it is the last day of december 2010. it has been quite the journey, buying the piece of land, knocking down the health hazard of a home, working with and designing the home, hiring a builder, making selections, watching and monitoring the build. the year went by fast. it was fun, frustrating and extremely fulfilling to put this house together. blogging was both therapeutic and also a good way to keep track of progress of a home. thanks to our architect StudioMet (http://www.studiomet.net/) for designing a wonderful, efficient, nod to the mi-century modern past home. su nguyen and steve andrews really came through with a beautiful design. thanks to our builder fish & lyons (http://www.fishlyons.com/) (www.fishbuilders.net) for working with us and allowing us to enjoy the ride as well. we can't wait to work on project #2...coming soon. did someone say butterly roof?
Friday, December 31, 2010
CLICK ON ABOVE PHOTOS FOR GALLERY. Above and linke photos courtesy of and Copyright by Stonewood Studio - Photos taken by Fulton Davenport
one of our favorite features of our home is all the custom millwork throughout the house. we chose a quartersawn walnut for all the millwork in the bathrooms and kitchen. finished with a light coat of poly. the natural grains of the walnut really shines through. the millwork was done by stonewood studios, aka sandy kay. sandy has done some amazing custom work for some of houston's most amazing modern homes - i'm a big fan, and was glad to have him work on our cabinets. the dovetail joints, attentional to detail, and use of blum drawer hardware and hafele tabs really set these cabinets above and beyond our expectations.
Friday, July 16, 2010
the polycarbonate panels have been installed on the carport, fireplace face plate has been installed (though wrong model...so goes the story of construction sometime) and the mailbox and doorbell have arrived. all the personal touches are nicely going in. we've got sod next on the list and the never ending list of punch-out items. slowly but surely this house is coming together. we've had some friends come through, and even several drive by - and the consensus so far is that this would be one sweet party house. that is music to my ears, since our initial design idea was to create an inviting space for small to large gatherings. with a spacious living room, a huge off living room deck and an intimate patio space on the otherside of the home...a wondering guest easily float around. can't wait to see how the home works with a party.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This week saw the installation of the plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware. these usually are installed later in the "game" since somehow these shiny things walk away pretty easily from the job site. the installation of the hafele tab hardware shows the detail of the mill work. each tab is slightly recessed so that the hardware sits flush with the mill work. the front door got a healthy dose of stain and poly. still mulling on the stain color...will have to give it some time to sink in. we will shortly have the master tub, fireplace and gate panels installed soon...so stay tuned.
Friday, July 2, 2010
its in the small things, the details, that make something truly interesting. with this house, there are several things that are incorporated that have made this process a joy. in the photo above the interior fire sprinkler actually uses a real bell. in this modern age, who in the world uses a real bell instead of a digital horn? additionally, there are door stops, walnut cabinetry and plumbing hardware that all have their own features. as these things are installed, the home is slowly being put together. the weather has not been very cooperative. with so much rain, the exterior sod and landscaping have taken a back seat. instead, the finished cabinetry is going in the kitchen and bath. this quarter-sawn walnut looks amazing. anyone agree? carpet has been on the agenda, and it is not an easy choice. berber? frieze? loop? who knows!!! let the fun/confusion keep rolling!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The finishes are starting to be installed. cabinet fronts, sinks, plumbing hardware, disposals, lights, etc. there are countless details yet to be filled in, so the list is long, but it is fun seeing every little thing being crossed off the list. at this stage you always start to wonder how all your selections will work. will it be cohesive, will it be an eclectic mix, or will it look like a mistake. we were going for a timeless modern. the mid-century design and architecture was the base we started with, and we have pulled a few things from that era directly and indirectly. obviously the large beams that run in to out and the George Nelson bubble lamp are all the direct take-offs from the past. the large courtyard home, open floor plan were things taken indirectly.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
the estimate is 4 weeks....to completion. it sure looks like it will take longer, but everyday something is changing. this past few days, the stonework has been getting a fresh layer of grout. wow, the slate, blue stone, carrara marble, and glass tiles look great when hit with a crisp grout line. i will get photos of these up soon. also this week, the sprinklers have been laid and awaiting inspection on Monday. additionally, the floor guys are back. did i mention that the air conditioner is working? not too soon. the floors required about a week to adjust to the cool a/c air, to ensure that the moisture content is low enough to sand and stain. we are hitting the floors with a dark ebony finish. almost black at low light levels. death star is the inspiration :) = just take a view of a star wars movie....you'll see. we hit the floor with some alcohol to pop the grains on the 5" solid northern white oak floors. with the first coat of stain, the floors already look amazing...with room to improve. of course, with all the stain and paint, the house is a deathtrap for the oxygen dependent. oh well...i guess it requires fewer brain cells anyways to be building a home in this economy. one thing to note as well, we had two agents stop by the home to get their input as to sale price, etc. we will touch base with them later, but their initial comments were highly favorable.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
