first floor, and god willing, all the baths on the ground floor. Though I really don't want to brush my teethe in the "powder room" and have to clean the marble sink in there twice a day. Marble and toothpaste are not a good sticks.
Lastly, the tiles in the kitchen have been installed. Not a great shot, but you get the idea. The thought was that if Alex gets the stove he wants, he will also have a stainless back splash that goes up behind it to the hood. I think we could have gone with another row, but were were avoiding tiling the entire space between the counter and the cabinets. I am still not sold on it, but that is what it is...I just could not find something I really loved. Back splashes are easy to change though...right???

Monday, April 18, 2011

Theodorakis and building...

Just like music by Theodorakis, so goes much of what is done in Greece. Things start out slowly, moving at a snails pace to the point that one sometimes thinks that nothing is happening at all. Then faster, and faster and faster it goes. Mistakes happen, but they often go unnoticed as one attends to all the frenzy that is being kicked up around one.

I wish I could say that this were the case for the building of the house...but the frenzy has yet to kick in. We are still on "σιγα,σιγα" slowly, slowly, mode. But, as the painters are now in the house, and more of the tile and plumbing is done, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some bathroom photos, the tiny guest bath is almost there. The glass needs to be fixed for the shower, and the vanity will be placed and then tiled to receive the Baci bowl.

Below is the downstairs "powder" room. The tile and vanity have been installed, but we are having some problems with the faucets...the tile is a bit in the way. So we need to figure out how to get them attached the best way possible. This is what happens when measurements are not we will wing it and hope for the best. Now, if you think that arch looks a but is. And yes, you will have to be very careful when turning around to leave after washing your hands. It is like a built it practical joke, only someone could actually get hurt! Sianna and Olivia are safe though.

Monday, April 11, 2011

inside and out

Some of Alex's handy work includes the cleaning off of the exposed stones in the niches and archways. Apparently the "stone workers" don't actually do that part. Who knew? But, as with much, I am not surprised. Apparently no one actually cleans up after themselves either. I know you need a cleaning crew to go into a new house after construction is complete, because the dust etc... is just so extensive, but really, can't the workers throw out their own frappe cups, wires and extra lengths of wood etc... Alex spent a good part of his Sunday doing just that. Clearing out the crap that has been left behind. Boxes that sinks or toilets or faucets came in, junk left out in the garden. This week should see the return of the tile guy, the plumber and by the grace of god the carpenter...then we can get the painter in.
On the outside of the house you can see that the scaffolding around the chimney has finally been removed. Big improvement. Still no plan for a front gate, but that is not on the list of MUSTS to get us into the house.
And here is the first lily of the season, that blooms under the walnut tree. So, despite neglect and construction, at least that one plant is still hanging on. In all actuality, we only lost the grapevine, and that will be replaced as soon as possible. Lets hope to get a ton of work done this week and us into the house after Easter!!!! Fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

closets in progress

Wow, what seemed like an o.k. space just outside of the master bath, turns out to be really narrow after the closets are installed. Unfortunately, we need the storage space and will have to deal with it. Below is a shot of the closet that is in the Master bedroom, it looks bigger then it really is. The doors will be painted the same color as the walls, and some very slender and indiscreet handles have been purchased in a brushed nickle.
Below is Olivia's closet. Her wall is at an angle, and this makes for a tricky installation. We will have the carpenter move the closet over a bit, and place a spacer, so the last door can open better. Apparently it was in the original plans, but was not translated to the worker correctly...ahhh, yet again. We did not do a huge closet in Olivia's room to allow for more flexibility with the space. Things change, and the girls now want to sleep in the same room, so this might become a playroom and additional guest space.
That leaves Sianna's closet. Pretty big, and built in shelves will proved a lot of storage space. Both her's and Olivia's closets will be painted white, and the exposed shelves are in a wood tone. Then I will go back and try to do a mural at some point for each of them...depending on where they decide to sleep and how the rooms work out. Probably best to wait a bit to see if they even like sleeping in the same room. Or if I like it. They are chatty Kathies...

