My Farmhouse

October 29, 2014

My Laundry & Mud Room - Part 2

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When designing our home, it made sense to use pocket doors in a few rooms. The laundry room was one. A door hanging into the hallway wouldn't be ideal and if it went the other direction, it'd be blocking my access to the laundry chute. So, a pocket door it was.

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A huge favorite feature in the room is the laundry chute, which connects from the boy's bathroom upstairs. My brother and sister-in-law's beautiful old home has an amazing multi-floor laundry chute system and I always admired it. Turns out adding a chute was really simple, as it was designed into the plans and I'm so glad it was something I made sure to have. Although laundry chutes are found in so many old homes, I'm really surprised it's a feature that's not more frequently added into new homes. For us, it's simply an opening in the floor, to the laundry room below.

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When I was thinking about counter material, I wanted something that was industrial, as I really liked the thought of mixing an industrial surface with the beauty of the wallpaper and softness of the beadboard tile. I went to a local metal fabricator to talk about options. There were many, and my favorite was galvanized steel. I really like that galvanized steel actually has an almost soft appearance, as opposed to something like stainless steel. The fabricator advised against using it, as they were concerned it may rust. With my experiences with all of the galvanized materials I've encountered on farms for many years now, I've not seen that, so I was willing to take a chance. It's been wonderful and I don't foresee any issues. The custom counters were extremely reasonable - coming in around $400.

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I made sure to add in a nice big sink for soaking. I added in a spray nozzle, as it makes it so nice for cleaning out the sink.

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I kept the cabinets and hardware consistent with what was used throughout the house, as I think it's important to do, so the rooms don't feel choppy. It's one of those design elements that you don't consciously think about when you are in a home, but affects the feel without you even knowing why.

A really convenient feature is the vacuum pan adjacent to the door. The boys track in so much dirt from the fields and I love being able to sweep it all right into the pan. To turn it on, I just click the little switch with my foot and it sucks up all the dirt. I think it's magic.

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I opted for white hex tile on the floors in this room, with a nice dark grout. Dark grout is key here. I love the old-fashioned look of it and how it helps to show each and every little hex, but it's also really hard working. It scrubs right up.

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The walls are covered in beautiful Dirk Elliot beadboard tile, tile base trim and tile cap. I can't tell you how many times I've seen mud splattered on the walls and it's such a nice feeling to be able to just wipe it right off. Dirk designed the cap just for this room, as well as designed the tile layout. They now offer the tile cap for sale, in addition to all of their stunning tile, including the beadboard tile that was used throughout the room.

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Although the tile is barely visible behind the washer and dryer, I still opted to have the tile fully installed there, all the way to the floor. Even though I only see brief glimpses of the tile behind there, it was a really nice way to finish off the room. It makes it feel complete. And although I opted for a dark grout on the floor, to call out each hex shape, I opted to keep the grout on the walls as close to the tile color as possible, so it sort of just whispers. It's softer that way.

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This is my favorite room in the whole house.

You can read the first part of my Laundry & Mud Room post here.

Wallpaper: Wallflowers, Spokane, WA

Farm Painting: Forget Me Not, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Small Basket near window: Funky Junk Jennifer, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Towels: Walmart

Washer & Dryer: Bosch

Large Laundry Chute Basket: Silver Suitcase, via Roost, Spokane, WA

Wooden Box: Funky Junk Hollie, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Cowboy Boots: Forget Me Not, Sandpoint, ID

Entryway Rug: Ikea

Countertops: Fabricated by Carlson Sheet Metal, Spokane, WA

Beadboard Wall Tile, Tile Trim, and Tile Design: Dirk Elliot Tile, Spokane, WA

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

 

December 23, 2012

The Holiday Spice Drawer

Part of the sweetness of Christmastime for me is making my everyday spaces festive. The places I spend a lot of time and where some may find drudgery. Like the laundry room, pantry, and my kitchen.

My spice drawer sits nestled in the island of my kitchen, amid many other drawers that make up what I call my Baking Center.

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Recently, I relabelled all of my spice jars and alphabetized them, which surprisingly I'd never done until now. Let me tell you, I love being able to find the spices I want quickly.

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And I added in a variety of holiday sprinkles too. Now they're easily accessed right where we're doing all of our baking. But most importantly, they make me very happy every time I open the drawer. Merry Christmas!, they seem to sing.

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Sources:

Spice Jars: Cost Plus World Market

Labels: Martha Stewart for Staples

Powdered Sugar Shaker: Ikea

Sprinkle Vessels (Vintage diner sugar packet holders): Silver Suitcase Antiques, Spokane, WA

Red Ceramic Spoons: Crate & Barrel

White Ceramic Spoon: Daiso

Holiday Sprinkles: Bake It Pretty

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April 26, 2012

My Laundry & Mud Room

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I'm a big believer in wallpaper in the laundry room. I think it adds a happiness to the room and makes me want to be in there. Good thing, because we go through a lot of laundry each week!

Because I'm short, I needed to keep the counters as low as possible. Rather than build a countertop over the washer and dryer, I opted to simply use the tops of the washer and dryer as counter space. It works great.

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The shelf on the left (shown above) doubles as a hanging rack for freshly ironed clothing. I can iron and hang each piece as I go along. When I'm done, I take the clothing off the hanging bar and into the closets where they belong. It also works really well for hanging items I need to air dry. The shelf is really high, so it's not practical to store things on top. I'm on the lookout for just the right decorative piece to place there at some point.

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The shelves on the right began with a mistake. When the cabinet installers hung what was supposed to be the only shelf on that wall, they hung it too high, as I'd be unable to reach any laundry products up there. Rather than have the shelf removed, and have wallpaper damage, I had them hang another shelf, just below. I had originally planned on hanging artwork above the lower shelf, but now just use the higher shelf to hold rotating art.

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The room doubles as a mudroom, as it's the entryway from the garage.

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I made the bench out of an old wooden box I found at the Funky Junk antiques show. I use a standard pillow and pillowcase as the cushion.

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Just to the left of the bench is a big closet which holds coats, shoes, hats, gloves, and the ironing board.

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And to the left of that is the entryway cabinet, perfect for setting down armloads when we walk in the door.

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It's also home to one of my favorite finds ever - this great old key rack I found at Hunt & Gather in Minnesota.

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Tomorrow I'll be sharing the closer details of the room and my favorite features.

Wallpaper: Wallflowers, Spokane, WA

Farm Painting: Forget Me Not, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Small Basket near window: Funky Junk Jennifer, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Towels: Walmart

Washer & Dryer: Bosch

Large Laundry Chute Basket: Silver Suitcase, via Roost, Spokane, WA

Wooden Box: Funky Junk Hollie, via the Funky Junk show, Sandpoint, ID

Cowboy Boots: Forget Me Not, Sandpoint, ID

Entryway Rug: Ikea

Keyrack: Hunt & Gather, Minneapolis, MN

Countertops: Fabricated by Carlson Sheet Metal, Spokane, WA

Beadboard Wall Tile, Tile Trim, and Tile Design: Dirk Elliot Tile, Spokane, WA

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 14, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 5 (Pantry & Built-In)

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When we were working with Nancy on the floor plan, the pantry started out quite large, which in my opinion, can't ever be big enough. (I store all our food in the pantry). Growing up, no matter how small our living space, my mom always had a larder and I really loved those spaces with our home-canned goods and bulk foods all in jars, glistening on the shelves my dad had built by hand. In the design of this home, the pantry was continually downsized to make room for other areas, such as the built-in buffet in the dining room, which sits on the other side of the pantry wall. So, I had to get creative with making more out of the space than was originally intended.

I knew there was some space underneath the stairs leading to the second floor and asked Craig if we could add a bookcase there. Directly behind that wall sits the stairway to the basement, so some adjustments had to be made. Luckily, I came up with the idea while the framing was happening, and Craig was really amazing with making adjustments for me, so it wasn't a big deal.

I talked more about my built-in bookcase here.

