Category Archives: Design

I’m Floored

Get it??? Thanks, I’m here all week.  Try the veal.

Okay, that may be the cheesiest tag-line that I’ve ever come up with.

Today, we made the single quickest decision to date on this project.  Picked out flooring in less than 5 minutes.  In fairness, we’ve known what we wanted for a long, long time so once we discovered it, it was easy to say ‘that one’.

We ended up picking out the Bruce, wide-plank, engineered flooring as seen in the picture above.  On my monitor, it looks a bit dark, but the sample that we have looks amazing.   Why did we go with engineered vs. a finished floor? The cost was more or less the same, but frankly, I want as maintenance free a home as possible and if I can take redoing the floors every 5 years off of my plate, I’m stoked.  Plus, no one has really sold me on why I would do traditional floors over the engineered, so I’ll stick with what will last longest.

We did most of our shopping online, but Craig pointed us to ProSource in San Jose to actually pick out the sample.   We worked with Andy Pommier there.  Andy is very nice and responsive on the phone and that is about all that I found out in the 5 minutes or so that I was there.

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Google SketchUp

Range Hood & Cabinets

I’ve been playing around with Google SketchUp a bit lately.  We are doing our kitchen cabinets and I’m trying to get a feel for the overall look of things.  Our cabinet designer is much more of a pencil to paper type of guy, which is great, but it doesn’t let you quickly modify things to get different looks.  It also becomes hard to get a feel for how things will look at different angles.

Clearly, based on the above example of our range hood & cabinets, I’m no expert yet, but I’m starting to get the hang of things.   I can see how this could get addictive, even for the early stage mock ups of the entire house.  I’m finding that the product, while not entirely intuitive, is fairly robust and flexible in terms of what you can pull off.  Kitchen designers should be all over this.  When you look at some of the more complex examples, it is amazing what can be done.

Pretty sweet, huh?  I’ve got a long way to go.

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Bay Custom Cabinets

We’ve been having a bunch of conversations with Dan O’Bannon of Bay Custom Cabinets lately.  Dan is going to be doing our kitchen, laundry & bathroom cabinets.  So far, we really like him a lot and the designs as outlined above are coming along nicely.

If you’ve seen the pictures of our soon to be kitchen, you know that we are trying to keep things as open and airy as possible.  We are going to be going with a paint grade, but distressed looking white cabinet with a dark gray granite.  We want lots of open shelves and glass cabinet faces.  Possibly something like this, without the island on wheels (dangerous during an earthquake).

Suffice to say, we are really looking forward to Dan’s designs.

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Dan the Window Man

There is something really cool about working with a vendor that is passionate about their product.  Dan Mullins from Windows Express is one of those people.  He is a great guy that offers an excellent product at a very fair price.  More importantly, he really seems to love what he does.  I mentioned before about how that was one of the things that we liked most about Craig.  Dan falls into the same type of person.

So we bought our windows.  Our first real purchase for the house.  We were over budget, but only by about 15%.  Not the end of the world and we think that we can make it up in our cabinet allowance.  If not, we may have to downgrade on the flooring or some of the appliances.  Since appliances seem to have a better ROI were we to sell the house in a few years, we may have to shave a couple of dollars a foot off of our flooring budget.

We ended up getting the wooden Kolbe & Kolbe’s.  We love the way that they look and have friends that also have them and can’t be happier.  Per Dan’s recommendation, we went with a smoked, vinyl clad window in the shower in order to not have to deal with wood rot in a few years.

I went by the house today to check on the status of the demo.  The fireplace has been extracted from the house and there is a huge hole in the wall where it used to be.  Most of the rooms are down to bare studs now.   It is really interesting to see the methodology that has been going into the demo.  They’ve also started to dig up things like the garage foundation and some of the brick patio that was in the back.  This will be done in order to make way for the new foundation that will be poured shortly.  I hope to get more pictures tomorrow.

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SF Chronicle Article

There is a great article in SF Chronicle this weekend on kitchen and bathroom design.  This is stuff that is much higher end then we are going right now, but it is still nice to dream. 

$35,000 for a fridge?  We'd really have to live in the box.

Here is the article

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