Thursday, December 11, 2014

My world has been rocked - Toto Washlet - OH MY!

Busy day - met the HVAC guy at Haven at 8 then went to check out windows - it's 5:30 in the evening and I haven't gotten quote yet - not taking that as a good sign. I finally gave in and went to check out Marvin - their mid-line windows. Let's just hope they don't break the bank and I can get them ordered. Good news is as long as they are standard size windows will get in two weeks and we only do standard - no custom anything - not in the budget.

I was there a while then ran over to Gilmore custom cabinet shop and was about to pop so used their facilities and those dirty dogs had this in their bathroom! A Toto Washlet!!! The seat was warm, toasty actually. All I can say is we should all have one - going to take Ray into use - I kid you not! It's a game changer. I feel certain we need one in our master bath AND guest bath - one one each floor.
Toto Washlet S300
I laughed when I first saw the Toto Washlet S300 toilet at a house warming party for some close friends of mine.
I couldn’t imagine anyone who would want to have a high tech toilet with a control panel that looked like a universal remote:
Toto Washlet S 300 Remote
By the way the cabinet plan is just amazing! As is their pricing. Nevertheless, getting the most important room of the house done and not have to be in charge of it would really simplify our lives. Do have our list done on what all we need to do to get ready. Won't be anytime soon. We have to get our structural work done, need to take up the tile in the kitchen and need to get structural columns, really only one column is structural, the other one is to balance it out. I can't remember if I have shared this with you but just to remind you this is our goal:

You can't see it on the page but there is a column in the front too - it's one of the two that is helping hold the house up.
This is the island which is jammed pack with appliances which is great but not much storage except under the sink and under microwave. We have forgotten about the drawer frig so we've already shuffled plan, starting a the left - microwave, then fridge drawers, ice maker, sink. We are going to make the depth deeper on the end cabinet, add drawers and cabinets - no glass. There are full cabinets on the other side under the bar but it's not for everyday storage. 

Also, want to share the unbelievable deals I've gotten off of Amazon lately. 

Need 3 shower heads for the bathrooms we are working on and I was trying to cut corners a bit on these. Ferguson's has quoted around $179ish, I got it down to $100ish, then found another one for $60ish. Hopped on Amazon just to see what they had and check out the deal that I found. They had them under the USED which means someone returned to Amazon - I got them for $58 each!!! SCORE
Delta 58045
Then last night I thought I would check out some lighting are REALLY made out like a bandit! Was $78 on Amazon and from Warehouse deals got 2 for $25. 74!!! Each. Think it will go great with our mirror: 


That's all for now. Hope you are having a great evening and staying warm.       

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

So far it's been a very hectic week over at Haven House. The plumbers have been here which you would think would be a good think but I pretty much want to ring their necks. Have the HVAC guys here now. Cody got emergency call: get over here quick to take down wall. He was not pleased. However, he was here promptly, he knows when his mamma's head is getting ready to spin off. His daddy got a call to get over to Haven right away, and I had to go to the plumbing supply house to get test plugs for the plumbers so we can have plumbing inspected. Saw Ray leaving and he's just so pleased that my head is not spinning off because of him.

I still haven't ordered any windows and it's going to slow us down from completing the upstairs bathrooms and laundry room. It's so confusing - replace, don't replace. From the old house sites, can't replace beautiful old windows. You will never be able to match what is there. Well I get that. We are replacing. We are taking out, saving for something, moving several inches one way or another and either getting much larger or just a tad smaller.  I did get a lesson on windows from an acquaintance. It was very helpful EXCEPT, I consider this a farmhouse, and I it's actually a Victorian farmhouse. Hmmm, so I start researching Victorian windows, fireplaces, STOP.

Hmmm, a whole new world of mischief for me to get in to. Ray walked in on my the other night and he could tell I was all excited....I told him a found a new website and "it's going to be a problem." He said "get out of it quick" TOO LATE. I saw, I want, and now I NEED! We will do coal instead of logs, gasping with excitement!!!! AND it will warm the whole downstairs! It says so. Will get one for my little craft room too to warm the whole upstairs of course.