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With the new pantry design, I was down to the shelves in the back of the pantry and one interior wall, but I really wanted both walls to be utilized. Staring at the studs that were in place during framing, I came up with the idea to have a can-depth wall to best utilize that space, and once again, Craig was able to make it happen, without altering the dining room built-in on the other side. Now I have a really useful wall for all of my canned goods, and the shelves are all fully adjustable.

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The back wall and opposite side wall are much deeper, so they work well for storing extra serving dishes, glassware, small appliances,

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and my bulk foods.

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And it all sits nicely tucked behind this pretty door. When I was working with Harry on the doors, I asked him to make my pantry door with wavy glass, partly because it's old-fashioned and beautiful, and partly because it obscures the view into the pantry, which I wanted to be able to see into, while not making the contents be the focal point.

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I talked more about my pantry here.

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 11, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 4 (Sink & Stove Wall)

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A big dilema with my kitchen was the fact that I designed the wall of cabinets, as seen in earlier posts about my kitchen. In doing so, it really made the kitchen lopsided, with the wall of cabinets having a lot of weight, design-wise. What was left to deal with was the wall with the sink and windows, stove and shelf. When I showed my plan to my friend, Dirk (of Dirk Elliot Tile), he pointed out the heavily-sided issue with the wall of cabinets. I knew I wasn't willing to change that wall, so the challenge was how to add weight to the other walls - all without adding upper cabinetry, which I didn't want.

Dirk offered many different design solutions for me to consider. My plan was always to use subway tile and after touring Dirk's tile factory, I was open to using different than normal sizes. One of Dirk's suggestions was to go with smaller subway tiles - two different sizes, and to take them all the way to the ceiling - both of which would give it the much needed weight. I loved that idea.

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He also pointed out that I needed to make my shelf MUCH bigger than I had originally planned, which would also add weight to that side of the wall. (And this is how the Mega Shelf came to be).

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And last of all, he recommended that I add legs of some sort to the cooktop cabinetry, which balanced everything out, gave some heft to the base, and made it feel a bit like a piece of furniture.

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The Mega Shelf has lighting built-in underneath, which is really nice while cooking. The lighting is all accessible by a panel that was built-in for easy access.

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I've had lots of questions about my cooktop and venting.

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To keep the design clean, I opted for a built-in downdraft fan, behind the cooktop. When I need to use it, I simply push a button, and the fan system raises up.

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When I'm done, I just press the button again, and the downdraft lowers back down. I had the same system in my last kitchen and I really love it. The cooktop and downdraft are both by Thermador and they are really wonderful, and really easy to clean which is great, because my boys cook quite often and can be really messy. I also love the burners. Stars!

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I have open shelving beneath the cooktop, which houses my pots and pans. I had the cabinet maker wrap the shelves with stainless steel, to take a beating, and to avoid terrible looking scratched shelves.

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I've talked before about the built-in cutting board located near the cooktop.

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It is so handy for chopping and scraping the scraps straight into the compost bin below. The day I met with the cabinet maker to talk about this feature, I had asked Colin to join me, which turned out to be a great thing. When he saw what I was asking for with the drawer, he came up with the idea for it to be spring loaded. So, to open the drawer, all I have to do is give it a slight push and it pops out, which is so convenient when I have a handful of veggies and have forgotten to pull out the drawer first. The board is maple and studies have proven that maple is highly resistant to bacteria - much more so than plastic or other cutting board surfaces that are out there. (I only use the board for veggies, and wipe it down when I'm done). The chute is lined with a PVC sort of pipe.

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I plan on growing herbs on the window sills throughout the winter.

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An idea from my friend Christina was to use stone for the sills. I loved the thought of it, as I've ruined many sills in the past with water marks from planters. When I ordered the countertops, I ordered the sills as well, in the same material. Mike, our finish carpenter, asked me to provide him with a sample of the stone material so that he could build the windows to fit perfectly. Unfortunately, the countertop contractor gave me the salesman's sample, not the actual building material sample and the measurements were all off. After much ado, the countertop contractor adjusted the sills to fit what Mike had built, as it was their error.

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I talk a lot about how much I love texture in design, and although my kitchen is very white, there is a lot of depth to it, thanks to the textures we incorporated. From the beadboard ceiling to the crown moulding to the tile.

When Dirk was sketching tile layout options, I fell in love with a design that sort of mimicked a basket weave, which was a perfect transition from the dining room grasscloth wallpaper to the kitchen.

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It's important to acknowledge that my kitchen would not be half as wonderful if it wasn't for our friends, Dirk and Christina, who spent so much time and effort in helping me with a lot of the design. Their eye for detail is amazing, and I'm incredibly thankful for their help.

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 09, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 3 (The Island)

I have an affinity for kitchen islands. When my dad built our first home, we had a huge old chopping block that held center stage in the kitchen and I used it often. It sort of set the need for one in my mind.

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The island was originally designed to be much larger, but it meant having it be a non-square shape, to conform to the layout of the kitchen, which I really didn't like. I have a real love of clean lines and think that they are much more classic in style. If the island weren't square, I think it would scream 2012 and I wanted it to just be timeless.

And speaking of timeless, the island is flat, rather than having an elevated bar for the seating area. That just doesn't match my style, and is too trendy for me.

I do all of my food prep on the island, and my favorite function of the space is that it is my baking center. The six drawers on the left hold my flours, sugars, spices, and baking utensils, such as measuring cups, sifters, cookie cutters, etc. (Nearly identical to the layout of the island I designed in my last kitchen. You can see it here.) The center bin is a second garbage bin and a recycling bin behind that. It's really handy to be able to scrape flour, etc, right off of the counter and into the garbage.) And under the microwave, is a large drawer for holding tupperware, rubbermaid, and glassware used for leftovers and lunches.

To utilize the back-end of the island space, I added in cupboards on both sides to house my baking sheets and cooling racks on one side and chopping boards on the other. I also made sure that I can control the island lighting from both ends, and have plug-ins there as well. But my FAVORITE feature of the island is the little gadget at the base. It functions as a vacuum. So when I'm sweeping in the kitchen, I can just sweep right into that space (activated by flipping the switch seen to the right with my foot) and it goes straight into the central vac.

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The base of the baking sheet cabinets are plastic, so they won't look like terrible scratched paint over time.

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I used some design restraint with the seating side of the island. Originally, I had planned on using beadboard on that side, but decided I wanted to keep the beadboard to the ceiling alone and not over-do it. I'm really happy with the classic framed approach that I took instead.

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I ended up putting the microwave in the island, and I like that it's something that's only seen when working in the kitchen. I also chose not to have it built-in and super fancy, as the microwave just isn't important to me and I didn't want to make it look like it is. I kept it simple and I like that.

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Design Note:

The structure of the island is six feet wide by three feet deep. (The counter adds about an inch all around and the seating area has about 11 more inches of counter, making the total depth of the island four feet).

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

November 06, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 2 (Wall of Cabinets)

A while back, I shared all about what went into planning my kitchen and experienced a huge amount of interest in my cutting board drawer. The drawer post was also shared on lots of other websites where some readers wondered about the possibility of the drawer being unclean or unsanitary.

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Today, I thought I'd share a bit more about this drawer that has created so much chatter.

  • First of all, it's not an unclean surface. Maple is an excellent cutting surface because it's very dense, but also because it is naturally highly resistant to bacteria.
  • I NEVER cut meat on this cutting board. It's used for veggies.
  • There's more to the drawer than I thought to share the first time around.

The cutting board isn't attached to the drawer. In fact, it easily lifts right out of the drawer.

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I can take it so the sink and give it a good scrub whenever I need to.

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A good shot of the bottom of the cutting board, showing the framework that keeps it perfectly situated in the drawer. It doesn't move a  bit, when set in place. And it's nice that I have access to the tube so I can give that a good scrub whenever I need to as well.

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We've been using the cutting board drawer for about three years now and really love it. The boys use it constantly and it's really easy for them to clean. I'm really glad we included it in our kitchen.

You can read more about my cutting board drawer here.

