A Storm and Some Tile

We've been huddling down under a pretty big storm system all weekend. Lots of wind, several inches of rain (always a nice thing), that kind of thing. Yesterday was a great day to have a nice afternoon nap, but today we took some time between rain showers to run over to the house and continue our never-ending task of emptying the basement (good lord we have a lot of stuff down there) and check on things.

A splashing sound alerted me to the fact that something was a little wrong:

We popped a breaker on the irrigation pump

That's a nice reflecting pool of water under the deck there.

The pump had popped its breaker for some reason. We reset it and the pump got to work.

We kind of talked over how we are modifying the irrigation during construction. We can't turn it off completely because it is critical to the dewatering of the foundation, but we are turning off several circuits (because we are putting a house on top of them).

I have some big plans for reworking the whole irrigation system when this renovation is done. It's working right now but I'd like to change how it works inside the house and maybe move some of the valves around.

In the meantime, this week I've been texting Noel all kinds of pictures like this:

Palette development

I'm going room by room and developing a whole-house palette of materials. The idea is to narrow down to a fairly small set of colours that track from room to room. This helps tie the whole house together; the rooms each build up to a larger narrative, as it were. Also it means we don't need to buy fourteen kinds of paint. Win.

Anyway, at my office we have been spending lunchtimes for the last week or so putting materials together and working off the things I have already nailed down. There's a massive wall of tile in the kitchen that needs to be accounted for, and that is what we've been puzzling over with pictures like this.

I'm really into the super-dark purple cabinets with the calacatta bluette marble counter. I had been planning a much more subdued counter, maybe even concrete, but when I pulled that out and put them together the combination was stunning. It's a relatively small space, so it won't be overwhelming. Since making that choice I've been pulling out tiles that pick up various colours in the stone for the backdrop wall. My boss made the good point that we don't want that wall to get too dark, even if it is in a brightly lit room. I don't want it to get so flashy that it is overwhelming on midsummer afternoons.

At the same time I made a furniture layout and a list of the pieces we need and the ones we are keeping from the things we have. Most of the furniture from the parlours needs to be replaced because it is quite elderly and has lived this renovation a little too intimately, though some of it can just be redone or spiffed up a little and do just fine. That's a whole additional ordeal.

posted by ayse on 03/06/16


"super-dark purple cabinets with the calacatta bluette marble counter"

That is not what I was expecting from you at all. You've been so pragmatic about the kitchen design (all of which I find very interesting) that I expected you to get to finishes and say that anything but white and stainless steal or something like that makes sense in a working kitchen.

I'm pretty sure I've never seen dark purple kitchen cabinets. This is going to be absolutely stunning when you're done. I can't wait to see the final results!

I'm pretty practical but I also like a lot of colour. My design process is to start with function and then make it beautiful from there.

Dark purple, love it! What is the oak cabinet next to it?

Also, for when you get to the bathrooms, maybe a post on shower floors and shower enclosures. I'm sure you have opinions on those things, and I trust your opinion more than that of any contractors or designers I've met.

We are redoing a bathroom that currently has a 32x32 neo angle shower. I'm thinking we can fit a 32x42 rectangular shower with the longer side along our longer wall (80 inches). I found a terrazo shower base that size--wonder what you think of that vs tile. And then the enclosure. All glass? But the door can't go on the long side, due to toilet. If we do a corner sink then a door on the short end may have room to open. I don't think 42 inches is long enough to leave it open on the short end without getting water all over.

Anyhow, love to hear your thoughts on showers!

Terrazzo bases are just fine, they aren't high-design but they are super reliable and they won't crack. I prefer glass enclosures because they really open the space up (they are be frosted if the space feels TOO open). Remember the shower door has to open outward by code (so if you pass out in the shower they can get you out). 42" is a pretty long shower; 36" feels enormous, so you might be able to shower in there without getting water all over the place.

I'll write up a bit about showers pretty soon; we went and chose plumbing today (mostly) and I am working on the palettes for the bathrooms, so a lot of that is coming down the pike.

Thanks! I can't wait to see your bathrooms.

The bathroom we are redoing is for basement guest quarters, and it won't be my dream bathroom for sure. So you think with 42-inch long shower we could leave one end totally open? We could also do 32x36, again with a door on the short end. Maybe that's big enough. The current 32x32 neo angle feels like an RV shower, but that's probably because of the neo angle.

Yeah those angle showers are miniscule. I think whether 42" would work is mostly about how enthusiastically you shower. I think you could do 32x36 and have quite a nice, generous shower, especially for a guest bath.

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