How To: Trim Out a Door

Our Saturday started with tracking down hinges for the storage benches, followed up by checking out hot tubs.  Then the real fun kicked in, with grout by the bucketful.


Initially, Ben and I both applied the grout.  We quickly realized it was easier for him to apply grout and for me to follow-up with a sponge, cleaning off the bits left behind.  Sunday morning, we both thoroughly washed all 800 square feet, leaving most of our bodies aching.  With the floors grouted and clean, we’re able to start installing the remaining trim.  Trimming out the five sliding doors was first on our list, as the baseboard and batten strips terminate into these.


Working on the top piece first, Ben uses a scrap of the finish wood to measure the thickness of the door reveal.  He then secures shims behind, making the reveal of all doors match.


The same happens on the sides of the doors, extending the frame to fill the depth of the wall.



Carefully cut and measure to ensure a tight fit against the floor.


Before attaching the trim around the door, Ben sprays compressed insulation in the gap to eliminate air infiltration.


Now, the exciting part-adding the finish trim to the doors.  We chose 3 1/2 inch wide square fir trim for a simple, modern look.


For a little interest, and the ease of not having to perfectly match the trim to the extension, we leave about a quarter-inch of the extension showing.


It’s a simple process, not taking much time, but does make the space look more finished.



Is it Saturday yet, so we can get some more trim work done in here?  I’m incredibly excited to get paint on these walls!

Tile and Bench Planning

We laid the last tile in the pool house this weekend and it’s a relief to have this huge task out of the way.  Grouting will come next, fingers crossed this weekend.


Once grout is complete, that concludes the floor saga for the pool house.  We’ll move on to trimming out doors, installing base boards, and attaching the rest of the vertical batten strips.  Creating the built-in benches will also happen somewhere in that mix, so I’ve given too much thought on the design of those.

Initially, I thought we’d have white benches, for simplicity, with wooden tops for durability.  A pair will follow the angled walls of the kitchen area, meeting at the corner.  Another bench will fill the recessed nook at the far end of the pool, as seen above.


Recently, while picturing everything in my head, I realized wooden bench tops weren’t going to cut it.  In a room with a white ceiling and (what will be) white walls, tile floors, and few other accessories, I don’t want this space to lack warmth.  Sure, adjacent areas will have wood in small doses, like the floating kitchen shelves:


And the half bathroom vanity:


But it’s still a stark contrast to the house, with hardwood floors and wooden furniture/accessories in every room.  In addition to the structural beams, the benches will be the main source of wood tones.

After considering options, I’ve decided I like the look of four horizontal planks along the front, similar to this:


The tops will open to access items inside, and I like the look of continuing the same boards along the top.  I’d love to have a very slight overhang of the top, with a cut in handle detail, like this CB2 bench, for a sleek look.

CB2 Wooden Bench

Loaded with pillows, it should be a perfect perch to hang out before/after swimming.  Or a place to watch the kids from.

Pool House Progress: Accessories

Guess what we did this weekend.  I’ll give you a hint:


More tile in the pool house!!  We really know how to have fun.


When the pool was initially built, everything immediately surrounding the pool had tile.  As the new structure settled, some of the tile cracked, a ladder on the deep end was removed, and outdoor grade carpet covered everything.


Only the bathroom hadn’t been tiled and was a quarter of an inch lower than the rest of the floor.  Ben laid sheets of 1/4 inch Hardie backer to even it out, then carried the tile into the room.


From there, the tile continues into the home of the future kitchen, going under the cabinet locations.


Unfortunately, the white ’tile’ edge is molded into upper fiberglass portion forming the pool walls.  Without completely reforming the pool, it has to stay.  Womp, womp, woooomp.


From this angle, it looks like we’re finished with our tiling adventure, but we still have about half left.


All of the angled cuts took longer than the previous section, but it’s really taking shape.