Since I just really don't want to deal with that for the moment, I realized that I DO need to replace the outside light fixtures sooner than later, and well, wouldn't copper gas lights just be lovely? Only need 5 of them. Not really breaking the bank there given the ambiance that they will add. However, haven't actually mentioned any of this to Ray, don't need his head spinning off just yet. Did run it by Cody who thinks it's a great idea, but "Mom, is it really necessary?" He is SO his father's son. Yes, it's necessary or I wouldn't have thought of it, geez! Ran it past the plumber who I'm having a love/hate relationship with at the moment. Thought his head would spin off, but it didn't. It's really not a big deal. Now can't decide - copper or black? It's a farmhouse....still, we are going to do a copper awning over the "new back door" entrance. I'm thinking copper - input please. The house is white and is remaining that way.

SH-2001 Single House Wall Mount with optional Top Loop

Since I'm at Haven all the time, I literally don't have one Christmas decoration up. Not one. Do think about it so maybe that counts. I sit in Ray's mancave. It's actually sort of set-up. Sofa, chairs, dining table. So, I'm looking at this one shade darker than baby-blue paint, which I'm we are all past the point truly disliking, thinking "I should go ahead and paint this." One thing checked off. How exciting. I look and look, plan and plan, don't really want to reuse a color from the past and if I did I think it would have been Tyler Taupe. Did have it mixed up here at Home Depot since we don't have a BM store anymore, sad face. I know the color they mixed up isn't right. So my girlfriend had them redo it (months ago). Still haven't checked it. However, have gotten on the bandwagon of mancave=DARK paint. It's full of windows with SW exposure so oddles of light. So called Susan, my dear friend, and partner in crime when it comes to paint. I say to her "thinking navy" she says "Hale Navy." So I run down to Ace, maybe they mix up paint better, and get one qt of flat Hale Navy, new paint brush, because, seriously, who knows where ours are. Choosing that took time. Stiff or medium stiff. Seriously, that's what was on the package. Okay, now I'm out of control. Anyway, of course I went with stiff. Will have to let you know how it works. It's the professional brush. Gotta stop....Then I come over here and realize, I can't paint, I don't have any fricken water, STILL!!!

Image result for hale navy             BM HC-154 Hale Navy, looks sort of purple, great....Actually looks good on the can and I would show you but guess where it is. Yes, at Covey....

Oh, and aren't you just so tickled I'm keeping you all up-to-date on our wonderful 1905 Victorian Farmhouse....

The master bath. Plan was ok. Wasn't crazy about the corner shower. Did have Ray and Cody mark out and put down 2x4s so the plumbers would know exactly where to put everything. Yesterday plumber looked at it and is all doom and gloom. GEEZ. Literally he said we would have to gut RAy's bar, and put in fir downs. WE are SO not doing anymore fir downs! So I came up with what we both think is a far better plan. Ran it by the plumber and he thinks will work. Now I have to get on the same page with him for the steam shower. Nothing is EVER easy! I do really like this plan - so does Ray. The toilet moving of the toilet to other side of room was the plumbing issue. Now we are just moving a few feet. The guys have to take up the floor and keep your fingers crossed - might just work. So the ARM is Ray's armoire. Then my wonderful hair and makeup vanity, then my sink vanity, wall, then toilet and shelves with a big widow across the top. I really love it. Ray's vanity is on the opposite side. Will have one glass wall on shower and now will be able to do center tile work. Score!

This is my inspiration for toilet area. Just love it. Thanks Kohler

Like I said, the HVAC guys are here moving pipes and such so we can get some structural beams put in. Someday.....

Saturday, December 6, 2014

New Plans!!

We have our new plans for the house and there is A LOT going on. Seems to be moving much faster than I thought it would which just thrills me!

