Archive for the ‘renovation resources’ Category

Renovation Update: Big Progress!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

There was MASSIVE kitchen progress last week- we have about a week to go before it’s pretty much done! I CANNOT wait- constructions dust, eating crappy, living in my bedroom- it’s all gotten very very old, even though my crew from Wellbuilt is moving REALLY fast!  But it is quickly becoming so worth it as I see everything come together! I think halfway through the process it’s easy to think “Ugh, why did I even start this?” but now that I see the finish line I am thrilled.

But of course, I had a mini-meltdown on Friday about the decisions I’d made- the cabinet color was bugging me and then my counters went in and they looked darker than when I saw the slabs in the warehouse AND they came will huge water stains in them.  Seeing as I paid a FORTUNE for these special Brazilian quartzite slabs that I was told would NOT stain like marble because they were “harder than granite”, I was furious.  I still kind of am, but we have someone coming to look at them tomorrow.  And when I woke up yesterday morning and came downstairs to see my backsplash in it brought everything together and I fell in love.  I didn’t do so bad.

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The grout has not been applied yet but it is the same grey color as the cabinets.  I love how crisp and clean it looks. And the brass hardware, which I was doubting as well, now pops.  They are the 306 pull from Colonial Bronze in matte sating brass (they have SO MANY brass finishes!!!)

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I SUPER LOVE my Blanco sink from Waterspot. Huge, sleek and a fab mix of traditional and modern- in fact it’s double sided- one side has a more rounded country look the other (which I installed facing out) is a bit more squared off. GENIUS!!!

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While there is drama with the counters they are pretty awesome looking with their linear veins (it’s Luna de Luce/ Bianco Macaubas quartzite).

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I’m glad we did a glass door into the mudroom (paper not removed from panes yet) to let more light in. And the lower cabinet color now works for me (it’s Benjamin Moore’s Cape May Cobblestone).

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And my cabinets. OH my cabinets. They are the most well made, amazing things I have come across in the biz.  The soft close drawers actually CLOSE (I’ve had many before that just stick open) and all the woodwork is exceptional.  Never mind all the special interior dividers and such that will make organizing a breeze.  I highly recommend Vermont Custom Cabinetry who made them and helped design the layout.  I got the name from my Dad who has used them many times before and I’m very glad for that.  Cabinets are the most important part of the kitchen design process( and the most expensive) and I feel like I got every penny worth of value.

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And these babies will go up Tuesday… I ordered the other ones too (which are from England BTW) just in case.  Whichever pair I decide not to use I’ll be selling, I’m sure! :)

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It’s still a mess, but you can see how much it opened up the dining room ( I guess it’s more like dining AREA) too.  That opening will be cased this week and crown molding will go up!

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We’re SO CLOSE!!! :)

Renovation Update: Blood, Sweat and Tears

Monday, September 10th, 2012

This was our first full week in the house and it was a particularly trying one. Moving into a construction site is hard- you can’t unpack and settle, everything is filthy no matter how much you clean and if you are like me, you just start making lists of how many more additional things you want/need to fix.  While I know in my heart I am so lucky to have the ability and opportunity to renovate this house, I admit that I spent a good solid several hours last week absolutely losing my shit. I do miss the city. I know  I just moved and all change takes time to get used to. And I know that renovating takes time. A long time- like two years. Oh, and a boatload of patience is so crucial (which I don’t have in spades).  But these are all things that will hopefully test me and in time make me a better person. So Sunday I bucked up and worked on the house with fervor and enjoyed peeking around the neighborhood and spending time working on the yard with my parents and Andrew.

Andrew was also busy painting, like, everything in the house, so I focused on the stairs which were really bugging me because the previous owner had painted around the runner and they looked beyond ghetto and were the first thing I saw when walking in the door and set my mood on “foul”. I have one recommendation for those painting stairs with spindle balusters…. HIRE A PAINTER. Holy sweet mother of all things sacred, taping off and painting these things was one hell of a job. I nearly went cross eyed and lost most motor function in my right hand after FOUR hours of working on them.

Before I painted, but after I became intimately acquainted with blue painters tape… and a gallon of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.