With the end of the project drawing nearer each weekend, I’m slowly stockpiling accessories as I find something I like.  Due to the nature of the room, accessories will be limited, so I’d like for each one to be both fun and functional with maximum impact.



  1.  Snowbound Painted Walls
  2. Montauk Black Slate Tile
  3. Metal Peyton Barrel Planters
  4. Black and Gray Turkish Towels
  5. Svartsjon Hooks
  6. Vintage Ram Skull
  7. Brass and Marble Side Table (similar)
  8. Black and Ivory Geometric Key Pillow
  9. Green and Black Striped Lumbar Pillow
  10. Indigo Tie Dye Ripple Pillow
  11. Wooden Storage Bench Tops

Do you have any favorite outdoor accessories?  Or pool/beach essentials?

Pool House Progress: Slate Tile Floors

Last we shared of the pool house was the addition of the batten strips and framing out the vent hood.  Certainly progress, but there’s one big step to cross off the list before the walls can be completed.  Tiling the entire floor, or roughly 600 square feet.  Dun dun dunnnnn.  Though I have the easiest part of the process, carrying/opening boxes of tile, I was dreading this step.

We know from framing the walls that nothing is square in here, with the floors sloping up to two inches over the length of the space.  Luckily, not much phases Ben and on Saturday, he jumped right in.

For a continuous feel, we’re using the same slate tile and herringbone pattern as the kitchen.


One small difference is slightly wider grout lines.  Knowing the floors are a touch uneven, we decided on 3/8 inch grout lines (versus 1/16 inch in the kitchen) to help minimize discrepancies.

Pool-House-Slate-Tile-Setting-Near-Middle-DoorWorking around the pool proved trickiest, until Ben built himself a marking jig.  Scraps of plywood set to the depth of the pool lip with a screw slightly through the top piece.


The bottom strips slide along the inside edge of the pool, with the screw scoring the top of the tile, marking where to cut.


At the end of tile day one, Ben got roughly 1/4 or 1/3 of the space done.


The next morning, the tile had set so we pulled out the spacers.  I followed up by washing the tile, scrubbing off any extra mastic.


Obviously, grout is still to come.






Having this tile in various rooms throughout our house, we know this tile is durable and the texture is naturally slip-resistant.


Dark floors paired with (what will be) white walls will ground this bright space.


We still have at least several days of tile or tile related tasks in our future, but progress always feels good.

DIY Vent Hood Cover

With the decision made to install the board and batten wall treatment above the eight foot mark before flooring, we set our sights on finishing the vent hood.  It’s right off the main pool area, and near the house kitchen, but we wanted a range for entertaining and summer cooking/baking.  When we found a 48 inch range for a steal on Craigslist, we snapped it up for this space.

As a refresher, here’s the plan:


Before we can attach the batten strips, we have to address everything at or above the horizontal dividing band.


The vent hood straddles that band, which meant it was time to build the cover.  To start, Ben nailed a strip of wood a few inches above the top of the duct work.  A 2 by 8 board rests on top, nailed into the wooden piece, creating the top of the vent hood frame.


High ceilings call for a different vent hood treatment, and I personally prefer a tall vent hood that doesn’t go all the way up to the ceiling.  This example from Studio McGee is pure perfection:

Studio McGee Vent Hood

Holding a scrap of plywood in place, Ben was able to get an accurate measurement for the front of the cover.  Before boxing it all in, he also added 2 by 4 pieces vertically between the vent hood top and the base of the wood structure.


Then wrapped it with plywood, screwing through the upper part of the vent hood stainless and into the plywood to keep the sides as streamlined as possible.


Quarter inch thick by 2 inch wide strips line the edges, covering the seams of the plywood sheeting.


A six-inch walnut band (to be installed after paint) will wrap the front and sides.


Two floating walnut shelves will flank each side of the range.


Until then, we have plenty of work to keep us busy, but we’re rounding the corner from construction crazy to cohesive cool.


If you can ignore the mess of junk scattered throughout the room, that is.