Guest blogging at Design Sponge!

200811030656This whole week I am blogging over at Design Sponge. I'm so excited because Grace at Design Sponge has been such an inspiration for me over the years, as well as a great resource for affordable goodies. At first I couldn't even think about what I could share with her readers, since she is much more of a design expert than I. After a lot of pondering I though I would share the story of our remodel at our last house. So if you aren't familiar with the story, or just want a quick recap, make sure you check out my guest blog all week at Design Sponge.

Thanks Grace for the opportunity to share!

Our Kitchen, Sneak Preview

200810310730.jpg We are getting ready to buy our cabinetry from Ikea tomorrow, so I thought I would show a quick sketchup rendering of what our design is going to be. ... Around the corner is a 36" cab that will have 1 door 1 drawer, and a Lee Valley hardware blind corner unit.

Countertop questions

 Archives Houzer-Zero-Radius-Undermount-Trough-Bar-Prep-Sink-4285For our kitchen we are doing a zero radius undermount sink like the one in the picture. We are looking for a white countertop material, but are having troubles finding one that can be square cut like the picture above. We had planned on doing a Silestone in zeus white, but were told by our installer that the smallest inside corner radius they can do is 1/2 inch or else it will crack. According to them the same goes for any stone and even Corian. We are finding the same problem with our flush mount induction cooktop. So the question....

Does anyone know a good white countertop that can be zero radius like the picture above?

Starting on our kitchen.

200810270856Those of you that have been following me on Twitter know that last Friday I started on my own kitchen project. We got the entire old kitchen demoed out, as well as the room underneath it (scope creep). We put down new subfloor to get rid of all the squeaks, and got a good start on the plumbing. Today we are ordering our flooring, white rubber tiles, and looking at countertops. I hope to finish up the plumbing and start on the electrical. Check out my tweets to see how I'm doing!

Avanti portable induction hotplate

 Aabh Prd On Demandware.Static Sites-Appliance-Site Sites-Compactappliance Default V1224833608794 Products Viewlarger Ihp1500 Vl1In the spirit of affordable modern kitchen remodels, demo on our kitchen starts today. I think we finally settled on a layout, and appliances, and we are just working out the flooring details right now. Since I am doing all the work, it will probably be a while until we have a fully functional kitchen again. To try and make it a little easier, we set up a little kitchen in our laundry room. We are using this little Avanti Induction hotplate to do all our cooking. I am totally obsessed with the whole induction cooktop idea, and if all goes well we will be doing an induction cooktop in our main kitchen also.

Avanti induction hotplate + skillet available from Compact appliance for $107. More about induction cooking here.

6 Emeco's for $340

200810090715 In case you didn't already hear the news, I just picked up 6 Emeco 1006 chairs from Craig's List. The original listing said it was 4 for $250 or $70 each. I placed the call and found out that John really had 6 for sale. I offered him $340 for all 6 and he was kind enough to agree. That's just over $55 each, normal pricing is $395 for one. I almost feel guilty for picking them up that cheap. Luckily John got them for cheap himself from a bar in Reno that was closing. He didn't tell me what he paid for them, but I got the idea that he wasn't really loosing money on them. They really are great chairs, light, bombproof, comfortable with timeless style. We don't have a place for them yet, but it has spurred us to get going on our kitchen remodel so we can actually have a dinning room table to accommodate them. If your looking for more good deals on local stuff, see the post above, or challenge Melissa to find you something good.

Thanks again to all the GRM readers that contribute!


Avalisa Wool Rug

Dsc 0011-23If you remember a while ago we got a new Avalisa 5 x 8 rug for our living room. We had originally wanted the bigger 8 x 10 size, but had settled for the smaller one. After much deliberation we finally realized that the scale of the smaller rug didn't quite fit the room. We were able to work things out with Avalisa and our new rug arrived just a few days ago. We were relieved to see that the scale really does work much better for the room. While the $1360 price tag can be hard to swallow I just keep reminding myself it's only $16 a square foot :) Our bare floors do look much better now that they have a large rug, and the quality is such that I'm sure it will be around for quite some time.Rugs available from Avalisa from $310 - $1360.

