Sunday, January 30, 2011

Other wood bits

So beyond the plethora of wood on the ceilings and cabinets, we also sourced a NAUF birch plywood (are you sensing a theme here?) closet organization system through From the Forest.  Fred was gracious enough to allow us access to his shop one evening, where a frenzied 5-hour oiling stint ensued.  Yes, more hardwax oil (another recurring theme).

the pantry

In addition to the closets, we had Fred prep some 2" x 13" planks of reclaimed fir for our window sills.  Gorgeous.  I love that our 8 foot wide windows have one solid plank for a sill.

I love the stains of old nail holes
Now we just have to pick a colour!  The fir itself is a little too pink in undertone to coordinate with the birch and hemlock, so I went on the hunt for some non-toxic wood stain.  What I found is Saman.  It is available at Modern Paint and Floors in Kelowna.  The water-based stain is reminiscent of milk paint to me.  Only it is more translucent.  It appeals to the artist in me because you buy basic colors and mix your own custom one!  I picked up a Black, a White and a Navy to play around with.. I have made samples with different ratios of black/white and water (the Black has a blue enough undertone I didn't need the Navy).  The more water you add, the more translucent it becomes.

The stain does not take as well to the darker part of the grain, so the grain will definitely still show.  I have yet to tackle the actual project , but I will post pictures to show you the results!  Oh, and I'll top coat it with... you guessed it!  Hardwax oil!

I guess I'll have to finish unpacking these first...

Friday, January 28, 2011

baseboards and cabinets

Well, we're in!  I have been so busy unpacking I have not even taken photos yet.. you'll have to wait a little while longer.. (oh, the suspense!)

In the meantime, here's a photo of the baseboards.   I left this decision really late, and I panicked a little about finding something no-VOC for the baseboards.  Luckily, we stumbled across domestic pine, the perfect solution!  We went with 1 x 8 boards, and had them painted the color of the walls.  We left the knots unfilled intentionally to keep some texture in the wood, and they turned out fantastic!

This is also the first time I am showing you the cabinets!  Rick at SuCasa Cabinets does such a fantastic job, and was so accommodating to my plans for the kitchen.  This photo shows the boxes, made from NAUF birch plywood, screwed together (rather than glued and nailed).

oven, sink under the window, fridge at the end

the cabinets are finished with (what else!) hardwax oil!

 horrible night-time shot of the bathroom vanity
It's worth mentioning that these cabinets are totally custom, and are not something one could ordinarily purchase at SuCasa Cabinets.  Rick and I have worked on a number of projects before, and he has really helped me out with my kitchen.  I don't know of anyone else in town that would have built these for us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Osmo oiling

Today is the day before moving day!  Yesterday Greg and I spent 18 hours cleaning and buffing at the house, and I am exhausted but happy.  I thought I would show you a few more pictures of the oiling process, and my next post will be from the new house as soon as I get the computers up and running!

the bare plywood
 I took these shots as Greg was oiling the wood for the floor in the loft.  He got one coat on before installation, and this was his system..

you can see how thick and sticky this stuff is.. much elbow grease is needed!
 We have used a few methods for application throughout the build, here Greg used a rag to wipe it on...

then a squeegee to wipe it off...

a clear blade works best.. black blades colour the wax 
the foreground is wiped, the background is not
After being squeegeed, the oil feels almost dry.  Really, we should probably have buffed each piece with a white rag at this point, but the sheer volume of wood we needed to oil was overwhelming.  Greg checked to make sure there were no thick spots, then stacked them to dry overnight...

the drying system.. my man is so clever
I have so many photos to show you of the finishes that have gone in!  Seeing it all come together has been so exciting, and I can't wait to show you!  Think happy moving thoughts for us!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finishing inside the Polycarbonate panels

How are we going to finish this??  Greg and I have discussed this many times, and had the idea that it could be boxed out with plywood, but no idea if that was actually possible...

The before

the before
For structural reasons (always important) we have large bolts attaching the wood framing to the concrete block, and big braces to keep the trusses stable.  Very functional, not so pretty.  Enter our finishing "team".. Randy of Triple S Contracting, Leo of L&L Creative Works, Brett of D&B Hall Custom Homes, and James of James Ball Construction (he's the railing specialist... more on his work coming soon).  And...

the after
Voila!  Beautiful, simple, chunky.. and it looks like we planned it this way all along!  The boys boxed out around all the functional bits using the same 1/2" NAUF birch plywood we used on the ceiling.

lovely, no?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

plywood ceilings?

