Lewis gets to come out of the Master shower to finish laying tiles

27Mar15 – Today is a momentous day, Lewis finished tiling the inside of the Master shower!!  His loud yelp of delight sent me running to take a pic.  He said it was the longest time he’s spent working in a shower….No doubt.

We are sooo close to being done.  Mark & Lewis will be back on Monday to finish laying the remaining curb tiles and finish grouting whatever they can.  This is sooo cool.

Steve and I have moved to the basement and main floor windows & doors to begin prepping them for the sealer.  I’ve spent hours taping each window pane and protecting the area around each window.  I’m motivated because in our hurry to start the main house, we never sealed or clear coated the woodwork in the Carriage House.  That’s way later in our journey.

No Rest for the Weary….

22Mar15 –  Steve & I got up early and  re-prepped the upstairs trim for the second coat of paint.  The actual spraying took only 45 mins!  We can’t wait for our “Reveal” later today when we take down all the protective covering and see the finished product!

Pablo and crew, our stone masons, are here on a Sunday to finish up our stone piers underneath the main deck.  Our landscaping is going to start in a couple of weeks!  OMG I may actually not have brown mud, dirt, and all that type of dust to deal with after next month.  What a concept.  After 2 1/2 years I’ve begun to think this is just the way we’ll always live.  But Hope springs Eternal and I may just get a pretty, colorful yard yet!

So, I did take some time off from Maple Forest Cottage building yesterday.  I don’t know how restful you’d call it,  but it was great fun.  Here’s a synopsis of the group I’ve been waiting 2 years to join:

The Swannanoa Valley Museum’s exclusive Swannanoa Rim™ hiking series offers eleven hikes that will take place the third Saturday of each month annually. Each hike will cover a portion of the approximately 31 miles of the Swannanoa Rim, which runs from Jesse’s High Top, across Lakey Gap, over Ridgecrest and Montreat, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and down to Cedar Cliff above Camp Rockmont. These hikes will be led by experienced hike leaders who are also extremely knowledgeable about the history, topography, and ownership of the land.

23Mar15 – Steve and I got up early to continue with the Cherry banding in bedrm’s #2 & #3. It really adds warmth to the white trim.

Mark & Lewis are back for more work on the master shower.   I’ll post photos later today.



Day 15 Master Shower, painting upstairs trim boards

21Mar15 – Happy Spring!  We all made it!  Now if Mother Nature will cooperate with the calendar….

We’re excited to see the progress in our Master Shower.  Mark and Lewis should finish it up this next week.

Steve spray painted the first coat of the upstairs trim boards today; such a smooth finish. The satin sheen just tops it all off beautifully. Tomorrow we’ll sand and spackle places we missed and he’ll apply a 2nd coat.  Then we get to take down all the painter’s tape and tape & drape and get to see the finished product.  Such fun!  We may even have time to put up the cherry trim!


Removing dust and royal blue painters tape

16Mar15 – I made up a list of remaining tasks to accomplish before we get our C.O. (Certificate of Occupancy) since our new target date is the 10 of June.  Let’s just say, we’re getting up earlier and staying up later working on our Maple Forest Cottage!  We can do it!

Work is continuing on the master shower, may be completed by week’s end.

Steve and I  are removing the dust as best we can in bedrooms #2 & #3 as well as the upstairs hallway as we are preparing to spray paint all the trim boards up there.  Vacuuming, damp rag cleaning, then taping all, yes, ALL the edges of All the trim before we then add the Tape and Drape to protect the walls & floors from over spray.  The painting’s the easy part – Steve will get the first coat on in less than an hour.  The prep?  Well, that’s another story….

Loving the tile in the Master shower….

11Mar15 – Mark & Lewis are making headway in the Master shower.  We’re loving how it is coming out.

Steve is prepping his shower seat for a built-in heat pad run with a thermostat.  What will they think of next?!  (Steve  has:  He wishes he ordered 3 more to put in the walls surrounding the shower seat.  Now that’s a bit posh.  Besides, then he’d never leave the shower!)

Progress on the Master Shower Tile & First signs of Spring!

06Mar15 – We’re making progress on the Master bath shower tile.  It’s so nice to see the bright orange KerdiBoard slowly disappearing!

And today I caught some of the first signs of Spring on my walk.  Thank God, Spring always returns…

Trimming out the upstairs & tiling the master shower walls. Finally!

