Monday, March 29, 2010

So many new details

Stuart gave you a peek at some of the things that happened at the house last week -- heat pump and lights -- but we have many more new details to talk about.

The city asked us to replace the sidewalks surrounding the house, so those were torn up this week:

But instead of letting that concrete go to waste, we cut it and reused it in a really cool geometric-style walkway up to the front porch. This was entirely Blake's design:

New sidewalks will be poured soon, as will our driveway. Instead of paving a traditional full driveway that just creates more stormwater runoff, we decided to only pave strips for our cars to drive up -- between them we'll likely place gravel, rocks or possibly plant ground cover:

The painters have almost finished up the outside, and it looks amazing! Now that all the different colors are on the front of the house, including the trim, it looks really sharp:

Heading up to the front door, you can see our new doorbell. It was created by local artist Paul Strauch, whose studio is in Turner, Ore. He has a whole line of decorative doorbells:

Inside, Stuart already gave you a glimpse of our light fixtures, but here are some more photos. We chose the entire lighting set based on the pendants over the island, which we fell in love with:

The dining room chandelier:

Living room sconces:

The sconces also line the stairwell:

One of the things Stuart was most excited about happened this week: our appliances arrived. We ordered matching stainless steel kitchen appliances from KitchenAid. They're awesome!

We also got our washer and dryer, made by Bosch:

We bought a condensing dryer, which does not exhaust any air to the outside of the house. This prevents us from having to poke another hole in the outer wall, and also keeps us from exhausting our nice conditioned air to the outside. Instead of pushing out moist, hot air, a condensing dryer uses a heat exchanger to cool the air and condense the water vapor into a drain pipe. That's according to Wikipedia.

The inside portion of our solar water heater was installed. It looks similar to a standard water heater:

Our Marmoleum-brand linoleum was installed in the mud room and upstairs bathrooms. What's nice about linoleum is it's made from renewable materials. In the mud room, we chose three different colors of squares to be installed in a random pattern. We're really happy with the result:

The two upstairs bathrooms have a dark gray linoleum:

And the laundry room has a similar gray floor, but is slightly more yellow to go with the walls:

Also on the flooring front, our carpet arrived! We carpeted the entire upstairs and the stairs. The carpet is made of wool, which is a natural, renewable fiber. It has a jute backing, instead of man-made material. These materials do not release toxic gases into the air, which is good for our air quality.

The carpet feels nice and soft under my feet:

And finally, the master bathroom faucets and matching shower fixtures arrived. Our other faucets are on the way. The bathroom fixtures are from Moen's Eva series:


  1. I love the reclaimed-sidewalk sidewalk! Very cool. Can I reccomend against gravel in your driveway? We've got gravel, and it all ends up in the yard and in the house! At the very least, get much larger gravel than we've got.

  2. Thanks for the tip! My preference there is to plant ground cover, but we're still figuring that out.

  3. I agree about ground cover if you can find something that won't need edging and can tolerate the proximity to cars. If you have to go with gravel, look for crushed rock -- the flat surfaces will keep weed seeds from getting down to soil where they can germinate and thrive. Round actual gravel will let them roll wherever they will.

  4. Where did you find an airtight dog door? Could you email me a link to there website? House looks amazing! Thanks

  5. Sure thing - we got a "Freedom Pet Pass" pet door:

    We've been really pleased with it, and it really is airtight. We did our final blower door test and measured just 0.20 ACH50, which is really quite tight.