Sunday, January 29, 2017

Two More Weeks Until Move In!

Finishing details are my favorite part of watching a house come together.  I chose the faucets over
15 months ago and it is tough to remember all their details.  Now is time for them to be installed.

This little 33 inch tall beauty is called the Gantry and is manufactured by WaterMark.  It is polished nickel and comes with a pull down sprayer and an articulated spout that will reach across the
long 44 inch Kohler Chef's sink in the prep kitchen and scullery. 

In the more formal kitchen area, the dining hall, an unlacquered polished brass faucet, also by Watermark, adds a bit more of an elegant touch to the sink area.  The countertops were installed this week and this area's counters are a leathered quartzite called Victoria Falls. 

The Lacanche range wall is primarily Doggett mountain stone.  A ledge of a gray limestone called crianza breaks the space between the countertop and the counter.  This will give a visual break and also be easier to clean next to the stove.  Eric, our master mason, is filling in the grout gap by hand to finish the installation.

This picture better shows the coloration and the 3 inch countertops. 
A black Vent-A-Hood is over the range.  It is detailed with a  brass pot rail and strapping.

Specialty doors have been installed this week.  This glass pocket door into my husband's "fly shop" allows light to go from the window in his space down a long hall to the living spaces.

And my favorite doors from a hotel in Paris are installed and get the royal treatment with a
camouflage hunters jacket hung on the feminine brass door knob.  Yes, as I have always said, this house is a study of contrasts! 

The old hardware was removed from the core of the door and
it was filled in with wood and epoxy  and new hardware was installed. 

Our hand forged stair rails were installed and make a wonderful contrast over the Montana snow fence shiplap in the stairwell.  Unfortunately, the Montana snow fence is "snowed in" in Montana and is still backordered.  We are waiting for more to finish the job.

Closet systems were installed this week.  Shelves for shoes, jewelry trays, lingerie drawers, pull out wardrobe hooks to plan outfits and a pull out full length mirror are some of the features.

 The inside of the fireboxes get painted black to get ready for the gas logs. 
This prevents the fire  from showing soot marks on the bricks.

Hopefully, in 2 weeks, these fireplaces will be glowing with gas logs.
Appliances and cabinetry details- hardware-trim-shelves happen this week.
  Landscaping and erosion control, water testing and  energy efficiency testing all happen this week too! One more coat of finishes on all the floors and paint touch up is all going on too! Final power and water get turned on Tuesday and all the temporary systems are disconnected. Music, Wi-Fi and TV's are being installed too.  We are hoping for occupancy permits next week.
Then the deep cleaning process begins and takes 2 weeks. Then we can move!
Wow- the millions of details just to move into a house- I am sure going to miss the action!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Move In Day- Three Weeks to Go!

The stone work on the front of the house is slowly getting done.  This intricate form of laying the stone to look like it was found in the adjoining fields only allows for a couple of rows to be applied every day.   Now the mason has reached the critical point of forming the arches over the doors and windows. 
 A plumb line keeps the stones in a straight pattern,
even though they appear to be placed randomly.

 The texture of this Doggett Mountain stone is the perfect rough look for our mountain home.

A frame has been temporarily built around the door to lay the stone in an arched pattern.

 Hand forged iron lanterns from Designs by Bree match the bronze down pipes and gutters perfectly.

 The two screened in porches are getting their wood ceiling treatments.

The new door hardware from Rocky Mountain Hardware is being installed on the interior doors.

 This hardware is a hand cast bronze and the style is from the Paris Collection. They are a living finish and will continue to patina with age.  The finish is called Bronze Light.

The hardware for the powder room door is made by Martin Pierce.
My husband chose this particular handle and completely surprised me! 

Lower level bedrooms have been finished with a distressed wood ceiling.

 The dining hall now has two large crystal chandeliers from Restoration Hardware hanging between the reclaimed beams.   Ultimately, they will be lowered another 6 feet to sit 36 inches above the
rustic farm table. 

And now for some fun touches!   Our architect, Al Platt, is standing in the elevator car and checking out the fabric book panels.   Our finish carpenter is going to panel the elevator car with these fabric panels and add baseboard and crown molding to the elevator walls.  The fabric is a pile fabric that will not mar when luggage and people rest against it! I can't wait to see it finished!   
I purchased it online from the following source.

This coming week, countertops and sinks get installed, followed by appliances.
The driveway gets its pavers and the yard begins to be landscaped.  Can't wait to go back next week-

And just as we were leaving the property yesterday  on a rainy Saturday afternoon, one of my
favorite neighbors showed up!  Another flock of turkeys!!!!!!
I'm going to love living out here-

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WE Have Floors - Move in- 4 Weeks!

