Sunday, September 1, 2013

ceiling naivety and a beam fiasco (with explanations added...)

I posted this yesterday accidentally without any explanations, so here goes.

Dave and I went through a lot of houses in the planning architecture phase of this house.

And it's weird when you do that with building your own house in mind, because you notice all kinds of crazy things you would never in a million years notice otherwise.  

One thing we noticed was ceilings.  

How high they were.

Whether they had lower soffits.

Whether those soffits were fancy or plain, crown molding decorated or smooth drywall, deep or shallow.

We went though all different kinds of ideas.  We decided to add a little here and there, but to keep it pretty simple.

We decided to do a "waffle" ceiling in the dining area:

Which ended up looking like this with the drywall:
Complete with that thing in there propping it up because we had SOOO much trouble getting that darn straight (more on that later).

It took forever and a day to figure out measurements on this kitchen/dining nook area because we had to know exactly how big our islands would be, and our kitchen table (which is still non-existent...anyone know where to get a cool 72 inch table?)

And keep in mind all these decisions were measured and agonized over with 110 degree heat which seemed so unbearable and made for sloggy-thinking.

The kitchen area ended up looking like this:

The other angle with drywall:

Because the house we began with had 12-foot ceilings, our architect drew all the ceilings to be that high.

When we got ready to drywall I asked naively when they wanted us to tell them the height we wanted the ceilings in the bedrooms.

The framer looked at me puzzled and let me know the height of the ceilings is determined when they put the trusses in...waaaaaaayyyyy back then.

Then we were a little freaked out because in our minds bedrooms/bathrooms/showers shouldn't be twelve-feet-high!!

So we had them take a few ceilings down a couple feet (which was expensive, darn it!) and tried to figure out alternatives in decor to make them not seem quite so high.  Here was one idea:

And another one from our house right now:
(Taking the white down a little bit makes a big difference in how high ceilings seem...and helps in decorating in my opinion...our whole living room make-over in our house now is HERE and other house project list and links HERE.)

Here's how Lucy's room is looking with some lower trim...

We added some picture-frame trim in Grace and Claire's room to help with ceiling height there too:

I can't wait 'til it's all painted to see how it turns out!

We had totally planned to do this ceiling in the master bedroom:
But as luck would have it, because of the parameters of the remodel that ceiling happened be the only ceiling that was too low.

As far as the living room ceiling goes, we somehow ended up with more rough-hewn beams to go in there (kind of mysteriously just like on our back porch I talked about back HERE).

We did NOT want those things, but had already paid for them so we put them in during framing.

They put them up, and we figured we'd most probably just cover them with drywall when the time came.

But then we grew accustomed to those things and loved the warmth they brought with them when we saw them with all the drywall up.

The problem was that they were pretty orange...and rough as could be.

So we had them sanded down.

And had some guys come stain them, supposedly they were going to look kind of like our new floor would look.

But this is what we came home to that fateful "staining" day:
 The pictures don't do justice, they looked horrible!
 There was almost a greenish tint to them with that dark brown.

Dave and I were sick to our stomachs.  

So the finishers came back and sanded them down again as best they could.  Here's the first one and a half done:

...and how they look as of September:

After they sanded them down they started re-staining again (even though we told them not to) and got that color down there in the middle:
Our flooring is the one on the left, so we had them sand off that middle part again and here we are, with slightly zebra-striped beams from the sanding marks.  That we are gradually learning to love because that's just what you do with mistakes.

Despite the heart-sinking moments, we still really like those things.  We need to figure out how to seal them up so we don't have to worry about them again.

There you have it:  a few ceiling fiascos that have turned out to be just fine.

I'll have to tell about one more tomorrow.


  1. With the warm, livable, modern style of your home I would recommend Room & Board Home Furnishings. Classic and contemporary with tons of choices and natural materials to really personalize your house. And just about everything is available custom sized so you can pick exactly what you need.

    1. I should have mentioned that I've worked for R&B for 13 years. ;-)

  2. This is kind of a cool table:

  3. You want 72" long or 72" round? I got a 72" round pedestal table from Horchow on sale last year and I think it's pretty cool. We can seat 8 around it. Here it is:

    If you're looking for 72" rectangular you might like West Elm for their clean, modern styles:

    Also check out Zinc Door (but it's pricier)

  4. Oh, and the picture frame trim in Grace and Claire's room is going to look AMAZING when it's painted!

  5. My husband builds homes for a living and he has gotten comments like "how hard can it be?" We laugh because it is very challenging when you want it done right! I can feel your pain in all the decisions and the unknowns that pop up. There is a definite learning curve and I think you guys are doing awesome. I am excited to see the finished product.

  6. I love your home updates. It's so interesting to see a house from start to finish. I've never really thought about all that goes into it

  7. Here's a table I have been having my eye on and this one is a little bigger than 72 but still lovely

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