Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step. (Oswald Chambers)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

House After Hilton Head

When we got home from Hilton Head Island last Friday evening, the first thing we did was drive out to the house to see the progress. There was a lot of progress but not too many photo opportunities. It was evening and the light was not good.

First thing we noticed as we drove up was the brick on the garage. Now the outside is complete except for the front door and the sidelights.


We have a house number on the garage.


Second thing we noticed was our new mailbox. This mailbox is heavy metal, so heavy I have to wonder if it could win a fight with the Almena snow plow. Probably not. Fortunately the Almena snow plow is not expected at Oak Haven, so this mailbox should stand all winter.

Jay and I have both started address changes in anticipation of the move.


Inside the door, the compass was partially installed. The sign says 'Please do not walk here.' We didn't.


Above the compass the foyer light fixture was hanging. We only have a few hanging light fixtures in the house and this is the largest. It was exciting to see it up and looking just as beautiful as we hoped it would.


The hardwood floor is down. So are the tile floors and the floors in the basement. More floor pictures will appear when the light is right.


One of the reasons we are building a house is so Jay can have the refrigerator of his dreams. It was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor and I think he's in love.

He asked me to take this picture. I think I may make it his new Facebook header.


That harvest gold wall color in the refrigerator picture is the result of poor light, not the Hammonds having a regression to the 1960s. The walls are actually a beautiful light sandy brown color.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Painting Done

Blogging this house update from Hilton Head Island. The pictures are six days old.

It's beautiful and relaxing here, but I do occasionally think about the finishing being done on the house and wish I could see what is happening.


Driving up last Wednesday we noticed the frame for the driveway and sidewalks.

Friday morning when we checked on the house one last time before leaving, the cement had been poured and was dry enough to walk on.


Hard to get an accurate picture of the paint colors. The wall that runs the length of the house, starting at the breakfast room in front and ending with the dining room in the back, is tricolored.

The top is Pumpkin Spice (an accent color), the chair rail is Soft Chamois (ceiling, trim, and closet color), the bottom is Sandy Brown (the main, default wall color).


The quartersawn oak cabinets stained chestnut go gorgeous with the Pumpkin Spice upper wall. I have loved these colors my whole life and doubt I'll ever get tired of looking at them together. They're trendy right now and will probably look dated in a few years, but that's what old people do - they stick with what they like.

When picking paint, I looked at every orange/tangerine/terra cotta chip there was until I was totally crazy looking at colors. Jay put me out of my indecisive misery by selecting the Pumpkin Spice. It's just perfect for us and goes great with the flooring and the slate compass.


Our other accent color is Kensington Blue, commonly known as a light navy blue. This is how it looks on one bedroom wall. The rest of the bedroom is Sandy Brown. We also have Kensington Blue on the TV wall in the great room, and the short, far wall in the laundry room.


The four season room painted.


The closets are all painted Soft Chamois, our trim color. It is a light antique white.

When we stopped at the house on the way out of town last Friday, the flooring man was there with a truck full of hardwood flooring. He was sanding the subfloor smooth and told us he would be installing flooring this week.

Looking forward to seeing the flooring, counter tops, and light fixtures when we get back.

Also looking forward to Wednesday, October 15 for the closing on my house in the wilds of Almena Township. Long time blog readers know I have enjoyed living there for twenty-three years. And now I'm going to enjoy selling it and moving to Oshtemo Township with Jay. Life is good. Very good.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Garage Door Down and Compass Alignment

Saturday we went out to the house and found the garage door down and two painters who were nervous about us touching something.


The front of the garage that is still unfinished will be bricked before the house is done.


We didn't touch anything and we didn't stay long. It was not a good place for non-painters to be.

We did appreciate the excellent job the painters have done and are doing. After seeing a professional paint job, I don't think I can ever paint by myself again and pretend it's a good job.



On the way home we admired the new Costco store scheduled to open November 1. It is the first Costco in the Kalamazoo area and it's only a few miles from our new home.


Today, Monday, we were back at the new house for a compass meeting with Craig, the flooring guy. Craig drew the outline of the compass on the floor just where we want it installed. Then Craig and Jay used a real compass to determine north so the slate compass will point true. True north is not straight down the hallway.

Side note: Jay does not have a missing arm. Have no idea what happened in that picture to make it look like he does.


Some of the light fixtures have been delivered and are sitting in the garage.


This is the fixture that is going in the front hall with the compass. The shades are made of shell and are so pretty.


Three matching pendant lights are going over the kitchen bar.


Three painters were working today, and where ever we went we seemed to be their way. We did our compass chore and headed home, much to their relief I'm sure.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Garage Door Up and Ceilings Painted

The trip out to the house Wednesday was exciting. I know that's what I almost always say, but it almost always is.


First clue that the garage door is up - a sign in the yard.


Opener and door are visible on the inside of the garage.


Trying to get a picture of the door, but it's going to have to be down to get a good one.


Daughter Heather and Granddaughter Kim were with me and I wanted to show them all the cabinets, but the cabinets and windows were all covered with plastic and the painters were busy painting.

