Thursday, December 16, 2004

Nearing Completion - Wallpaper up & Done Stuff

Today, the 15th of December was the planned end date for our project.

We are still painting and cleaning and shuffling things around.The upstairs area has been beautifully and effectively wallpapered by Gypsy and Liz, "Deck the Wall" professionals who gave us a great deal.

The hallway on the top floor between the two bedrooms just became a marvelous castle with white swirly walls above the bleached "Alaska Oak" paneling, and between a matched set of new doors stained to look like light oak, the white bead board closets line the wall opposite the raised texture of the wallpaper.

The new blonde colored Berber style carpet Jeanette picked out is wall-to-wall throughout the top floor of the house which polishes and elevates the feeling to one of intimate security where you and your kids are safe.

The seams that came loose were reglued with seam paste. All the smallest detailing after the carpet was laid, accomplished.

The corner cabinet that Sara Storm painted white and envisioned toile wallpaper decorating it is complete - it is near idyllic as French Country Hobbit has a right to be. It is very feminine, and needs some masculine objects, a bit heavier in feeling and what it evokes.Staging is next.

Julie and Jay have completed installing all the tiles in white - like dentals - and the protective coat on the grout to seal it will be the finishing touch.

The most changed room is the Kitchen without a doubt, with the much lighter shades of yellow on the walls and white trim, and the piece de resistance is the wide old steel 1930's sink that Jay sprayed with commercial grade white enamel, without mistake. Factory white without fail! Jay! Our hero! Of course artist that he is, he wanted to do it again!

The office has made great strides forward and every one loves the curtains, bought on sale at JC Pennies, made in a formal new style of gold metallic lace, in a vertical wave pattern.

The best news is that Rossy was able to complete work on sewing all the curtains before she left for Mexico for Christmas with her daughter, Ariella. Amazing amount of sewing.

Since now is the time to begin to stage the house, sleep is required for accuracy in hanging goodies. Still need two more pieces of curtain decoration and a twin bed, as well as a frame for it.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Spa Feeling for Bathroom - Amazing Transformation

Almost all the walls in the small bungalow we are working to renovate, paint, and clean will be in a lovely gold light yellow, with white trim – except for the bathroom – done with puttycolored brown walls (paperbag perhaps?), with a brownie purplish grey trim. It looks great! It is so modern to go with the tiles around the Jacuzzi in the same colors. It is positively AMAZING what some filling, spackling, sanding, and a fresh layer of paint can do for a small, older bathroom.

Over the bathroom basin we are installing a mirrored 3 light vanity fixture to go with the 1930’s engraved style mirror I picked up from Lowe’s for $34, and framed with a gray picture frame ($24.) to match the grey trim. I replaced that one with the one shown in this photo for about $68.00 and used the other mirror in the kitchen.

Renovation: New 1930's style mirror and mirrored lights, with fresh coat of paper bag brown paint, Seattle, Washington, USA

This toned down grey and brown treatment for the bathroom has a very modern spa feel to it. Coupled with the new light fixtures (which one visitor to the house termed “classy” ha ha!) and a new lighted fan should emphasize the house's many water features - it’s koi pond out front and backyard gazebo housing a large wood hot tub (4 people comfortably). It always feels like you are being gently boiled by some good witch when out in the gazebo soaking after a long day working.

A great rule for staging a house for sale is:

“perfect -- where you look, and where you touch”

in otherwords it is worth your time and effort to detail those places in house where you first look and then are likely to touch. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most likely to be grungy and also are very important when refinishing a house to sell.

Renovation: Mirror from over the sink placed above toilet with an Anthropologie French towel rack

Both men and women are focused on the kitchen and bathroom of the house being livable and usable – upon moving in, and that means immaculately clean and perfect. It is true that smaller places require more time to detail, and small bathrooms are extremely important to detail out with spackle, sanding, and painting. Nothing should draw attention to itself and the focus should be gently directed to the room’s best features – in this case the giant Jacuzzi tub.

One interesting thing I corrected - with this house’s bathroom the light shines directly down on the door showing every bump and surface irregularity. If the door was new or had not much use and fewer levels of paint it would be easy to make it look good, but of course this is not the case here. The solution? Paint the inside of the door brown-grey to go with the trim! It hides the many flaws of the door and still maintains the modern spa appeal.

As part of the spa look we took the old standard mirrored cabinet from over the sink and painted it several layers of semi-gloss pure white. In the back of the cabinet I cut out and placed a piece of the toile wallpaper and set the shelves back into the cabinet, and placed it onto the wall above the toilet. The toile is a sweet visual surprise to anyone opening the cabinet!

What’s next? Painting the wall sizing for the wallpaper in the stairwell and small hallway, where the new bowl shaped African trading bead inspired light fixture illuminates the area in a warm glow. Completing the trim and corners in the last upstairs room.

Bowl shaped lighting fixtures have a certain positive Feng Shi aspect to them, of encouraging freeflowing energy and also wealth, as the bowl is full of light. As the top light fixture in the most private recess of the house, I think it is an excellent choice for many reasons.

Renovation: Jewelry box at the bathroom window Crown Hill Seattle Washington USA

Yesterday we also had a tourist – a woman who works as a children’s advocate who came to see the progress – it is interesting to see that as a project comes closer to completion people can begin to visualize what the additional goodies, like wallpaper will mean to the completed project.

Jeanette also helped keep us focused on the right design path – when we found a lovely nude painting, and spoke briefly about including it as part of the staging she said “what part of French Country Hobbit” is this?” Good point! – it may be perceived as inappropriate by some buyers and it does not suit the mood of the presentation. So we stick to the original design!