GAH.

After, so so much better and cleaner. Also note Andrew has been making progress painting our hall Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. And we hope that this year we will save enough to have the floors, stairs and banister re-stained a very dark walnut. Oh, and I’m gonna have a wool sisal runner made with banding for the stairs. Lots to do. Lots to pay for. :)

Looking down at the powder room you can see we still have to paint the trim but the new wood floors were laid in there and in the new hallway to the right where a closet used to be (awaiting poly)

See our new hallway- this small decision made a HUGE impact on light and flow. And because I love the original dentil molding so much we had to figure out how to finish this off. So we re-purposed molding from the walls in the dining room we plan to knock down when we do the kitchen next! Now we just have to paint the trim and walls and this space will be great!

But back to the powder room- pondering wallpaper for this teeny tiny space… really feeling the Hicks Hexagon on the right… the grey/blue colorway. I was thinking I’d do something crazy and huge scale and bright, but the more I see the house change the more I feel like it should be modern but subtle in color.

Also loving the new colorways from Cole & Son of the large scale diamonds, the large scale Hicks and the grey/tan smaller Hicks shown above…. decisions, decisions.

I have loved this paper my whole career so I feel like it would be a smart choice.

I also love this Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth in Chain Link pattern…. I have a client who has her powder room in it in orange and its adorable.

So gross before. UGH. That floor. Can’t wait for the new toilet and teeny, tiny pedestal sink to go in from Waterspot and the sconces from Lamps Plus!

Speaking of Lamps Plus, my Robert Abbey Bling Flushmount came for the master and I was so super psyched! Putting the individual glass drops on was quite a job though…. I poured a glass of white and rolled up my sleeves….

Two layers of individually wrapped crystals. On boy.

My fingers started to go numb at this point but I was loving the look.  Finding stylish flushmounts isn’t easy and this is such a great one!

TA DA! (Bedroom still not set up, styled or organized- that mirror has since moved)

My mom edged all my pachysandra with rocks my dad dug up from another part of the yard. Crafty folks.

The yard is looking SO SO much better!

Our view across to the neighbors from our chairs in the back (our wine time spot).

While out walking and exploring the neighborhood the other day I saw this adorable little sign outside a gorgeous house and it made me smile.

LOVE this house on our street. Columns make me weak in the knees.

Another house that made me drool. That PORCH!

Quite the entryway, eh?

Sweet Oliver LOVES our mulch. So much that he rolls in it and then runs up to my bed and rolls around in it making it look like I’m planning to plant a garden in there. But look at that face, how can I be mad?

And then there is my “first born”, who takes after his mom and is quite anxious about the move. We go splitsies on these.

And when I got in bed last night I found this book under my pillow with a bookmark it it to this page. I knew immediately it was from my dad who had been at the house working today. So sweet, I need to remember this.

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Renovation Update: Moving In, Paint and Updates!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Well, last night was our first night in our new house… and even though we are still under construction it was nice.  The pups were so excited to play in the yard all evening while we toasted with some wine we got in Napa a few years ago.  For the first time I can kind of see how this is going to work, up until this point I was still having fits of “biggest. mistake. ever.” on and off every day.  But now that the bathroom is being finished and some walls are painted I can FEEL the space and really envision living here. We have SO much work to do over the next few years, but the end result is a picture I can see now (I just have to win the lottery- no sweat!)

Speaking of paint I was thrilled to partner with Benjamin Moore on the color scheme for our house.  Since the ceilings aren’t very high in here I wanted it to feel light and bright and knew I wanted to go GREY! I plan on getting all new pieces for the living room, very much inspired by this room from House Beautiful- whites, greys, black and some beige:

I tested a bunch of my favorite colors- Edgecomb Grey, Classic Grey, Grey Owl and Harbor Grey.  I thought that I would totally go with Edgecomb before testing because I use it so much and it is such a warm light grey/greige.  But when I put it on MY walls it looked way, way beige. Strike #1.  Classic Grey looked too blue. Owl Grey as well. And Harbor Grey too dark. After buying all the testers I was flabbergasted to find not one I liked. So I went out on a limb and tried one more I had never used before, Balboa Mist. And it came out pretty perfect! This color will be on our whole main level and hallways to keep the rooms flowing together.