Industrial Outdoor lighting

Dsc 0024-15We used to have two big spotlights on a motion sensor on our garage. Over the last month or so the motion sensor has gotten progressively worse until it was almost non functional. This weekend we finally got around to replacing the whole light fixture. We found these nice weather tight industrial lights in the "barn section" of Sutherlands, a local hardware store. We ended up buying one for the front of the house, and one for our back porch. I love the look of them, and love the $18 price tag even more. The one in the front we added a little bit of hardware to make it turn on and off automatically depending on the amount of daylight. Needless to say, we are quite happy to be rid of the two huge, non-functional spotlights.

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Starting on the kitchen

kitchen from Creede on Vimeo.We have been in our house for almost 6 months now, so it's inevitable that I finally got some demo work done. My wife was out of town for the week and had no idea what I was up to. The whole thing was very inexpensive, less than $200. It took me about a week working on it when I got home from my 9 - 5, and on the weekend. The worst part was really all the cleaning. I swear I spent as much time cleaning up my mess as I did making it. The video shows the progress as I knock down two walls, move the electrical, add some new lighting and start putting it all back together. This is the first phase in our kitchen remodel.

A new project begins...

Dsc 0014-23Well I guess it was inevitable. It seems that I have an affinity to knocking walls down. Last week while my wife was gone on vacation I decided it was a perfect time to redefine some spaces in our house. This picture is just a sneak preview, I'll go over the whole story as soon as I get all my pictures together. Needless to say it was a huge dusty mess, and my wife was very glad that she wasn't around.

Trying to beat the heat

Dsc 0003-37Things are heating up in Utah. It looks like we should be hitting triple digits this week. Unfortunately for us our house has neither central air or a swamp cooler. We have been blowing cold air from our basement up the stairs to try and keep things cool, and it definitely helps. To make sleeping a little bit nicer, we decided to buy some ceiling fans. We went with the cirrus hugger from modern fan. It's the same fan we had at our last house, and we loved them there. Installation was a breeze (luckily our boxes were already braced for a ceiling fan) and they look great in our room with our new Malm bed and dresser. Cirrus Hugger Fans available from Y Lighting starting at $304 Malm bed and dresser available from Ikea $149 - $199

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Thanks Salt Lake Magazine!

200807010726A special thanks goes out to Salt Lake Magazine and all their staff for including me in the July/August edition. For those locals, it's worth picking up an issue to see the best of the beehive list. Each year, Salt Lake magazine seeks out the best of everything in Utah. For 2008, they have the biggest-ever collection of the people, places and things you love about living in the Beehive State.

Best of the Beehive list is available online here.

Our new Rug

Dsc 0008-26Since we got our upstairs painted we have slowly been bringing in our furniture. Some of it works better than others. We decided our Arco lamp doesn't look so hot with 8' ceilings... We did get a new rug though that looks great. It's from Avalisa, and it's the "60" wool rug in blue. We settled on the 5' x 8' rug, and I think the scale of it works good in the room. Do you think a bigger one would have looked better? I was supper impressed with the quality of the rug. Since it's not exactly Ikea pricing, I was hoping for good quality, and I wasn't disappointed. It's very plush and very well made. Avalisa has been one of the longest sponsors of Grassrootsmodern, and it's been fun to see her product line expand. The move into rugs was definitely a good one! We just might have to get another one too.

5' x 8' "blue 60" rug available from Avalisa for $600.

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No baseboard - Details

Dsc 0008-25I have had quite a few people ask for details about how we did our bases without baseboard. First off let me say that it is completely different if you are talking new construction. New construction is easy, they make a 1/2" trim piece that keeps the drywall floated off the floor. For our house, I simply used a 6" drywall taping knife and smoothed the wall out to the floor. There were areas where I probably added as much as 1/2" of mud to the base to try and cover the floor boards. As long as you take it up smooth for a foot or so you don't really pick up on the added thickness. We were lucky that on all our doorways the wood casing came all the way to the corner. You really can't make a corner out of drywall. For existing construction, one of the problems is that your finished floor doesn't always go completely to the wall. There were plenty of area's in our house that were like this. In the process of mudding they got filled in, and I simply sanded them flush and finished over them when I finished the floor. It really isn't too noticeable. I did worry a little about how the base would hold up over time, but I figured it would be cheap to repair if I ever needed to fix it. To sum it all up, it's not perfectly clean everywhere, but I still think it looks a lot better than having base. Price wise it cost less than $50 to do 800 square feet, but a LOT of sanding and mudding. More pictures below.

