Monday, August 31, 2015

Building Our Bar: Putting Down a Deposit and Finalizing Options

We had a follow up meeting with Panda Kitchen at their design center in Laurel, and I'm excited to say we ended up putting down a deposit for our bar installation!  We went into the appointment thinking we would just take a quick look at the design and put down our deposit.  However when we got to the design center we started wandering around all the different sample kitchens and began rethinking some of our choices.  

Originally we selected white shaker cabinets with blue pearl granite, but we switched that after seeing a kitchen in the design center set up with light oak cabinets and blue pearl granite.  We decided that the blue pearl granite was too gray and we didn't like it with the light cabinets.  So we stared at the granite samples for a while and ultimately ended up with Santa Cecilia Light, which is what we have in the rest of our house.  We also debated getting flat white cabinets with the full overlay, but decided to keep the shaker cabinets.  To finalize the design we added the same bar pulls that are in our kitchen and bathrooms.  This was a no-brainer add-on, since it was less than $15 to add including installation.

Here are all of our options:
Santa Cecilia
White Shaker Cabinets
Bar pulls
We're still working on getting an electrician out to move some of our outlets so that they aren't all behind the bar.  Once we get that resolved we can give Panda a call and they will schedule our installation.  Hopefully we can get everything scheduled soon.  We can't wait to get our bar in so we can spend more time in the basement, which is Daisy's favorite room in the house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Building Our Bar: Getting a Second Quote and Purchasing our Wine Cooler

This weekend we had Panda Kitchen out to measure our space for the bar, look at some of their options, and get our free design quote.  We picked the same options that we did at Home Depot (whiter shaker cabinets and blue pearl granite).  Panda's installation was on special, which made it only around $100 more to have the cabinets installed by them, so we priced that out.  The quote came to $1900, which was about $700 less than the Home Depot quote where we were going to have to install the cabinets ourselves.  They also are going to build a cabinet for our angled wall instead of just putting a cabinet front there like Home Depot suggested.  We were really pleased with the quote so we set up an appointment to go into the showroom and most likely finalize the order this upcoming Saturday.

We also ordered the wine cooler we've been eyeing, so that we have it prior to installation.  We didn't want to spend a fortune on the wine cooler but we wanted something that could be used as both a wine cooler and beer/soda fridge.  We also wanted something that was a fairly standard size so that we have the ability to switch it out easily in the future if we decide to get something else.  We also wanted a modern stainless and glass look.  With all of this in mind we ended up getting this Magic Chef Dual Zone Cooler from Home Depot.

I'm really excited that this project is coming together quickly.  Hopefully we'll have the bar in place this fall, so we can use our basement a little more for entertaining.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Building our Bar: Planning and Getting our First Quote

Building a house is overwhelming, whether this is your first house or you 5th house, so it's natural to overlook a few things.  Well one thing I wish that we had thought more about was our basement.

We initially priced out getting the basement bedroom because we thought everyone loves more bedrooms and bathrooms in a house.  Then we switched to wanting the open concept rec room featured in our model because it was more appealing to us and we can always put up walls if we need to in the future.  I'm glad we went with the open rec room in the end.  It looks great!  I just wish we would have though more about how we want to use our basement when we made our selection.

Aside from our hardwood we went with the basic selections down there.  Up until about a week or two before closing we didn't even consider putting a bar in the basement even though it's featured in our model, so we never priced it out with RH.  We currrently have one outlet and one cable hookup on the wall that we will be putting our bar on.  Both of which will be behind the bar which makes it nearly impossible to put our TV on top of the bar once the project is complete.  Honestly we didn't even consider the complication with the outlets until we got home from our first design appointment.  So now we're probably going to have an electrician out to move the outlets up on the wall so we can easily hook up a TV.  Had I considered all of these issues when we purchased our house I would have at least gotten the pricing from RH and thought seriously about just having them install the bar.

