Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pics of a home chapel sent by a reader...


I thought I'd pass on (after asking her permission) some pictures of a wonderful home chapel sent by Ecclesia Domestica reader Gabrielle. Gabrielle notes that all of the furnishings are from England (she is Anglican, or traditional Episcopal) and everything in the chapel is circa 1880-1900, or a little thereafter. The cross is dated 1879 and the lecturn is 1885. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worth a view...


This wonderfully produced clip is worth a few minutes of your time as we wind down the presidential campaign. It's a great reminder, even a wake-up call, that there are some issues that transcend all others.

I would only edit the last statement to say, "Inform your conscience with the truth, then vote your conscience." :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Design Updates: Volume 4


Again, sorry for the low posting regularity! It's busy as usual, but that does include lots of selecting, selecting, selecting things for the house. This usually involves Molly and I pawning off our wonderful kids on an unsuspecting relative and then furiously driving around to different stores trying to cross some things off our list. So here's a data dump.

One of the materials we've added to our interior "palette" is slate, as there were a lot of suggestions from my brother for "slate gray" color materials. Well, nothing can be more "slate gray" than slate, but the key is cost. Slate is a natural stone, so typically it can cost more than man-made materials, but with our extensive checking we found some good prices. So here's where we are using it:

Kitchen Backsplash:

Tumbled slate wall mosaic blend (Home Depot)
1"x1" tiles mounted on 12"x12" mesh

Master Bath Floor:

Multi Classic Slate (Home Depot) - only $1.49 per square foot!
12"x12" tiles

Master Bath Tub Surround:

Slate mosaic tile blend (Home Depot)
2"x2" tiles mounted on 12"x12" mesh

In the master bathroom, initially the walls will just be painted white to save cost, but the end vision (as suggested by my brother and we loved the idea) is to have a warm beige mosaic tile covering all of the walls (to be installed by me). Mosaic tile is very expensive, so keeping it out of the initial home budget is necessary for such a large scale use. I'll install it later, and the slate will then provide a nice contrast on the floor. In terms of the walls, this is a pic that my brother used when suggesting this idea:

First Level Wood Floor:

For the wood floor on the first level, my brother suggested a dark brown (rather than the lighter wood he initially showed on the rendering of the family room interior) because it has a way of visually grounding the home (plus, lighter wood is so common and widely used, so dark wood is an interesting and different tone). Here were his suggested tones (click to enlarge):
With this suggestion in mind, we're looking at this low-cost engineered wood floor option from Lumber Liquidators ($3.99 per square foot, with a "handscraped" finish that would add a more rustic look). We've gotten samples and like it.

And with the tone of the wood floor selected, this allowed better coordination with kitchen cabinet colors. We ditched the "medium brown" tone cabinets in the kitchen because the tone will be similar to the floor, but almost assuredly just slightly different. So the cabinets and the floor would clash. With a dark floor, my brother suggested a white or blond wood kitchen cabinet tone, such as in these example pics he provided (click to enlarge):
Molly has actually always liked the idea of a white kitchen, and my brother's suggestion gave the go-ahead to make it a reality, so we're going with the Adel White finish in our IKEA kitchen.
Laundry Room:

As we're always looking to contain cost, we've decided to do away with the idea of having built-in cabinets in the laundry room. Instead, Molly is going with this IKEA system that is really cool. If there's one thing IKEA is good at, it's design for organization. An example pic of their laundry system is below.

Upper Floor Bedrooms (Flooring):

Did I mention we're going with carpet tiles in the upstairs bedrooms, that we'll install ourselves? Flor brand carpet tiles are the best and have the most options. The tiles aren't cheap, but the labor cost will be zero, and whenever our kids next spill a can of paint on the carpet (I say "next" because this has already happened in our current house multiple times) we can just take up the affected tiles and replace them. Piece of cake.

Here the floor in the boys' bedroom (shown in this pic being used as an area rug):

And here's the floor in the nursery (a nice, gender-neutral green tone pattern :-). Again, here it is shown being used in an area rug application:

We still are thinking on the girls' room and the Master Bedroom; we've ordered samples from Flor to help us decide.

Well, maybe I'll stop here for now. There's lots more I wish I could show you, but there are not accessible pictures that I could find. For instance, not everything in the Home Depot store is shown on their web site. We've chosen a backsplash and flooring for the girls' bathroom, flooring for the boys' bathroom, flooring for the laundry room, flooring for the first level bathroom, and some other stuff! Sadly, no pics, but you'll see it eventually.

There's lots more to come soon, including my personal favorite: lighting!