I found some hand painted handles, and could not decide on which ones I liked the best. So, I took a bunch of each design and will mix them up in each of the rooms.

doors in progress

The interior doors are in!!! Wooohooo! Frames have gone in and the doors were all placed, but taken off for the time being, since a lot of work is still going on. But, the wood flooring guy came right over and finished up the baseboards for the entire house. Last step in that is going out to find the wood strips that will be in place between the tile floor and the wood, and in the doorways.
Alex and I ran to the hardware shop and picked out some sturdy door handles. We opted for all metal mechanisms as opposed to plastic. My thought was that he lives with 3 females...the slamming of doors is to be expected. The sturdier the better.
This last shot is of one of the doors while it was being set. They really don't have those 2 lines...I think those were a bar of some sort.


The counter tops have arrived, and boy do they show the dust! But, once the construction is done and they are cleaned properly, we think they will look great. They actually compliment the window frames and shutters, something we had not even considered, and seem to tie the whole thing together.

Next to the island, we have had a kitchen table made with two benches. White legs and tops that are the same as the counter tops. The table is really great as it has a leaf that can easily be pulled out for additional seating. I think we will be able to move it in and out the front door for when we are entertaining outside. So we are getting there slowly. Now we need the carpenter to finish any bit around the kitchen so the tile guy can get in there and do the back splash. Time to order the hood for the range...and a dish washer!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wood floors!!!

After more delays then I can count, our electricity was finally changed from a 1 to a 3---don't ask me about the specifics of this. All I know is that the underfloor heating requires a higher energy draw, so while we had power before, it has to be change to start up the heating system. This took a week or so, since some one in some office somewhere had to take there time to put a rubber stamp on some paper before the guys could actually go turn it over. At a 650 euro service fee, I would think they could be a bit faster...but hey, at least there was not a strike. So, that got changed over and the heating guys finished the last bits and turned it on, with a few days of testing, all was warm and tested OK. That gave the OK for the flooring guys to go in and start the clean up and laying down of the wood floors. Above is a shot from Olivia's room and out towards the stairs. Below is the master bedroom.
Now you see the loft space, that was done first. They actually finished all of the work in a record two days! The carpenter will come in and put in all the doors today and tomorrow, then they will be able to do the baseboard for the rest of the rooms. You can see that the baseboard is already up in the loft, since there is no door involved.
Below is a shot from the stairwell looking towards Olivia's room. Maybe the next time a photo is taken her walls will be lavender. Alex met with the painter today, he claims that the walls are not really yellowish, that that is the under coat showing through. But, Alex pressed him to mix the color to match the ceiling more. I am a bit apprehensive. I have colours chosen, and I really want a test patch before I give an OK for a final coat. Let us see what happens.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sianna's choice-pink.

When we were faced with the decision of paint vs. colored plaster for the downstairs bath, we opted for the colored plaster. Reasons were that it is one of the only recognizably old spaces in left in the house and we wanted to retain the character of the room (formerly the kitchen). But, the main reason was that since there is an actual well underneath this space, and only a small window for ventilation, we know there will be some humidity issues. Paint will only flake and look crappy after time, but the colored plaster will have "character and charm" by being kind of "shabby chic" as it ages.
Our plaster guy, who I am not so happy with... the outside of the house is neither the color I like or holding up after all the rains, told us the color range was yellows to reds....being that brick is used as the coloring agent. We decided to let Sianna in on the decision making process, so you should not be so surprised that it is pink. But, it is a traditional old village color, and the depth changes pretty well.Some walls appear a little darker, which adds a nice affect.
Of course the light is terrible in the room, since there is none. So we shall see in the end how it really looks. Now we are just waiting for the plumber to come and install the faucets to the back wall, then the finishing plaster, and then the counter top and sink. I will leave that as a surprise.
Posted by Picasa