You can read more about my kitchen here: Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

>>>><<<<

Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there as: thefarmchicks

>>>><<<<

November 03, 2011

My Kitchen - Part 1

Many of you journeyed along with my family and me as we built our new home. (If not, you can read all about it here). The whole experience was actually pretty enjoyable. Of all the emails I receive, one of the most requested things I hear is to see my completed kitchen. So over the next while, I'll be focusing on just that, and walking you through the choices I made.

But before you see the completed project, here's a look at it, under construction. Here the sheetrock has all been installed, and walls painted:

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And here it is with the beadboard ceiling now installed, cabinets in place and crown moulding in:

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And here we are today. Welcome to my kitchen. Yes, I love white. I find it calming and warm, when combined with the right touches.

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Much of the kitchen plan really revolved around the big beautiful farm sink. Because of the sink's high back, the windows needed to be higher than normal. The sink is also really wide - about 4 feet - so it takes up a lot of real estate. And when I laid it all out in my mind, I just couldn't see upper cabinets fitting in to my plan. So, I skipped uppers all together. Instead, I have the full wall of cabinets surrounding the wall ovens and fridge and on the opposite wall...

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...sits what the building crew named The MEGA SHELF and the cooktop. The shelf is my area to do seasonal displays or showcase my favorite artwork at the moment.

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Tomorrow I will begin taking you through the different areas of my kitchen and talk about the design and mindset that went into each one.

Thank you for visiting, at long last!

You can read more about my kitchen here:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

Additional Information:

Our home was designed by Nancy McKennon.

Our builder was Craig Powell of Powell Custom Homes. (509) 994-2831 (He doesn't have a website).

My cabinets were custom made by a local cabinet maker.

The ceiling is made of beadboard planks, also known as wainscotting. I talked a lot about it here.

The lights over the island were made from salvaged old schoolhouse globes and new arms. I obtained all of the materials from Revival Lighting in Spokane and they built the lighting as well.

The lights over the sink are from Lowe's.

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked about it here and here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

My countertops are quartz, manufactured by Zodiaq and the pattern is Bianco Carrara. I talked about it here and here.

The wall tile is all from Dirk Elliot Tile. The best in the world and made right here in Spokane, by our good friends, Dirk and Christina. I talk more about it here and here.

The windows are made by our friends, Burke and Muriel, at VPI windows. They are also manufactured here in Spokane and are the BEST! I talked all about the windows here and here.

The cabinet hardware is from Spokane Hardware, who also have an amazing website (The Hardware Hut) where you can order just about anything your heart desires.

The pantry door (and all the doors in our home) came from Harry at River City Glass in Spokane.

My large glass pantry jars with the glass lids can be found at Target and Wal-Mart in many different sizes.

My small glass pantry jars with the white lids can be found at Wal-Mart. (Better Homes and Gardens canning jars). The plastic lids were purchased separately and are widely available at most grocery stores in the canning section.

My appliances are all Thermador, with the exception of the freezer column which is Bosch, and the microwave which is G.E.

The antique FOODS sign was purchased from Marketplace Antiques in Sandpoint, Idaho and was spotted for me by the amazing and wonderful MaryAnn Duarte, who has a space there and is also a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

The clock was a gift. (Source unknown).

The stools are from Pottery Barn.

The dining room table was built by Antico.

The dining room chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

The dining room grasscloth bamboo wallpaper came from Wallflowers in Spokane. Unfortunately, I can't remember the brand.

A note about my sources: I try and identify my sources as often as possible and love promoting other businesses. My policy is that if I love something or have had a good experience with a product or service, I try to promote it, when possible. Sometimes, I'm disappointed with a product or service and won't provide that source. I understand that thousands of readers visit my blog every day and I realize that if I were to say something negative about a product or source, my opinion could have a negative impact on a business, and that's not what I want. If I don't list a source, it's not because I'm stingy, I just choose to keep it positive here. Thank you for understanding.

>>>><<<<

Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there, Username: thefarmchicks

>>>><<<<

 

October 13, 2011

A Pumpkin Here, A Pumpkin There

Want to know the quickest way to cheer up your house for the season? Tuck pumpkins here and there.

a bookend

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a chandelier

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a coatrack

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the kitchen.

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A little or a lot.

Hooray for pumpkins!

August 04, 2011

Collecting: Glassware

When I designed our dining room built-in, I wanted to make sure I'd have a spot to store all of my extra glassware.

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I love how something so simple can add such sparkle to a room.

My favorite source for glassware is estate sales. It seems that most people just pass them by. Most of the sets I find are quite large, which is a must for me. I usually won't buy any sets with less than 12 glasses. Although I couldn't pass up this set of 8 tiny juice glasses (shown at left) recently.

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The set was mine for $1. And I do really like how old-fashioned juice glasses are tiny. I think juice is more special sipped, not guzzled.

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I still have several shelves to fill and can't wait to see what I'll find next.

P.S. Have you ever seen Matthew Mead's Entertaining Simple book? I love his use of glassware throughout.

Post Edit: I ordered our table from Antico. It works really well for our big family because it seats 12. I love that their furniture is made from reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood. The chairs are from Cost Plus World Market.

May 03, 2011

Kitchen Planning

When I was thinking about the layout of my kitchen, I wanted to try and incorporate as many features as I could that would make the most out of my space. (I like everything to be tucked away).

Magazines and kitchen design books were a really great way to get good ideas. I especially liked the idea of having a chopping block that sits over the garbage, so I can just scrape the unwanted scraps right in.

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Colin even took part in the planning by making sure I could just press on the front of the drawer and it will pop right out, which is really handy if my hands are full. Then, when I'm done, I can just push the chopping block and garbage right back in, and out of the way.

The chopping block is great for chopping that involves skins or trimmings that need to be thrown out. And when I'm chopping things like nuts, I usually just do that right on the counters.

I'm really pleased with my counters, which are quartz (by Zodiaq). They truly seem to be bomb proof. They don't stain, scratch, etch, or scorch and that's such a relief for me because I don't want to be the mom who's constantly freaking out about that sort of thing.

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Post Edits: Yes, I compost. There are two bins in that drawer. One for garbage and one for compost.

You can read more about the drawer here.

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6.

You can read all the details about our farmhouse building process here.

March 30, 2011

The Homefront Homestretch

It's been mega busy at the job site lately. The last push to get things done. Today, the finish carpenter, tile installer, painters, media system installers, excavator, and electricians were all hard at work.

Mike has completed my pantry. I love it so much.

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In our home, we keep all food items in the pantry, so it's a room we use a ton. I'm so thankful that it can look so nice and be functional.

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I tried to use as much vintage lighting as possible. I found the best resource (and most affordable by far) to be Revival Lighting in downtown Spokane (they do mail order too). When I couldn't find what I was looking for, they helped me piece lights together to get them just right. (Such as: I like that shade, but would prefer to use that base). Not a problem. One of my favorites is this old milk glass fixture from the thirties that hangs in the upper stairway:

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Me and milk glass? We're old pals.

The tile installation has begun in the kitchen. It will cover the walls, floor to ceiling, and around the "Mega-Shelf", as Todd calls it. Dirk designed it with 2"x4" and 2"x6" subway tiles. The layout design has a sort of woven look, which will play off of the woven grasscloth I have going in the dining room, just to the left. The grasscloth will butt up against the tile.

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The ultimate test if it's okay? Colin. He likes it. (Even after having his flight home from his Seattle office delayed by several hours). Hooray!

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I've tried to add special touches to each of the boy's rooms. This room is the smallest, so I wanted to make good use of the space and give it a cool factor. After googling elevated beds, I was really inspired by this idea. Mike adapted it to fit this room and used chain in place of rope so there's no possibility of it stretching. The dark wall is finished in chalkboard paint and will be perfect for our son who is a non-stop doodler.

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This bedroom has a shelf (in progress) that wraps all around, which is perfect for our son who loves to create sculptures and collect books. I've tried to keep the corbels here consistent with others used throughout the house. It's one of those things that probably won't be consciously noticed by visitors, but does give the house a feeling that everything belongs together.

