Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ever Have One Of Those Months?

I have this thing... I like to sort of plan things out.  And if I'm real ambitious draw them or bash something into making them happen.  But every now and then something stalls me and I get a bit paralyzed trying to figure out what to do and how to make something happen.  I have so much information I can't decide because I worry about making the wrong choice.

The month of March was kinda like that.

It didn't help that my husband and I are setting a new household record for sinus problems.  An issue which has not abated one darn bit.  (Thank you North Texas, I hate you right back.)  And I spent most of my time on the couch looking at pictures of what I want to do.  I had no energy and when I did start thinking of my build my brain went in so many directions I immediately got overwhelmed and sat back down on the couch to think some more.

March has not been a productive month to say the very least.  I don't think I like March anymore.

But this weekend I finally decided I was going to do something, even if I ended up trashing it and starting over.  I had to do something

So I started working on the fireplace.  And I was pleasantly surprised to have it going well.  So I started on the built ins on either side.  One of them has to fit up against the window seat cabinets and the other has to fit against the bathroom wall. 

After a few miscalculations I got something working.  Obviously the fireplace isn't finished yet. I need to add another beam with some detail above the tile and just under the mantle.  I also have to finish the hearth, build and finish the chimney and back of the fireplace but I'm feeling pretty pleased with how it looks so far.

I need to add some grout to my tiles too.  They're a little wonky looking now just glued in and need some grout to even out the top and fill in the holes.
The mantle isn't glued in place either.

Obviously still some work to do, but here's how the window seat built ins will fit up against the side of the fireplace shelves.  I want to find or make some long fireplace matches in a fancy box to go in that tall skinny space.

I'm planning on staining the woodwork a nice oak or a golden cherry. Not sure yet.  But I'll paint the storage containers in complimentary colors rather than leave them stark white.

I still need to glue everything into place and then it'll sit for a bit while I figure out how to hinge the wall.  I'll put in flooring and then glue the bench into place.   

I'm curious as to whether or not I should do a hanging barn style door or a pocket door to the bathroom.  I don't want a standard hinged door because it'll take up a lot of space.

At least I made some progress this weekend.  How are the rest of you doing?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Building Built Ins

Okay...unintentional alliteration there...

I think I mentioned that I want build ins for my Craftsman Tiny House.  So last weekend and this one I started on building them.

My idea was that instead of having a couch, to build a window seat under the picture window in front.  So I microwaved some hutches I got cheap at Hobby Lobby and took them apart, and built a cabinet for them to sit on.  I'm planning on putting some stereo equipment in them.  Some records underneath them.

But it's been a two week process of gluing and waiting. Glue and wait. 

I'm debating about staining or painting, not sure yet.  But I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out so far.  The cabinet doors still need hardware but that'll wait until after I get it finished.

I've also been slowly putting the kitchen cabinets together. 

It's slow going but I'm making some progress.  And I tested out the bathroom placement again.

I think it'll work.  I'm debating on a pocket door for it.  I think it would be a nice space saver.

So, not a lot of major progress but before I starting working on light placement or gluing things to the walls I want to figure out my interior space.  I'm trying to relax on this one a bit. 

How is everyone else doing?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Adding Height & Getting Boxed In

Well I've spent a good portion of my time researching how to measure and build stairs.  Wow.  Makes me realize there's way too much math in architecture and design. 

And I'm still not entirely sold on stairs vs a ladder so I'm keeping my options open.  This is what I'd like to do if I do stairs.

My drawing isn't the best but I want cubby holes at the bottom for baskets and cabinets above them.

I decided that while I'm working on the layout I might as well go ahead and add my three inches of height to the walls.  So I did that and did another dry fit.  So far so good I think.

That gives me a loft with a six foot ceiling.  Not super tall but better than three feet and not being able to stand up at all.

I also tried out some flooring...not sure about it.  I'm thinking I might want to do some wider planks, maybe use tongue depressor sticks with some stain. 

Here's a few pictures of one possible layout.

I noticed that I keep automatically moving the bathroom to the back corner near the smaller window.  I think because when Fran put the kit together for the pictures that was where she put the bathroom.  In a way it makes sense there.

But if you close it in, you either need removable walls or you just don't see the bathroom.  Neither of which I'm thrilled with.  And that smaller window is really perfect for fitting a kitchen counter under.  So having the kitchen in that back corner would really be a good fit.

Plus, while I was contemplating cutting the back side wall and hinging part of it.  Along this line here:

yeah I drew it crooked. Can't draw a straight line to save my life.
It leads to more problems with hinges, making sure the outer finishes work properly... It just feels like a headache and I'm not sure I want to deal with it or not yet. 

