Seeing White

Our previously decrepit indoor pool house has been our single biggest, longest, and most expensive room makeover to date.  Though we had demolished the raised wet bar in 2012, replaced windows and doors in 2015, we really got to work in November 2016, working from the ceiling down.

While the ceiling was a lot of work, mostly due to the awkward working space, the walls win the most tedious award.

Pool-House-Plywood-Hanging-Progress

Although I only have myself to blame for that, because I was set on a floor to ceiling board and batten wall treatment.  First, hanging sheets of plywood backing, followed with hundreds of batten strips.

Pool-House-Tile-Install-Finished

The single most time-consuming, finger killing part was the miles of caulking.  I trudged through because I knew the result would be 100 percent worth it all.  This weekend, we made it one giant leap closer to the final, completed room.  Before we could get to the satisfying part, spraying primer, we had to mask off everything we didn’t want to get paint on.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Masking-Room

Floors, ceiling, cabinets, shelves, benches, doors, and windows.  Probably most fun, the two huge support beams that span the entire room.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Masked-Kitchen

When masking, I prefer to start with a good quality painter’s tape, closely following the edges.  Then I come back with my sheet of plastic to quickly mask the remaining open areas.  When in doubt, tape every single seam.  It’ll prevent over spray coming through as well as the plastic flapping up from the sprayer air.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Masked-Door

With the plastic applied, we laid drop cloths on the floor to completely cover it.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Masked-Room

With the prep work out of the way, we cracked open the oil based primer and got to spraying.  Ben started in the kitchen, working around the walnut shelves and vent hood.  My heart was beating so fast, a mixture of excitement of how great it looked already and worry that I hadn’t masked well enough.  I felt the same way about the ceiling beams and those turned out perfectly, so I have my fingers crossed.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Kitchen-Bench-Detail

This step is the single most satisfying part of a job.  In a matter of seconds, the walls went from unfinished plywood to crisp white.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Kitchen-Benches

Ben rocked the priming, knocking out the entire room in about 2 hours.  Despite being unfinished, the primer gives us an idea of the finished look and feel.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Center-Bump-out

Even with the windows covered, it’s so bright and fresh (looking, because the smell was terrible).

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Hot-Tub-Area

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Bathroom-Sink

It’s taking everything in me not to peel back the tape on the benches to see how it looks, but we still have to paint.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Masked-Bench-Detail

One minor annoyance is that the rough edges of each batten strip absorbed most of the paint.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Batten-Strip-Side-Detail

We hoped to paint on Sunday, but instead took the day to brush each edge with a second coat of primer.

Priming-Pool-House-Walls-Touched-Up-Edged

Not ideal, but necessary for the best possible paint finish.  We’ll spray the walls white, Snowbound from Sherwin Williams, this weekend and that’ll be the last whole room project.  After that, it’s all minor tasks to complete.  We’ll install sconces, finish the kitchen cabinets, and add the pool liner.  Then, it’s party time.

Advertisements

Stainless Steel Counter Tops

Between the teacher lounge makeover and building a pergola for a client, we haven’t spent much time in the pool house.  That doesn’t mean we’re not excited to make progress, but we did check one more piece off the list.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-with-Range-from-Door

We built basic cabinet boxes a few weeks ago, which allowed us to place our stainless steel counter top order.  Ben measured everything and I transferred the measurements to a digital format to hand off to the fabricator.  For easy cleaning, we had them build a sink and 4 inch tall back splash into the counters.

Sink Measurements

Counter Measurements

With the details nailed down, they told us three weeks before they’d be ready.  A week and two days later, they called saying the counters are finished and ready for pick up.  What a pleasant surprise.  Ben picked them up and paid the $1200 and installed the two pieces.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-from-Door

Though we initially considered a small, bar sized sink, we decided to go for a full size.  Easier for washing, or we can fill it with ice as a cooler when we have people over.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Sink-and-Range

Obviously, the faucet and drain aren’t fully hooked up, but it’s enough for us to install the remaining batten strips.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-and-Sink

A horizontal strip will butt up to the steel back splash top, with the vertical battens terminating into that piece for a seamless look.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Sink-and-Faucet

We’ve been so happy with the stainless counters in our master bath and the laundry room that these were an easy decision.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Faucet

The one inch thick back splash top is a nice, custom detail that adds a finishing touch.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Sill-Detail

The contrast of the shiny stainless and the warm walnut is perfect in my book, which can only get better once the walls are painted white.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Overall

Now that the counters are in, we can face the cabinets, including a support piece across the sink front, and build doors.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Stainless-Countertops-Installed

We’re getting so close to functional and can’t wait to have our first pool party!

