Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recycling - Making a Hat Rack Out of a Piano Front

Every once in a while, you find an old item--like this piano panel--100 years of elegance. A 100 year piece of art.

My husband Jon found it. His sister was throwing out the old piano that no longer worked. What a good eye Jon has. He sees it recycled into a functional piece of art as a hat rack for the 12' x 12' foyer. I think it is a stunning piece.

Right now you see it sitting here in our summer kitchen, leaning up against the wood cookstove. I'm afraid it will be sitting there quite some time before we take it to the foyer. The foyer has some structural problems. Under the floor is an 18" crawl space. During the lifetime of this house now 116 years, dampness and black ants chewed the joists into porous wafers. The floor joists must be replaced and the only safe way is to open up the foyer floor like a can of peas to get access.

Last summer 2008, my husband Jon and my Dad Gale deconstructed the front porch, finding the same damp decay and insect damage eating away the porches, railings, ballisters, spindles, and columns. Also we removed the ancient tree on the east side of the house--it too was so hollow in the main trunk that it could hold three basket balls. The tree was extremely damp on the inside and full of black ants. I hope the black ants are gone for good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fitting Tub Fixtures

Above is the bathroom wallpaper. Looks good next to the painted beadboard.

Jon dry fitting the pop up drain.

The main faucet fixture.

We purchased new flooring--the color and style is called Oiled Teak--a cinnamon color. After dry-fitting the tub fixtures, Jon will tear it down again, move the tub out and install flooring. The floors upstairs, especially in the bathroom have been opened up many times to add plumbing and electrical.

Our choice is a durable and maintenance free floating laminate floor over the original pine boards. In the future others can restore the floors as they wish (and repair them too). At this point, I remember a Rolling Stones tune, "you can't always get what you want." So we'll do what we can, finish what we can, and then move along to the next project.

So far, we've done every bit of the restoration by ourselves. This work is not for the faint of heart or procrastinator. Sometimes it seems we've had to lick every inch of this house personally with our tongues. There's always more work to do.

In a couple weeks, summer weather will be upon us and we have to work outside. My summer project is to finish painting the exterior of the house. And, Jon has been checking out stock trees from differnt stores. I'm interested in grand spice viburnum. I heard about its great fragrance, and hope it is Zone 4 perfect for us.

Selecting Color for the Upstairs Bathroom

A thrift shop find . . . bird lamp. The theme for the bathroom and for the foyer are"birds". I've been collecting bird prints (small and large ones).

To the left and right of the middle windows are two closets (wedge shaped). The closet on the left is the laundry room, and to the right will become out of season clothing storage, luggage, etc. In the laundry room at the left is a long credenza shoved up tight against the wedge. The credenza is where I store bed linens--a thrift shop find.

I painted the primed beadboard last night. It went from pickled white (primed boards) to a deep rich grayed blue-green color called Bewitch. I'm not sure how I feel about the color---its dark.

It looks very good against the wallpaper I pinned temporarily over the door.

I remember when I was in gradeshool. I selected three sheets of colored paper, one was black, one deep tan, and one a grayed blue-green. I looked at the sheets stacked on top of each other, slightly adjusting the corners building one color on top of the other, like matting on a picture. Now, look at me, I'm arranging the same colors again for this bathroom--some 50 years later. I'm aware of a pallette of colors I've enjoyed all my life.