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Black Subway & Clear Fir

All I have to say is go with your first instincts. I really wanted to do the backsplash in black ceramic 3″ x 6″ subway tile to match the absolute black granite countertops but white would have been a safer bet for resale. I came real close to chickening out and doing white, but am glad I took the chance and got to try something new in the kitchen.  I’m really happy with how it came out and I got the look I was going for. I’m planning on switching out the plugs, switches and cover plates to black as well. For me, the white grout and the square profile on the granite slabs really makes it.  Once I get the under cabinet lights in there going to be quite the neat reflection going on. I used the Domsjo Farmhouse apron sink from Ikea again, and as you regular blog followers know we’ve put them in all of our historic renovations. You cant beat the price at $299.

We shopped around this week for hardwood floor refinishers and ended up going with Geary Floors here in San Diego. They are charging $2.50/ s.f. for a pretty nice job. I found slightly less expensive prices but knew these guys do good work and its pretty important to me that we get a good job upstairs so I didn’t want to take any chances. You can see the 100-year-old Douglas Fir floors upstairs came out way better than I expected. I decided to not add any stain color and go “clear” with the refinishing job. The distressed look matches well with the house and adds a lot of character. This wood is the old 5″ wide long leaf style with standing grain. We are staining the stairs however to try and get them close to matching my hand scraped and distressed engineered wood floors downstairs. I’m officially now over budget, not bad considering the scope of work and the appliances are already paid for and standing by for delivery. Most of whats left now is outside which we plan on attacking this week. Stay tuned as we button her up and really add the missing small touches…

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  1. 17 Comment(s)

  2. By enplaned on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    I think (and this is not a criticism!) that you are, at heart, an interior decorator…

    That golden Douglas Fir looks amazing. Back in the day they used to make airplanes out of that stuff.

  3. By Tom on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    @ enplaned, I did not know that. In Texas we saw a lot of long leaf pine in the turn of the century houses and then of course mostly red oak but this is our first encounter with Doug Fir hardwood floors. I always think of Christmas Trees when I hear Doug Fir, your comments prompted me to do a wikipedia search, thanks for the info!

  4. By Facebook User on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    Wow! 🙂

  5. By Facebook User on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    That looks beyond amazing…I love it!

  6. By Facebook User on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    Nice. Looking good !

  7. By Facebook User on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    love that sink!

  8. By Facebook User on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    wow…modern but classic, perfect for this house!

  9. By Danny Johnson on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply


  10. By Tom on Sep 18, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Facebookers!

  11. By Mark on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I think i’m in love with black and white!

  12. By Auntie Agent on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    You have made excellent choices. Taking the chances you have, have paid off with a nice end product. A serial owner/flipper myself, taking a chance is what makes the job fun and seeing ones idea become reality is the prize. Being interesting to see if the black plugs/wall covers work. My guts says no but sometimes you just can’t listen to it.

    Keep up the great work.

  13. By Danny Welsh on Sep 25, 2011 | Reply

    looking good guys. Great job and thanks for sharing your experiences.

  14. By halbert on Sep 27, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, Tom!
    I have a question about the IKEA sink. Is it possible to drill extra holes to accommodate say, a filtered water tap or soap dispenser in the IKEA sink? How would one do this?

    Hope you will tackle a mid-centruy ranch sometime soon! LOVE watching the transformations and always appreciate your frank discussion of cost.

  15. By Tom on Sep 28, 2011 | Reply

    H- I haven’t tried drilling these sinks so you got me on this one. The inspectors here evidently call for a surface mount air gap for the dishwasher, if this is the case I plan on drilling the counter right next to the sink. Thanks for following!

  16. By Craig on Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

    I really enjoy seeing your work, especially the craftsman homes that you do. My wife and I bought our first home in December and have been doing some remodeling. I have been tracking some of the progress on a blog for my family to see. Check it out if you would like and let me know what you think. The before pictures start at the bottom of the page.

    Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to your next project.


  17. By Tom on Oct 1, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Craig, thanks for the comments. I checked out your house, nice job! I love the wainscotting in the bathroom and the floors came out sweet too. The white ceramic tile on the counters was a bold but great choice with pre-cut granite at Home Depot tempting you I bet; ) Nice job and keep in touch!

  18. By Greg on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    congrats on the new baby. Where are the cabinets from?

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