Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Floor!

So here is the original floor:



Tile in kitchen/dining - wood in family room


Tile in entry way and wood in family toom


Family room looking into the kitchen


Laundry room


Close up of kitchen tile ('cuz I love it so much!)  


Finally had the new flooring put in on my main floor.  I was just going to do the kitchen/dining room/half bath, and laundry room, but when the floor guy came out, I expressed my concern about all the different flooring I had going on in one big open space, and we decided that I would tear out all the flooring except the master bedroom and living room so that I would have consistency throughout my main floor open areas.  I have always hated the tile in the entry and the kitchen area, but loved my wood floor in the family room.  There is a new (to me anyway) product out that is tile, but looks like hand scraped wood floor.  In California I had wood floors installed in my kitchen and woke up one morning to a huge "bubble" in front of the sink.  My sink had developed a slow leak that went straight down the pipe and under the sink - hence I never saw any signs of water myself.  The entire floor had to be ripped out.  SO, in spite of my love for wood floors I have never again been brave enough to do it in a wet area.  The new product looked like a match made in heaven!  

We got everything moved out to the garage, living room and master bedroom Monday and the crew showed up Tuesday morning to begin demolition of the old floor.  To say that it was disturbing to be working upstairs while listening to the men destroy the flooring downstairs would be an understatement.  I finally left and went to the office.  By the time I got home, the old flooring was completely gone, the plywood clean and ready for a new floor.  They spent the rest of the evening putting down the wire mesh and applying a thin coat of mortar.  

I came home to this (mask on top of my porch owl) - the workers have a sense of humor!


Family room with mortar and screen down


Hallway to garage


Didn't want you to miss the dust I am telling you about - unbelievable!


Did I mention I am slightly OCD?


That is my cook-top in my island....


The demo dust was like a light snow - settling over everything!


The next day, the workers did this! (Probably hoping they would not kill him off)   :)


On Wednesday, I talked to my tile guy and we decided while we were completely destroying the house anyway, we may as well redo the tile around the fireplace (it matched the entry tile I wasn't crazy about).  I chose a beautiful Travertine tile to replace it.  


Original fireplace - hard to see the tile surround, but kind of an orangy yucky tile (it matched the entry way tile)



Travertine tile surround

Travertine tile surround - don't know if you can see it, but they did a tile chair rail at the top edge of the  bench.  LOVE this~!  I am no photographer, but trust me when I say it is MUCH better!


Flooring started going down on Wednesday and I was loving it from the very first tile!  They were kind enough to leave us a "path" to get to our bedroom each night while the work was going on.  We spent most of our "at home" time downstairs in the basement apartment with our son, Jonathon.  I am pretty sure he was loving the quality and quantity of time we were suddenly spending together!  Hee hee!

Following demolition I realized two things - there was not a nook or cranny that the dust did not settle into and I do not enjoy having total strangers in my house all day, every day, for almost a week.  Other than sleeping, we were unable to access any of the house except for the basement (which I was extremely grateful for!)

They finished up on Saturday and we worked ALL day Saturday (until midnight) and all day Sunday cleaning up (there was nothing that did not require a "bath").  Even the furniture that had been stored in the garage was super dusty and we both vacuumed and "bathed" each and every piece.  Only those that have been to my house can really appreciate the depth of what that process meant!  I am a collector of many things and even the books required cleaning.  It feels great to have everything back in and put together again.  We still have the half bath (with the toilet and sink removed I am going to paint the white spots behind those things before we put them back in), some of the baseboards need to be put back up, and the plantation shutters still need dusting.  Even with all the work, I would totally do it again (thank goodness I won't have to!) to get the look that resulted.  I LOVE the look of the floors, the no maintenance of the tile, and the richness of the color.  IF you have been wanting to get the look without the maintenance involved with wood - I highly recommend this product!  I might see a basement re-do in a few years - it may take me that long to recover! There is not a muscle in my body I am not keenly acquainted with right now!  :)


New floor in family room - actually is a bit darker in person

Too much light - it is much darker!  


Close up of floor - doesn't it look just like a hand-scraped wood floor?

Entry way and transition to wood floor in living room

Kitchen floor

Dining area

Another view of the kitchen

Overall SUPER pleased with this project!  Wish I was a better photographer though - this is why I use a professional photographer for all my photo-shoots for my listings.  Ha Ha Ha!


NOTE:  Some of you have asked where we purchased the floor - Factory Flooring in Tooele 801-250-0395 - I always work with Jeff, but they are all great!  

My installer was Don Morrow with Amazing Tile 801-913-8824


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Bread With Blueberry Cream


This recipe will make 2 9x5 loaves.  You can also make it in any other kind of baking pan you like.  This bread freezes beautifully, so make two loaves and freeze one.

2 sticks butter, softened
2  2/3 cups, sugar, divided
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350
degrees.  Grease and flour 2 9x5” loaf pans.  

In a large bowl with mixer beat butter and 2 cups of the sugar on medium/high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

With mixer speed on low, add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well blended and scraping bowl down occasionally.  Alternately add flour mixture and  milk, mixing just until blended.  Gently stir in the blueberries.  Spoon batter into loaf pans.

Bake loaves 1 hour and 5 minutes (much less if baking in a mini bundt cake pan) or until toothpick inserted in center just comes out clean.  Do not over-bake loaves.  Cool loaves in pans on wire rack 10 minutes and then remove from pans.

With skewer, prick top and sides of warm cake.  In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and 2/3 cup sugar.  With pastry brush, brush top and sides of warm cake with the lemon glaze.  Cool cakes on rack.  

For Blueberry Cream:

1 cup of whipping cream
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar (or regular sugar) to taste

Whip cream and sugar together, adding sugar and tasting until desired sweetness is reached.  Add the blueberries and whip just a little, until the blueberries and just crushed and the whipped cream turns blue.  NOTE:  These can also be made in mini-bundt pans. –adjust cooking time.
The Italian Dish
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