Penthouse Plunge Update: Cabinets And Tile Are In

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Even in our diminished circumstances (the Claridge is only allowing four workers in a unit at a time) work has been progressing since my last installment a month ago. And of course we’ve had our hair-raising moments during that month.

For those new to the Penthouse Plunge, it’s a series of articles chronicling my purchase, renovation and sale (of one half) of a double penthouse at the Claridge on Turtle Creek.

The kitchen cabinets finally arrived from Germany and have largely been installed (pic above). I say largely, because there was a boo-boo with two measurements – which is why you see that unfinished end on the peninsula. Everyone makes mistakes and I give German Kitchen Center credit for working to quickly fix the problem. In this case, that’s air freighting a new end panel and since that gap is large enough, a new cabinet to add storage.

You can see in the distance, the cabinetry goes to the 10-foot ceiling, providing double-high storage for those once-a-year holiday dishes, serving pieces and decorations.

What you’re looking at is a large peninsula with a breakfast bar on the outer edge (in back of me is the dining room). Back in the 1980s, there wasn’t an open concept vibe and so I removed as much of the wall as I could to create this huge new space. When I did something similar in my Athena renovation, it wound up being a congregating spot for appetizers and conversation.

Beginning at the far end of the inner cabinet line there’s a garbage/recycling bin, kitchen sink, dishwasher hole, and an end cabinet with pull-out shelves.

In addition to removing the other end of the kitchen wall to create the peninsula, I took out the wall at the other end as well, shifting the kitchen entry away from the foyer and towards the living room. I think it’s a better flow when entertaining to be able to move easily between the living, kitchen, and dining rooms.

In back of the back wall are the pantry and laundry rooms. Oh, and you may be wondering why there are no toe-kicks. They only go in after the floors are finished so any sanders or whatever don’t ding them.

I’ve posted this view before, but it’s a lot cleaner now since all the tile that was stacked in here has been installed in its respective bathroom.  Behind the saw on the back wall will be the fireplace.

Speaking of tile, here’s the powder room. The back wall is a mosaic of tiny diamonds with different textures. It looks great now, but I’m waiting for the grout to go in to remove the seams between the sheets of tile. The two upper pieces of blue tape demark where the sconces go. Just behind the door will be the Toto toilet.

The guest shower turned out pretty cool. The walls are done in two types of tile of the same color. The large textured panels are striated to give visual and tactile interest. The shower floor is a really cool hexagon marble that looks like silver wood. The “workers’” toilet is between the shower and the vanity.

The master bath has made a ton of progress with the tile and vanities installed. The “hers” vanity is on the left with sink, make-up station, and bank of drawers – the closest edge has a doorway leading to her closet.

The feature back wall will be behind a free-standing bathtub. The door on the right leads to the water closet. The blue “stripe” of wall is part of the solid surface sides the threshold (Jennifer Voss from Stonecraft) measured last Friday) that will frame the floor-to-ceiling glass for the shower.

And that shower is HUGE. You can get a better idea what I meant by the frame and threshold. Instead of tile, they’ll get slab stone to look cleaner with no grout lines. The shower has a shower head (above the picture) and four body sprays along with a small bench and (frankly) an enormous shampoo niche. The little white things you see on the left shower wall are the tile spacers that will be removed when it all gets grouted.

Across from the shower is “his” vanity and the entrance to his closet.

The shower is also the location of the second boo-boo. I came in late one afternoon to see the tile installer had half the tile installed – and it was the wrong tile. In fact, it was the floor tile, and there wasn’t enough to tile the shower. Thankfully it hadn’t dried and he was able to scrape it off. Crisis averted but time spent.  

Finally, we’ve been on the market for a month and you’re wondering how the showings are going. As with all things pandemic, there hasn’t been an open house nor a gaggle of showings. That said, I can count the showings on two hands and I think they’re more buyers than lookers.

Since I’m still not done-done with final paint fumes dissipated, I’m not (yet) worried. It still takes some imagination to see the end of the road if you’re not used to construction. Right now, the view is the only thing that doesn’t require any imagination.


Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

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