03Mar15 – I’ve been priming upstairs trim boards & bedroom windows with oil-based primer (eyoooooo – a bit heady) and spackling every nail hole in sight and Steve’s been designing door jams and putting up trim boards for the upstairs since my last post.  I’ve got just 7 more poplar base boards to prime and I’m done!  With this job.

Mark & Lewis are back and are starting the master shower walls today.  All four of us must have spent 30 some minutes just making sure the chair rail height would work what with all the jets and valves in this shower, as well as Steve’s head while he sits on the shower bench.  Had to go up to the attic and retrieve the escutcheons to make sure of measurements.   Ah, it’s all in the prep.

Our plan is to use the beveled subway tiles in a brick pattern up to the ming marble chair rail and then use the subway tiles in a herringbone pattern from there up to the ceiling.  Here’s a picture from Houzz that’s been my inspiration for months:  Master shower tile pattern



So I was thinking on my daily walk up the mountain the other day…

22Feb15 – On my daily walk up the mountain, to pass time I began thinking of what I would have liked differently about our Maple Forest Cottage.  I went through each room realizing I am very happy with things as they are (or else they had already been changed).  Then as I came to the Master Bathroom, I realized I really didn’t like what had become a long skinny shower niche. Hmmm.  As browsing through Houzz.com has become a daily ritual for the past 3 years, I had become increasingly enamored with the photos of long horizontal shower niches.  Ah, everything on one shelf, so easy to access, so easy to keep clean.  That was the one thing I would change. And the tilers are off until our tile is delivered….

So I casually ask Steve one early morning this week/ “How much work would it be to change the master shower’s long vertical niche into a long horizontal one?”  A painful look came across his face and he answered, “At least 3 days.”.  “Oh. I guess I’ll have to let this one go,” I thought to myself…  But it would be so cool.  It would work so well in this shower.

It’s yesterday morning, my birthday, and to my utter surprise Steve announces that I should get up and see my present.  He takes me to the master bathroom and there are the tools to change the long skinny vertical shower niche into a long horizontal shower niche!!  “I’ll need your help with this, he smiles, but Happy Birthday!”

Ok, I must be dreaming.  This guy who is busy trimming the entire house by himself is willing to take the time to honor this one last (maybe) change order.  I’m impressed and so excited!  OMG, I’m actually  going to get my horizontal shower niche!  Day one was demolition.  Day two was re-construction. Tomorrow, day three, is final water proofing.

And tonight he comes in at 10pm, covered in saw dust powder having finished putting up all the trim in bedroom #3.  I’m counting my lucky stars, grateful to have such a thoughtful partner as Steve.  I’m one lucky gal.  And, PS: Steve thinks the horizontal shower niche will be pretty cool, too.


I hiked down to our mountain’s Triple Falls Sanctuary this afternoon.  I was excited to see the views as the remaining ice & snow were melting away with the temp reaching 58 degrees.  I added some pics for you to enjoy.

12 Day Update….

18Feb15 – Basement shower & Bath #3’s shower are tiled and grouted!  We’re waiting on more tile to arrive to continue on with the Master Shower.  Mark & Lewis are going to work on another job until we’re ready to move forward.

Our lumber for the trim boards – all of them – arrived late last week.  I was in town on errands when they were delivered.  Lucky me!  I didn’t have to help unload them all.   ;- )

We’ve made it to the Master bath’s shower floor!

06Feb15 – It’s Friday already and we got some good tiling done this week.  We made it to the Master bath’s shower floor!  I’ve been looking forward to this in particular.  We have a linear drain and needed to be extra careful to line up the 2″ ming mosaic floor tiles just right, square and snug.  Steve assisted Mark & Lewis and in a couple of hours they had dry layed the floor. By the end of the day they had set the floor minus the corner that will have to wait until Monday. Meanwhile they continued on with Bath #3’s shower.

06Feb15 Verde Jaco Granite

Verde Jaco

I drove into Asheville and picked up the shower seat for the Master bath (and more grout, etc).  I had found a beautiful Costa Esmerelda remnant a while back, but it was 2″ too short no matter how hard I “wished” it into the right length.  But then I saw the Verde Jaco piece and knew that was “IT”!  Here they are:

066Feb15 Costa Esmerelda Granite

Costa Esmerelda







Hmmm, I can’t figure out how to get back to a left margin – ‘Gotta get creative….

Got it!  Here’s more photos.