the heat is on...

it's almost insane that this "classic" glenn frey song has been playing in my head as I've prepared to write this blog post for quite some time.  insane because, as some of you may be aware, he died this past week.  having grown up listening to the eagles and having a particularly memorable experience in a vintage aston martin while listening to one of their albums, I am immensely saddened by his untimely death. 

however, this blog is not about glenn frey and his song.  it's actually a continuation of the "race" between 2 of my projects for the title of "the longest project ever".  I blogged about the modern house that is near completion a bit ago, click here for a reminder...  this other house is possibly one of the coolest ever, because of it's originality.  it's in downtown decatur proper and is a commercial/residential space.  complete with 3rd and 4th floor roof decks with spectacular views and all kinds of unique touches, such as a teak floor and led lighting in the master shower, a steel facade on the main fireplace, a secret door bookcase, a garage door leading to the roof deck, and gorgeous reclaimed maple floors!!  their initial directive was to design a house that is "industrial, craftsman, rustic, and tropical".  looking at how things are coming together, i'd say we're doing pretty good as mix masters!

anyway, the blog title comes from a sign that is posted onsite.  i've wanted to post it to a certain blowhard's campaign instagram account, but i haven't yet.  i've got my own social media to deal with!

so, above, we have instructions in english, spanish, arabic, and farsi.  (i may have the last two confused, i'm rusty on my arabic and farsi)  this is what america looks like to me!  it is still a melting pot and i am proud to be working on a project where i am exposed to different cultures and different languages and everyone is working hard and honest and with the common goal of creating something fabulous!

ok, on to some photos of the actual house and progress!!

above are some exterior shots.  the upper left was taken literally over a year ago!!  the upper right is more recent and shows the new windows, new upper porch enclosure, there's a new front door, and the same leafless tree.  in the middle is the original back of the house, which is now the middle of the house and the stairwell next to it is that middle! the old window was filled in with some of the old brick from elsewhere on the old facade. on the bottom is the side facade in progress.  all of that is new.

here we have the main living room, with the reclaimed maple floors!!  the top 3 pics are the same space in various stages (clearly, I could have blogged about this sooner...).  the back wall gets a metal facade with metal bands and rivets and built in cabinets/bookshelves!  i'm holding my breath on this as the cabinet maker assures me he also happens to be a metalsmith.  oh really?!

on the other side of those doors is the kitchen.  if you were expecting another white kitchen, think again!!  (although i do love me some fresh, crisp, whiteness in my kitchen ;) this bad boy includes lovely light grey custom cabs with a walnut-esque wrap around one side and the back of the island!  the other leg of the island and all the countertops are a fabulous grey concrete from my peeps at dex :)  it's sublime.  fortunately for my man, steve, and the other installers, there was a crane on site the day of installation to hoist the top of the island up to the second floor and in through the doors!  talk about excitement.  it's getting cra cra in decatur!  the jacuzzi hot tub and the havc were also hoisted to the 3rd and 4th floor decks respectively.  in the middle you can see a small concrete sample.  the color name is "natural light", but don't let the name confuse you. the beer is cheap, but these countertops are not!

also above is a shot of the drop dead gorgeous tile that makes me over the moon giddy just thinking about it!!  oh how i have daydreamed about this tile being installed and given that we selected it about a year ago, i'm hoping i won't have to wait too much longer!!!  oh!!  that sultry, but elegant, teal glass rising up from the strong, slightly industrial concrete - oohlala what a dynamic duo!!  omg omg omg i'm so excited!!!  of course the tile guy and i have had a chat and he understands bad things will happen to him if this tile gets mucked up.  i'm not kidding :)

the lights over the island were also just installed and i have to say, i am so pleasantly surprised!  they were a great price, a lot of light for the buck, and they look perfect in person!  i'm always a little nervous when i order inexpensive things online.  it's kinda like asking for disaster and having to suck up the shipping costs.  but not this time, baby! wisteria for the win!!

moving from the more public areas to the more private areas, we come across the guest bath, with it's fun cement tile floors, stone shower, and slightly tropical (think british colonial caribbean.  loosely.  don't think too hard :).  another shot on the bottom of the fantastic reclaimed maple floors, that really only took an eternity to get installed.  i believe we may have waited for the trees to grow, flooring to be installed somewhere else, aged/beaten/weathered/whatever, then removed again and brought to us!! anyway, they are in and have i said they're fantastic!!??  there's a view looking down the hall into the master bedroom.

on the left is shortly after the initial gutting of the old house.  in the master bedroom we raised the ceiling (i'm not even really sure how high it is??  maybe 20 feet at the peak?!) and exposed all the brick on the fireplace.  on the right is a more current state of affairs. there's more to be done there, including installing the old fashioned looking gas fire insert, hearth, and uncovering the gorgeous walnut slab mantel piece!!!  yay!  

here's the super cool master bath.  the top left was a long time ago.  after finding the perfect round tub for the bathroom, i was on site to literally plot it out in the actual space. (dimensions were king here as there had to be enough room for the exceptionally large shower and for space to actually stand comfortably in front of the vanities)  no one else was there and it was starting to get dark.  i creeped myself out just a bit by being alone and then made it worse by taking pictures that look like an alien invasion was about to happen!!  of course, i had drawn everything out on paper, but for me it's so much better to be able to stand in a space.  so while some designers may be wonderfully proficient in computer drawings, i prefer arranging scrap pieces of 2x4s!  it also makes me feel like a tough chic on a construction site, especially when i get a splinter!  those fancy pants autocadders can't say they get injured much!  wusses ;)

on the bottom are some in progress shots of the biggest shower i've ever been in! possibly to be the wettest as well since there are jets, dual shower heads, and a waterfall!!  and when the mood is right, they can also turn on the led lights tucked into the niche (don't ask.  that wasn't part of my original design and it reminds me a little of the undercarriage of a pimped-out low rider car, but my client thinks it's awesome and wanted it and i'm ok with that!!).  

moving on up to the 3rd floor we have that secret bookcase i spoke about earlier.  there was going to be a lot of unused space above the old attic/roof of the old house, so the builder suggested creating a room (you step down into into it).  it's great for extra storage or stashing that drunk friend who needs to chill for awhile ;)  and who doesn't want their own passage to narnia or hogwarts or some other magical place??!!  the 3rd floor is technically the homeowners office and we'll leave it at that.  i will say the limestone bar will make a fabulous place for deal making over cocktails and the coolness factor of the garage door opening onto the roof top deck is sure to impress and handy if the meeting needs to be moved outside!

everyone is hoping this house will be done within a month, but until then there's still all kind of mad dashing, installing, rescheduling, praying things fit, and a few more decisions... the heat is on!