We've been working with Stuck Architects. You gotta feel for them. I tried SO hard to stay out of the plans and it worked for maybe a day. Must say, they came up with ideas Ray and I never would have thought of that we LOVE! It was entertaining seeing all the fancy plans they came up with. Bless their hearts - it's a farm house! We did manage to open it up completely although there are some tricky structural issues that we have to tackle soon.

Existing Main floor plans
New floor plans:

Existing 2nd floor plans

New Plans

So, what do you think? I wish the master suite was on the main floor but are adding a washer/dryer hookup in the guest closet in case we can't go up and down the steps.

We have been SO busy. Pictures don’t do it justice. We have walls down upstairs and down. That is thrilling. We no longer have long narrow hallways. We no longer have six bedrooms. We now have five and wonderful, light filled space. That is one thing about this house. It has wonderful natural light. Windows just everywhere! The very tight master suite is no longer. The master bath and closet are much more spacious and functional; the master bedroom is considerably larger. We have revamped the original bath and laundry room upstairs and squeezed out a new bathroom. I have dubbed them girls bathroom (the big one) and of course boy’s bathroom or perhaps Ladies and Gentleman’s bath would be more proper. Certainly no reason to call it grand kid's bath since I have been informed I need to enjoy all my grand dogs! Getting off subject....that happens, often.
Downstairs we have all the walls down - frame is still up most everywhere - lots of structural work to do. We have had more work done down in the cellar, you know, to keep the house from falling down around us. I have become Ray’s very favorite wife, well you know only one, but still favorite. There are two spots in the original house that are literally carrying the weight of the original upstairs that we must keep. We were going to open it all up, and put all the structural beams tucked away nicely in the ceiling, which was making Ray sweat and me thrilled. However, since I couldn’t talk Ray into steel beams, we were going to have to have a column at the end of island (that is the first spot that is holding up the house) which made me tense. Going with the flow, I hopped on, how did we live without Houzz??? Did search for “column in island” and within moments, well, maybe 30 minutes, problem solved.

The other corner in the house is in the front by the entry and front parlor, which we are now calling the library AND the room for the Christmas tree. The reason I’m Ray’s favorite wife, is just last week I noticed that my favorite kitchen pic with the columns, had a header above it. Like I said, game changer. So each area, there will be a header, except for 10’ or so between entry. There will all be an eight foot header that Ray and Cody will wrap in lovely trim. I have a thing for eight foot doors and doorways. Columns don't have to be that big (thank goodness!)

Where I fall out of favor pretty quick are the moving and changing size of windows. Most of the lovely old windows we aren't touching for the moment. Someday we will tackle them and make them functional again but for the time being I'll be happy just getting them clean. However, there are 10 windows, 3 are replacements, and the other 7 are being changed out to most likely a bigger size or moved a few inches one way or another. In the new bathroom upstairs (to right of laundry room) he went to put up the new wall and it was smack damp in the middle of the window. He was CRANKY about that. Taking out the bar window (today) which will give us more upper cabinet space.

In process of taking out window in what is now the new Gentleman's bathroom

Any input on new windows? I need to get some ordered immediately and seriously don't know what to do. Have looked at Quaker, were recommended by a friend in town who re-does a lot of houses and Window World. There is so much negative info about both and some positive but I'm trying to keep expenses down. Still, want functional windows that are efficient and easy to clean. The Anderson guy in town has stood me up several times...I do need to get on the ball and get this done.

Huge shout out to our dear friends Lizette and Joe Peter. They have gone far beyond being helpful - they flew in for Lizette's birthday and we all just worked and worked. Joe is just amazing and Lizette is the BEST nail puller of ALL time! We had a blast at the house and had all kinds of fun cooking and catching up. Then Joe, who does love this, flew back two weeks later to do even more!!! That is when the master walls got moved around and par for the course we realized that the new wall is right in the middle of an attic pulldown so that all had to be moved too.
Joe moving closet wall - don't you love the tubs in the middle of the room?

Lizette pulling zillions of nails, zillions!