new addition to the house...the gate for the carport. this will provide separation for the detached garage. the gate is split in a 70/30 configuration. the larger portion will usually remain closed, while the smaller part of the gate will provide the main access when walking through this area. the gate will probably remain closed most of the time, but occasionally we will probably open it up to create a huge pass through for gatherings, parties, etc. the gate is made of steel, and will have polycarbonate panels installed vertically. also making an appearance is the large format glass tiles in the kitchen. enjoy!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
CLICK ON ABOVE PHOTOS FOR GALLERY
every time i visit the home something is new. this time around, the counter tops were being installed. i went to the slab yard about two weeks back. searched approximately 5 yards looking for not only a beautiful piece of stone, but also one that would fit our home. we wanted to try to keep as many surfaces to be one piece...since the kitchen bar area and master bath were about 10' long...it required a slab that was greater than 120" long. not an easy task. those that fit the size, didn't fit the style, etc. finally found this venatino carrara marble up in hempstead area. we are using this in the kitchen and master bath. the powder room gets a little extra kick with some Calcutta oro marble, while the utility room, study bath, and jack/jill bath are getting honed absolute black granite. notice the mitred edges in the kitchen - cool feature that is accomplished with 45 degree cuts on each slab, and joined together with epoxy/adhesive. smooooooth..
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
trying to wrap up the outside. we have graded the site, and now working on installing the deck. the deck was not originally planned, however, due to the elevation change of the main house foundation, it made for an 18" difference between the home and grade. originally we were just going to have large concrete slabs, but due to this change we are installing a deck. we looked at composite decking materials, pressure treated lumber, but at the end of the day we decided to go with ipe. a Brazilian hardwood, that if went untreated could last for 50+ years without treatment. installation is hard work, as ipe is one of the hardest woods in the world. these carpenters went through several drill bits and blades to install this deck.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
the exterior of the home is on the fast track now. currently the fence is being installed. we opted for an 8 feet fence, hung with horizonal cedar boards to give it a slightly different/modern look. fences are always a necessary evil here in houston. everyone has them, some share fences and some have their own fences back to back. luckily we were able to convince our neighbors in the back to tear down their ugly rotted fence, and to split the cost for the rear portion of the fence. thus saving us half of the 80 linear feet of fence. thank goodness we have good neighbors. next up will be more interior work, followed by the ipe decking!
Monday, May 10, 2010
the tile is being installed, and it is a mix of black ash slate, steel gray slate, oceanic bluestone, and carrara marble. we are sticking to rectangular pieces installed on half, and also a cool planking pattern in the entry and powder room. things are starting to be tied up nicely, and seeing the finish details coming together is exciting. 10 decision down, now only 550 more decisions before the home is finalized. keep it going!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
the finished kitchen cabinets are being installed. these cabs were designed and milled by stonewood studios. can't wait to see them fully installed. the installation slowly brings the scale of this room to sight...only a few more weeks till we are there. tile flooring is also in the works, the pics show the utility/laundry room. also installed are the tongue and groove cedar ceiling in the entry and carport area. this will be stained a medium/dark color. hopefully this project keeps rolling...anyone want to get in with me on another one?
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Finish work is happening inside the home. the trim and finish carpenters are working on the built-in shelving and closet casework. the carpenter is amazing, and is building and customizing all our closets. the study will have a wall of book shelves with built-in areas for stereo equipment and tv. the living room will have a floating walnut cabinet that is over 7' long. also, the laundry room lower and upper cabs and the secondary bedroom built-in dresser are looking amazing as well. with all the great progress, we had a brief set-back yesterday. we had some douche-bags break into the home and stole some plywood and materials. nothing worth too much, but they did destroy the framing of the doors, which need to be replaced. oh well, the driveway are awaiting some inspection before the pour, so it is just a holding pattern for now until it dries up (which won't happen until next week due to forecasted rain).....
Thursday, April 15, 2010
time to beautify the site. the removal of the tree guard, and digging up the old driveway, the site now looks like a war zone. the flatwork forms are done, and after some tweaking, the rebar has gone down. hopefully, this thought of a landing strip-type driveway in my mind works well in reality. with the weather cooperating, the concrete will be poured sometime early next. additionally, the interior casework is going in. all the built-in closet casework is going in.