Whenever I mention that we are using plywood for the ceilings.. people look at me funny.  I think they are picturing this...

And while this is perfectly appropriate and economical for a shop, we were inspired by ceilings like this...

yum yum farm house office
sourced from dwell

And this is what we settled on...

my photography skills (or lack thereof) are not doing this ceiling justice

To keep things simple (and costs down) we used simple 4 x 8 sheets which we purchased from Upper Canada, it is C-grade domestic white birch, whole piece face 1/2" plywood.  We requested NAUF glues, which turned out to be simple enough, it just meant waiting a couple of weeks for them to be made.  Oh, and as usual an additional charge.  I can't help wondering if (or should I say hoping that) one day manufacturers will move to NAUF products as the standard rather than the exception.

Greg has been painstakingly softening the edges with a router, and then hand-rubbing them with hardwax oil before they go up.  He can only do about 15 sheets at a time, so many evening and weekend hours have been spent on this task.  I am quite sure he will be glad to see the end of it.

the ceiling before and after.. Thank you Joel for all your hard work!

this shows the gap along the wall above the kitchen... we'll need to come up with a solution for this

The ceiling sheets have all been installed with exposed chrome screws.

The product we are using to finish all the wood surfaces in the house (ceiling, cabinets, floor, closets) is a hardwax oil.  We've actually used two brands... Eukula and Osmo.  This was not intentional, but we purchased some leftover Eukula from Koeda which they had hanging around.  Koeda is a local hardwood floor supplier, manufacturer, and installer.  They are my go-to guys for hardwood, and if we were doing any in this house they would be the ones doing it.  They generally use the Osmo, so for the rest we will be using that.  You can read all about the benefits and technical info on the links, but I will just mention briefly what a gorgeous finish this makes.  I have long disliked polyurethane for how it turns perfectly beautiful wood into something that looks plastic.  This oil is the answer.  It is widely used in Europe for finishing wood floors.. even in public spaces like train stations.  The obvious upside is that you can maintain it easily yourself, and it will age beautifully.. like antique furniture.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

two things

I love the painting stage of a project.  It is always a turning point... the worst of the mess is over, and all the decisions I have carefully considered and re-considered over the last 6 months finally start to come together.  The home I have been visualizing for the last two years is finally becoming real!

Our painters helped us to choose a primer from General Paints that is made in Canada and a no VOC paint through ICI paints.  The colour is ICI 50YY 83/029 Natural White.  Everywhere.  Semigloss on the baseboards, eggshell on the walls, and flat on the bedroom ceilings.  The doors will be painted ICI 50BG 14/036 Great Grey.  It's a dark grey with a slight green undertone.  I love dark doors for contrast and interest.

I chose this white because is is warm, but doesn't take on the cast of another colour.  Whites can easily look pink, or blue, or green, or yellow because it takes very little tint to alter the color.  

You can see in this photo how compared to the primer white it looks VERY creamy (in fact in this picture it even looks a little pink, but that's deceiving.  Never trust photos of colours), but colour is all about context and you will see how it turns out to look white when the wood is in.

On another completely unrelated note... the soffits went up!  They are simple aluminum soffits, and we matched the color to the roof.  I think they look fantastic.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Drywall mud

Here's a little follow up on the drywall mud... I could not do this job for a living.  The mess is insane

I love love love the drywall returns to the windows and doors.  It is so clean and sleek.

Greg covered the floor with paper.  Thank goodness.  Drywall dust is like sand.. and pet hair.  Somehow it gets into everything.  Even though the floors were covered, it still got underneath and is going to be a lot of work to clean out.  In hindsight perhaps we should have sealed the concrete immediately after it cured.  It would have made cleanup a whole lot easier.
"Who made this big mess?????" Lunette, the big comfy couch

The only upside to drywall mess is that it will only get cleaner from here on in folks.. the worst is over!

Friday, January 7, 2011

the view

I am having visions... of a cup of tea, a warm fire, a good book...
and this view.