The Pop Top - Construction Full Speed Ahead

Once brick work was completed, the roof was put on, gutters and windows were installed (we chose fiberglass by Milgard) and the house was sealed up. Afterwards, rough electrical and plumbing were completed. Insulation and drywall came next. During drywall, we realized that we all caught a mistake with the stairwell. Our architect had originally drawn in a modern staircase with a single stringer and thick wooden steps. We didn’t realize that the structural drawings hadn’t changed to revise the stairs to a more traditional look, with an open stringer and an iron railing. You can’t cut into a closed stringer, so unfortunately the design we picked for the stairs then had to change. I was pretty bummed, but our contractor suggested doing wainscoting on the walls to give it a design feature instead. 
By September, the contractors were laying hardwood floors (we picked an engineered European oak in a 7.5” width). And then came interior doors, trim, and stairs. I decided to pick a taller, modern trim with a bevel along the top, which gave it a traditional craftsman vibe. That trim was repeated around the doorways and as a sash below the window sills. From the start, Sam had adamantly requested solid doors (instead of hollow ones), and we decided to do a 1-panel shaker style. I liked the look of a polished nickel door hinge and knob, so we splurged a bit on those. A choice I’m still happy with today!
At that point, we were talking daily with our contractor, and meeting weekly. We talked budget, next steps and caught mistakes at our walk throughs. It was time consuming but vital to seeing the project through. With new construction, I often heard that after drywall, it only takes 90-120 days to complete the project. BUT, right at that time, we also got news that our cabinets in Mexico City were delayed. Womp womp. They weren’t expected to arrive until December. So our contractor did his best getting everything else ready while we waited, including exterior doors, tile for the bathrooms floors and shower walls, interior and exterior paint, installing wallpaper, plumbing fixtures and lighting. One of the only remaining items we kept from the old bungalow was a pedestal sink from the main floor bathroom, which is now in the powder room.
We were NOT shocked that Xcel was a pain to reinstall the gas meter, but because they were so disorganized and non-communicative, we ended up paying thousands of dollars every month to run a heater 24/7, ensuring the floors didn’t get warped and our contractors didn’t freeze. Lovely.
Finally in December, the cabinets arrived on a truck and were unloaded (!) Our contractors started installing the moment they arrived. I remember unwrapping them from bubble wrap and feeling so excited. The wood was stunning and they truly make our house feel custom and beautiful. Some of the cabinets were painted wood while others were stained, so after they were installed, we had to tape off the house and have painters come back to paint the kitchen, mudroom and bathroom cabinets. We opted for a cool cream tone in the kitchen and island, and stained maple along one wall of cabinets where our panel ready fridge would be. We also repeated the stained maple for the primary bath vanity. The mudroom and the girl’s bathroom vanity would be a chalky blue grey tone called Downing Slate.
After the painted cabinets dried, the contractors installed all of the hardware, and the tops were measured for counters. Since we opted against the $20k live quartzite slab, we decided to go pretty basic for all counters- a snowy white quartz called calico white. For hardware, Libby found affordable champagne bronze pulls from a company called Forge. The cooler tone played nicely with all of the cabinet colors, so we repeated it everywhere except for in our primary bath, where I splurged a bit and ordered brass finger pulls from Rejuvenation that matched the Rejuvenation sconces we selected that sat in between each framed mirror, above the vanity.

Another original piece we saved was a granite counter from the old kitchen, and we decided to use it for a wet bar in the basement. Our neighbors had recently remodeled their kitchen and offered us their old cabinetry, which was a simple white wood, so we pulled a few boxes that fit the granite slab and voila- we made a free wet bar! All we needed to do was have the folks that did our counters cut a hole for the sink and faucet. but they cut the wrong size hole. So much for saving the slab for a year! I wasn’t married to the granite, so I picked another remnant slab, they cut it correctly, installed it, and our wet bar was complete!

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