Tips for Cutting Marble and Placement of a Wall Faucet

Between several projects this weekend, Ben made time to cut the marble remnant we picked up in January.  At roughly three feet wide by 50 inches tall, the size was perfect for our half bathroom counter and a slab back splash.  It wasn’t in perfect condition, with blue tape and a red circle noting scratches or tiny surface chips.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Slab

Even so, we knew we could make it work.  Before we could even get to the install point, I did a lot of measuring and number crunching to determine the faucet placement.  This is the first wall mount faucet we’ve installed, and it’s an entirely different process.  With a traditional deck mount faucet, you only need to know how many holes (1 to 3) and whether it’s mounted to the counter or the sink.

Our Humble Abode Blog Master Bathroom Vanity

A wall mount faucet is more like a shower control, hidden in the wall, so the height of every element determines the faucet height.  To place our faucet, we had to determine: the gap between the floor and shelf+the space between the shelf and walnut band+the height of the wooden walnut+the counter thickness+the sink height+the space between the top of the sink and bottom of the faucet spout.

Pool-House-Bath-Determining-Wall-Faucet-Height

It was a lot of marking on walls, mock hand washing, and heaps of second guessing.  Once closed up, that’s it.  No changes from there on out, so no pressure.

With the vanity frame built, we got started on the marble.  Using a masonry blade in a circular saw, Ben cut the marble pieces to size as well as a rough square for the sink drain.  The sink hides it, so it didn’t have to look good.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Counter-Installed

The back splash was a bit trickier, as we had two holes to cut and very little wiggle room.  And no material for a re-do if it was wrong.  Ideally we would have used a diamond tip hole saw, but didn’t have one in the two sizes we needed.  We made do with a standard hole saw, which worked fine, but took a little longer.  After a test fit, it wasn’t quite perfect, so Ben made slightly wider holes.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Backsplash-and-Sink-Installed

Second time was the charm and he installed the spout and handle to finish it off.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Backsplash-Installed

With the counter top cut, we had just over 16 inches of marble left.  We decided to use the rest to create an over-sized, statement making back splash.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Backsplash-Sink-Detail

Between the sleek faucet and the extra tall slab, this should be a breeze to keep clean.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Backsplash-Faucet-Detail

That’s all great, but how did we hide the scratches?  I’m glad you asked!  I love the look of honed marble, so we sanded the entire surface, first with 60 grit, followed up with 120 grit paper.  It takes off the sheen and makes any imperfections nonexistent or noticeable only if pointed out.

Pool-House-Bath-Marble-Backsplash-Sheen-Detail

I can’t help wandering in and sneaking a peek.  It’s just as beautiful and luxurious as I’d hoped it would be.

A Glass Bathroom Door & Walnut Vanity

We started off our pool house remodel with a half bath between the house entrance and the bar space.  It had a narrow swinging door that forced snugging against the vanity just to close it.  The bathroom itself was dark, in part because of dark wood clad walls, but also from a lack of natural light.

New-House-Pool-to-House-April-13-2012

Our remodel plans included adding wider doors to the bathroom as well as the house.

Pool-House-April-Progress-Bathroom-Door

A six-foot wide sliding glass door now connects the house and this space.  When I proposed using the previous swinging glass door for the bathroom, Ben gave me a funny look.  I continued with my rationalization that I’d like a way to get natural light into the small space, and the glass door, with the addition of frosted film, was perfect.  This gave us a wider opening, and with a pocket door, a more user-friendly function.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Shelves-and-Pocket-Door

Adding a pocket door in a 2 by 6 framed wall is easier, and sturdier, than in a 2 by 4 wall.  Placing 2 by 4 boards flat on either side of the pocket area, with the track installed, makes a rigid wall.

Pool-House-April-Progress-Kitchen-and-Doors

Ben installed trim around the door frame to finish it off, with little brackets at the bottom to keep the door in line.

Pool-House-Bathroom-Pocket-Door-Base

I ordered a round locking pocket door handle to fill the hole from the previous knob.

Pool-House-Bathroom-Pocket-Door-Handle

Obviously, a clear glass door doesn’t give privacy for a bathroom.  We called a local glass company and asked for pricing on frosting a tempered glass door.  I don’t remember the price, but it was really reasonable.  However, they said there’s a 50/50 chance the process of frosting the tempered glass would shatter it.  We decided to play it safe and chose a frosted window film instead, applying it to the bathroom side of the door.