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Propane was installed today and the appliances will be going in soon. There's a tiny bit of painting that needs to get finished up. The plumbers will be installing all of the sinks/tubs/faucets in a few days. The thermostats will be going in, as well as remaining light fixtures, security system, wallpaper in a few rooms, mirrors installed, tile grouted, carpet installed, closets finished, stairway woodwork done, and concrete poured for the porches, walkways, and patio areas.

And at World Headquarters, the trim is getting painted. Once that's done, the floor will get the final finish, stairway finished, closet shelving installed, plumbing completed in bathroom, and then.... we'll be done!

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And guess what? Everyone is feeling a bit cranky. We're anxious to be done and these last few weeks have been a bear. But the good thing... it will make moving in that much sweeter.

I counted back through the years and this will be the sixteenth time that I've moved in my life. (Not counting my gypsy wagon days). Know what? Sixteen's a charm.    ...Sweet Sixteen...

We're never moving again.

March 24, 2011

The Perfect Fit

I stopped by the Vintage Rabbit today. I like to do that whenever I'm passing by. And, I've been looking for things for the new house.

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I was also hoping to spot some

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And look at that! Signs of spring in the Silver Suitcase booth:

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Wait! What is that I see? That big *huge* basket under the table? Let me take it out to get a better look:

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An old horse blanket basket? Will it possibly fit in the laundry room, in that space that I've been having the hardest time finding the perfect basket for?

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Hooray! Yes! And the good news? You held horse blankets. So, you're used to animals and animal smelling things. Perfect, because now you'll be holding things coming down the laundry chute from my little animals upstairs. And hopefully, there won't be any worms.

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Welcome home, basket. You're the perfect fit.

Notes:

The Vintage Rabbit is owned by Jan who is a vendor at The Farm Chicks Show.

I found my basket in the Silver Suitcase booth. The girls from Silver Suitcase are vendors at The Farm Chicks Show as well.

The Vintage Rabbit is located in Spokane at 2317 N. Monroe.

March 23, 2011

Flooring: Part 2

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So, the flooring is coming along nicely. The guys are trucking along and I love how it's looking.

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These are 1/8" grout lines. Once the tiles are all installed, they'll come through and grout everything. I really appreciate their lines. Really straight and top notch. We couldn't really ask for anything more.

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Well, to move in would be nice.

Soon.

March 22, 2011

Flooring, Dreaming, and Spring

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The floors are being prepped for the flooring installation.

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A while back, I mentioned that we had to eliminate wood floors as an option due to the complications of wood going in over radiant heat. My second choice has always been tile, as it's so easy to keep clean and feels heavenly all warmed up from the radiant heat. But I really love the look of wood. Luckily, there are tons of options for "wood" tiles now and we were able to find some that we really like, from Daltile.

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When the cabinet makers came to install the cabinets, one of the "boards" was laying on the floor. One of the guys picked it up and said, "Whoa! I thought that was a board!" That made me happy.

I like that they come in such nice long lengths. And man are they heavy!

The last of the built-ins went in last week in the dining room. I decided to line the uppers with a mirror because it reflects our neighbor's beautiful orchard next door. And I opted for glass shelves because I think it adds a lovely touch with the mirrors and will look so sparkly and wonderful with all 9,000,000 fancy drinking glasses in my collection. I can't stop dreaming about my first dinner party.

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In other news, the rain just keeps on pouring down here in the Pacific Northwest.

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And I continue to wear practical shoes. hee hee

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The good news about all of this rain? It's going to be a gorgeous and bountiful spring!

Post Edit: The tile we selected is tile that looks like wood. It is manufactured by Daltile. I talked more about it here. I have received many inquiries regarding the exact wood pattern and the exact name of the Daltile line. Unfortunately, Daltile changes their offerings frequently and although I have contacted the company numerous times, trying to pin down exact information to offer to readers, they have never responded to my requests. My recommendation if you like the look: choose the wood tile that you like best, and find a grout that as closely matches your tile color choice as possible.

March 17, 2011

The Light of Day

It's been a while since our house has seen the light of day. Even though the sun came out of hibernation yesterday.

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Poor thing. All wrapped up while the final coats of paint go on.

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I want to run through the house, ripping off the plastic as I go. I want to let that sun come pouring in and hear the boys racing up and down the stairs.

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But for now, this is the way it is. And somehow, I've managed to keep them from sticking themselves to the wet paint. Victory!

March 01, 2011

Countertops

The countertops are being installed late into the night tonight/wee hours of the morning. Colin and I stopped by partway through to check out the progress.

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This machine (below) works to help level the countertop and make seams really tight through vibrations, powered from the box seen in the image above, to the right. (It looks like a toolbox). gggggg zzzzzz ggggg zzzzzz ggggg zzzzzz it goes.

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These are the initial cuts for the cooktop:

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Once all of the cuts have been made, the device shown below and another just like it which are equipped with incredibly strong suction cups, will help to lift the cut-out up and out of the space where the cooktop will be placed:

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The kitchen and dining room counters are quartz, which was a little more costly than marble, but so much more family friendly, in my opinion:

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The master bathroom is marble:

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I took this picture (below) to prove to Colin that it was worth it to tile behind the vanity. I wonder if he'll agree?

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Once the countertops have set, they'll mount the undermount sinks:

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And later, the plumber will come through and install the fixtures in the holes that have been drilled by the countertop installers:

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And now that the countertops are in, Todd can continue on with the tile installation, as I didn't want the tile going on the wall where the countertop sits because it would have made a slight gap between the countertop and the tile, in each of the grout lines.

.................

Tomorrow I'll tell you about my big mistake in World Headquarters.

February 22, 2011

Crown Molding & Base Trim

The crown molding is all installed and looking great. It sure dresses up the place!

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The base trim is installed upstairs and will go in downstairs after all of the tile has gone in:

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In the master bath, Dirk designed a pattern that takes a 6" x 6" tile and makes it act as the base trim. I really like the clean look of it all. However, the pattern is complex and requires a lot of time for the installation. There are a lot of design elements going into this tiny room that will really make it special once it's all complete. (More on that later).

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I opted for dark grout lines on the floor, as I love how it really calls out the hex tile, and because it's a very classic look to me. The walls will have light grout lines.

I'm beginning to think about carpet options for certain areas of the house and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of all of our countertops.

February 16, 2011

Built-ins

I think built-ins are such an important part of a farmhouse. I've walked through so many old places, filled with room after room of built-ins. I love how they make a house feel.

Wherever possible (and feasible), I've added in built-ins of our own that will be really functional for our family. Here are a few:

Boys desk, bookcase, and window seat. These built-ins sit in the common area between all of the boys rooms. I'm using a black laminate desktop here because it's incredibly durable and inexpensive and doesn't show the black seam (which can make laminate look cheap). The drawer hardware needs to be added still and I'll be adding an upholstered cushion that will sit atop the window seat. On the opposite wall is a nice big closet that we'll store our boardgames in. I'll also add in some beanbags for the floor and hope that they'll all congregate here together, like brothers do.

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Kitchen bookcase. This bookcase is built into the stairs and will be put to good use with my collection of cookbooks. It will be painted soon, along with all of the trim in the house.

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Pantry shelves. I knew there was a little bit of room in the wall behind the right-hand side of my pantry and where my dining room built-in sits, so I decided to utilize that space for smaller pantry food items. I wanted the shelves to all be fully adjustable so I could fit any products in there. What I didn't consider is that would mean over 800 holes would have to be drilled. *Gulp*! Mike, the finish carpenter, told me I darn well better adjust those shelves on a regular basis. And Colin? He thinks I'm cuh-razy! And he told me he thinks I'll never move the shelves. Well great, now I'll have to prove him wrong.

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Entryway bench. We're a shoe-free house, so this is a nice place for guests to be able to sit and remove their shoes. A beadboard backing is being added to the wall behind and will be topped with a shelf and sturdy hooks just beneath for coats.  I'll add an upholstered cushion for sitting and baskets beneath for shoes. There's also an entryway closet to the right for added coat hanging flexibility.

