Monday, February 23, 2009

The Next Color

Here is a brighter photo of the teal that only lasted a few days on the wall. It just wasn't right for the house. Don't worry, though. We broke the news gently. "No, renoir, it's not us. It's you."
Mindy felt creative before the wall was fully primered over. Again. Actually, this next coat of primer was the third coat of primer on this wall, and the final color became the third final color.
More graffiti on the walls, though some of the brush strokes here are still visible in the final coat of paint. Braille, you might say.
Primering in the loft. Priming doesn't sound as fun.
Yes, at first blush, this green may look kind of pukey. The green plays, though. Oh, it plays well. We like it in the sun, we like it under the lights, we like it against the wood, and we like it against the black furniture.
Working our way higher.
This view shows how the color goes with the wood of the house. Derby is in the corner of the loft here - Chris' dad made this for the boys about 30 years ago. he has taken some hard knocks over the years, but is still part of the family.
Pretty much the same shot, but I couldn't choose between the two so I just threw them both up on the blog.
So there you have it... from toothpast to renoir to the final color - which is called "Appalachian Trail", by the way. The name has provenance, so it makes the color even more appealing to us.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The First Wall Color

Yes, that's right... the first wall color. It has changed twice since these pictures were taken, but in the interest of preserving history, all colors will appear here. Just not all today.

Speaking of today, this post is an unusual Saturday edition, and comes to you from the Bronx, where the Wests are visiting Chris and Andy's sister Robin for the baptism of her oldest son. So no work will be done today. Unfortunately, that will put us about a week behind schedule. Wait... what am I saying? We don't have a schedule anymore! All our time estimates were too far off, so we stopped measuring time.

So here is the wall to the loft, as seen from the living room. Mindy went a little crazy with paint swatches, and this was the view for a few days while we ruminated a bit. Some of them came down en masse, since yellows and dark colors just didn't match well with the wood of the floors and walls. Some of the blues stayed up for quite awhile, however, and eventually lulled us into letting our guard down and making a purchase.
As promised, here is the view of the craft room windowsill a week after we installed it. I don't think it looks too bad, actually, given all the cleaning we did this week.
We cleared out most of Andy and Mindy's bedroom so a different kind of work can continue there. The tools and workbenches have all been moved into the craft room, where they have been organized and stacked neatly. Well, neatish.
This corner was full of wood scraps for a long time. It has all been repurposed; some wood is mingling with the construction debris outside and will be burned in the springtime as part of our contribution to global warming, some of the wood has been placed upstairs for kindling, and some has been kept to use for kitchen cabinet work.
A clean workspace. The cherry for the kitchen cabinets is stickered on the right, and since it is on the workbench with casters, it is easy to swivel and move as we need to rearrange the space.
A view of Andy and Mindy's bathroom. This area has been full of drywall, sheathing, 2x4s, and insulation for a long time. We feel like we have discovered a whole new room in the house.
This was the centerpiece for one of our recent color discussions. We did our best to gather the kitchen colors together so we could see what our swatches would look like next to finished products. Our countertops will be poured concrete, and we like a slate color for those. The appliances and shelving are stainless steel, and the cabinets themselves will be cherry, just like the cherry of Mindy's jewelry box.
The workshop again, but after we moved the cherry and repositioned the tablesaw for actual use. With all the light streaming in that window, it is very easy to forget that you're in a basement.
One more view of the same room. Andy is in the background trimming drywall for some spots in the guest bathroom. Mindy gave him very specific instruction on how that room was to be completed.
Primer, at last!
The end of the primer. Karen and Mindy treat the house like a dorm room sometimes, coming up with silly pictures and curling up with the laptop to watch chic flicks late into the night. Happy wife, happy life.
We framed in some areas in the kitchen to prepare for drywall. The girls would like to paint this wall soon, also, but we aren't quite ready yet.
Eli was happy to stir our gourmet meal while the rest of us worked. Well, most of us, at least. Chris was taking pictures.
The first coat of the first color. The name of the color was renoir, and on a small swatch it looked great. But something happened to the color when it was on the wall, and it made little sounds while it was up there. "ha ha! I am ugly!"
The first choice for these two walls was two-tone; one color for the wall going to the basement, and another color from the living room up to the loft. Unbelievably, as much as we didn't like the darker teal that extended up to the loft, the toothpaste color that somehow came home and made it onto the wall was even worse. It lasted almost two hours before we shivered in horror and painted over it.
Now imagine thousands of tiny seahorses...
Nice and toasty. The thermometer on the chimney pipe has been very handy, and we like watching it climb.
The dining room at the end of the evening - all renoir, but better than toothpaste.
The view from the living room. I know, it's a little bit dark, but you can kind of see the color. The wall under the loft space in the dining room is really the same color. The light bulb there is a slightly different temperature - 5000k versus 6500k, I believe, and that contributes to a slightly different look to the color.
As I mentioned, this color has all been painted over. I will post again on Monday evening, so it will be a short wait until the next color is shown. It will probably stay up for awhile. Weeks, maybe. We'll see. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Basement Window Frames

