April 23, 2011

Sculpture...Sentient...or just a faucet?

Yesterday, I ordered the faucets for the kitchen sink. I`ve been lusting after these things for months. When you spend so much time looking at photos and videos, well you know it is time to just bite the bullet and order your own. I thought I was the only unboxing geek (I do have photos of the unboxing of the sink, which I hope to post soon), but check out NOTCOT. He has some great photos of unboxing his Karbon faucet. They'll tide me over till my faucets arrive.

Taking a Powder

Today we finished the lighting, installed the sink, faucet, mirror, toilet... All of that in a not-quite 6 x 3 powder room. As supper time loomed closer Rory came to make sure we knew about his growling tummy. There isn't enough room for two people in that little space, never mind two people and a large dog. But Rory is pretty good at squishing himself into places. Less good at being subtle about his needs. So I left Norm downstairs finishing the drain plumbing. We did get all the parts cut and pieced together, now he gets to take them apart and put some magic glue in the cuffs. I'm a bit worried about the tiny, hot, room and the fumes from the glue but since he's older than me he can probably better afford to lose a few brain cells. I still need mine. Besides, I had to feed the dog and get our own dinner in the oven. Can't do that while sniffing glue.

You don't get to see the whole room yet, because to call it done requires wallpaper above the wainscoting. And the wallpaper is on order but will take another couple of weeks. For now, you just get snippets. Here's what the drain assembly looks like (I didn't say they would be interesting snippets). Reminds me a bit of this. You remember Habitrail, don't you? I went looking for photos and the sets are much more elaborate than I remember (that, or people have way more time on their hands than they used to), but you get the idea.

It started out simple. Really. But the drain goes into the wall to the right of the vanity, and there's a drawer top inside the vanity that interferes with the drain trap so we had to put the trap behind the drawer, but that meant we needed to add more elbows and pipe.

You know what I want to know? If a company is going to stamp its name on my toilet, and make me pay for the pleasure, at the very least they could put it on straight. Ask Norm how much time I spent making sure the vanity and the faucet and the toilet all lined properly. I'm glad I don't pee standing up...otherwise this stamp would drive me batty.

And here's the only action shot of the day. Slo-mo lid. No slamming seat. Excellent.

April 4, 2011

Bits of Kitchen

Here we are prior to move-in. Standing down by the washer and dryer, looking up a few steps into the kitchen.

I'm sure at this point I was wondering how I would ever convince my realtor that the "sammich" windows between the kitchen and what would eventually be the hub room have to go. See the bench-type things? The lids lift up. Not sure, but maybe they were used to store winter hats and boots and stuff. Or small children.

Cabinets out. Oak veneer stripped off. Sandwich windows and one bin gone! We kept one bin. You'll see. Besides, if we took it out, we'd have to widen the staircase. Ugh.

This is standing in the kitchen, looking down to the laundry area/back hall.

And now. I love maple. Maple syrup. Maple wood. Norm is getting pretty handy in his woodshop. You can see that where one of the windows was there is now a carcass built in for a spice cupboard. Well away from the heat of the stove. The pantry cabinets, microwave and fridge will carry on to the right side of this work. The new lid on the bin has some mitre detailing I wasn't expecting. And the finish he sprayed on it is like glass. There is a vent on the side which is ducted to what will eventually be a fresh-air intake. Code for gas stove means that we need to have a hood fan, and the size of the hood fan we need means we have to have make-up air. No forced air heating (we have a boiler, not a furnace) means we have to import and heat the air from outside. I can't even begin to tell you what a pain that is going to be.

And what else, you might reasonably wonder, could we possibly use this bin for?

A Vroom closet, of course! What self-respecting kitchen would be without a one? A Vroom is a  handy gadget powered by the central vacuum, complete with 24' retractable hose, and auto on/off. All I have to do now is teach it to climb out of the closet and find the dirt by itself. On second thought, that's the stuff nightmares are made of. If you're interested, you can see the cheesy internet commercial here.

Ah, the French!

I've discovered that as we go along, trying to take the "after" photos from the same vantage point as the "before" pics gets more challenging. I've almost forgotten what some things looked like...almost, but all it takes is one photo to remind me.

Remember this? This is the view from the back entrance to the hub room, looking toward the front door and entryway. I had almost forgotten the beams on the ceiling until a discussion I had with somebody today, joking about beams. No joke. There really were beams. I really was going to keep them. Glad I didn't.

Now, similar vantage point, but the interior window on the left is gone. No idea what that was all about. We replaced the mahogany swinging doors with custom French doors. Custom only in that the sizes can't be bought off the shelf. I was pretty pleased with the glass design, but have since seen it readily available in standard sizes. Oh well...I still like it.

Same view, but with the door open. Since that's how we leave it most of the time. Otherwise I suspect Rory would be confused about the whole thing.

This is the opposite view of the first photo. Standing near the front door and looking into the hub room. By this point, we had the weird window drywalled up. At least on one side.

And now. No more window. New radiator cover. New doors. See the hinge? No? That's because it's at the bottom. We were going to repurpose the original pivoting hinges - they install bottom and top and allow the door to swing both ways. The originals were usable but were in rough shape. Norm was able to source exact replicas. Brand new. And shiny.

Next post, we'll go to the other side of the house and see how the kitchen's coming along.

April 3, 2011

Snow Day

I suppose I can't really declare a snow day if it's already a day off. Don't know how much snow fell, but it sure did make the yard look sparkly. It had the added benefit of covering up the dog run so obviously I can't be out cleaning THAT today. Guess I'll have to wait for it to melt. In the meantime, it dawned on me that several weeks have passed since the last blog entry. We've made some progress, but I haven't taken photos yet. Instead, you get to see what the view from the dining room and the living room looked like this morning.

The new sliding doors in the dining room make a huge difference. Not only can Rory watch squirrels from the comfort of his own bed, but after a snowfall warning comes true, we wake up to this in the morning. Now...if only there was a dining room table to sit at...

Obviously, we have to find a new solution for the gutters. The new metal roof reacts differently than shingles do in this kind of weather. There are stoppers to keep the snow from avalanching right off the roof, but when the edge of the snow hits the edge of the roof and it warms up just enough, we get icicles.

Poor little shed.

From the living room. Getting new windows is like getting prescription glasses for the first time. I keep staring outside. 60 year old windows have a certain amount of etching, but these, well, these are awesome.