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The countertops were templated on Monday, so those will be getting installed soon. Mike has finished all of the crown molding and is working on the base trim. After that, he'll be getting to work on the stair newel posts and balusters. (I'm REALLY looking forward to that part!) Todd has installed the tile floors in the bathrooms and laundry room and is now working on the master bath walls and ceiling tile. He's doing a beautiful job. Graham and crew are doing prep work for the paint. I swear, all I hear whenever I'm at the house lately is the sound of them sandpapering trim.

I remember thinking when we got the painting quote that I could just paint everything. Oh my word! One of my craziest thoughts ever. EVER.

Thank goodness Colin knows when to just smile and not do as I say.

February 08, 2011

The Kitchen

You know that part in the Little Mermaid when Ursula is making Ariel sing? Ahhh ahhh ahhhhhh.... ahhh ahhh ahhhhhh.... ahhh ahhh AHHHHHHH... and so on... ? Whenever something good happens, I sing that song, as if I'm Ariel. (Weird, I know because that's not even a happy part....)  Anyway...

Colin asked me if I wanted to go up and see the house tonight and I was reluctant. To be honest, I've been trying to avoid it. It's actually becoming really painful for me to visit because I so DESPERATELY want to be home and to feel settled.

He told me that he thought the cabinets may be in. But I didn't believe him. Actually, I didn't want to believe him because I didn't want to be let down if they weren't. And I didn't even have a reason for doubting because everything has really stayed right on schedule.

And let me tell you, my heart just about fell out of my chest and Ariel began to sing in my head when I saw this:

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Cabinets!

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And my sink. Remember her? She's all resurfaced and ready to be installed. I love love love this sink.

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The cabinets and shelving in the laundry room are all done. The dining room built-ins are in progress and the other rooms that are awaiting cabinetry and built-ins are being tended to as well.

So now, I've been singing like the Little Mermaid all night.

And everyone's getting a little sick of me.

Ahhh ahhh ahhh.... ahhh ahhh ahhhhhh ....

February 07, 2011

Window Trim

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All of the windows and doors are all trimmed out and waiting for a coat of paint. I'm so happy with how they turned out.

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The window sills of the kitchen windows aren't in yet. I decided to have them done in the stone that is the same as the kitchen countertops. I really like the thought of having sills that can take a licking and keep on ticking, like water from the sink splashing up whenever I use the sink. And in the winter, I can grow potted herbs there and not worry about destroying the sill.

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The doors are getting painted and should be set back into place soon.

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The tile continues to be installed and the cabinets are coming soon. It's all coming together nicely.

January 25, 2011

Ceilings

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Chuck is finishing up the installation of all of the ceiling boards and I'm so happy with the job he's done. Here he is just getting ready to get all safety geared up. That ladder is high!

I went with wider boards in the high point of the living room ceiling, and narrow beadboard in the rest of the main floor. Here's the kitchen so far: (All of the ceilings have yet to be caulked and painted).

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Hallway: (Can you believe how straight Chuck's lines are)?

I opted for "butt joints" in the wood where the boards meet up, rather than the flat edges meeting together.  Because every house experiences some settling and movement, inevitably the boards will not stay perfectly butted up to one another.  By using "butt joints" when there is some movement, it will be very difficult to notice with the naked eye.  (And for the record, who in tarnation named them "butt joints"? Couldn't they be called something cuter than that? Just saying....)

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Dining Room:

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Into the kitchen from the dining room:

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The tile installation has begun, windows and doors are getting framed out, and I've been working on finding some key light fixtures.

It's beginning to look like home - in my mind at least.

January 17, 2011

Building Sources

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A lot of you have been asking about the sources we've used in building our new house.  So here goes:

Windows: VPI. We think their product is absolutely the best and love the fact that they're made right here, in Spokane, Washington, and are sold all over the country. VPI is owned by our friends, Burke and Muriel. VPI 1-800-634-1478.

Tile: Dirk Elliott Tile. Dirk is a good friend and creates amazing tile. His beadboard tile caused quite a stir when I posted about it recently. It's also made right here in Spokane, Washington and is available throughout the country. Dirk Elliott Tile 1-888.245.7248

Doors: Harry at River City Glass. Harry worked with us to determine what style doors we wanted and then which manufacturer would be the best fit for our needs. We used different sources for the sliders, exterior, and interior doors, based on Harry's recommendations. He did a great job for us.
Harry 509-951-8818.

Siding: James Hardie. We've grown to love the Fiber Cement Siding made by James Hardie. I talked a little about it hereJames Hardie www.jameshardie.com

I'll be sharing more building sources once the job is complete, sometime this spring.

January 12, 2011

Doors and Trim

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The front door finally arrived.  (I love that Craig is keeping it totally protected).  It's bigger in person than I had imagined, which makes me happy because I think big front doors are cool.  (And no, that isn't the color of the house or the front door, but we'll be waiting a long while before any exterior surfaces are painted, due to our climate).

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I'm happy to announce that World Headquarters has gotten the recognition she deserves, thanks to Mike, the finish carpenter.  And you know, it just gives it a higher level of importance don't you think?  I can just imagine it now, as they go about their day at the worksite:  "Hey, watch that wall! You don't want to damage World Headquarters, now do YOU?!"  hee hee

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And speaking of Mike, he's been toiling away on all of our trim work.  He sure runs a clean operation.  I like that.  I like that a lot.

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Here's one of our doors, installed, along with the trim.  The doors and trim arrived primed, and will be painted later.  I'm really happy with the simple, classic look, and love the dark hinges I opted for.  I'll be going with dark doorknobs everywhere as well.  And didn't the panel doors turn out nicely? I ended up going with solid doors, even though they were a bit more expensive.  It's one of the areas that I really wanted to get right the first time.  Because can you ever imagine replacing a whole house-worth of doors? Neither can I.

Top of door trim:

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Bottom of door trim:

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And Chuck is just getting started on the ceilings.  I can't wait to see how much the beadboard changes the whole feel of the house.

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In other news, much of the painting is done.  The colors I've used most are Sherwin Williams Zurich White and Ermine.  And I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't completely hung up on the colors not having Farm Chicky names.  I think I should rename them Winter Prairie and Farmstead White.  Are you listening, Sherwin Williams?

The tile installation will begin soon.  Dirk has put together some really beautiful designs, complete with a special new tile he is creating that will cap everything off in one of the rooms. Here's the mold that will go into the machine that makes the tiles.

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Yeah, he's pretty much amazing, that one.

January 04, 2011

Dirk Elliot Tile

My website has moved. You can visit me here.

December 20, 2010

An Update From World Headquarters

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We're making good progress on the house and World Headquarters is coming along nicely.  Come on in, I'll show you around.

Twist twist twist, up the stairs we go.  The walls have just been textured.  I begged and pleaded (not really but it does sound dramatic, doesn't it?) for the lightest possible texture they could do, without going smooth.  I'm really happy with the way they turned out.

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The window at the top of the stairs ended up being framed in by my mistake, but I'm so glad to have it.  It's really nice to have that beautiful light streaming in at the top of the stairs.

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It's sort of like a little hint of the light to come once you step into World Headquarters:

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Originally, World Headquarters was designed a bit differently, with more walls, which I wasn't too excited about.  Craig was able to make some adjustments with the trusses, enabling me to have more space.  And more openness.  Every time I walk in here, I feel inspired.  It's what wide open spaces do to me.  I'm so excited that this is where I'll work.  And I'm so thankful for such an amazing builder who was able to make it happen just the way he knew I wanted it to be.

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And I love that I'll be working in a barn.  Can you see it?  Seems appropriate for The Farm Chicks, doesn't it?

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Next up, the space will be painted.  I'll be going bright white in here, with some fun touches I'll share with you later.

We didn't extend the radiant heat out to World Headquarters because of the cost involved.  Instead, I'll have a ductless mini split system that will provide heat and air conditioning.

