As our house gets closer to complete, and the final touches are put on, I really appreciate all of the small things.
I love these door handles. They’re solid feeling and operate smoothly. They have a certain industrial or commercial look yet are still refined.
Look at this corner detail. I didn’t “get it” at first but when I studied it, the Escher-like nature popped out. This corner is an inside corner on top where the panels meet, but it transitions seamlessly to an outside corner where the windows meet.
Check out how the baseboards interact with the windows. They transition perfectly from baseboards for the wall to an “apron” for the window emphasizing the floor to ceiling effect.
Finally (but not even close to all there is – just the limits of what I’m willing to type today), there’s this detail of how the baseboard wraps around the built-in cabinetry. I’m sure that 99% of builders would have just ended the trim before it turned the corner. But our carpenters created this little detail that oozes craftsmanship!
Lighting fixtures have been going in everywhere! We had purchased them months ago (sight unseen over Lumens) so I had a fair amount of anxiety about how they’d look in the house. Fortunately, they have been solid selections with two exceptions.
We had selected Forecast Lisa Flushmount lights for our bathrooms and utility rooms, but they looked too large and chunky for the house. On the other hand, we really liked the Sonneman Saturns that we had selected for the bedrooms so we swapped out the Lisa lights for the Saturns. They create a nice little halo on the ceiling above the light and look very high quality in an understated way.
We also installed Tech Lighting Kisdon Wall Sconces at the end of a hallway which we ended up not loving. The fixture is actually very attractive but we felt the sconces looked out of place among all of the down lights, and having them on the same dimmer switch felt like a mistake. We did improve it greatly by turning them upside down which was the way we intended for them to be installed (but neglected to note it for the electrician).
Setting those two fixtures aside, we are extremely happy with our other selections. They add a touch of class, warmth, and/or whimsy throughout the house. And the fact that they are all on dimmers makes for a dizzying combination of lighting options. I can really appreciate the Lutron scene concept after toying around with the lights and dimmers.
Here’s an example of just the foyer. From this one small vantage point, we have the option of low voltage lighting against the wall, a Nelson pendant, a chandelier (not yet installed), a hanging light in the parlor, more low voltage in the parlor, and a glowing light from the entry way.
The final finish went on the floors over the weekend so we got a peek at the floors without layers of floor protection. They look great!
Very natural, showing off the grain and variation of wood. When we began the renovation, we were thinking either a dark wenge or a light maple floor. We would never have guessed white oak, much less keeping it natural. We opted for white oak because it had the best combination of durability and “stainability”. But when Joseph (our hardwood floor guy) put down the planks, we really loved it as it was.
It goes extremely well with the walnut cabinetry and the black steel. I think the dark wenge would have blended too much into the walnut and steel, whereas this light color really provides a nice contrast.
I never thought I’d get so excited about appliances! But they look great and surely fill a big gaping hole in the kitchen. The pictures really don’t do justice to the the sturdiness of the Dacor appliances. In real life, they are obviously well crafted, solid, and just plain cool. All of the protection on the appliances and floor and windows don’t help either. But one thing you learn quickly building a home – see what it can/will be, not what it is.
Likewise, the library table/shelf went up as well. The table/shelf stand arrived a few days ago and looked great, but everything looks so much better assembled. Again, the pictures don’t do it justice (and it doesn’t help that they are crappy pictures). It’s hard to see the reveal detail of the counter top sitting over the legs. Or how well and tightly assembled the shelves are – a real testament to the carpenters on the job. They’ve been able to make everything look amazing.
Here’s a closer view from an angle where the overlay is more apparent. Sadly, it’s still hard to see the reveal. But it’s there. And it’s cool. I’ll have to get some more pictures in better lighting.
We’re selecting grilles for the HVAC supplies and returns. On one hand, that’s a good thing because we’re getting pretty far along to be having that discussion. On the other (smaller) hand, it’s tough because I’m torn between three very different options.
There are standard grilles that you can find at the big box stores – the metal ones, painted white, that rust, chip, and dent. These can be an eyesore but they have the advantage of being inexpensive. And at this stage in our renovation, inexpensive is good. Especially if it can be swapped out easily at a later date. They also have the advantage of being so common (and white against our white walls) that they will fade into the background.
The next option are Whittington modern solid brass floor registers which are solid, heavy duty grilles that look modern and minimal. At $20 to $50 depending on size, they’re a lot more expensive than standard grilles but don’t break the bank.
The last option are kul grilles which are a real modern, minimalist statement. They look great, but with prices starting at $40, they are literally double the Whittington option. On a house our size, that adds up to quite a number. But again, it’s a super attractive option and our house has been an exercise in poor restraint.