Sunday, March 24, 2013

Le Cotage Conversion- Master Shower Power

Tiling is not this fella's favorite thing to do. Rough on the knees and the hands.

 We stayed at $2/ square foot or less for tile.
 So, I had to design our master bath with whatever was available. It was not easy.
I think it turned out pretty nice. Do you think it matches the cottage style?

After five years, I can't even tell you how luxurious it is not to have to share a bathroom with the children anymore. We still don't have a vanity yet (sink cabinet nor mirror), so I haven't actually seen myself for like three weeks.

This is the tiniest window I've ever seen!

In the other house we lived in, if anyone washed dishes, started the dishwasher, washed a load of clothes, or showered, there would not be enough water for another shower. Nothing puts me in a bad mood like not having hot water for my shower! No one was allowed to do anything in the morning before I got home from the gym and showered.

One night here at the cottage, three people had showered, the dishes had just been washed, a load of laundry had just been washed, and the dishwasher was running WHILE I took a lovely HOT shower.

Ever hear of an on-demand water heater or tankless water heater? Ever price one? They're like $1500. No way, right?!

So, we copied Uncle Josh. We got one water heater to feed into another water heater. Mucho cheaper. Mucho showers, and washers, and loads, etc...

Oh... I just realized, I never have shown you guys the downstairs bathroom. Okay, next time!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Le Cotage Conversion- Happy Spring!

 This is Spring in Star Valley. On this particular day, it was unusually foggy, which is my favorite. We have had lovely warm sunshine, gently falling snow, rain, and even some strong wind, which is also unusual for the valley (and NOT my favorite!).The cozy cottage is nestled into it's winter blanket. When the snow finally melts we'll have only weeks to get the yard looking as cozy as the house.
 I'm going to show you the current condition of the kitchen, but I warn you, these shots have not been stylized and I'm not hiding all the unfinished business. This is a working kitchen that is also a work-in-progress!

Here is the wall where the hoosier cabinet will sit. It's going to look so cool! That wood cabinet with the micro on it was our rolling island in the old house. The white pantry is one of three that were in the garage when we bought the place.They are just temporary storage until we can get the real pantries in.(And the hoosier!)
 Sooo, I took the time to make drawings and specific notes for my cabinet builder, to make sure that he would know exactly how I want things. Like the open shelves, for instance. Well, the drawings & notes were in the other room buried under a bunch of other papers while he built the two bottom shelves the wrong length. This is a tiny kitchen, that extra six inches is significant!   ( I am a nightmare client ) So, the two bottom shelves will probably go into the laundry room and I haven't had time to oil the top shelf which is why we're not using it yet. I found an over-the-range hood that I liked ~plain black metal with an exposed chute~ but it's $500. So, we got talking and Jake suggested he make one out of wood and just paint it black. I didn't really like that idea and then I remembered that my husband's repertoire of skills also includes metallurgy. Yes, that IS a real word! So, tell me how much you think it costs for just the guts of a hood fan???
Oh, did you notice the butcher-block top? We were going to go with an end-grain style, but do you know how much TIME it takes to cut, sand, glue, clamp, sand, glue, clamp, sand, glue, clamp, and sand again dozens of pieces of maple? 

So, and I quoth, "This is just temporarily permanent."  I gave a lot of thought to those words. That's pretty much an impossibility. It is still beautiful, tho, and serves its purpose! On the left of the fridge, you can see more temporary (not at all permanent) pantries. The big white one was actually the school cabinet. The children like seeing it filled with food instead of school stuff! We will have built-ins all the way from the fridge to the corner; some pantry cabinets, bookshelves, a desk in the corner, and the awesome plan for the t.v!  Also, in the future: a new table & chairs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Le Cotage Conversion- Sackcrete and Other Such Things

One of the most important parts of a home, for me, is the kitchen, which was one of the time investments we were making prior to our dead-line. (And also one of the things I absolutely stomped my feet about having before we lived there.) The children also helped a lot with this, mostly with sanding. I would work at the cottage during the day and then a couple of hours in the evening at the wood-shop. I learned to put together face-frames and run things through the 4-foot wide drum sander. Jake told me I could put the hinges on the doors. I asked if it was hard to do. He said, "Well, your daughters do it." Ha haaaa...