This is SO exciting - walls down between old house and new. It's so open and flows just right.

Ray and Cody measuring for new closets and linen closet upstairs in the Gallery area.

Cast iron bathtubs are just a bit heavy!

Monkey wallpaper, tile, and unwanted walls are now GONE!

This door frame is gone. Looking into Cody's room. So much better with it gone.

Cody's room BEFORE
Quick trip to Dallas - thank you so much Jennifer!!!!

How lovely is that rug!!!! Almost certain will be using in our dining room, someday. 
For now Cody is enjoying it. Floors aren't refinished yet....

In all this fun I have found a minute or two to do some shopping.

New Bachelor's chest for ladies bathroom upstairs - will go in between two pedestal sinks
This is a baker's rack I thought we NEEDED. It's now in the sleeping porch which is being used as a little green house for the moment. Cody wants to make it a deck but until the barn/garage gets built I need a spot for winter gardening. 

Mom found this little chest, I bet at the same store, 49 South, that I found my new purchases. I love this little chest. It's going in the Gentleman's bath. I love that tile, but it had to go - couldn't match it and make it look good so Cody got to take out more floors. These came out much easier than the below pics did. The plan is to put in Pennsylvania Blue Stone at the main back entrance so I have my tile guy looking for that.

Back downstairs, this bathroom was NOT happy about being broken down and proved to be very difficult.

Very difficult indeed. VERY thankful for Cody. He has been amazing. Soaking in what all Joe and Ray have been teaching him. 

We did manage, we as in Ray and Cody, to get that bathtub out of that difficult bathroom. It's so lovely on our porch! That vanity is going to be reused in the laundry room. Getting rid of the sink, the faucet will be used in the new bath downstairs. Trying to reuse as much as possible.

I really don't have a good pic of the steps we took out just a week ago. Ray is cutting wood for a new wall...somewhere. BEFORE
GASP - good thing we are redoing them! I just can't tell you how pleased we are to get this done this winter instead of waiting until spring. By spring I will be chomping at the bit to get the yard in shape and all this work will be done and gone, gone, gone. All the cement and plumbing just sitting in the yard will be history! Wahoo!


SO very pleased!! Daisy Belle likes them too!

Front steps before:

Took awhile but them got them out

Safe to say, I LOVE this. Brick makes ALL the difference! Steve did two planters on either side of the steps for me. He just finished these on Thursday for us.

We are having all the plumbing redone and haven't had water in over a month. Hopefully next week it will get turned back on. It's very tricky getting everything done. Some plumbing gets done, then we have to have some electrical done, then the HVAC guys has to do something, then Ray and Cody have to put up a wall, it goes in circles. Ray and Cody put up two walls today, and will put up two more tomorrow, which will actually put us ahead of the game. Waiting on the HVAC guy to get in a part - he has to move some stuff around for us.

I think that is all for the moment. Like I said, we are making tremendous headway. Can't wait to show you some more finished projects soon! 

Start thinking about paint and lighting......think copper, gas lighting, and then think of Ray and the plumbers heads spinning off, LOL! or perhaps them wringing my neck - could go either way.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

OH MY STARS!!! Spring Storm hit NE Arkansas!

We all knew it was coming. It got eerily dark. I'm home alone with all the 4 legged children, Oscar, Buck, and Daisy Belle who, despite the sirens going off, didn't think it was necessary to seek shelter. So soon as sirens stopped we went out to investigate. Lots of little branches down, nothing big over here. Then we lost power, hmm, didn't expect that. Then I got hot. That was expected, LOL. Everything settled down so I headed over to Haven.

That was tricky. Street lights weren't working, big limbs down all over the place. Got to Haven, WOW! Immediately noticed a new open spot that wasn't there yesterday. That's not good.

Right in front of house. Not a good sign. 

Big empty spot now. Wonder what I'll put there now???

Big tree on south side down. SO sad. 

Pecan tree in very green pool. Have I mentioned that nothing on the pool works???