So I'm considering another location for the bathroom.  Like here:

If I extend the loft all the way to the back wall, put the bathroom there, we see it and have access to it.  And it's not so wide that I can't see the kitchen behind it.  Plus if I do removable walls, they're a lot easier to access than under the flat roof.

And this space just looks right to me for a kitchen.  Good expanse of wall, small window in the corner, so you've got space for uppers and lowers.  Sink under the window maybe?

And possibly a little banquet under the larger front window near the door, with a work desk near the second large window next to the small one.  Or make that second window smaller to match and extend the counters all the way around  with a little island?

More stuff to think about and fuss with.  With the bathroom walls there getting camera shots could be difficult unless I take a page from Keli's book and make the picture window removable.

It does leave me with the issue of getting light to the bathroom.  I thought about doing glass brick for an interior wall, but I'm not sure how that would blend with the whole craftsman look I really want.  More research needed.

Still thinking about that one.  But here's a look at the front door.  I think I like it.

I'm thinking the picture window needs some wood detailing, to give it more of a craftsman feel.  I'm also really disliking that flat roof.  The homeowner in me just screams that its water damage waiting to happen.  The only flat roofs I've seen on are apartment buildings and have tar on them.

So not sure what to do there.  More thinking.

What are all of you up to this weekend?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I'm Honorable! Have I Mentioned It?

Wait... that came out wrong.

I meant to say that Nola House earned an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Creatin' Contest!

I'm super excited.  This is literally the first time I've really 'won' anything.  You can check out my house and all the other folks who've gotten an Honorable Mention here.

Congrats to Jodi and Brae as well!

Words fail me.  I can't wait to see who won and how cool their entries are!

And big thanks to Brae who emailed me the news! I've been buried with work and haven't gotten to check the status of the contest in the past few weeks.

Here are a few pictures of the house in question.


And one of the Building Inspector being distracted by the talking BB8

Thanks Brae!  It would have taken me another week or two before I noticed!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Craftsman Tiny House

The new Creatin' Contest kit is kind of awesome, I've got to admit.  I've gone to sleep thinking of all the things I could do with it.  And I think I've settled on my 'theme'.

I love tiny houses. The storage and use of space is something I really like.  I'm a sucker for built ins.  But this isn't quite a tiny house on wheels is it?  It's small but there's no way you could haul this across country like a modern nomad.

The name of the kit was suggestive, Craftsman Cottage, and got me thinking of all those gorgeous architectural details of a Craftsman Bungalow.  The stone porch supports, tapered columns, artistic windows... I really love how they look.

I mean look at this, isn't it gorgeous?

I love that front door.  And those windows!  The stacked stone!

I need to do a Craftsman bungalow...I really do.
And so I thought why not do a Craftsman Tiny House.  The kit is small enough that I wouldn't end up killing myself over the details.  And I could indulge in all those gorgeous finishes I love.

So... I bought some plaster flagstone from in all three colors.  I really like how light they are.  I'm going to do a flagstone wainscoting up to the bottom of the windows all the way around the house, and then siding above it.

I fell in love with a door and ordered it when I wasn't sure if I could fix the one that came with the kit, just in case.  Of course Fran from was awesome and got the broken parts replaced so now I have two doors.  This is what I ordered.  The picture is lousy but I love the two toned wood and it's similar in style to one of the house pictures I found.

I think I can get some very slender strip wood and do mullions on the windows, like this:

Image result for craftsman windows

I don't want to do shingle siding like the picture above,  Just clapboard.  With a dark wood tone for the wood trim around the windows and a paler color for the mullions and inner trim.  Like the second picture only reversed.

The inside will be trickier.  But I want it to look like a Craftsman too.  The built ins Craftsman bungalows have really lend themselves well to tiny houses and the built in storage needed.

So the back wall that has no windows is going to get jazzed up. I hope.  With something like this:

I like the idea of a fireplace. Mostly because it would provide a source of heat.  And I could add some windows on either side of it.  Also with a chimney on top of the roof I could hide the battery for any ceiling lights inside of it.  See? Smarter than the average bear.

I'm not sure about doing a bench next to the fireplace or not.  Mostly because I'm leaning towards something like this for below the picture window on the front wall.

If I build out a seat, with shelves on either side, I could put storage under it.  Some pillows and then I don't have to find space for a sofa, it's built into the room.  Then just add a chair and a side table.

I also like the idea of a slightly defined entryway.  With the tapered columns from outdoors carried in, but asymmetrically.

I like the idea of a pony wall/built in dividing the front door from the living space.  Not a long one, just enough for some visual interest.  It'll make some extra storage too.