The good news with the system is that it makes wood floors possible in the space.  Rather than stained, I've opted for painted wood floors and stairs.

We also decided to add a full bathroom to make the space completely stand alone.  That way, employees or business guests will never have to enter the main house, keeping work and home separate, which is really important to me.

I haven't designed the cabinetry yet, and will actually wait to do that until we've moved into the house.  I want to get a really good feel for the space before I make those decisions.

As you can see, there will be lots of can lights.  I do like how they just blend into a ceiling.  I'll also have a couple of hanging light fixtures.

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And the siding is nearly complete.  It will be painted in the spring.

Spring?! I can hardly wait.  It can't come soon enough for me.  Because I just want to be settled in at home.  But for now, we're enjoying the view of Mt. Spokane all covered in snow and that will just have to do.

December 02, 2010

Mudding & Taping

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We've been getting lots of snow, ever since Thanksgiving.  Before the plow comes, it's hard to see our driveway at the building site.

The sheetrock is all installed and now the mudding and taping has begun.

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This is the stairway leading to the second floor, as seen from the kitchen.  I've always wanted a bannister in my kitchen.  I dream of draping it with prettiness at Christmastime.  Craig is building me a built-in bookcase in the stairs for all of my cookbooks.  The pantry is the doorway you see just to the right of the bookcase space:

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The lower ceiling in the living room will be tongue and groove beadboard (which wraps around from most of the main floor) and the higher ceiling will be some sort of boards that I haven't quite settled on yet.  I'm on the hunt for an amazing light fixture which will hang down from the high point of the room:

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The upstairs landing:

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The boy's study.  A built-in desk and bookcase are going in on the far left and a bench seat all along under the windows:

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I've also finished picking out my countertops.  I love marble so so much but know that our family is way too hard on things, so I only chose to use it in the master bath.  Here is one of my slabs:

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I'll be using Quartz countertops in the kitchen and dining room built-in because it's so incredibly user-friendly.  I'm really happy that I won't have to police what my family is setting on the counter.  It's just so much more family friendly for me.  I've chosen Bianco Carrara from Zodiaq:

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I'll be using galvanized metal counters in the laundry room.

After the boys go to school today, I'll be doing some shopping with the amazing Samantha, and then meeting some friends at the building site just for fun.  After that, I'm meeting with the wallpaper installer to go over my wallpaper.  I'm using grasscloth in the dining room and am a little concerned about how it will look on the walls where it ends.  So, we'll be going over that as well as the few other spaces where I've chosen to have wallpaper.  My last meeting of the day will be with Craig and the tile installer to go over the tile installation.

I'm still working on paint colors and am waiting on some tile samples.  I've had to eliminate wood flooring as an option due to the complications of installing it over radiant heat.  And since one of my biggest goals with the new house is for it to be family friendly and low maintenance, it's what I had to decide.  I'm excited about some options that we're looking into as an alternative and hope to get that pinned down this week.

November 12, 2010

Insulation, Siding, and Doors

Things are plugging away at the new house.  Insulation is underway in the garage:

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The webbing for the blown-in insulation inside the house is in place:

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The exterior of the house has been wrapped:

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And the siding has begun:

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We've chosen to use Hardie Board siding, which is a cement siding and really, well, hardy.  It holds paint really well and is fire resistant.  It's like superhero siding.  One time a while back, when we were still living in our happy home, I came home to smoke billowing up from the back side of the house.  I ran around the back to find a fire burning in the bark against the house.  The flames in the bark were lapping up against the Hardie Board and it refused to catch on fire.  I'm a believer in Hardie.  And considering that our family home burned down when I was in high school, I'm touchy about these sort of things.

7304_firWe're waiting on the exterior doors to arrive.  Choosing a front door took some time.  I really wanted a front door with a window but was obsessed with the window on the door exactly lining up with the window at the entryway.  I wasn't able to find a pre-made door with a window that worked for me so I looked into a custom front door.  However, due to the height of the entryway window, even a custom door window couldn't match exactly, and was also really costly.  So, I opted for a solid door.  I ended up choosing a nice classic door that I'll have painted.  Classic style is really important to me because I want it to look good for years to come.  All of these little decisions can end up including some sort of a sacrifice, but I've tried really hard to still find things that I love, while making sure to keep our budget in mind.

Once all of the exterior doors are in place and the insulation is complete, the sheetrock installation will begin.

The house will need to be heated soon to dry out any moisture in the sheetrock once that goes up.  The heating crew has been working onsite to get the system up and running:

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55_firI met with Craig yesterday to go over the interior doors, base trim, and crown molding.  Again, I've chosen some nice classic profiles.  I worked on a shoot recently in an amazing old building and was really inspired by the baseboard trim.  It was really high and just had a really nice "feel" to it.  Craig is working on trying to match it.  I chose some paneled doors for the interior and they think they will tie everything together nicely. There's a warmth to these doors that I love.  (They will be painted white, along with the trim).

Today I'm going to pour over wallpaper samples and hopefully find some things I'm crazy about.  Craig is getting me some samples of wall finishes for the sheetrock and I'm hoping to use the very very lightest texture possible.  I'd really prefer to have a perfectly smooth wall, but that can get really expensive.  So, hopefully we'll be able to settle on something that works without breaking the bank.  Then I'll be moving on to selecting paint colors.  They will definitely be very light, because I love a bright and happy home.

October 24, 2010

Radiant Floors

The floors in the upstairs and main floor of the house have been poured over the radiant tubing.  The crew started upstairs and worked their way down to the main floor.

The Gypcrete is mixed onsite, and brought into the house through a big hose:

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The Gypcrete is poured over the tubing and leveled (or floated) to a smooth finish.

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The Gypcrete is 1 1/2" thick, so all of the work done on the house prior to the floors being poured has to be done with that in mind.  (The framing is double silled, meaning two two by fours rather than one, electrical outlet boxes placed higher, cabinet and window placement measurements noted with the difference, block outs are placed around all of the floor vents to prevent the Gypcrete from going into the vents, etc.)

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And when it's all done, it looks as smooth as butter:

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You can read more about our radiant floors here.

October 07, 2010

World Headquarters

The original Farm Chicks office was located in the corner of my laundry room.

It was October of 2002 and Teri and I had just held our very first sale, in my friend's barn, just a short walk from my house.

I had a strong feeling that The Farm Chicks needed to have a website and set my mind to creating one. I had no idea what I was doing, but really wanted a way to grow the business and anticipated that the internet would be key in doing so.

So, I set up my family's terribly old computer and set out to create the website, using a dial-up connection in my little corner. I worked late at night after the family had all gone to bed, and during the day, whenever I could squeeze in a minute or two. And I'm going to tell you it wasn't the ideal way to hatch the business, but I was working with what I had at the time, which was something I was used to. Making do.

Eventually, Colin and I saved up enough money to buy a desk from Pottery Barn that fit perfectly into a little niche in the hall between the living room and bathroom. The size of a closet. So, I moved the computer out of the laundry room and into my new space. And I began to dream bigger than ever before.

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Whenever I'd have an important call or exciting development, Colin and I would laugh about who I was talking with, and the fact that it was all taking place from that little desk. And he began referring to it as World Headquarters. Because it all seemed so crazy, that all that was happening from that tiny little space.

Now that we've moved to our new home, and I have an actual office, I'm still in awe of my new space. The new World Headquarters. And that's what it will always be to us, because it reminds us of where this little business began. And makes me excited about what lies ahead.

And in this space, I feel more inspired than I've ever felt before. But it's still quite a mess. So, before I start moving ahead, I need to get moved in.

And I'm getting there. Box by box.

Right now, I'm getting my paper crafts cabinet organized. Drawer by drawer. And I'm taking my time.

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Because, you can't rush these things and I want it to be just right.

After all, it's taken me nine years to get here. World Headquarters is a happy place to be.

September 30, 2010

VPI Windows

A big priority for us in building our new home is to make it as energy efficient and as well built as possible.  Windows can have a huge impact on just that, so It was really important for us to find the perfect window manufacturer.  VPI Windows in Spokane was our first choice.