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Before and After

200805122350-1It's amazing how much some paint, flooring an furniture can change a space. Much like our old home, we painted everything bright white (we used Behr pure white eggshell enamel). The white paint, along with getting rid of all the baseboard make the room look so much cleaner. It's great to finally get our furniture in the house, now we can start to get some of our artwork up and make it look like a home.

More pictures below!

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Dsc 0035-7 Our Bedroom Dsc 0010-19 Nursery Dsc 0030-8 Dsc 0020-18 Dsc 0029-10

We Sold Our Little Dream

200803241130I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were thinking about selling our home. Even though we had just barely finished it, it seems that the grass is always greener.... We put it on Craigslist and had a really great response. We ended up having a open house a couple of days later, and had a good crowd show up. Some were just there to see our pad, but one was looking to buy. It turns out that three days after putting it on Craigslist we had a verbal offer. Since neither the buyer or myself were using a realtor it took us a little bit to work out some of the kinks, but as of last Friday we officially no longer own the home. Although it will be hard to leave such a wonderful house we still feel good about it. Initially we set out to see if a Modern styled home could be had on a common mans income, and I think that we proved with enough hard work and persistence it can. The new owner is an architect and really appreciates what we've done, which makes it all a little easier to swallow. In a turn of irony the home that we wanted to buy went under contract before we could snatch it. Luckily things worked out that we were able to find another great home in an amazing neighborhood. It is a vintage 50's grandma's home just waiting for some tasteful updating. That means that there will be plenty of DIY affordable modern remodeling posts to come.

The Last Bathroom Update

200803040729I realized yesterday that I never put up any last pics of our bathroom to show our shower completely finished. It has been done for quite a while now, and we really love it, especially the dual showerhead. To pull the whole dual showerhead off on the cheap we ended up going with a Danze Parma shower/tub combo. The Parma has the tub diverter right next to where you turn the water on (instead of a pull up thing on the tub spout) so it makes for a clean look. Instead of diverting to a tub spout, it goes to our adjustable shower wand. Set it somewhere in between and you get dual shower heads! The tub/shower combo was around $350 and the wand was about $150. $500 isn't exactly cheap by my standards, but compared to any other dual head systems I could find it was a steal. More pictures after the jump. 200803040729-1 200803040730

Selling a Dream?

200802050715We always said that we would never sell our house for another fixer upper, that we would hold out for that perfect lot and build on it. Unfortunately lots are far and few between in areas that I would want to live. With that in mind I occasionally watch for houses in good areas that could become another epic GRM remodel. This last week I think I found one. We now find ourselves in a sticky situation. Before we can even put a bid on the house we need to sell ours, but we don't want to sell our unless we can get this new one. It's really quite frustrating. I have a feeling that this new house will sell in the next couple of weeks, so I put our house up for sale on Craigslist and Zillow just to see if I would get any bites. If we don't end up getting a full price offer in the next couple of weeks I imagine we will just end up staying here until we can find an affordable lot in a location we would want to live. Any advice?

Greene Daybed

Dsc 0023-7With our new Ikea couch in our living room we had only one more wall where we wanted some good seating. Our challenge was it had a low window right in the middle of the wall so a sofa was pretty much out of the question. We ended up going with this nice white Greene Daybed from Exclusively Home. It has a great classic look to it with the tufted leatherette and the Chrome legs. The price was quite reasonable at only $825. Shipping was free and it includes a 5 year furniture protection plan, whatever that is. Available from Exclusively Home for $825. Dsc 0024-10 Dsc 0025-10

Storage Resolution: Part 2

Dsc 0053-4When we built our addition, we knew that the secret to making a small house feel big is lots of storage. Thats why we planned over 40 linear feet of floor to ceiling storage. Unfortunately when we decided to finish our kitchen with this project we used up all our budget and were left with no storage. Over the weekend we splurged and bought about 12 feet of Ikea wardrobe for outside of our bedroom. We went with the Pax Nexus Birch wardrobes. All the cabinets are 23" deep and 93" tall. With all the cabinets and some interior parts we spent about $1,300. It was a big splurge, but it makes such a huge difference to have so much good storage. I can only imagine how great it will be when we get the other 30' installed! Pax Nexus Wardrobes from Ikea. Dsc 0054-4 Dsc 0063-4

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...