Progress continues: Limestone, taping and floating, cedar or cypress?, tile choices, curb shock, a gift, and Grumpy Cat.
Whelp, the limestone is (nearly) finished on the front of the house, and it looks awesome.There's some fill-in work to do next to the window, and they still need to grout the panels. After a brief discussion, we're going to grout with grout that's the same color as the panels but leave it an inch back from the front plane to keep a nice strong shadow line. The setback of the grout line is called the "rake". We be getting a deep rake.
This photo shows the how they did the corner:
I was hoping that they would do a miter joint such that the line would be exactly on the corner, but it doesn't surprise me they didn't: Much less room for error both in cutting and in cutting correctly. However, this looks pretty good to me.
taping and floating
With the drywall in, the sub has started taping and floating: Taping to cover the drywall joints and floating (slapping down drywall goo and goo-smoothing) to cover the tape and the nail and screw holes. They've also been installing metal edging on corners (which then requires floating).
Looking up the stairwell.
An oddly cubist corner that covers ductwork into the pantry.
Looking toward the fridge inset.
Looking from the kitchen into the dining/living room.
Looking out the big-ole window at the top of the stairwell.
Looking toward the bookshelves.
Looking toward the media wall. Top part taped and floated; the bottom part not.
Looking toward the kitchen.
Metal edging on one of the corner windows.
Looking down the stairwell (gotta be careful: no guardrails!)
Window above the bed in the master bedroom.
Another angle in the master bedroom.
cedar or cypress?
The architects spec'd the ceiling in the entry and living room and the soffits as cedar. It needs to be a wood that works both indoors and outdoors because the architects designed the ceiling to seamlessly extend from the inside of the house to the outside of the house (an important tenet of Modernism and the whole reason for all the engineering and framing acrobatics).
We've been in love with cypress since we saw it on a house on the AIA tour last year, so we really wanted to investigate that as an option. The photos below show cypress on the left and cedar on the right. The lower bits are raw wood, and the upper bits are sealed with no dye.
They'd both be fine, but the finer grain of the cypress is quieter and makes for a denser and perhaps more stable wood (the cedar sample is slightly cupped). We'd get the cypress without the v-notch up the middle.
Note grain difference and cupping in the cedar.
Cost, you say? Good question. Indeed, the cypress costs more than the cedar, but only 14 percent more.
Cypress it is.
final tile choices
We've (nearly) made final tile choices. One last thing we needed to choose was tile for the bathroom walls. What we would have loved is glossy-and-bright-as-a-librarian-in-the-morning-after-a-triple-shot-espresso marble, but it is darn expensive, especially on top of our backsplash choice. Two large format (12" by 24") tiles we looked at were white ceramic and marble:
Ceramic = $3 a square foot; marble = $15 a square foot.
Ceramic it is.
One last choice we need to make is for the backsplash for the buds-n-suds (laundry-bar) room. Same as in the kitchen? Or something different (and less expensive)?
If you recall, we had to tear out and replace the approach and curb at our driveway (the city made us do it). The good news is that replacing the curb made it all look better by not mixing two vintages of concrete. The bad news? That all cost all of 3,400 dollars that were not in the budget. Contingency funds...
Our sweet green neighbors around the corner gave us a magazine from the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired (he consulted) Biltmore Hotel. Sweet!
We already had the cat, in case you are wondering...
Speaking of neighbors, the house two lots down is going up with amazing speed. Not as green as our house (and certainly not as modern!), there it is in the distance and from the street.
It will prolly go for a mint since the housing market here is going great googly-eyed gangbusters. Our house is starting to look like a brilliant financial move...
we saw grumpy cat!
SXSW is going on now in Austin, which allows opportunities to partake in various shades of goofiness. For example, here's a photo we took of a bunnymobile rolling about town:
We're big fans of Grumpy Cat, a nearly one-year old kittycat named Tardar Sauce or Tard for short. Tard, truly a sweetheart, was born with a permanent frown on her face. She became an internet phenomenon (a meme in webspeak) last fall when people began captioning her photos with grumpy sayings. For example, here's one I made at memegenerator.net:
For the record, we're having a (mostly) good time!
Anyway, she's in town for SXSW! So we went down and waited (wait for it...) two and half hours to meet her in all her feline (dozing) glory:
Quite frankly, she looked a little grumpy from all the attention.
Afterwards we went to the Paul Qui curated trailer food court nearby. Yum!
The Qui is arguably a neighbor as he lives in the same building as us (and we see him from time to time).