Next on our big interior finishes punch list was to select our interior fixtures. This included both the plumbing fixtures, as well as lights and fans for the room. Basically, the “jewelry” of the house. Our house has a fairly modern aesthetic, so we wanted to keep things pretty clean without looking like we have the Jetsons as roommates.
Building a house involves thousands of decisions. For the most part, my wife and I have been lucky that in a lot of areas, one of us cares a lot more about the issue a lot more than the other does. But as it turns out, we both have opinions about ceiling fans. Number of blades, style, lighting – lots of choices and lots of opinions.
For our great room, we either needed a big fan, or we needed multiple fans. Not liking the helicopter pad look, we went with a big fan. This big ‘ol Minka Aire number:
84 inches is a lot of inches when it comes to fans. We actually had to order it twice after the first Amazon seller fell through. Second time was a charm though. Most of the other big fans were designed for workshops and had much more of an industrial and/or helicopter feel.
When it came to bathroom faucet fixtures, our tastes aligned pretty well. We liked a fairly streamlined look, but again, no Jetsons.
We have also replaced some faucet cartridges (the guts) in our current home after old ones wore out, and we realized that going with name-brand faucets was worthwhile. Most offer lifetime guarantees, so if you need a new cartridge or bit down the road they’ll drop one in the mail for you. We went with brushed nickel for just about everything, since it seems timeless and doesn’t show fingerprints like chrome.
So we went with this Kohler for the girls’ bathroom and powder room and this Moen for the master. This Pfister pull-down faucet rounded out the kitchen (the touchless option wasn’t a big deal to us but we liked the rest of it). Moen and Delta shower heads and valves rounded out the bathroom fixtures.
This was something we didn’t care a lot about – we don’t need a toilet that sings or lights up with different colors. A streamlined design was a nice perk though, so we went with these guys.
We spent some time looking at appliances until we realized that we have very simple tastes. A refrigerator should keep things cold, a freezer should keep things frozen (and make ice). Dishwashers should wash dishes, ovens should hold temperature, and so on. Ultimately, we told Shaun to basically do the shopping, with the exception of a gas range, which we luckily inherited from a neighbor who was switching to an induction setup. Lucky break for us!
We did bump into a minor issue with our vent hood: the one we bought sucked too hard. We figured more suck = more better, but past a certain point you need a separate air intake because the building department is worried you’ll suck the oxygen out of your house. So we had to downgrade from 450 cubic feet per minute to 350.
We did have some opinions on lights. I’m planning on building a pair of custom chandeliers for the entryway and kitchen, something similar to this piece I built for a woodworking client:
We have a lot of streamlined “can” lights in our spaces, but we needed some pendants for the dining table and some spotlights for the “gallery” spaces in the house where we would have a lot of art. We ended up with a black-and-copper theme for both: spots, pendants. The pendants were surprisingly cheap, but lights aren’t really a “wear” item. Hopefully they’ll work well and look good.
For vanity lights, we went with black bars and bubbly glass – nothing particularly ostentatious (one and the other). Overall, we like the streamlined look of our fixtures, and we’re excited to see them installed.