Happy Monday, y’all! I have no progress on any home-related project to share with you because…well…I haven’t done anything for several days. And I’m okay with that. 🙂
Last Friday was Matt’s birthday, and the one thing he wanted us to do was watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. The entire thing in one day. 😀 The trilogy is about 9.5 hours long. All I can say is thank goodness for laptop computers. There’s no way I can just sit and watch that much TV (even something so good as LOTR) for that long without having something else to do. Let’s just say that I got plenty of time to search and mull over about a thousand new ideas I found on Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram. That actually might not be a good thing. 😀
Anyway, I wanted to keep you updated on some things.
Our weather has been less than desirable lately for doing any outdoor work, but today it’s finally supposed to be sunny and in the 50s. So my brother is going to come help me today, and hopefully we can make some progress on the front porch. My main goal for the day is to get those risers…
…(the ones I described here) attached to the concrete so that I can get the actual porch boards installed soon. I don’t anticipate that it will be a hard job to do, but it does require the use of a Ramset, which is a gunpowder actuated nail gun that I will never use when I’m working by myself. (FYI, the person who said he’d do this for me for $2000 came back with a price of $1000, which in my mind is still too much, and by that time I had decided to do it myself. But I guess he wasn’t trying to overbid because he wasn’t interested in the job. He just overbid.) Anyway, once those risers are installed, I can then install the porch boards (the ones that will be stained) and then wrap the columns.
Speaking of columns, my mom came over the other day and we chatted about some different ideas for the porch. At the end of our conversation, we both agreed that the porch would be better in the end without a balustrade. So I’ll just have three columns, and I want them to look very similar to the ones on this house…
I love how the columns are bigger on bottom and smaller on top. I also chose that one as my inspiration because even though I won’t have a balustrade on my porch, I will have a handrail on my steps, which will look very similar to those steps. I like everything about those columns, the steps, the handrails…everything.
And one of my big projects for the front porch will be building a porch swing. I’ve become a bit obsessed with looking at different designs and planning exactly how I want mine to look. I’ll have to make it myself because of the size (and that whole “loving DIY” and “saving money” thing). Since my porch is only 5.5 feet deep, that means that once the column on the end is wrapped, I’ll only have 40-45 inches of space for a swing. And I want the design of mine (not necessarily the color) to look pretty much exactly like this one.
If you’re looking for a porch swing, the Etsy store where I found that one — Lowcountry Swing Beds — has so many different and amazing styles. It’s a great place to start your search if you’re in the market for one. (And they didn’t even have to pay me to say that. 😀 I’m just genuinely impressed with their designs.)
In completely different news, Matt has been chomping at the bit for me to get going on the studio. And by that, I don’t mean he’s wanting me to actually get in there and do stuff. He’s just wanting me to find and hire someone immediately to do the electrical, the insulation and the drywall so we can get things moving in a forward direction again. That studio has been at a standstill for far too long.
Once all of that is done, I’ll be ready to install flooring. And oh my gosh, the flooring decision is driving me crazy.
Y’all, there’s no perfect answer. I want there to be a perfect answer, but there’s just not one. I change my mind on flooring about twice a day…at least. And I’m kind of at the point where I either want to put the options on a dart board and just throw a dart, or draw an option out of a hat, or just let someone else decide. There’s no perfect answer.
At first I thought I would just go with hardwood floor. It would be beautiful, that’s for sure. And I love carrying one flooring throughout most of a home because it just opens things up, where different floorings can make the house seems chopped up and smaller. So carrying the same red oak hardwood from the breakfast room into the studio would be beautiful.
But as I was getting all of my mess cleaned up from the hallway when it was finished, I was reminded that tools and beautiful hardwood floors really don’t work well together. And while I won’t be using saws and stuff like that in the studio, the floor needs to be hard wearing. I don’t want to worry about scratching the floor or maintaining a beautiful finish. I don’t want to feel like I have to spread out a drop cloth to do a painting or paint a small end table. I want this to be a work room.
So these last few weeks, I’ve had in my mind that I want tile. I know it can be hard on the feet, but I can use gel mats around my big work table for comfort. But over the last month, I’ve been concerned about putting that much tile in such a big room. Y’all, this winter, for some reason, has been hard on our house like no other winter has been since we’ve moved here.
Our house is a pier and beam house, so it naturally moves and shifts with the ground. Generally those moves and shifts are so slight that they’re not really noticeable. But this winter, most of the joints in our moulding and trim — baseboards, crown moulding, etc. — have cracked. I’ve never experienced this before. And it’s not just affecting the moulding and trim. Two of the subway tiles on the upper part of my kitchen wall have hairline cracks in them as well.
So now I’m concerned that if I put tile in a big 19.5 x 22 room, at some point the house will shift just enough for the tile to crack. And what a pain (and a huge disappointment) that would be.
So that leaves me with LVT — luxury vinyl tile — flooring. That’s what I had in the condo, and really, I loved it. It’s a groutable peel-and-stick vinyl tile, and while (in hindsight) I didn’t really love the particular color I chose for the condo, I loved the product itself. When it’s grouted, it looks just like real tile, but it’s not cold like real tile. You can drop stuff on it and it won’t break. And if it does get scratched, you can just pop up that one tile and replace it quite easily.
But the options are so limited, and that makes me hesitant. I want tile in the back mudroom and half bath regardless of what I choose for the studio. And I had planned on doing some interesting tile design with a combo of a couple of tiles. But if I do the vinyl tile in the studio, the option for a fun mosaic design in the mud room and bathroom goes away since those options aren’t available in the vinyl.
*Sigh* This shouldn’t be this difficult. Matt’s going to want me to make a decision soon and get it ordered, and it stresses me out. Can’t I just choose paint colors and fabric and skip over the floor? 😀
I really do want to hear from any of you who have pier and beam houses that shift throughout the year. Do you have large rooms that are tiled with real tile? Has it been a problem? Have you had any tiles crack?