Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Girls' Bath-finished off tile work.

While we wait for more things that are taking MONTHS, rather then the quoted 1 month to arrive, some other work is getting done. The extra tiles that we needed for the girls tub finally came in, and the tile guy came back and finished the space off. He did a great job, and the lip of the tub is perfectly flush with the front tiled wall, so it has a great clean edge to it. If you can not tell, I really like our tile guy. He is a bit of an artist, and the only thing that saddens me, is that we were not able to get some really funky tiles (do to cost, or availability) to let him really show off his talent. But, his work clearly speaks for itself. He is a total professional, timely and efficient. If I walk away cussing about every other worker involved in this project, I will only have good things to say about him and his crew.
They will soon start cleaning off more of the old tiles we saved from the original house and we will use them for the small courtyard that is in between the guest room and the side door. At about 15 euro a square meter, it is a great price for the work too. Now, we are collecting quotes for installation of the wood floor upstairs and were quoted 15 euro a square meter by our carpenter. Well, this is a click system wood floor. Not like tiling at all! Alex and I though, maybe we would do it ourselves and use that money to buy some cool tools for the job, allowing us to do other work later on, say on the barn space... But, as luck would have it, Alex has now caught Olivia's cold, and doubts we would get the floor installed before we want to move in (say March). So, we found another guy, 10 euro a square meter, but will have to wait until we get the heating system up and running for a few days to insure all the moisture is out of the cement. This is great, as we will be able to see if there are any problems before the wood goes in. But, as with everything, the area where the heat pump needs to be installed is waiting to be insulated and sealed. Let it sit and cure for a day( praying for no rain) and then the heat pump will go in, get running and 3 days later the wood floors will start to be installed. give or take a few delays and screw up...

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Kitchen in progress

Here it is, the kitchen in progress. The counter tops are not done yet, but we are going with a butcher block. Would have loved a solid surface, but with all our "hidden" costs, we are being more the hopes of getting that SMEG 5 burner range. Below is the island/bar.
This is the pantry, with pull out shelving, it sits next to the fridge.
There is the view from the opposite side of the room, you can tell that the island is not in exactly the place it will be in, but you get the idea. The back splash is a tile that has an old mediteranean look to it, and the pulls are oil rubbed bronze. Well, at least we think they will be. Manos will hopefully get them from Restoration Hardware before he leaves to see us later this month. Stay tuned.
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When it happens, it all happens at once! We were really lucky, in this case procrastination worked to our benefit and we found some great wood flooring at a reasonable price--wait for it--LOCALLY!

But, and there is always a but, we now are on the hunt for the "special" liner that we need to place on the floor before installing the wood. It has to be specific for the underfloor heating. Prices are varying from 2 euro to 8 euro. I think I will let Alex tell you more about that, whenever he gets a chance.
Above you see the delivery van in the totally walled in driveway....any bets on how much I ding the car up? Oh, I say --- quite a bit. Below you see the view of the kitchen cabinets and wood from on the stairs to the loft.

So here it all is, waiting in the main room. I think the dust that shows in the shots tell you just how dirty it is in the place.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Facade

Alex will be writing this entry, and Jenn's comments will be in purple.

WOW! That's a whole lotta...brown! (Huh?)

Like my better half pointed out, with the new exterior wall up and plastered we are now the owners of a huge brown block! (No, I said Orange. Now, I see the problem we have been having, you are apparently color blind.)

One thought was to make the wall in a different color in order to break up the space and to create a more playful village like structure. The other thought was to use the same colors and materials in order to make one cohesive unit, and to draw together the house/wall/entrance-way.

The Architect then went into long discourse as to why they need to be one unit and how a pergola will tie it all together to create a blah, blah, blah...

In the end he convinced me, and the work had already been done, so we went with it. I think the fact that it was already done is really the point here. When we began discussing the wall, or as I like to call it- the great wall of Sternes- our beloved architect made a quick rendering on the equivalent of a napkin to let me know the foot print of it. Did he mention the height? NO.

I actually think the wall and the entrance doesn't look so bad from the inside courtyard, and since this is the view we will be seeing more often, why not? I personally like to be able to see a little out onto the street, to wave at passing neighbors. Ask Sianna, it is too tall.

Here the workers made a wall separating our yard from our neighbor's. There was an existing wall here but it wasn't as tall, so that the neighbors could peak into the back yard, or so that our neighbors mom could come over and yell at them through our yard (yes, this DID happen, I witnessed it first hand!). Obviously we needed some kind of barrier here to stop that, and I am sure our neighbors are happy that the mom has been blocked. But, had I been more informed, I would not have redone this section at all, and used greenery, a vine to separate the space. So much concrete.

Does this make us anti-social, not sure? Do I care, hmmm.........

This is the view from the other neighbor's yard (the MOM). The large balcony window looks into the bedroom. Note to self: get curtains ASAP. So they can't see in, and so I can't see out...I don't know which is uglier, her corrugated roof on her shed, or ours on the barn space...
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