During my house visit yesterday,  I was delighted with new additions to the house.  I have been nervous over the stain color of the main level's floors .  We were going for a grey tone French white oak wide plank look, but we didn't want to spend the money for the real deal!   So our plan was to mimic the look. 
We installed white oak wide plank flooring. We lightly sanded them and left the saw marks prominent to get a more rustic feel.  After trying several combinations of walnut and grey stains mixed together, we finally just stained them min wax grey.  The oak wood tends to want to go brown and just a little bit of walnut stain, made them look too dark. 

See how the above sample got very brown with just a thimble full of walnut added to the grey!
So we eliminated the walnut stain!

The baseboard is actually a dark gray, but is still covered in paper to protect it from the staining process.  

The resulting color is a soft soothing grey.  We finished the floors with a light satin finishing coat.
I didn't want any shine and they achieved my goal!   The floors blend beautifully with the Montana snow fencing arches and the Sherwin Williams Mindful gray walls.  

Now for the lower level floors!!!  This decision caused numerous nights of lost sleep!  As a money saving solution, we installed maple hardware and lacquered it a gloss white!  The color is Benjamin Moore Moonshine- a perfect white with gray undertones.  What you are seeing is 3 coats of paint, with the top coat still drying.   A fourth and final coat will be applied tomorrow! 

While I cannot walk on these floors yet, I am so excited to see the rest of them.  I think they will lighten up the lower level and give it a modern twist!  On this floor, modern elements will mix with French antiques!   Lot's of cow rugs should add some rustic touches!   
  I can't wait to see how this all comes together. 

 Deck rails went up!

 Balcony rails went up. 
They are the same design as the decks, but have an additional decorative panel in the centers.

 A cement wall is being constructed in the front of the house.  It will be covered with Doggett Mountain stone and then capped to form a parking pad for guests.  Fill dirt will be added and then Gray Dublin Cobblestone pavers will be laid.  

And today, we met with the landscape architect to review the plans for plantings!  We have to plant all the ground cover and install soil  erosion features  to get a certificate of occupancy.  So we are getting started next week!

And the chandeliers continue to go up!  This Aiden Gray chandelier was hung today in the conservatory.  I love the contrast with the Doggett Mountain Stone walls.  

And just to put a final happy dance in my feet,  the electrician began to permanently power up the house and start to install dimmers and switches.   I can't wait to have wine and cheese in this room!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Only Six Weeks to Go- to MOVE IN DAY!

The house building site is like a big bee hive right now.  Contractors on top of contractors, buzz saws, hammers, and just general chatter of how are we going to get this done.  I must say that this project has gone pretty smooth. However, as we near completion, a few  incorrect details seem to be popping up! 

Correct bath tub style- but not with the air system!  Has to go back!

The master shower system was to be fabricated in two finishes- pewter and polished nickel- to blend with both sides of our his and her bath.  Jay's is pewter, mine is polished nickel.  As you can see, the temperature controls are polished nickel and the frame is pewter. 

However, the shower head, also planned to be polished nickel, is in fact - pewter!  Ughhhhhhh!

The shutters for the stucco sections of the house arrived Friday.  We are not happy with the
short straps - they seem not properly scaled.

This one looks wider than the window- but its an optical illusion.  Are the short straps causing it?
Got to get this figured out- time to consult our architect!

The Montana snow fencing is starting to be installed around the lower level of the stairwell.  But the
materials were found to be bowed and dis-colored. We are waiting for another shipment- may be here by the end of the week.

 On the brighter side of things, Chad and Brian continue to do amazing work.  The distressed ceiling
is laid in the master bedroom in perfect formation.

The stone work on the fireplace, has been expertly laid by Eric and the fireplace
is almost complete.  I love the large stone above the opening- another stone
hauled over to our site from our project manager's property in Yancey County.  God bless him!

The stonework on the center of the house is almost complete.  We just need a few warmer days to
finish it.  Meanwhile,  the front yard is starting to get excavated and drainage pipes laid.

The ceilings of the outdoor decks are beginning to get their finishing details
with the v-groove paneled ceiling being started. 

 And just in time to soothe my ruffled feathers from all the on-site issues, a box arrives from Ebay.
A pair of 1920's door handles made of cut crystal and art deco stamped brass make me smile.
These little beauties will be perfect on the barn doors on the lower level.  Can't wait to see them up!

I am so happy that these were found and saved.   I can only imagine their original home- maybe in a grand hotel in  the 1920's.   And now on to their new home in the mountains of North Carolina!