Not only are the owners, Burke and Muriel, good friends, they also produce excellent windows that are made right here in our community.  We've even gotten to see them being built, which is pretty wonderful.

The windows will be going in later this week, so production is in full swing.  Prior to production, we had an onsite walk-through to measure each window opening and to determine which ones would open and which ones wouldn't, and the direction in which they'd open.  After that, I met with Greg at VPI to go over which windows would have grids and what style of grid would go in each of those gridded windows.  Since there are 52 windows and because we wanted to be certain everything was just right, there was one last walk-through to make sure all of the windows on the order were just as specified.

It's surprising how much thought can go into this whole process.  I wanted to make sure that each room had windows that made sense all together, as well as looking good when viewing the house as a whole from the outside.  I used our plans to sketch out the grids/no-grids on each of the windows and to help keep everything straight in my mind.

And now, here we are in production.

Here's Dustin cutting the frames:

Dustin Cutting Frame

The glazing stop (the part of the window that holds the glass in place) being applied:

Bimal Preparing the Glazing Stop

Cutting the sashes:

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Jason working on the grids.  (I chose the largest grids possible because I really like them to look chunky rather than thin and wispy):

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Spacers being applied: (Material placed between two or more pieces of glass in order to maintain a uniform width between the glass and to prevent sealant distortion.  Since our windows are triple paned, this is really important)

Lauro Applying Spacer

Aaron welding the frames:

Aaron Welding Frames

Donnie assembling the windows:

Donnie Assembling the Windows

Ali installing the hardware on the sashes:

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Ready to glaze:

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The screens being built:

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The first batch of windows are done!

Ready to go!

And the important details:

Wow! Great Vitals.

I can't wait to see these babies installed.

September 23, 2010

Electricity

Today we met with our electrician for 5.5 hours.  Oh. My. Gaw.  I had no idea how long that'd take.  And we've built a house before.  Is it like childbirth where you forget how painful things actually are until you're right in the middle of it again?

Things like: we need an outlet there, a light switch here, and so on.  And, let me just mention Colin has an accounting degree.  So. Every. Little. Detail. Is. Not. Lost. On. Him.  He thinks about the square footage a light fixture will illuminate ( x 562 or however many it seems like we'll need) while my mind has already wandered off to... hmm.... what type of frosting is my favorite?  Is it vanilla buttercream or mocha?  Chocolate shavings or a dusting of cocoa?

And let me just say that our electrician is a gem.  A real keeper.  It's just these darn details.  They're killin' me!

How about kerosene?  That lights nicely, right?

I am, however, looking forward to selecting the light fixtures.  If only that was the only thing I had to do.  Sort of like getting to bake and frost the cake without having to shop for the ingredients first.

My favorite lighting is definitely from Schoolhouse Electric.  I love how they offer inspirational images.  (And that it's made in the U.S.A!)  Here's some I love:

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And let me confess, as much as the details make my head feel like it's going to pop off, I'm so so so thankful that it's Colin's thing.  Thank goodness for my guy.  He lights my world.

September 22, 2010

Meeting Carrot

This evening I took a drive.  I love drives so much.  I thought... Happy little farmhouse... I haven't seen you in a while.  I miss you.  So off I went.

And before too long, I was almost there.  But grrrrrrooooowwwwlll went my stomach. grumble grumble. rrroooarr!  I was so-o-o-o hungry.

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And then guess what?  The little farm across the road called out to me.

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And I couldn't resist stopping to say hello.  Hello most adorable little tractor in the whole wide world!


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Oh! Hello my little farmhouse.  Don't worry.  I'll be right over.


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Right after I grab a bag of these little beauties.


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Carrot, meet farmhouse.  Farmhouse, meet carrot.

Oh my... you DO taste like sugar.  

And I thought... I'll eat you up, I love you so.  (Just like the Wild Things, of course).

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So I did.

And I realized.... I've never met a sugar carrot I didn't like.

September 02, 2010

Windows

We met our good friend, Burke, at the construction site last night.  Burke owns VPI Home Solutions and is the window manufacturer for all of the windows in our new home.  I love knowing that all of our windows will be made right here, in Spokane.  The number of options is really overwhelming and it's such a nice feeling having someone we trust walking us through it all.

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And of course, Craig was there too.

We've chosen triple pane windows with a really high R Value for maximum heat resistance.  I'm still deciding on which windows will have grids and which won't, but otherwise, we're just about all set.

Next week, the roof will be going on and all of the cabinetry will be laid out.

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Home sweet home progress.  September 1, 2010.

August 18, 2010

While Away...

...the house construction kept right on going.

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And it's really fun for me to finally see my Farm Chicks world headquarters coming together, considering I work out of a postage stamp at the moment!

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It's definitely beginning to look like our farmhouse.

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August 05, 2010

Progress

We've had some late nights at home this week, as we try to squeeze out every last drop of each day.  Our new home is coming together so nicely and I'm happy to report everything is going along smoooothly.  I can even say that we continue to love everything about it so far.  (Thank you, Craig!)

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Since we live so close (in country terms) to the building site, we decided to all ride our bikes up the hill the other night, rather than drive.  The boys have been doing odd jobs around the site like picking up nails and hauling rocks that show up in the field, to keep it clear for next year's crops.

The basement is now all framed out, and most of the main floor.  The framers have just begun work on the upstairs, and we should start seeing that come together later this week.

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Main floor, front of house (minus the porch).

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Dining room side (minus porch).

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Back of the house, main floor.

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And because he's a future rockstar, Micah's been rockin' the house.

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Remember the last time you saw the basement? It's looking a lot further along now, isn't it?  We're excited about the area to the right.  The floor is lower there than the other rooms in the basement and will serve as an indoor skateboarding area for the boys.  Getting the ceiling and floors just right down there was quite an engineering challenge, but I'm so glad we did it.  It's going to be a lot of fun for the family.

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Here's another view down into the skate area.  And see the red tubes in the mechanical room?  Those are the radiant heat tubes from the floors in the basement.  Eventually, each floor of the house will have the same treatment applied and then the whole system will be ready to be connected together.

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I think the living room is Colin's favorite part of the house because it looks out onto his favorite view in the world: Mount Spokane.  I tease him that all he'll have to do in the morning is look out the window at chair 2 and see if he likes the conditions for snowboarding that day.  (I'll look out and see if I'm going to want hot cocoa or not. hee hee).

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He's a keeper, that one.  As we were riding home and I was gasping for air while peddling my little heart out, along comes that Ironman, riding one-handed. On. A. Super. Monster. Of. A. Hill.  And of course, he wasn't even breathing hard.  Next thing I know, he's pushing me up the hill with his other hand, while still riding his bike.  He's my hero.

July 11, 2010

The Basement

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Last week the radiant floor heating tubes were installed in the basement.  We've grown to love radiant heat, which, simply put, warms the floors in your home, and performs as the heat source.

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The tubes are installed over insulation and are then encased in concrete or Gyp-Crete.  The tubes will eventually have warm water pumping through them, which will heat the concrete and create cozy floors.  I've always suffered from incredibly cold hands and feet so this type of heat is a real treat for me.

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Once the basement floors are poured, we'll move on to the framing this week.  We're looking forward to seeing it take shape!

June 14, 2010

Dreamy

 

The weekend hit with the first wave of summer and it was like heaven.  Summer is the besty besty best time of year to me. After a Sunday night barbeque, we decided to go on a family walk. If only I could bottle up our sweet Green Bluff air. It's dreamy. And after scooping up some extra friends along the way, we headed over to our property to take in the view.

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And a dirt clod war.

Welcome back, summer.  I've missed you so so much.

May 19, 2010

Breaking Ground

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Work on our new home has just begun!  They started cutting in the driveway yesterday and will be adding the driveway fabric and rock today.

We've been working with a landscape designer to design the placement of the driveway and future landscaping.  I love being able to see the plan on paper so it's easier to visualize.

