Monday, March 30, 2015

In which we soldier on....

Just for fun, I looked back in my archive of photos to see where we were on the 30th of March 2014.  

The moldings hadn't even been ripped off the building yet.  The windows had just been installed. and the boys were about ready to start the front porch.



The rest of the building was still considered "big Blue" around our house.  


Time travel back to today and we are still tiling!  What we thought would be a couple of weeks of tiling and grouting three bathrooms has taken a bit longer, but it is worth it.  Below are the photos of the Master bath shower.  The tiles are 5" x 24" and Greg says they are all a bit twisted at both ends so that it has taken him much longer to install these tiles.  The pattern on the tiles make it seem like they are all wavy tiles, but it is just the photo.



This may be the first time that the front hall has been cleaned of all debris and building materials.  Took me 5 hours to either move piles to where they needed to go or dispose of them.  Then I painted.  The whole downstairs gets painted this grey color.  It has a bit of pink and really changes colors throughout the apartment.   The left wall in the photo below is still white, I was too sore on Saturday to paint it, having moved about 300 square feet of pine flooring from here to downstairs among other things.  The kitchen floor gets tiled next, and then the floor where I am standing, which is the mud room entrance.  The hall will get carpeting.


We went out for a drink last Thursday and happened upon this big old slab of pine tree sitting outside of 3Tides (where else??).  Seth, the bartender told us that we would have to either steal the slab or plead with David to sell it to us...which we were prepared to do (Greg wanted to take the felonious path, but I convinced him to call David about it.  David's first comment was "do you need help lifting it into your truck?"  Et Voila, a vanity top was born! 


The slab is resting in the downstairs bath as we speak.  I left the heater on in the bathroom to help dry out the edges of the slab.  We will peel off the bark as much of it has already come off and shape the back so that it fits tight to the wall.  The darn thing measures 4 feet by 3 feet, so it is kind of huge! We may put copper legs on it, or simply go the metal pipe route with a shelf underneath for storage.  Can't wait to seal it up and make it water tight!




Sunday remains relatively work free for us, save what we might be able to do at home.  We spent the  beautiful morning yesterday on a nice walk that included the top of Ducktrap Mountain, where Greg and I celebrated our marriage with tons of friends and family almost two years ago.  We had the reception right on this lawn, on the night of the blue moon. 


Winters here are worth it when you can just travel down the road and hike with these views!


When we got home yesterday, we started up work again on the kitchen planner.  Three hours later and we think we have a plan that will work for us at a price that we can afford.  I wish I could copy and paste what we have chosen here, but you will all just have to be surprised.

That's all for today.  Happy Monday all!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

In which the tiling continues!!



Tiling, tiling, tiling....that is the theme of our lives at the Ocean House right about now.  Greg has moved onto the master bathroom below and I just finished the first floor shower grouting and polishing.



The shower came out beautifully with the matching grout to the slate floor, the colors really gel.
We are pretty finished with this bathroom save for the vanity.  Our idea of using an old dressing table base of my great-grandmother's didn't really go very well after bring the piece down to the building.  We are now looking at building a vanity out of metal pipe with a wooden shelf underneath for storage. 


We decided against our original idea for the kitchen of using industrial shelving for the base cabinets and floating boards for storage above.  While in Boston last week, we traveled to IKEA to check on their kitchens and found that getting already made up cabinets is less expensive and will ultimately make the kitchen much more user friendly.  We are able to design the kitchen from our living room, order it and go pick up all the pieces...and the 20% off sale will help pay for the upper cabinets! Score!!

We did have the electricians in last week and they gave us more light than the four lamps and two outlets we've had to work with.  Now we have light fixtures and chandeliers galore!


Monday, March 16, 2015

In which....photos! (and some commentary)

I went from taxes to grouting.  Greg had laid this floor a few days ago and I wanted to get it done and out of the way.  It is a gorgeous floor and much easier to manage than the slate.  It would have taken only a few hours had I not run out of grout with a 24 x 24" section unfinished!  Thought 25 lbs of grout would be sufficient for the shower and the floor.  Always have enough grout on hand!


I had finished the shower the day before.  It is beautiful!  Same pattern as the floor, but in white.


The blue spa-like walls really glow with the white fixtures.  

Looking like a place I'd like to stay!


While I finish in the bathroom upstairs, Greg started on the shower downstairs.  Floor to ceiling tile, with a strip of iridescent glass tiles around the perimeter. very luxurious!  This is in the bathroom with the slate tiles.  


I really dig the colors together.  


Today, I painted the living room.  The color is called "grayish" and works well with all the light and with the space in general.  All the outside perimeter walls will be painted this color on the first floor and then the remaining core walls will probably be a different color.  



I just committed us to do an open house fundraiser for Our Town Belfast sometime at the end of May...We have to be somewhat done by then!  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

In which we ponder the influence 50 shades of Gray has had on our decor.

