Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Cooking???

Our kitchen cabinetry that’s what! Marana Kitchen and Home Design did all of the built in cabinetry on our main floor, including kitchen, island, servery and family room wall unit. On delivery day, there was so much material, it took over three hours to unload the truck. We filled practically the entire main floor of the house with cabinetry, trim and hardware. Our installer, John and his assistant Roger, took about a week to do the initial installation. It was really nice to have someone else doing all the work for a change!

Once the kitchen cabinets were in, Rob installed all the appliances and venting himself. We had bought our appliances back in February 2009 at Goeman's appliances in Mississauga. We bought all new appliances including Subzero fridge, Dacor walloven, warming drawer, 6-burner cooktop and microwave/convection, Bosch dishwasher, Vent-a-Hood fan and LG front load steam washer and dryer in Cherry Red!

Our granite countertops were fabricated and installed by Romar Tile. There is giallo ornamental granite in the kitchen and servery, and a beautiful 9 foot piece of antique brown granite for the mahagony island.

Family Time

We love built-in stuff. Particularly cabinetry. We always wanted a nice wall unit in our family room so now we have one. It has tons of storage (it’s 16 feet wide). In the center of it all will be our new 52” Sharp aquos LED TV. Underneath and hidden from sight will be the home theater equipment. The TV will have Ethernet connection as well. Surround sound will be 5.1 with Paradigm ceiling speakers, center channel and subwoofer. Denon will provide the muscle. Everything has been pre-wired including our outdoor speakers.

Can you tell Rob wrote this post??? The fight over the TV remote will be epic! Not unlike the fight over Lucy’s wish to hire a designer to help her decorate everything!

12 Feet of Heaven!!!

When you see ads for walk-in closet fitters, or DIY type home shows, or just real estate listings, usually the walk-in closet, although it looks big, always looks messy and unkempt. Why is that? Well.....because no matter how organized the closet may be, as long as you can see the stuff, it just doesn't look as nice as it could. So what we did was put doors in front of our walk-in closet system. It's 12 feet long and was installed and customized by Rob. So far..... the in-person reviews have been awesome.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Painting Mania

Rob took on the job of painting the entire house himself. Lucy does not paint! Big savings.... however, a massive amount of work for one person considering he was starting from scratch. Scratch being unprimed drywall, crown moulding, baseboards and wood trim pretty much throughout the entire house.

The dining room and stairway to the second floor both had original wainscoting in stain that we wanted to paint out, which turned out to be a significant time eater.

The results were excellent. We couldn't be happier and below you can view some before and after pictures.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Open Door Surgery

Our dining room before felt a bit cramped at times. There was a big honking radiator under the window and the opening to the living room was off center, small, and had double doors. They were nice doors however, gumwood with leaded glass inserts. We sold them.

So with the radiator and window gone we felt that we needed to do something to open up the room and get some light in there. Rob’s mom had suggested before the reno started to open up the dining room to the living room and that was a really good idea. The changes give us substantially more dining room area and when we have large gatherings we can spill out into the living room, if we have to.

Since we lost the window, the dining room is darker, however we will be painting out the wainscotting, which I think will make it alot brighter. That coupled with the wider opening should do it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Floored!

“Reno heartache and headache to reno joy”

One of the most difficult and important decisions you need to make during a renovation is the flooring. Way back in an older post we showed the wood flooring we were going to put into the Georgian reno. It was prefinished Jatoba with a very dark redish brown finish. When it came time to prepare for installation we had decided that we wanted the boards to run the length of the house, as opposed to across the house. This created our first problem. Various installers told us that we needed to add another layer of subfloor in order to run the boards in our preferred direction as the engineered floor joist system in the new house ran in the same direction. Urgghhh. Call in the troops!

Over 2200 sq ft of 3/8 inch plywood had to be installed in the house. Glued and screwed to the existing floor, in which we had already installed over 2500 floor screws into to prevent squeeking. We had tremendous help from our friends Dennis Santos, Rommel, Dave Falcone and Lino Pessoa. Most of the job was completed over a weekend with Dennis and Rob finishing the upstairs master bedroom on Rob’s birthday! What a gift!

Rob and Jim Mcneil had already picked up 107 boxes of the jatoba hardwood with the help of Stacey and Danny from Superior Towing who brought a flatbed tow truck to pick up the goods. The trip home from the pick up is one we will never forget as we were unable to tie down the boxes of wood to the truck. Luckily not one box fell off. Rob and Jim spent the next few hours hauling the boxes into the house with half of them having to go upstairs. Brutal job.

Next up major disaster. Once our original installer began installing the jatoba it became clear we had a problem. The finish on the ends of the boards were chipping! As well, the installer was not happy with the quality saying that there were too many “bad” boards. He had already installed about 500 square feet by the time we halted and called in the owner of the flooring store. The next day Rusland the owner of AA Floors came in to inspect. To his credit he agreed with our installer and said that the product was not up to the quality it should have been. If we wanted, he would replace it all with new product. Great.... now we get to rip out 500 square feet of bad hardwood!

Decision time. Take a chance on more Jatoba or bail altogether and go in a different direction. In looking at the overall effect of the already installed jatoba, we concluded that it was too dark and the finish wasn’t really what we had envisioned for the house. Others agreed. Some of the professionals we had in to price the installation suggested that we go with unfinished hardwood and finish it “on site”. But what type of wood to go with? Quarter sawn white oak was the resounding response. Hmmm… white oak for White Oak. Coincidence? We think not!

Rusland exchanged the jatoba for the unfinished quarter sawn oak. 4” wide boards of select and better. They picked up the old stuff and delivered the new at no charge. On the advice of our friend Mario Furtado of Marana Kitchens, we hired Greg Slazony and his crew to do the installation and finishing.

The process is this: Install flooring. Then fill and sand. Then stain. Then first coat oil based lacquer. Then buff out. Then second coat oil based lacquer. Then finish interior work on the house including all cabinetry, painting, and trimming. Then buff second coat, and apply top coat of a water based semi gloss sealant.

Choosing the right color for the stain was unnerving. It’s a big decision and you want to get it right. Our kitchen island for example is mahogany finished in a mediumto dark brown, so it needs to look right against the floor color. Once the floor was installed and sanded, Lucy and I went to the house, where Greg and his expert stainer Bogdan layed down what seemed like countless samples swatches of various browns. We narrowed it down to two which were both walnuts with some reddish tones. To set our minds completely at ease we asked our designer Rosi to come in for her opinion. And so it was settled. Natural Walnut.

The floors are now completed to the stage of the second coat of varnish. They are absolutely amazing and we are over the moon with the results! We love it, it’s that simple. Even though it set us back almost a month with all the trouble we had, in the end, we are happy the jatoba was no good.

Next up...... Friday our Kitchen from Marana Kitchens gets delivered and installed. We're pretty excited and we'll keep you posted.

Foyer makeover

Everybody loves before and after shots, so here’s something to chew on. The old house was a bit of a mess with respect to the foyer area. Once inside the front door there was an airlock with another door which probably made sense 70 odd years ago but not anymore. We removed that door and wall (and a small radiator). Once inside the house past the airlock, access to the coat closet was a bit awkward. The closet was cold and drafty as well due to the mail slot location and no heat source.

With the airlock and radiator gone we were able to relocate the opening to the closet. Rommel supplied and installed an airtight mailslot in the small window opening inside the new closet. We retiled the foyer floor inside the front door. Finally our carpenter installed our new closet door but used the original cut glass door hardware to match up with the existing French doors to the living room. We also installed a door light switch and a pot light in the closet so that whenever the closet door is opened the light will come on.