The main level was primed. All the doors were off and in a heap in the middle of the great room. The painters were working and we didn't want to get in the way. Also, we couldn't tell what paint was wet, so we made a quick tour and left.

Some of the ceilings were spray painted in our trim color of Soft Chamois. They're going to use a roller on the walls and a brush on the trim.

We're hoping to see some Pumpkin Spice, Kensington Blue, and Sandy Brown when we go out tomorrow/Saturday.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunny's First Visit to Oak Haven

Jay was out of town for a UC Bearcat football game, so I decided it was time to take Sunny out to see her future new home.


She was very excited and ran around looking the whole place over, inside and outside, like she knew it was something important for her. Or maybe she was looking for the right place to pee. Whatever, she was excited and had a great time.


We have top soil and it's not too difficult to imagine a driveway and grass growing in the yard.


There were few new things to get excited about, although it was obvious people had been working to finish up the trim and the get the cabinets in place.

The lazy susan is enclosed now, but still lacking the final trim. The chair rail is new this trip.


Chair rail in corner of breakfast room.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cabinets and More Cabinets

The Wednesday trip to Oak Haven was so much fun. The cabinets were in place. No hardware yet and no countertops, but in place. The countertop man is coming from Grand Rapids to measure tomorrow.


We extended the kitchen cabinets down one wall of the breakfast room. The lower cabinets are only a foot deep, and the upper are normal depth.

We will probably store our Fiestawear in the glass doors, or maybe not. I have some old dishes I'd love to display. Jay has a totally overcrowded curio cabinet full of interesting things, some of which need to be distributed into alternate display areas so they can be properly admired and enjoyed.

Deciding where to put things when combining two households is a challenging exercise.


Looking down the right side of the kitchen, including the breakfast room cabinets.


Looking down the left side of the kitchen, including Jay's pantry.


The back side of the kitchen that separates the kitchen from the dining room.


Time out from cabinets for a minute. The trim is on the arched window in the four season room.


Laundry room cabinets. There is a base cabinet with a utility sink under the right upper unit. The left upper unit is over the washer and will be open adjustable shelves for our laundry supplies.


The master bath has knotty alder cabinets. That's a linen cabinet on the right.

We talked about having knotty alder in the kitchen, but it came with a warning that the knots are unpredictable and might prevent the hardware from being attached symmetrically. My brain could not be happy with door/drawer handles in random positions, so we limited the knotty alder to the master bath.

Now that I've seen it in a big piece, I'm very glad the whole kitchen isn't done in wood this busy. And the name of our our house is Oak Haven. Not Knotty Alder Haven. We're hiding the knotty alder away in a back room.


The cove molding is up in the bedroom.

Somehow I managed to miss getting a picture of the chair rail in the dining room. Maybe next time.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Wednesday Full of Wows

Behind in my blogging. Four day weeks like last week should not be allowed when there's as much to do as we need to do. Because we're moving in a little over a month!

Our trip to Oak Haven last Wednesday was supposed to be to meet with Graham, the finish man who is going to build the insides of our closets. We were so distracted by all the exciting things going on in the house it was difficult to concentrate on closets.


First thing we got excited about was the appliances in the garage. We spotted them before we ever got out of the car - Jay's dream refrigerator, a stove, and a dishwasher.


Once Jay spotted his pantry, there was no stopping his excitement.


Beautiful, sturdy shelves that pull out. Lots of storage.


Happy man.


Interior doors and trim were up in several places.


Also trim around some of the windows. Graham, who is doing the closet interiors, is also doing the inside trim. To this non-builder person, it appears he's doing a beautiful job.


The half wall around the stairwell has been converted into something nice.


The temporary stairs built for the construction people have been replaced by the base for the oak steps that are going in with the flooring.


There are now French doors going out to the four season room.


Not sure why I took another picture of window trim. Overexcited I guess. Everytime we come out to see what's going on it's looking more and more like a place we want to live. And so far there has been no disappointment with our choices of style or color.


After Graham finished telling us how his ideas for our closets would be better than ours (which we were happy to hear because he knows what he's doing and we don't), we went up to main office to select the grout color for the compass.

Kelli, the amazing lady who helps us know what we want, had the compass on the conference room table and a selection of grout colors. This was a monumental moment in our building process. Jay found his dream slate mosaic compass on an internet site and had it ordered without ever seeing it in person. It's the piece that's going to make our house truly unique and ours, and we've been anxious to make sure it is as beautiful as the internet picture.

In the picture above, there is still a layer of plastic over a quarter section of the compass, but the colors are stunning and beautiful and we couldn't be happier with it.

We picked expresso grout, a dark brown. Kelli approved, so we know it's going to look perfect.

I have observed that technical professionals are either calendar people or map people. Some are both.

I am a calendar person. When I have a project to do I start drawing boxes to represent days or weeks and sketch out a plan timeline. It almost never works out that way because I don't schedule in the unexpected stuff, but that's another story.

Jay is a map person. When he worked in the office next to mine his entire bottom file drawer was nothing but maps to anywhere you might want to go. It was an amazing collection. The slate compass in the foyer is in honor of his mapiness. He doesn't know yet that I will be painting a calendar on the breakfast room wall.