We finally sat down and chose a color for the walls downstairs.  Greg mentioned that he'd always liked the color of my living room when we lived in Chicago.  I personally thought the color was too dark and then we talked about the color of the wooden walls at Sunny Side, which are stained with a mixture of 1 part "Proper Gray" paint to 7 parts water.  We found a color that we liked called "grayish" and that it is!  This particular gray matches all the other shades of gray we have in the apartment and then some.  In different corners of the room, the color can look brown or violet or white, depending on the light.  We love it!





While I was painting, Greg was upstairs toiling at tiling.  He does such good work.  I mix the mortar and he slathers it on and lays out the tile.  24 hours or so later, I take up the float and the grout sponge and get to work.

What a champ!

Of course, there is a bow in the ceiling too....




Can you find the bow in the wall that Greg had to contend with?  For a brand new bathroom, nothing was square!

I still have to grout, but the tough job is over!


Oh, we also finished grouting the tiles downstairs.  The slate is the most labor intensive and these tiles took about a week in total between sealing, laying out, laying down, cleaning and sealing again, grouting, cleaning, and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and sealing one final time.  Phew! But we do love the look.



The results are really worth it.

 look at how big the shower is! 


OK, many of you heard this one already, but Marden's called....and the Stark-ish type carpet they carry, that we have on hold was being marked down, and did we still want it.  "Marked down to what, I said?"  "I don't know, but we'll call you back...how much do you need?"  The roll was 13' wide and I needed 85 feet in length off their 100 foot roll, plus padding.  When we found this carpet, it reminded me of someone's summer house in the Hamptons.  In my mind it would be perfect.  Greg thought it looked cheap.. Weird color, "marigold cream" and very low pile.  Well, it was cheap at .71 cents a square foot...probably the cheapest carpet we would be lucky to find. We had to contend with finding over 1000 square feet of it too.  

When they called back, the price had been marked down to .59 cents a square foot...can't beat it!  The linen white walls that I painted in the bedrooms will be perfect with this as the carpeting and some nice painted furniture.  Done!

Oooo, and best part of this week was coming closer on the design of the stairs in the apartment.  All I will say is that it involves Doak's!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

In which we have been taking care of little things, painting. and thinking a lot

While working hard on the apartment, and since we do this about once every few years, we sometimes need to remember how to do things, like the easiest way for us to tile and things like that. It is a good thing that I write these blog posts because they are like notes that one cannot lose.  I have been rereading some old blogs (I have had four others before this blog) to learn what products I used on the slate tile floor before that worked well, or what mistakes we made along the way with cabinets, etc.  Have you looked at any of our other blogs?  Like the blog for Sunny Side  or for The House Up The Hill, or even my old foodie blog MaineFoodie?

Progress on the Ocean House apartment is coming along.  We have two bedrooms and two bathroom painted, the carpet installer came to measure and we are humming away there.  The first floor bathroom floor has been laid, and we are anxious to grout it and move on.  Greg has been having dust problems, so he mopped the entire apartment last night, getting up more plaster dust.  We finally got the 7 sheets of 4 x 12' 5/8" drywall out of the building, which was huge for us.  Thanks to Whitecap Builders for getting the stuff out finally.  It took five of them to haul the sheets away.

We want to do some cool things in the apartment, unfortunately, our minds and our wallets are on different pages.  I wanted to do this to the bathroom on the first floor, but our wallets couldn't justify a $1000 piece of rough cut slate
Been racking our brains to think of something cool that isn't an $800.00 Home Depot vanity.  We both hit on the same idea while brainstorming yesterday afternoon.  We'll have to see how it looks today, but I think we found our cool idea.

  My great-grandparents were auction goers in the summer time and one of the things they purchased was this cherry high chest base, thinking that it was a dressing table perhaps.  It does date to the 18th century, and was probably made in New Hampshire. Originally, it would have had another chest on top of it.  It belongs to my sister, who had no room in her house for it, so it has been sitting in our living room for the last decade or so.  The other day I asked if we could have it and repurpose it.  So, yesterday it arrived at the building and I took the two old boards off the top.  We will cut the drawers back to fit the pipes, add a new figured maple plywood top and perhaps a copper bowl on top for a vessel sink.  Greg scoured Etsy yesterday for handmade sinks and found 18 pages of them..who knew??  My favorite is this one:
It might be a little tall for most people, but there are two other bathrooms with "regular" sinks.  This is going to look great in the first floor bathroom.  Greg finished installing the floor and cleaning the tiles.  Now its time for the grout portion of our project......I think the colors are fantastic. 


I've decided to be uniform upstairs, all the rooms save for the bathrooms have been painted linen white.  Three floors of the Ocean House are now painted this color!  It is a cozy, finished, simple, and neutral color that works really well with the low pile carpeting choice we made.  All the rooms upstairs have at least one coat of paint on them as of yesterday!  Whoopie!






I have been choosing colors for the bathrooms and the one at the top of the stairs is going to be very cute and old fashioned looking.  This is the smallest bathroom, but has the best view from the commode of anyplace in the house.  We are tiling the shower in white tiles that match the floor.  The walls are a deep blue, that unfortunately, kind of match the color of the big blue building in front of us that you can see through the window in the photo below!

I do love working here as the views are incredible from almost every window.  Here is our view from the master bedroom. Not too shabby!