Anyway onto our first quote appointment.  I set this up with Home Depot, specifically the kitchen design section, since they're our closest big box store and they had online appointment scheduling.  We measured our wall thoroughly, including the angled section of our wall in the corner and where the outlets are located (without remembering to think about the height of the outlets).  We brought our measurements with us to the appointment on a little sketch of the room.  This allowed our consultant to really price out everything we wanted.  FYI - the default for Home Depot is for you to order the cabinets and install them yourselves.  We were fine with this since we're only doing base cabinets.  Our consultant started by asking us what look we were going for and what cabinet we wanted.  We decided on a white shaker style.  These came with soft close hinges/drawers, but no pulls or knobs.  Our consultant did the design on his software using the cabinets we selected.  He let us know its way cheaper to rent their truck for an hour and take the cabinets to our house then to pay for delivery so we did not include delivery.  Overall the quote for the cabinets was roughly $1300 and that was with the cabinets on sale.  Here's an idea of our design.
Front view of the design
View from above (since we have the angled wall the far right cabinet is just a front)
3D view of the design
After we went through the cabinet design our consultant asked us if we had an idea of what countertop we would want.  We knew we wanted granite and one particular blue granite caught our eye last time we were in the store.  Of course it was level D, but we priced it out anyway because it would look so great with our basement furniture.  Here's a picture of our dream granite:
Blue Pearl Granite
The granite including installation was going to be another $1300.  So we're up to $2600 without even buying the wine/beverage cooler or the big screen TV and we would have to install our own cabinets.  We decided to walk away and set up more design appointments to get additional quotes.  Tomorrow we'll be meeting with Panda Kitchen, which my parents just recently used to renovate the kitchen in their new condo.  I'm hoping for a cheaper price, but we'll see.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Staying out of the heat = house projects!

It was an incredibly hot weekend, so my husband and I focused on completing some of our projects around the house to stay cool.  Mainly we hung a lot of stuff up.  We put up a picture wall in the morning room/kitchen area.  We also put up curtains in our office and guest room.  We ordered curtains for the master bedroom and are looking for a valance for the master bathroom.  Once we get those couple items, then we'll be done with window treatments.

Here's some pictures of our work from the weekend:
Our picture wall (looking from the middle of the kitchen)
Our picture wall (looking from the end of kitchen/stairs)
Curtains in the office
Curtains in the guest room
Curtains in the guest room

Friday, August 7, 2015

Update and planning for our first project

Sorry for the long time between posts.  We haven't done too much around the house lately since we were out of town last weekend, but we did make some progress on getting more decor on the walls.  We're still planning to hold off on painting until our one year follow up since we are already getting a few nail pops.  So none of our rooms are really finished, but we did get to a point with the powder rooms where we won't be doing anything else until we paint.  It's hard to get a good angle to really see what they look like since they're so tiny, but here are a couple pictures.
Powder room on the main level
Wall decor is up
Close up of our decor
We still need to pick up a couple candles
Powder room off of the rec room
After we "finished" the powder rooms, we worked on finding a stylish coat hanger for the rec room.  Since we went with the open floor plan rec room and powder room, we didn't get a coat closet, so we wanted a coat hanger that blended with the decor for when it gets colder outside.  We found this great coat hanger by Umbra on Amazon and we're really happy with how it looks in the room.
The coat hanger blends perfectly with our hardwoods
You just pull down the sticks and you have a functioning coat hanger
Speaking of the rec room, we're planning to put in a bar area similar to the one in the model, and we are starting to research companies.  So far we learned that we can't use Ikea cabinets, since we have an angle in the corner of our wall, and they're cabinets can't be altered.  We're going to start reaching out to other companies for quotes over the next couple weeks.  I'll do some additional posts once we get the process started, but for now we put our foosball table in the rec room.
Bar in the model home
We'll likely go with white cabinets to brighten up the space
Our current rec room
The bar will go on the wall behind the foosball table