The tricky part of this whole thing?  It's gonna be building the stairs to the loft.  I want narrow stairs with storage cabinets built under them.  No wasted space.  Which means building lots of tiny boxes and fitting them with drawers or doors.

All of these are full sized stairs but you get the idea.

Flooring...I'm thinking simple hardwood.  I'd love to do an inlay like this:

Just around the edge of the room.  But I'm not sure if I really want to get that detailed.  It's a small house.  Too much of a good thing could be overwhelming.

Tile for the bathroom floor.  And a shower wall of glass brick.  I'm thinking of doing a sliding door like Fran did for the kit.  She posted a tutorial here.  It looks really cool.  But I want to be able to remove the whole wall so I can fiddle with the bathroom if I need to.  Maybe I could use the broken door and insert 'pebbled' glass so the bathroom gets more light?  That could be a fun look.

Adding three inches to the walls will give me a six foot loft at its highest point.  I'm thinking just over the kitchen, not the living room.

I'm not sure what to put around the edges of the loft. I don't want my homeowner to fall off, but I don't want to block the view too much either.  Maybe a short open railing?  Still working on that.

Also working on the kitchen layout.  No dishwasher, so we'll need a larger sink. Maybe a farm sink with an apron front? A small stove and an old fridge?  I love this for island seating.  Very space saving.

For lighting... well I'm working on it. I've ordered a lamp and a ceiling light and I might just have to make some more lights of my own.  Craftsman lights look something like this:

Gorgeous but not easy to find right?  Maybe I could find some 'stained glass' window inserts on Ebay and make a panel light out of one of them for the kitchen.  Lanterns might work for the other types... have to work on that a bit more in my head.

So those are my thoughts.  There sure are a lot of them!

What are your plans for the kit?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Look What I Found!

So I was trying to get some ideas for the new Creatin' Contest kit and did a search for a 320 square foot tiny house.

You will never guess what I found.

The kit is listed on now which is cool.  And it's on its way to me, which is even cooler. 

 I like the big picture window and the little porch.  I'd love to do stone half columns for the porch and a stone wainscoting around the house.  Give it a craftsman look.

 I'm thinking I might raise the roof a bit (woot woot - yes I'm a dork).  So I can add a true loft for the bedroom.

 I'm guessing that this is the wall they talked about bashing so it's not enclosed if you don't want that.  It says the roof is lift off, which is great.  I'd like to hinge this wall. 

 I'd love to be able to hinge this wall somehow too.  Not sure if its feasible.  It's mostly because I want to be able to take pictures from every angle. 
Some stone wainscoting will jazz this up. 

So I was thinking of all this stuff and looking on the internet.  And my search turned up this:

Looks familiar doesn't it?

Especially given the little hint picture from the blog.

I can't find any pictures of the inside.  Though the site the picture comes from is for Tiny Houses so that offers some hints but no real information.  The picture is the thirteenth entry down.  Unfortunately the link in the entry is no help.  But look how pretty the wood trim is!  And the little wooden eaves along the flat roof.

I'd love to find out how they did the inside but beggars can't be choosers can they?

I'm thinking of trying to do something a bit retro inside.  Still debating about a full kitchen or not.   I've got a couple of Kris's kits for a couch and chairs and they'd be really cute because they're not cookie cutter and neither is the house. 

I stole the picture from since I bought the kits from them.

It's the same couch Nancy made last year, it's so cute and I think the couch and chairs would be really cute.  Not sure of my colors though. I'm thinking earth tones with turquoise maybe.  I'm also thinking of doing a potbelly stove for heat rather than heat vents like the house has central HVAC.

And I'm not sure about stairs with cabinets built under them or a little ladder.  I really need the kit to arrive so I can do a dry fit and play around with my ideas.  Sadly, the mail just came without the kit so it won't be arriving today.

Edited 1:40PM

I spoke too soon!  The kit arrived.  Not by my regular mailman which was a bit of a surprise but fine by me.  So I spent a little time putting it together.

It's not complicated.  Altering it might end up being a little difficult but it shouldn't really be too hard, as far as I can see.  Hinging any wall with a window in it won't work though because the flat roof slots into the windowed walls.  It's good support but it puts the kibosh on one of my ideas.

See what I mean?

That little ledge is the edge of the flat roof.  It's not a bad thing, but I can't easily hinge one of the walls.  At least not in the way I thought to. 

And there are a few issues with the kit that have to do with how it was packaged.  Check your trim and window pieces carefully.  This is what I ended up with for a skylight.

And the two larger windows were broken as well.

As well as the door.

They're all things I can fix with glue and some wood putty to fill the cracks but I shouldn't have to. 

Oh well.  Work with what we've got right?

Hope everyone else's kit did not arrive with broken parts and you enjoy success with your builds as we all begin!