Monday, 14 June 2010

not one for colour blind folk

I saw this clock from the white lounge that is made up of multi coloured spots. The description says you can see the numbers in the spots.

But if, like me, you are colourblind you won't see nawt. Andy thought this was very funny and is threatening to get one. I pointed out that I may not be able to see the numbers - but I can see the hands of the clock so can tell the time fine. Not that it will help me be ready on time in the morning anyway...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

site visit - hard hats and bright yellow jackets!

Yes, the jackets are so bright the flash goes a bit crazy...

We had a good meeting with the architects (Bobby and Ally) doing the conversion to finalise our floor plans this weekend and we got to have a site visit.

We haven't made major changes to the plans but we have changed where a bedroom door is, decided where to place the utility and WC on the 1st floor and agreed how we want the stairs to be. Although we weren't moving entire walls we have come to realise how important even small changes can be. The plans there are now for the stairs have solved a couple of concerns we had on the 1st floor around layout and we can imagine a much more flexible space.

The front door...

But - the site visit! This in many ways is the most exciting bit - getting to see your house progress. The last time we saw the site the church was really in darkness as all the windows were boarded up and the church was just a stone shell. The drains and concrete floor are now in and the timber framing is going up - in the back house first so ours hasn't started yet but it gave us an idea of how it will look. We could also see where the party wall will be which gave us a much better sense of the space.

This pic shows the front door and the Bed 1 and Bed 2 windows.

On Saturday Bobby took us round and explained the insultation he is using, how the timber frame is constructed and the plans for ensuring the beautiful church windows are fully incorporated into our house.

It was much lighter inside this time and so we could really get a better look at our space. On the plans you begin to think the space is small - but putting people inside up against the trusses and arches and you get a real sense of the house. And the double height space is going to be amazing.

Bobby also showed us one of the church hall houses which is about a month ahead - they have their plasterboard going up. This also meant we could see how the walls can house built in cisterns and the wee inset shelves I would like to have in the bathroom.

We also took a look at the garden space. Last time we thought it was pretty tiny and woudl probably only take a wee set of 2 seats and a small table - but seeing it now it looks much bigger - definitely room for some large troughs of herbs and flowers and some decent garden furniture. We will be going for slabs though - we are learning in our current place that we like sitting in the garden but not so much the gardening itself - time poor and not especially green fingered - so a patio style garden is probably best for us.

We came away with a much better visual for how the house will develop and the spaces we have for the rooms. In about 3 weeks time our partitions go up - so we will be back to see the plans become actual walls and rooms.

my dream kitchen

So despite the lack of posting lots has been going on with the project and with selling our own house. The past month I have been having meetings with our kitchen designer, Mark, at Selan Design in Broughty Ferry. We went round three companies but Selan really stood out for us. The customer service so far has been excellent and Mark has been great at talking us through all of the options, finding out how and how much we use our kitchen and generally being the kind of designer we were hoping for.

I started off with the idea of having a 6 burner range and stand alone kitchen furniture. I had quite a fixed idea of what I wanted. However, having gone round several show rooms, and spending time thinking through how we wanted our open plan living space to be, we both realised we wanted something quite different.

We have busy lives and so need a kitchen that is hard working but very easy to keep clean and tidy. We also thought that as the 1st floor is entirely open, and we won't have a fire, the kitchen could and for us should be the main focal point. This led us to look more at a statement design for our kitchen and to go for something very sleek, modern and simple. The simplicity is important, because we also want, in other parts of the house, to reflect the history of the building. This means the kitchen needs to marry modern and sleek with the ability to blend in with historical features.

The design isn't quite finished yet but the pics show roughly what we are thinking of. What is definite is that we will have an island, a breakfast bar, and a full wall of cabinetry with fitted ovens. We think we will go for Miele for the hob/oven and Siemens for the white goods.

This pic is one of their show kitchens and not exactly like ours - but gives an idea of the back wall.

We have also changed our floor plan - the stairs are now more of a spiral - to extend the living space right to the back wall on one side. We haven't quite decided which bit to be sofa/chill out area and which bit to be the dining table. There will be lots of discussions no doubt to be had on that.

I will post more about the individual details of the kitchen - I am very pleased with the route we have gone down re appliances and have even given up my range idea in favour of an induction hob with funky down draft extractor. Believe me, I can bore for Britain now on induction hobs!

The main thing though that tells me we are developing the right design is how excited we are both getting about our kitchen. In my current kitchen now I can't help but think how it will be in the new house compared to how we are now. Being able to imagine how our kitchen tells me I am on the right track.