Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Adventures in Portland

I flew up to Portland this weekend to meet with my kitchen designer. I went ostensibly to select tile for the backsplash (because, you know, you can't find tile in Houston), but my designer is also one of my best friends (arguably my best friend, actually). In any case, it was a good excuse to see her and her adorably cute 1-year-old.

R had prescreened several tile shops as well as a granite warehouse, and she had scheduled three stops for us. I'm not sure if she and I just have incredibly similar tastes or she has some special hypnosis skills, but the tile I selected (Lunada Bay Sumi-e glass tile in the Hida pattern) was one she had sent me a link to a few weeks prior. I had liked it when I saw the link, but it wasn't particularly memorable or stand out as a winner until I saw it in person. It feels modern since it's glass, but the color variation and texture give it a warm, organic feel. All things being equal I prefer really modern/contemporary finishes, but since this is a family home, I want to avoid things looking too perfect and untouchable. The Sumi-e tile fits the bill nicely.

I also found my granite (hopefully!) while in Portland. We had planned to look at granite slabs just for ideas since I'll be selecting my slabs in Houston, but within five minutes of looking we found a really nice granite that has lots of movement and complemented the truffle-color cabinets and tile perfectly. It's called Mombasa, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can find it here. After doing a quick online search, I found a dealer in Dallas that carries it; I'm taking that as a promising sign.

In other kitchen news (though not very exciting), I ordered my kitchen sink - the Kindred Estate Series Undermount Double Bowl Sink (UC2233/10RK/E). It's actually the same sink I used on 24th, but the 33" version instead of the 36" one (I have a smaller cabinet base underneath the sink in this house). I didn’t really look at other options because I knew I was looking for a sink similar to the one I had before, and R said that it was a fine brand to go with.

Some pics from this weekend:

Granite/Tile/Cabinet Door Samples

Lunada Bay Sume-e in Hida Natural
(bit of cabinet door shown at bottom)

Brazilian Mombasa

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bunglehouse Gray

*Trimwork not painted yet (will be SW Downing Sand)

I decided to go with Bunglehouse Gray, and I'm really happy with how it looks on the house. The stucco isn't done yet, but they did paint the siding in the back of the house (sorry about the poor lighting in the pictures above - they were taken about 7PM. I'll get better shots next time I'm there during the day.) The cedar really pops against the BG, and I think the color really helps the house stay true to the Craftsman idea of "organic harmony". I can't wait to see how it looks once the stucco is painted and the stonework is done. It's always interesting/scary to see how your decisions based on 2'x2' samples actually translate into reality.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Still undecided

I put up samples of Bunglehouse Gray (left) and Balanced Beige (right) up side by side, and I'm still undecided. On the one hand, I still like Balanced Beige, and it's definitely a safe color to go with - it'll look good with our other colors, and it's so neutral there's nothing objectionable about it (although it could be argued that being too neutral is objectionable). On the other hand, the Bunglehouse Gray would make the house more Greene and Greene-like. The Gamble House is one of the inspirations for this home, and I think the Bunglehouse Gray gives it more of that feel.

I've got a day or two to sleep on it, but I'm leaning towards the Bunglehouse Gray. But I do like that Balanced Beige... Arggh!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Exterior Colors

There's been quite a bit of progress on the house, and the contractors have started prepping for stucco application. Since they'll also be painting the stucco (as opposed to the paint crew doing the rest of the house), we need to finalize the exterior color in the next few days. The house has a lot of orange tones from the the cedar accents and the stonework, and we wanted a neutral beige/taupe color to balance that.

After brunch today, we headed off to select a color. This process involves buying 15 shades of beige paint, painting them on the side of the house, staring at them for an hour, and getting mad at J when he can't tell the difference between Ultimate Beige and Pinnacle Beige. To be fair, I only picked up nine samples, and two of them I just wanted to see as potential interior colors (SW Worldly Gray and SW Amazing Gray).

Of the colors samples I chose, SW Balanced Beige is a clear standout for me. I'd be happy with this color, but of course J, looking at all the shades, didn't like any of the them and made the very astute observation that "they're all...so...beige." We discussed using SW Bunglehouse Gray, and J liked that idea. I'm torn, primarily because I've now used that color twice (in our house on 24th and on the flip project on 25th). I suppose another way to look at it is that it's definitely a color that I know I love. Another benefit of that color is that no other house on the block is that green/grey/taupe shade, while there IS another beige stucco house just three doors down. Our house is so different, though, that I don't think the other house also being beige matters that much. Anyhoo, I'm going to pick up another sample of Bunglehouse Gray tomorrow to do a side-by-side comparison. In the meantime, below are a few images of what we're working with.

SW Balanced Beige (next to cedar trim)

Alpine Ledgestone in Harvest (stonework)

SW Bunglehouse Gray (on garage on flip project)

SW Bunglehouse Gray (on 24th St. home)