Tall House Updates

Here are the latest updates on house renovations. So much has been going on since my last update. Progress on electrical work, progress on tile and paint, progress on the laundry room wall, and a new project near the entryway.

Come and see what we’ve been up to! Or check out the highlights on Instagram — I try to keep them organized by room.

We pulled out an overgrown shrub in the garden that was blocking a door. It was such a challenge to get the root out, and it felt like such an accomplishment when we were done.

We took the radiators to go get sandblasted. Our plan is to leave them bare metal (with a clear coat for protection). But in the kids bathroom, I would like to have the radiator painted gold. Pretty much all the metal work in the kids bathroom is gold and I think a gold radiator would be fun.

You can see tile progress and laundry room wall excavation in the slides above as well.

Jean Jaques installed electrical wiring in the kitchen, and we’ve decided to keep the current kitchen floors. This original tile is from Winkelmans (the same place where we ordered new tile!) and is still in excellent condition 80+ years later.

Karim started to reinstall the window guards, after he stripped and repaired them. There was carpentry progress from Antoine — with new trim (made to match the old trim) around the doorways that had been moved or changed. Plus more progress on the bathroom tile by Cristophe, and patching on the laundry room wall by Gijsbert.

Lighting for the kids bathroom arrived, and Grant repaired the plaster walls in the kids bathroom.

The kids bathroom is painted! The walls are F&B Schoolhouse White; the wood trim is F&B Charleston Gray — it’s a medium to dark gray that I chose because it works really well with the gray of the tile.

We found a range and matching hood! It’s a used but gorgeous Lacanche cooker. The model is Vougeot in Vert Anglais (or British Racing Green). It’s 1 meter wide. We think it will look really good with the kitchen floor.

Lacanche cookers are very French, and very expensive, and a new one was out of our budget, so finding this used option, in a color that works well in our kitchen, felt like a total score. I think it’s going to be the centerpiece of the room.

Speaking of the kitchen, it’s being painted today! We’re using the same Schoolhouse White on the walls, and Vert de Terre on the trim — it’s a medium green-gray that is somewhere between the cupboard color and the green in the floor tiles. Speaking of trim in the kitchen, we found out the crown moulding (or the cornice) is made of plaster, not wood. So interesting! I didn’t even know that was a thing.

The kitchen cupboards were originally scheduled to be installed this week, but with Covid-delays, it looks like next week is more realistic.

One of the most exciting projects is happening on the main floor. Behind the big front doors, there’s a carriage passthrough to the garden, and we’re changing it up and converting it to interior space.

We’re building some walls and adding a utility closet and powder room (because there is no toilet on the ground floor). The utility closet will house the water softener and the electrical panel, and the closet will share a wall with the powder room. This new structure will create an entry way, and a small hallway that leads to the dining room.

Tomorrow, we have an early meeting with all the tradespeople to go over major next steps and brainstorm any issues that have come up. If I understand correctly, the plumbing team will be at the house for the next two weeks to finish up the plumbing work, which will include things like installing the furnace/water heater, installing the bathroom fixtures, installing the kitchen fixtures, and installing the water softener.

Later this week, we’ll be delivering the rest of the radiators to the sand blaster, and picking up 5 of them that are finished and ready to re-install. (We ordered the Shoulder Dolly and have been using it to move the heavy radiators and the heavy bathroom cabinet, and it works really well!)

Is it really possible we’ll have heat and water by Christmas? I don’t dare hope!

We’re still waiting on a few deliveries that could delay things — like the dishwasher, and the sink faucet for the parents bathroom. And I know there are quite a few decisions I still haven’t made — like more light fixtures, and a sink for the laundry room. But we’re definitely making progress.

P.S. — You may notice that my hair changes color at some point during this report. Three weeks ago, I decided to go back to brown!

P.P.S. — More Tall House updates.

5 thoughts on “Tall House Updates”

  1. Wow, this project seems so overwhelming! I can’t imagine navigating all of this work in a foreign country with a language barrier. And yet I’m very confident your house will turn out to be beautiful, functional, and sound.

  2. Everything is looking great! I’m sure it doesn’t seem as fast as you’d wish, but the progress seems pretty speedy from here. Thanks for sharing and allowing some of us to dream vicariously through you!

  3. Everything looks so great. I LOVE Vert du Terre by F & B – it’s one of my absolute favorites and I am excited to see how it looks in your kitchen.

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