Refining Interiors and Electrical

Progress continued into the Spring. With our mechanical (plumbing and gas) about finished, our attention turned back to some of the electrical work, which was set to start soon, and refining some of the interior decisions. Our electricians had done a walkthrough and we had already tinkered with a few adjustments, like how to clear our deck outlets from the structural steel in our window wall, and whether some closet lights would be obscured by shelves. Overall though, things looked to go pretty smoothly, though delays on the delivery of our windows meant the crew had to cover up the window openings to allow the electricians to get started.

Electrical Tweaks

We also had to adjust some of our garage lights – fire code didn’t allow us to install can lights into the ceiling, which is what we had planned to keep things low-profile so that fixtures didn’t get in the way of garage storage. We’ve been living in a house without a garage for ten years, so it’s been exciting to imagine the possibilities for gear storage.

Another minor edit was to reduce our “can” lights from 8″ cans to 6″ cans, which are half the price. We had plenty of lighting, and it didn’t look like the reduction in lumens was going to be a big deal. We are still keeping smart switches in most of our common areas so that we can network everything all fancy-like. We also wanted to make sure everything was on a Z-Wave system so that our wifi network didn’t have 50 devices connected to it.

Interior Progress

We also circled back to starting to pick out interior finishes. We had the big stuff generally figured out: the main floor flooring, cabinets, countertops (though cabinets still needed to get ordered). Next up, we considered what we might want to do for a kitchen backsplash. We have somewhat unusual transom windows under our upper cabinets, so the only backsplash space would be behind the range.

Our original plans had called for something fairly big and bold for the backsplash, but since we were now leaning towards royal blue cabinets, we could stand to tone down the backsplash a bit.

Our designer sent us some options, and our general feedback looked like this:

We found this one the most interesting, but not sure if it’s too same-same with the blue cabinets and white countertop. Also, we couldn’t find any photos of it installed
We kind of like the staggered glass tile like this… but I’m a little worried that it’s going to be the new version of the super contrasty backsplash that everyone got with their granite counters in 2002 (
One option would be to pick up some interest with the shape rather than the color (making a big color statement with the backsplash is probably less important now that we’re doing big color with the cabinets). So maybe something like this, which could pick up on the island countertop a bit: or
Or other interesting tile shapes but with more muted colors. E.g.
Is herringbone too trendy? e.g.

Shortly after, we got some bad news: our interior designer was going to leave the project. She experienced a death in her family and didn’t have the bandwidth. So we were on our own for interior colors and finishes.

This far in though, we had a pretty good idea of our style and what we liked and what we didn’t. We figured we could handle the rest of it, so long as we got a punch list from Shaun of the decisions we needed to make and the budget we had for each element of the house. With that, we started to pull together a board of final-round finish options (which included, in part, a more restrained color palette for the backsplash).

Meanwhile, windows were slowing things down a bit, but we were still generally on-track for our August move-in.