Pool-House-Bathroom-Pocket-Door-Frosting-Film

It obscures really well, unless someone is standing within inches from the door, but still lets light flood in.  With the door in place, we turned our attention to building the vanity.  My plan included a floating slatted shelf with a wooden band across the top.

Pool-House-Bathroom-Vanity

When building something, Ben always plans for MWS: most weight scenario.  To support the front of the shelf enough for a kid, or grown man, to stand on, Ben ran a steel pipe across the front of the shelf, drilling through the baseboard and wall for it to rest on the wood.  A cut piece of baseboard serves as a rest/support along the back.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Bottom-Shelf-Spacing

Constructing the shelf was a pretty simple process.  A 2 1/2 inch thick face, a 1 inch wide strip (to cover the top of the pipe), 2 inch wide slats, and a 3/4 inch thick strips for the back.  We started at the center and used a 1 1/2 inch spacer to keep the width even.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Building-Shelf

A dry fit run to make sure it fits before adding the final two strips along the sides.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Bottom-Shelf-Set

Another cut piece of baseboard follows the top of the shelf, creating a nook for the shelf to rest in.  It also keeps the shelf removable for painting.  To support the vanity top, a wooden frame lines the walls, with a four-inch board along the front.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Frames

With the walnut sanded, attached, and oiled, it’s a thing of beauty.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Oiled

Keeping this space clear of unnecessary junk is important, and cabinets tend to become a catch-all for lotions and potions.  A single shelf allows room for a basket of toilet paper and a first aid bin.  Clearly, it didn’t take me long to test things out.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Bottom-Shelf-With-Basket

Seeing the vanity peeking out has me excited to get the marble top in place and install the rest of the batten strips.

Pool-House-Bath-Vanity-Shelf-Installed

I’m still caulking away my spare time, but adding these finished elements is really making the end of this gigantic process seem within reach now.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Floating Walnut Shelves

Exactly six years ago, also on a Friday the 13th, we officially became owners of this place we call home.  Throughout that entire time, we’ve updated the house, room by room, step by step.  Six years in, we’re nearing the end of our single biggest and last(!?!) space, the pool house.  After slowly rebuilding the bones, we’re getting to the point where fun finishing elements are going in.  One area that saw action this weekend is the kitchen, that started off life as a closed off three step raised wet bar.

New-House-Wet-Bar-April-13-2012

We removed the platform to keep an open flow, both inside and out onto the deck.  For maximum entertaining, we’ve opted to add a range with floating shelves on either side.  Something like this:

Pool-House-Kitchen-Vent-Hood-Plan

When Ben builds something, he builds it to withstand the weight of a large quadruped.  These shelves are no different, with a frame work of welded steel brackets, secured into the studs.

Pool-House-Plywood-Around-Kitchen-Shelf-brackets

A 48 inch wide vent hood provides ample ventilation.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Vent-Hood-Overall

With a custom cover, it’s large and in charge, anchoring the wall.

Pool-House-Slate-Tile-at-Stove-Side-of-Kitchen

Over the weekend, we built the walnut shelves and all of a sudden, things are taking shape.  Between the steel bracket, Ben added 3/4 inch thick strips of wood to serve as a spacer.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-Install

Then a piece of walnut plywood covers the top and the bottom, with recessed lights tucked in the bottom panels.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-Installing-Three

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-Installing-Four

Solid walnut strips cut to 2 inches wide finish out the front and side faces.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-with-Range

A thin strip will cover the bottom of the vent hood cover, then I’ll fill, sand, and seal it all before we add the remaining batten strips.  It’ll be a happy break from caulking for my fingers.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-Lights-2

The shelves follow the angle of the outside wall, tucking in so perfectly.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-Lights

I spent a couple of hours scrubbing and cleaning the 48 inch DCS range we found on Craigslist for only $1500.  The toe kick cover is waiting off to the side until I clean it up.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Walnut-Shelves-with-Range-from-Door

Under shelf lights are a special touch that glow at night.

Pool-House-Kitchen-Shelf-Lights-On

If you want to fully appreciate the progress, take a look back at these highlights.  It’s what I do when I feel like this process is dragging on.

Installing the ceiling  .   Staining the beams   .   Painting the ceiling   .   Running electrical   .   Adding insulation   .   Board and batten steps one and two   .   Finishing tile floors