Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tiling Update

The tile guys have been busy this week installing the entryway tile, laundry cupboard floor tile and grouting the two upstairs bathrooms. It's not complete yet but here are some progress shots:

Black and white "circulos" cement tile going
down in the entryway

Boring but functional laundry floor

Pretty pennies, grouted but not yet cleaned up

Master Shower, floor tile not yet grouted
but subway is done and drying

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Who knew that choosing paint was so very difficult?! I thought it would be challenging, I knew there were many many shades of seemingly very similar shades, but, I wasn't prepared for a) how expensive the samples are (Benjamin Moore have recently stopped doing their 2oz sample pots and instead you have to buy a quart for anywhere between $6.99 upwards depending where you buy it) and b) how different the samples look when you put them on the wall surrounded by very white primer and then again once the whole wall is painted. 

Long story short, after painting little squares all over various walls, we have decided to go very neutral pretty much throughout but especially with the living space downstairs to maintain the "modern Scandinavian" feel from the white tinted floor. Now you may look at the colours below and think they are all the same (my husband certainly did!) but I promise you, on the walls, they are very different! Not wanting to be called boring and go all white, we have chosen a very very pale grey for the walls and crown downstairs - BM Winter White, and a slightly darker light grey for the all the trim including windows, shutters, baseboards etc - BM Paper White (anything to avoid the dreaded beigy magnolia feel of the 90's!).

Paper White OC-55
Winter White OC-21

To add a little interest and to tie in the dark from the steel on the garden doors and the staircase we are painting the kitchen island in Ink Black, which is really more of a dark blue/charcoal. The perimeter cabinets will match the trim in Paper White. More of the kitchen inspiration here.

Ink Black
Upstairs will continue the neutral theme with the Paper White in the hallway and the nursery and a slightly warmer shade - Classic Gray OC-23 for the master bedroom. All the upstairs trim will be White Heron OC-57 (I found the go to White Dove far too yellow).

White Heron
Classic Gray
In the guest room I thought Cement Gray 2112-60 was going to be a winner until I painted it on the walls and it read as almost lavender. So just to be difficult, I decided to neutralise the purple with a 50/50 mix of Balboa Mist OC-27 which worked perfectly.

Balboa Mist
Cement Gray
I am still working on the entryway and powder room colours which is driving me a bit mad. Hopefully it will be sorted soon!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kitchen Cabinet Colours and Hardware

As well as driving myself crazy with paint samples, picking out all the wall colours, I have been trying to select colours for the cabinets in the kitchen… a challenging task when there is nothing at all in the space to look at! 

I love the look of this kitchen with the dark cabinets and brass hardware so we have decided to paint the island dark and keep the perimeter cabinetry on the lighter shade so it's not too overpowering. I love the look of the brass on the dark and have fallen in love with these drawer pulls and knobs from School House Electric but they are so expensive so I'm on the hunt for something similar in a lower price bracket.

SHE "midcentury knob"
SHE "Edgecliff Pulls"

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wood Floor Stains

We have been selecting floor stains. Our inspiration was all based around the Scandinavian, very pale, mat finish, natural wood look. I did a lot of research as to how to achieve this look and came up with many different suggestions all with various reviews and positives and negatives. At the end of the day, we don't want to have to be redoing our floors ever few years and with a baby on the way we aren't kidding ourselves that we are going to be particularly careful with them either. So, an oil based polyurethane finish was suggested. However, I was wary of this as oil based finishes tend to yellow and also have more of a sheen to them, the exact things I was trying to avoid. So our contractor suggested an oil based stain followed by 2 coats of water based poly. This sounded like a better plan.

We chose DriFast's Stain in "white" as it appeared the most natural and didn't bring out the pinkish tones of the oak. Unfortunately we had to do 2 coats as the first didn't absorb evenly so it's a little whiter than planned but still looks great. This photo shows the 2 coasts of stain and first 2 coats of poly. It's now all been covered so the rest of the work can continue and at the very end they will do another 2 coats of poly for extra protection. You can also see the new stairs have been temporarily installed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Master Bath Tiles cont….Herringbone Floor

We spent many hours this week gettin the tile layout for the master bathroom floor just right. It was very tricky to know exactly how it was going to fall at each corner of the room because of all the angles in the herringbone pattern and because this is not a standard rectangular space so there are a few dreaded "outside" corners to work around. The pattern layout affects the look considerably and after laying it in the way we had drawn on the plans everyone agreed it was actually better turned 90 degrees so the "arrows" of the herringbone ran east west rather than north south.

Here's how it was on the plan:

And here's what we ended up doing (LOVE!!):

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Master Bath Tiles

Gregory the tiler has been hard at work this week installing the floor and wall tiles in both the upstairs bathrooms. Here is a first look at the carrara venato marble tiles we chose for the master floor. They were all ordered from where I got a good price and am really happy with the quality.

Shower floor 1x1"mosaic 

Underfloor heating for chilly winter mornings

Layout for the bathroom floor 4x12"tile

Thursday, July 3, 2014


We've been away for a week which is always nerve wracking when you have a renovation going on back home. Being the control freak that I am, I don't like to leave the crew "unsupervised" for too long but this time I was astonished at the progress made whilst we were away. I had a real "WOW" moment when I walked in this morning. The downstairs has been transformed with 99% of the sheetrock installation complete and much of the upstairs is now primed ready for painting. The new wood flooring is also being laid upstairs and many of the ceiling light fixtures have bulbs attached giving a much better sense of the quality of light throughout. It is suddenly getting exciting again and I have a whole new long list of to do's including picking out paint colors.

Looking through to the dining room from the living room