(clockwise from top left :Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey, Grey Owl, Harbor Grey, Balboa Mist, Classic Grey.)


(In the hallway everything looked SO SO different- example, Edgecomb Grey is the top left swatch and Balboa is the bottom. Edgecomb looks straight up tan. This is why you MUST test colors on multiple walls and look at different times of day!)

Now, no judging because we JUST moved in but here is Balboa on the walls with half the trim painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. Picture with this rug from West Elm (which is in our bedroom right now) and grey sectional and some great black framed vintage chairs….

(clearly, have not primed or painted the new door casing)

(glass door and window are NOT white yet, mantle and moulding are)

I loved our old bedroom color, so I knew I wanted a darker grey in here, but not TOO dark. So I tested three dark greys- Stormy Monday which I loved, but was a shade too dark, Winter Gates which looked purple-ish and San Antonio Grey which was perfect.

(Top: Stormy Monday, Winter Gates Bottom: San Antonio Gray. P.S. How ghetto do our walls look post wallpaper?)

And here is how it came out- love it! Again, not the bedding, rug or lighting we are using, but you get the point.

For the guest room I really wanted light pink. Which is a really tough color because I don’t like it when it’s too sweet or too fleshy. I tested Hushed Hue and And both felt TOO pink.  So I went with Opal, without testing it, which is an off white pink I saw in Joanna Goddard’s bedroom.  I think it’s a smidge too light, but our molding needs to be painted brighter white and then maybe it’ll be nice.

(Top: Melted Ice Cream Bottom:Hushed Hue. They looked so much more pink in person, but maybe I was just being crazy. Not the first time. Or the last.)

Here’s the room done in Benjamin Moore Opal. I think it needs to be one shade darker. I think I will try a patch again of one of the above testers- I wanted to play off the pink in the vintage fabric pillow on the bed and it’s just a bit too light…

(was too tired form moving to even get our early 90′s vacuum cleaner out of the shot)

For the office, which is our smallest bedroom I wanted a moody navy. And I found it right away with Blue Note. Dark with a smidge of green to it it’ll be super dramatic and look great with brass accents.

(Top: Blue Note  Bottom: Mysterious- both look way darker in person)

The only other space I have to do is the bathroom, which I’ve decided shall be Benjamin Moore Space Black (super pigmented and dark) above the beadboard. Look how far it’s come! My vanity, floor and sink all look RIDICULOUS. Love.

Door swing was reversed and I cannot WAIT to paint and see the sconces in. Still deciding on a mirror, art and towel bars etc….

How about my GORGEOUS new marble top from Sygma Stone that was templated and installed so quickly! It’s so perfect, and I really love the American Standard Town Square faucet- it looks modern but classic too, which is exactly the look I’m going for.

Still to come- re-glazing the tub and tile in the shower because it’s nasty, but the tub itself is a nice cast iron job. I’ll be sure to show you the before and afters of that process in case any of you are in the same boat of needing a refresher instead of spending to re-do the whole thing, which is not always necessary!

The best part of all this so far though has been seeing how happy the dogs are playing in their very own yard complete with new fence! :)

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Bathroom Renovation-Before & Plans

Monday, August 13th, 2012

It’s closing day for us on our new house. I am both excited and completely, ridiculously terrified. But I barely have time to even think about it this week as we’ve been frantically planning the first phase of our renovation, which is to redo the only full bath in the house, add a pass through hallway on the main level and do a facelift on the powder room (and thousands of dollars in updates that you won’t see at all, which kills me).  We’ve chosen to work with the Wellbuilt Company on the project and will start demo on Wednesday! It’s alllllllll happening.

