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Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking for ideas

looking for ideas
The house plans have now been submitted for permits.  They are, by no means, final.  Much of the detail (tiles, cabinetry, counters, colours, finishes) has been deliberately left vague in the interest of expediency. It takes a while to get approval from the powers that be, and meanwhile we can start looking into the elements that will have an impact on the way the house looks, but have nothing to do with its safety, structural integrity or building codes.  Gulp.  Other than choosing the replacement carpet for the condo, and one or two sets of curtains, I’ve never had much input to what my living spaces looked like. The peripatetic lifestyle has some advantages, but you soon become used to living with someone else’s taste in furnishings.  As I tell our friends, we know where and how high the radio antenna will be, and what auxiliary antennas we will have, and how the wiring is going to travel between the tower and the radios, but we have not really thought about the bathroom floor, or the kitchen counters, or even the front door. There are so many details in a remodel of this scope; it’s rather intimidating.  I hope we can do all this picking and choosing in a somewhat organised fashion, but so far it’s been haphazard, if not accidental.  

Not gold plated, but might as well be.

For instance, when we were asked about window height in the bathroom, we realized we had to think seriously about the bathtub we wanted.  We even found one on display nearby and tested it  (well, sat in it fully clothed to check for depth and comfort). 
This is not to say we’ve chosen the rest of the bathroom fixtures.  Just the tub. Actually, we found some plumbing fixtures we really liked, but they cost more than the tub.

Beware of bargains!
That very same day, we nearly bought a second hand gas cooktop, double oven and fume hood from the Restore.  It seemed like a good price for that brand, and the oven was virtually unused!  We were just discussing delivery options when our friend M (who coincidentally owns a van and is in the midst of his own major remodelling adventure) just happened to walk by.  We showed him the appliances, and he cautioned us against buying them.  1) We should wait until the kitchen layout is done before buying appliances 2) They will sit in the garage, untested for months.  What if we install them, and they don’t work?  3) We could probably buy better equipment new for nearly the same price, with a warranty (and installation) if we shopped carefully. 

As much as we’d like to make an artistic statement in our home, to keep the costs under control
Eye catching, but all those irregular shapes were hand-cut
the finishes will have to be fairly plain. I would love to use lots of beautiful hand made Motawi tiles, but we’ll have to limit them to accents in order not to break the bank. We’ve been to several tile and stone show rooms, only to stagger out overwhelmed by the choices of even the massed produced options.

How do you even start to pull a room together when the components come from different places? One helpful woman at Green Home Solutions suggested we pick out the big things first, floors, counters, cabinets.  Then work in the smaller details.  

Cabinets??? Floors???  egads. . . . something else to decide. . . .  
I’m beginning to understand the all-white, sleek, minimal look.  It’s easy.  
Look ma, no knobs! (something else we have to decide on. . . )

1 comment:

  1. It may not be a good idea to look at bathrooms in the afternoon. Those spirals first thing in the morning must be difficult to handle when you need navigational help to find the shower.