It’s been a while since I last posted some pictures of our High Drive project, and since the floors begin getting refinished this morning, I thought it a good moment for an update! Floors to me are like the last big hurdle before the house begins really looking like a house again. So it’s no doubt that I’m thrilled that the day has come!! But before it all really, really comes together, let’s take a look at the progress and a few images that inspired the progress. (Here’s another update post from a couple months ago if you want to catch up!)
If you remember the state of the house when we bought it, you recall that we sort of started at negative ten. As a result, a lot of the work we did throughout was just getting it back to zero. In the kitchen and master closet, however, we really focused our energy on not just getting it back to neutral, but taking it all the way.
So, we overhauled the existing kitchen which was once just crowded into a corner at the front of the house and expanded it along the garage wall to the back of the house. Here’s how it’s coming together.
The picture above actually has the first coat of stain on it. It darkened a little once the sealer went on, but it’s not nearly as yellow as some of the pictures below make it seem.
For the countertops, we chose Vermont Danby Marble, and I love, love, love how it turned out. And with a little luck, the plumber is going to try to reuse this faucet which was original to the house. It’s in a bit of a state of disrepair having not been used for nearly a decade, but he thinks we can swing it….fingers crossed.
Above the range, we put a standard 36″ blower in, but then clad it in a sheet of stainless steel that spans the width between the two pantries. I’m super excited to see this part come together, but have been on my best behavior in terms of patience and have refrained from peeling off the protective plastic sticker just yet. In the picture below you can see the inside of the hood before it got installed.
Another component that I couldn’t be more excited about is the lighting. I saw this picture of Jill Weeks’ rental apartment earlier this spring and so fell in love with these fixtures that I tracked down a pair of them for above our island.
And then there are the barstools. Maybe you remember when I wrote about the design for this kitchen, showed you my “mood board” and let you in on our little marital feud regarding the barstools. I really wanted backless stools to slide under the countertop and be out of the way. John thought it would be safer for kids and way more comfortable to have backs. So, long story short, John won.
I snagged the final winners during a massive sale at Restoration Hardware. I’ve always loved Windsor chairs (in fact, two antique Windsor chairs currently cap my dining room table) and when I saw this barstool version, I jumped. Or John pushed me? Tomato, to-mah-to.
Anyway, the kitchen as we’ve designed it is a bit of a straddle between modern and traditional. The traditional part is hard to tell right now in this construction phase. But a lot of the finishes (including the barstools) are going to be far, far, far from modern. Anyway, the stools and their cushions arrived last week and I just had to humor myself by putting them around the island so I could dream a little more vividly of a finished home.
There’s not much to see in the family room off the kitchen until the wallpaper gets hung, so we’ll skip over to the sunroom (which will serve as our dining room). Without hardwoods, it’s already close to done. I laid Saltillo tile over the existing concrete floors because I have a mild obsession with mexican tile and have used it in our last two houses, too. The chandelier is not my absolute favorite, but it’s original to the house and I want to try to make it work.
Otherwise this room is glorious if for no other reason than that it’s covered in windows that look out onto the brick patio and the decades-old hydrangeas.
Upstairs, we mostly did the take-it-from-negative-ten-to-zero kind of work. So these bedrooms don’t look very exciting, but believe me – they’ve come a LONG way! No more wallpaper, carpet, heavy draperies or massive cracks in the wall. (You can see the before pictures here.) Plus we popped in some recessed lights.
Quig wasn’t quite as effective in his efforts. Not an ounce of glue left the bottle, but on the off chance that the bottle would explode, he wisely wore some legit eye protection. We take OSHA seriously up in here.
But my favorite part of the upstairs is hands down the master closet and laundry room. This was where we invested quite a bit of our budget, taking the flat roof deck and putting an addition in its place.
I’ve been inspired by the below closet for years, and with the help of our carpenter Patrick, actually used Ikea pieces to knock it off.
It’s not finished yet, but you can see the direction we’re going in the photo below. We used Ikea’s Malm dressers (before they sadly got discontinued) as the drawer sets around which Patrick framed his partitions. The matching stained white oak shelves are from Ikea’s Pax line, and Patrick cut them down in depth and width to fit inside the custom shoe shelf.
Just inside the closet and beyond the original french door that we salvaged, we tucked in a laundry room. This is big news, people. And so is that antique light from Mark Sudermann. Who said laundry rooms have to be boring?
Unfortunately in an arrogant moment, I decided I could lay the tile for the laundry room myself, and soon learned that slate tile in a Versailles pattern ain’t for no amateur tile setter. No ma’am. So, we’ll avoid a close up picture Instead look at how darling my children are. But for real, when do boys grow out of this obnoxious face phase? Girls and boys are SO different. I ask them both to smile and Quig gives me his monster face and Annie looks as sweet and dainty as a little lady! Pointed toe and all.
So there you have it. A little round up of some of the major changes thus far. We are set to move in just under two weeks! It’s amazing how fast the progress happens at the end. From total construction zone to home in just a couple weeks. Ahhhh!!!! It couldn’t happen a moment too soon. Can’t wait to get settled and share the true after pictures!