But let’s start with the full bath. I am SO lucky to have my dad’s amazing design firm helping me out on this one, as it’s pretty damn complicated. I have already learned that if you can ever avoid moving a toilet, DO.  It’s ridiculously expensive. I can’t even deal with how much furniture I could buy for this place for the cost of moving that one damn toilet, but it has to be done. See this bath has to serve as our master (and a guest bath when we have visitors) until we can save up more for the master suite we plan to add in a year (please, please, please) or two (no, no, no).  And right now it’s TINY.  So we have to expand it into some closet space and move the toilet to accommodate a wide enough vanity that Andrew and I can both use it without a) murdering each other b) me branding him with my curling iron daily and c) store the INSANE amount of crap we both have (the boy likes products almost as much as me).

Here are the quickly snapped before pictures- as you can see it’s actually kind of cute in a vintage way! And since our budget is TIGHT due to said toilet move we have to keep the tile in the shower and the bath tub and have them re-glazed.  Hey, could be worse. At least they are black and white and basic.  I debated cutting out that arch and having it go straight to the ceiling, but now I am going to keep it and perhaps use a flexible ceiling track to have a shower curtain that splits in the middle kind of like drapes.

I actually would have kept the floor too had we not been expanding but since we are making the room bigger we do have to replace it. So down will come the wall tile, wallpaper and up will come the floor.

Here’s a bit of what we plan to do spatially… you see where the toilet was and where it will go and how we are adding about two feet of space for the vanity and swapping the swing of the door.

I went to the fantastic Waterspot showroom to pick out all the things we need for the space and went with almost all American Standard products from the Town Square Collection. My parents were so sweet and gifted me a custom built vanity designed by my dad for the room. I want to use every single inch of space for storage so this is HUGE, and we’ll top it with a Cararra marble top with a large undermount American Standard Studio sink set in it. I am pretty psyched about keeping this space both classic and sleek with a black and white scheme- here is the plan and some notes on what I have chosen:

1. Town Square faucet in chrome  2.Studio sink 3.Countertops in Cararra marble  4. Waterspot carries Visual Comfort and we are using the Bryant Sconces with silver trimmed shades  5. Pondering a mirror like this one from Horchow, or something vintage  6. I’d love a sketch with a little color like this from Kate Long Stephenson 7. White beadboard replacing the tile on the walls  8. Walls painted black (exact color TBD)  9. Glass and chrome knobs from Rejuvenation for the vanity  10. Town Square toilet (who knew I could think a toilet is “pretty”?)  11. The floor is a Cararra basketweave with black dots  12. Town Square bath/shower kit 13. Shower curtain possibility.

Have not thought about a window treatment yet, but I think I’ll do a great print fabric pelmet with a woven roller shade underneath. Or perhaps a sheer roman. One thing at a time….

Here’s an elevation of the vanity area…

Some inspiration:

While i am really psyched to be getting a bathroom designed by me (my very first ever) I am scared. You open walls and who knows what you’ll find.  So everyone cross your fingers and keep checking back to see the progress!

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(Interested in working with us as a sponsor? E-mail erin@eringatesdesign.com)

What’s Old is New…and Fabulous

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I came across the site for Architectural Artifacts in Chicago while perusing a magazine- I finally went onto the site this morning and uncovered a great selection of furniture, architectural elements and accessories from around the world and throughout history. Adding older, worn antiques to your home, especially a new construction home, is a wonderful way to give it depth and weight, not to mention boatloads of character. You don’t want everything to be bright, shiny and new- or all very expensive (or all very cheap, for that matter). The high/low-old/new mix is ESSENTIAL to creating a personalized, rich space that you feel comfortable enough to really LIVE in, but also proud to show off!
Here are some of my finds from the site-enjoy!

Adding an architectural salvage mantle to a new construction home is a great way to add character!! Below are polished iron and limestone ($28k!) mantles


Also, using old doors and gates can really individualize a space- this door below made me swoon, as did this pair of gates!

Putting some modern, new dining chairs around an old table (the top one is an old candy making table from Argentina) can look so special and unique.



This glass and iron cabinet below is something I might give up my first born for. LOVES IT!


Imagine this container rack in the ultimate chef’s kitchen for spices, sugar, flour, etc.

Wooden garden obelisks- amazing.
I wouldn’t mind having this old 1930′s sign in my office! :)


These hanging iron garden chairs are from an ice cream parlor in Argentina! How charming is that back story?