I feel like we're in good hands, and that's a good place to be.

April 22, 2010

Meet Our Builder

We've emerged from the decision making process on who will be building our new home.  And getting through it proved to be stressful for both Colin and me.  One morning, we both awoke at 3 a.m. with the decision weighing heavily on our minds.  It's a lot to think about and take in because we want the process to go well and to be happy in the end.  After all, it's our home.

And after lots of interviews, researching, and reference checking, we found our builder.  Meet Craig Powell, of Powell Custom Homes.

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And you know how good it feels when you know you've made the right decision?  That's how we feel now.  A big relief.  We'll be breaking ground soon.

March 26, 2010

Meet Our New Home

Here she is.  And although she looks so cold on paper, we know she'll be a warm and happy home for us.

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In a couple of weeks, we should have the bids back from the three builders we've selected and then we'll make the hard choice on who we'll be working with.  There are some wonderful builders to choose from.  I can't wait to get started.  And I can't wait to relocate Farm Chicks World Headquarters.  I have big plans for my new space...

February 16, 2010

What I'm Thankful for Today

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An architect who doesn't mind me popping in to her office to discuss my ideas....

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Going here to get building permits and it only taking a half an hour.  Isn't our courthouse beautiful?

February 09, 2010

It Takes a Vision

I know you'll understand me here.  Sometimes, it takes a vision to see the possibilities in junky things. And when I told Colin that I wanted to find a beautiful old farm sink for our new house, I know he must have gulped and sighed on the inside before giving me his smile of approval.  The smile that says, "I think you're crazy, but as long as you're happy, I'm happy".

And so, I set out on my search.  And phew!  It was a lot more difficult than I imagined.  Salvage yards, tips from friends, a trip to Floyd and Margaret's, and emails from you.  And I have to admit, I started out really picky.  I wanted a perfect sink. No damage.  And that, I learned, was just too much to ask for because a sink that's been around since the 1930's isn't going to be perfect.  Not. Ever.

And when I was about to throw in my towel, a friend called to tell me she found me a sink and that she had already purchased it off of Craigslist.  Turns out, in Spokane, 122 other people (for reals!) wanted my sink too and she had to act fast.

The cost of my sink was $200 and it will cost an additional $250 to have it re-enameled.  It's about 4 feet long and includes a nice high back, one basin, and drainboard.  And I love it.

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And the best part?  Colin loves it too.  Thank goodness.  I guess he has the vision too!

The next time you see our sink, it will be pretty as a picture and holding court as the centerpiece in our farmhouse kitchen.

Sink Considerations:

It was really important for me to find this sink before my kitchen plan was finalized.  Since it's such a unique size and includes the high back, it can't just be added into the plan easily.  It would definitely need to be designed around.

I knew that even if I found a sink with no blemishes, it would probably have dull spots, which I wouldn't like.  Because I knew that re-enameling would be almost certain, I made sure to find an expert in our area who could do the project for me before I considered anything that was blemished.  (I'll be working with Mr. Tub in Spokane).

I spoke with the expert (Mr. Tub) and found out a ballpark cost for the work and I budgeted for that. A big consideration for me is that beautiful sinks like this are extremely hard to find and reproductions can run anywhere from $2000-$4000.  So for me, the total cost of $450 was well worth it.

I love single basin sinks.  I chose a single basin for our current home as well and it works really great for handwashing large items.

January 05, 2010

Next Stop...

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Weather permitting - this is the next stop on my quest for a couple of items for the new house.  This is one of the many buildings that belongs to Floyd and Margaret and it's full of useful things.  Only question is if the rain will let up enough to let me go dig.  I'm hoping yes.

January 04, 2010

Sink APB

*All Points Bulletin*  I'm searching for the perfect beautiful farm sink.  You know, with an apron front, high back and drainboards?  Okay, I'd even be okay without the apron front.  And I've been searching the ends of the earth for one.  Not a new one.  A beautiful authentic old original, in perfect condition.  (Note to self: on the next search, don't wear cute little ballet flats in the middle of winter to a salvage yard).

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And here's what kills me.  I've seen many of them over the years as I've bought out contents of old barns. But I stopped hauling them home when it started looking like I had my own personal junkyard.  But now that we're building a new house, and will be designing the kitchen soon, I need one!  I think I need to pay Floyd and Margaret a visit.  Have you seen one?  S.O.S.

November 04, 2009

The Long-Cut Home

Today I took the long-cut home, which is something I love to do when I want to clear my head.  I've been so busy with some projects lately that I needed a little break.  When the boys are in the car, the second I take a left, instead of a right, I can hear the boys quietly moan to each other from the backseat, "She's taking the long-cut" (as opposed to the short-cut).  It's torture for them - that extra 5 minutes.  But I was alone and the long-cut sounded just right.

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I needed to gulp in Autumn because it's beautiful and will be gone before I know it....

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This morning is crisp and sunny and makes me happy....

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I'm so happy to be here....

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surrounded by the places and people that I love....

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and getting to do what I do.  And when I'm so busy - plugging away on projects that mean the world to me, well, sometimes it feels like I'm taking the long way, even when I can see exactly where I need to go....

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but the short way isn't always the right way, even if it's easier.  I'm taking my time - because these things need to be just right....

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because in the end, I want to be happy with what I've created, where I've been....

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and where I'm going.

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I know that I'm blessed with a happy and simple life and on this morning, when I make my way to our new property, I'm feeling thankful.  And when I take in the view from the spot where my new home office will sit, I can see that everything is just right.

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September 23, 2009

Living With a Lockbox

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The day my business made a significant change, Colin came home and announced he had reached an agreement on our dream property.  It was the best news I'd heard in a long time.  But it meant big changes were in store for us.  It meant we'd be selling our house and building anew.  And just like that, the whirlwind began.  And now, our home is officially for sale and we're living with a lockbox on the door, which will take some getting used to.  But we're also living with the dream of our new home, in our favorite place on earth.  I look forward to sharing my journey...

P.S.  That darling vintage letter T (for Thompson) that you see on my front porch?  It came from my friend (and Farm Chicks Show vendor), Lisa Souers. You can find her amazing products on her website or read more about her on her blog.

 

November 06, 2008

Jam Pots

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I want to re-package everything I buy. (Unless it's cutely packaged, of course!)  And I do, which drives my family a little crazy. But I really love moving pasta from the bag to a jar. And rice.  And nuts.  And chocolate chips ... and ... and ... and...  I enjoy opening up the pantry and seeing pretty things - not packages. So imagine my excitement when I found these darling little jam pots at the Sister's Sale. (I'll have more on them and their fun sale sometime in the future). Now, when I open the fridge, I'll see pretty things there too.

October 29, 2008

The Baking Center

When we built our house, we were definitely on a budget. And that was okay, because Colin and I had never lived any other way. Although we had a builder, I took classes at the community college on being your own general contractor, as we wanted to have as much information as possible, and be educated enough to make good choices. We also spent a lot of time at the library (one of our favorite places on earth) looking for inspiration. When I found The Not So Big House book, I was really happy. Small-ish homes, built with quality materials.  We loved the concept.

Center2Colin's best friend, Tony, was just discovering a new hobby of cabinet building and offered to build our kitchen at cost. We were thrilled with his offer. Tony and I met up one morning at Starbucks and sketched out the kitchen. I wanted it to be classic, full of light, and have plenty of space for foot traffic so the boys could ramble freely through, even if the dishwasher and oven were both wide open.

CenterAnd most importantly, I wanted a baking center on the island in the center of it all.

What I love most about the baking center are the drawers that hold my spices - right next to the stove, and the flour, sugars, etc. in the others. If I need to dust the countertop with flour, I can just reach right in and grab a handful.

 
 
 
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I have another fun little place that I keep more of my spices. I'll show you soon!

October 27, 2008

Scrubbing

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Monday is my scrub day, where I shovel out the house from a weekend of non-stop action.  Changing all the sheets, dusting, cleaning, scrubbing. I love it. Everything will be sparkley when I'm done.



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