Thanks to funding from extended family we were able to order our counter-top material! ***Wahoo*** This is called solid-surface which is the same material as Corian. Jake is the only certified solid-surface fabricator in the valley. I had to pick these from  >tiny<  sample pictures on the computer, but they turned out to be perfect. For the kitchen, I wanted something as close to concrete as possible. Bingo! For the hoosier, I wanted something like granite. This is probably as close as you could get in this material. The best thing? These turned out to be on sale and saved us quite a bit. THAT NEVER HAPPENS when I pick stuff for a house!

Here is a close look at the doors that Jake designed for the cabinets. I have always loved Craftsman style homes and this was actually one thing we both agreed on. THAT HARDLY EVER HAPPENS.


Here, the cabinets are waiting in the show-room for their transfer to their new home.  (Actually, I guess they were waiting for Jake's brother to be available to help heft them over.) Thanks, Daniel!

Porter drew straws and won. 

Yep. He's busy helping with the install.

Another shocking occurance: the stainless steel sink was cheaper than the one that joins seamlessly with the solid-surface counters. It was actually way cheaper than either of us expected.

Jake's dad was absolutely floored that I would pick stainless over seamless but I have always loved stainless and I know how HARD my family is on sinks!

When Jake said to keep the cost of the faucet under $200, I was so afraid I'd have to get something I hated, but this one was on sale at a home-everything-store. Happy day! The removable spout is magnetized. It does shower or stream.


You would never regret having a faucet like this.

Bringing in the new fridge!
Rylee is holding the handles. Did you know they just snap off? Uncle Dan did, thankfully. I dread to think the ideas they'd have come up with to get that thing to fit through the door. Whew.

Coley was the first to cook in the new kitchen. Gas stove!!! It's been YEARS. Oh how I've missed you!

The moving in begins bit by bit.

This is the front entry-way. It was added to the house later and for some reason, slanted steeply away from the house. Jake started to fill it in to make it level and get it ready for tile. Then, he ran out of...   um... what's it called, again? Uh...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Le Cotage Conversion-The Three Most Productive Weeks of My Life

I apologize for not posting anything for such a long time. We set ourselves a dead-line by informing our landlords that we would moving at the beginning of March. So, for three weeks we worked 10-12 hour days to get the cottage as livable as possible. We finished hanging dry-wall downstairs and I taped and mudded while Jake worked on other stuff as well as on actual work-related projects. I even learned to do texturing so that Jake could continue on things that only he can do. Sadly, there are no pictures of me learning this new skill! My first shot at texturing, I was embarrassingly slow because I was being all artistic about it. It took me hours to do a six-foot section of wall, of which I was feeling very proud, until my husband came in looking like he was in pain. Clearly, I had to step it up. So, the next day I was bound and determined and I got all three rooms done in one day!

That dried overnight and then we had another painting party. Here goes:

In the morning, Jake sprayed primer. He even painted the floor. He thought it was best not to put any kind of floor covering down until we know for sure that the water seepage has been taken care of. We'll see what happens when the many cubic feet of snow become gallons of water!

That afternoon we popped open the funnest array of colors ever. This is in the boys' room.

This is also in the boys' room. Morgan wanted a red wall.

This is in the girls' room. I love this blue!

Porter the designer. He gets just like me. He has visions in his head and wants what he wants. Ugh.

My little Harris. Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

This boy can sure stretch paint.

Rylee invited a friend!

He loads it up and then shakes it.

Hi Becka!

This is my good friend, Bree. She's so wonderful. She not only tackled cutting in corners with my very rough texture but also brought us full dinners more than once! Thank you, Bree, and Brenda, and Carol, and Kathi, and Deanne for thinking of my family and helping us out with meals!

Rylee took this. She left space for some inspirational words. Any ideas?

Now, the part I really love!
I even let the children help. *gULp*
Made a stencil to dress up the girly room.
Kiki's having fun!
Porter's wings!
Learning to make clouds. They also want a chalkboard and a magnetic board.
Rylee decided to decorate their closet. I'll have to snap a photo of the finished flower later.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE PAINTING?
Good day to you, my fellow humans!
Oh yeah, on top of constructing a house, I had to gather boxes for the move. The children started packing while I worked. Harris used three boxes to pack Scar and all of Scar's family and stuff. AND labeled the box. What a good boy. 

Stay tuned for more!