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Friday, March 6, 2015


I didn't exactly stick to my Hallway plan, but I am still quite satisfied with the way it is turning out.  Shortly after:
  • Adding the backsplash (Kitchen)
  • Installing in ceiling speakers (Family Room & Kitchen & Dining Room)
  • Painting the ceiling (Family Room & Kitchen)
  • Adding crown molding (Family Room & Kitchen)
... I started on installing crown molding in the Hallway.  This space was already painted when I built up the wainscoting, so thankfully there wasn't any painting there to do first.  As for the crown pattern, I decided to keep it the same as was done in our Sitting Room, where I had built up the coffered ceiling.

This build up consists of 4 pieces...

Monday, March 2, 2015
Crown & Surround

Crown & Surround

Not shortly after we (mostly) finished the backsplash, our order of crown molding showed up.  But before I talk about that, let me first step back and talk about whole home audio.

We had rejected the idea & cost of our Low-Level Voltage installation consultation.  If we had gone the route of requesting them to install things like speakers, cabling, etc it would have jacked up the price of our home tremendously.  It wasn't until I visited a friend's home that did have in-ceiling speakers installed that I started to see how nice that feature really is.  I got envious ;)

How does one install in-ceiling speakers after the fact?  The answer is... crown!

Much like I had done in the Sitting Room, where I was able to run wire from one place to another to wire-up recessed LED lights, I was able to use the same technique to run 14 gauge wire from the Dining Room, the Kitchen, and the Family Room to the basement, then hide it all using crown molding.

In total, I installed 8 ceiling speakers across 3 zones.  Four speakers in the main zone (Family Room), two speakers in second zone (Kitchen), and two speakers in the third zone (Dining Room).  All of these wires travel down the outside corner of the bulkhead to a hole I punched in the wall near the fireplace.

Wiring from the Dining Room was a challenge.  I was able to fish the wires over the HVAC inside the bulkhead to come out into the Kitchen.

The fireplace is just to the right and down.  To the left is my office.

We painted the ceilings a light gray to compliment the dark gray walls.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pics of the crown.  I will upload those later.

Updated: photo at the top.

A note about home audio... generally I see most home audio controlled zones using a remote, or IR transmitters and receivers.  I can't say this is a favorable option, especially since many audio receivers are now network ready.  Rather than keep track of a remote you rarely use, it is better to just download an app to your android, or iOS and control your audio that way.  Between tablets and phones, any of us in our household can queue up music, and specify where they want to listen to it.




Previously I talked about how I was able to raise the cabinets.  This was a double benefit:
  1. More counter top space
  2. Not perfectly fits 1 full sheet of tile
Having a little cabin fever with the recent snow, we decided to get out to lowes and look at grout colors. We ended up with two grout colors, anthracite (black) and a silver.  We chose two (non-sanded, because we were putting up glass tile) because they really didn't have the color of gray we were looking for.  Not sure if this is common, but we did notice that to color ended up drying lighter than the color ratio we mixed it with.  Perhaps this is due to the water added making it look darker?

Putting up this mesh-back tile was really easy!

Our fridge doesn't exactly fit in the space, so tiling a five square perimeter makes it look a lot better.

We agreed that facing the light switches with white face plates was a bad idea.  On the other hand, getting the faceplate pictured, took forever.  We think they make them special order, but that is a guess.  They are expensive though, which kinda sucks, but in the end I think the look is worth it.

 Still more to do, will discuss in the next post.

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