06 May 2010

On a Lighter Note...

The last stone to go up outside was on the columns, and they're finally finished:

It looks like a whole different house.

About half of the lighting went up today, but since the painters are still touching up, a lot of the fixtures are wrapped in plastic. One that isn't covered up is the bunny room fixture:

Another is the exercise room fan:

Not technically lights, but the solar tubes were finally hooked up today.

Solar tubes (also known as "sun tunnels") are kind of like mini-skylights, with shiny flexible tubes that reflect the light down into the room through reflectors that amplify the light. When light is coming through them, they look a bit like cheesy fluorescent lights, but they're so much better (and greener) than that. The kitchen also has nine recessed lights, but we shouldn't ever need to use them during the day.

Moving on to plumbing...the master bathtub finally went in, too.

It's still huge...but it fits the space really well.

The plumber switched the shower faucets. The one that was in here yesterday is now in the back bath where it belongs, and this is the correct one (the same style -- Kohler Fairfax -- but chrome, not satin nickel).

Like so many things, we spent way too much time thinking about bathroom vent fans. They're usually so ugly, and the ones that have a built-in light tend to be even uglier. We did find some decent ones, though, like this combination unit (which we got for the same bathroom):

Yes -- there's really a vent fan in there! I think it sucks the exhaust in between the white glass shade and the chrome base. (We also found and are using vents that are hidden in recessed lights, as well as recessed fan lights with humidity sensors to turn on and off automatically.)

We also went through a lot of options for the mudroom pedestal sink and finally ended up getting a really inexpensive one from Lowe's that looks so much nicer than a lot of the "fancier" ones we saw. Here it is:

This is the only sink faucet you'll see for a while -- the others are waiting on the counters, which are waiting on the sinks -- but when the others arrive, you may notice a pattern. All of our faucets are single-lever style. We have been warned that this decision is a mistake, as apparently all the cool kids get wide-set faucets, but I find single levers so much easier to use (especially when you're using an unfamiliar faucet, and getting the hot-cold balance just right is tough with two knobs/levers). So don't judge our choices; we're being good hosts.

Now that you've seen so many finished surfaces, it's time for a reminder that there's tons of work yet to be done. This is the half-wall separating the kitchen from the dining area, which will be topped off with a 16" wide raised bar (and continues around the corner with a 12" wide bar ).

This week R asked us, out of the blue, what kind of brackets we wanted to support the granite. We didn't know there would be brackets, and since the other end of the bar faces the front door, we weren't excited about any kind of brackets. R considered some kind of hidden configuration that ties into the cabinets on the other side of the wall (I'm still not sure how that would work), but that would have to have happened before the cabinets were installed. It was looking like clunky wooden brackets were the only option, but then Steve went online and found a do-it-yourself website that suggested these simple metal supports...and within hours, the wall was ready for granite.

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