Most of the work this Saturday was in the basement. We have been pulled in a lot of directions lately, and by the time we reached home every night we just sat still for a bit. But Saturday was productive, and we enjoyed seeing the progress. Maybe the warm weather had something to do with it.

In any case, Andy is applying some caulk around the window frame, sealing the pieces of foam together to keep the air sealed away from the concrete. Air holds moisture and allows condensation to form on cold surfaces. Since we have insulated the interior wall of the basement, we need to keep it protected from that air and inevitable moisture.

This is the craft room window, and through it you can see the mess under the vestibule. Fuel cans, the generators, Andy's motorcycle, 3 sets of summer tires, and various other 'garagy' things are stacked and stored there, yearning to be used.
The craft room wall. This didn't change too much by the end of the day, but the small poured in place window was framed in and the rest of the insulation was put in place.

This is the window frame we built. We used left over pieces of 2x6 flooring to make the frame. The tongues and grooves were ripped off (on the table saw, not with pliers), we screwed the frames together, and used the pocket jig to drill the mounting holes that screw our frame into the existing window frame. It is solid, and we can finish the wall with sheathing now. The window sill is 9" deep as measured from the outer lip to the glass. You can also see the dryer vent installed next to the beam on the left. That was new this week, and nobody misses the way the pipe used to stick out of the window.
Same type of window frame, but in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. Yes, the light looks like it's about to fall. It is quite secure, though. When we finish that up this next week, it will be remounted and held in place behind the sheathing boards. We'll probably turn the circuit off when we rewire the connections.
The sill in the craft room egress window is put in place here. Note the solitary screwdriver. As this is a 5' x 19" horizontal surface, do not expect it to stay empty. In fact, I'll take another picture next Saturday, without meddling, and we'll see how many things ended up there in the course of a week.
Andy and Mindy's bedroom is a mess. We are so close to clearing it out. Really we are!
The last sill for the egress window in Andy and Mindy's room is installed.
Why I oughtta!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Whitewash

Chris and Karen's bathroom saw some changes this week. Karen has been wanting to whitewash (or pickle, depending on what you want to google) the wood surfaces in the bathroom for awhile now. It turned out to be a pretty simple process: reduce standard white bathroom paint by 25% with water, apply with a brush, let sit for 1 minute, then wipe off the excess with a clean rag. Karen painted, and Chris followed close behind with a towel.
Karen took a break, and actually seemed to be pretty comfortable.
Mindy picked up a mirror a week or two ago that has found a home in our bathroom until hers is finished. Unfortunately, Karen is getting used to it, and seems to want one of her own now. Thanks, Mindy. :) Also, Benson wanted to help with the painting, and the quickest way to get into a safe outfit was to remove everything but boxers and put on an apron. Not your normal handy man outfit, but it worked, and he was happy to help.
We tried several different shades of white, and ended up putting another coat on this section here. Too little paint and it just looks chalky, and too much paint and you can't see the grain and the knots very well. As in most things, somewhere in the middle works out just fine.
Benson trimmed some insulation for the craft room wall. He wears his ear muffs just like his Dad and his Uncle do - wrapped around his temples until he needs them. If you set them down, they're like the missing sock in the dryer. They just vanish for a month or two.
Same piece of insulation a few minutes later. We are trimming some pieces for around the window, and will be ready to put up some sheathing boards soon.
While Benson and Chris worked downstairs, Andy patched some drywall in the kitchen by extending the plane up to the roof pitch. This makes the wall look much more finished, and adds some height to the kitchen also. Once we goup it up with joint compound, this will really be a nice wall.
Karen being Karen. :)
Happy Birthday, Eli!