We wanted it to feel as though we had taken an existing, old building and turned it
into a home.
Once I had finished the drawings, we took it to an architect and had blueprints drawn. We now have a one-of-a-kind home, and I am happy to say that it is a reflection of us!
Before the slab was poured, we installed a heating system, consisting of pipes and pumps connected to our water heater. It is a zoned system, so we can use it to warm designated floors during the winter months. We tend to use the master bedroom one frequently, and the living area is set to come on whenever we do not have a fire heating the space in the woodstove/fireplace.
Construction of the concrete floors..
You do have to take special care during construction of the slab to make sure it is "polished", and not left too rough. Concrete contractors know how to do this now as it has become a popular floor finish in the years since 2000. I actually had to describe everything in detail to our contractor fourteen years ago.
Once the concrete slab was finished, I did the staining myself. It was so easy, but you do have to be careful...You are working with acid. Wearing skin and eye protection, I used a garden sprayer with stainless steel nozzle and began spraying...You then wash it off and spray again. It is so exciting to see what looks like when you wash away the white powder that's left behind. You then have to make the decision on how to topcoat or finish the floor.
At this point, you can also score the concrete to add that "something extra" if you wish. We did 3 1/2 foot squares on the diagonal, with a 1 foot border around the outside of the space. It makes people think that we hauled in really big square rocks and put it down like tiles! The cuts are only 1/16" deep, and were done with a circular saw and straight edge, after marking with chalk. I stood on the straight edge to hold it steady, while John made the cuts...right by my toes. I'm happy to report that we finished the job with all of my toes intact!
Now, here are pictures of our funky, industrial, artsy, boho, country home in the woods, featuring found architectural details and stained concrete floors.
|Stainless steel restaurant work tables add an industrial feel.|
|Netting curtains simply|
tied in knots add a casual boho feel.
|A crack in the concrete, next to a scored line. You can|
see that they have been filled with wax which makes
them show up more...I love it!
|One of the leaves that drove the contractor crazy...|
|A leaf fragment...Notice the variation of colors in the stain.|
|The base of the spiral staircase...you can see that the paint|
is worn away and I never painted the bolts holding it in
place. That's okay with me...sort of that casual, boho
thing again. You can also see the primer showing through
|The spiral staircase helps add the industrial|
feeling to the space. It is simple black metal
that I spray painted. The stairs lead up to
my studio, a bedroom and bath.
|These vintage fragments were found on Ebay...I added them|
to the top corners of all windows in the downstairs open
space. It adds instant character, and tricks the mind into
thinking the windows are old.
|The "railing" is actually antique hand wrought iron fencing|
from Eastern Europe.
|I found four of these vintage industrial|
light shades in Chicago. After a complete
re-work and upgrade, two of them now
hang over my kitchen island.
Well, that's all I have for today. I hope you've picked up some tips about how to add character to a newly built space and make it feel older than it is.
Let me close by saying that the ultimate compliment came when a visitor asked me, "What was here before it was your home?"...I did a little happy dance when she left!
Thanks for visiting!