Settling In 4028

2 11 2010

Wow, it’s been a LONG time since the last post, but not because nothing has been going on. Quite the opposite. Between work and settling in, life has been frantic. Not much time for anything else, but it HAS been nice to see the changing of the seasons from Spring to Summer to Fall on Ark Ave. Thanks to my sister, Heather, I have some pics to share…

Amazing elephant ears gifted to most of the block by Jeff. They turned out wonderfully this year. Need to dig the bulbs out now for next year!

Entrance, a little more cleaned up. The ivy is starting to come back, and I really need to pull it off the house again, but I think it looks kinda cool. Will have to address that in the fall...

The Lounge on the first floor. All abstract art and cool retro-ness.

Oh, wider view... yes, there is a lot of stuff in there...

These are some really cool Philippine tables that used to be factory cart wheels. A wonderful gift from my colleague Ruth and her husband Frank. Thanks, guys!

Art going from the first floor to the second. The theory is that as you move upward in the house, the art goes from abstract to figural to narrative. Of course, no one would ever be able to guess that...

Waoh, the Dining Room. Lotsa plates, bowls, and room at the table...

Vespers wants me to pull a chair out for her. "Where's my dinner?"

BIG plates hold more food...

All in a row...

Cooksbooks... can't wait for the kitchen to be finished so I can actually use them. Until then, I have to content myself with looking at pictures (and microwave dinners)!

Living room: I spent a couple of weekends (and numerous glasses of wine) deciding where art would be hung. I got some of it right; others I'll have to go back and re-install some day (maybe with a little less wine!). But this wall in the living room works; it's WPA and industrial...

Living room fireplace. Of course, all I see are projects. The stone here needs to be scrubbed big time, the mantle worked on, and the wall behind the painting painted a charcoal grey. So much still to do!

Detail of my WPA architectural model collection ("the houses"). I have no idea how there got to be so many of them. Oops!

Ah, another shot of the industrial pieces, but note at the far left a really cool Sonneman lamp that after a couple of years of lusting after, finally won at auction. Of course, I had to drive to New Jersey to pick it up. Ouch!

Ah, the "window panels." Heather, Autumn, and I spent hours picking out just the right combination of fabrics. Little did we know that it would take the rest of a weekend to install the hardware and then cut all the pieces to the right size. Needless to say, that will be the fanciest window coverings in the house...

More art on the other side of the room. This shot is looking down to the first floor. Circus pieces, crazy flower, and depressed people. Fun!

Upstairs art. This used to be the hallway, but is now a part of the Library, so you can see out to the stairwell connecting the second and third floors. All that light! (And, yes, that is Mr. Roger's Trolley on the overhang!)

View into the Library/Office. Just in case you were wondering, I'm preparing for a massive vampire attack!

The Writing Desk (another gift from Ruth and Frank), weighs a million pounds and took three people to move it upstairs. Here's hoping I write a lot heavier stuff sitting at it...

Oops, back to the crucifixes. "Go to the Light..."

And following along logically, my Army of Robots. Religion vs. Science. Or something like that...

Adding to the ranks of the robots. One photo is just not enough to express their glory (Note that there are no pictures of my Super Hero collection... those are downstairs and wait for another day!)

Spare bedroom/dressing room/cat room (according to Vespers).

No, that is not a coffin to the left, but a armoire (maybe a coffin would be more fun... to go with all those crosses, you know)...

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." -- Cicero

Bedroom. After several failed attempts to get the boxspring up to the third floor, I had to give up. Instead, I built a platform for the bedframe and put the mattress on top. Still a little too low, so count that as another project... someday.

Wheh, that's all for now. Here's hoping that there will be more updates sooner rather than later. Coming NEXT MONDAY: new kitchen counters and sink. I will FINALLY be able to wash dishes without hauling them up to the bath tub (bleah!)





Moving 4028: Part 1

25 03 2010

As a change from all the renovation posts, here is part one of the moving saga. As always, these are a little out-of-date, but the house is still awash with boxes. I may never see the light of day again! It does have the feeling of Christmas — wondering what will be in each box. But a lot more work…

Here comes the (second) POD!

Oh, set it down anywhere...

Don't tread on me (or run me over in the process).

So the first POD has already come and gone; this one, however, is much bigger and filled to the brim.

Amazing system the POD People have... The frame is motorized and lifts up and away from the storage unit. How cool!

Follow the yellow brick (or brown cardboard) road...

I'm afraid to look...

Oh, yes, there is a LOT of stuff. "Bursting at the seams," even!

Thank God for movers!

Move, movers, move!

Every square inch (and hard to tell which way is up)...

Oops, I think you forgot these...

First floor. Boxes. Need I say more?

Another perspective. Brace yourselves!

Still first floor. Change of perspective.

Wait, what could that be on the second floor? Boxes, perhaps?

Tower of Babal.

Second floor. Explosion of "stuff."

Payoff. Pottery. Pretty cool.

Canyon of Boxes.

Extreme close up.

The boxes are gaining ground...

A closer close up.

Beep, beep, chair trying to get through!

Death Ray 2000 visits the Guest Room.

All this moving has made me very thirsty... Time to unwind!





Renovation 4028: Part 13

12 03 2010

Okay, I’m sorry I was mean and didn’t put the “after” floor pics up. But here they are, gentle reader. Of course, now they are all dirty from the Pepco workers and moving the first batch of moving stuff in. But I really love them, seventy years of stories…

Work on the first floor. Much more work than expected, but looking great.

Original patina intact. Some weird places, but I love it.

Shiny, shiny dining room (ignore the mess in the kitchen)!

Dining table to go here. Getting hungry...

Great shot going up the stairs to the third floor...

Master bedroom...

There used to be a wall here...

Long, long wall (and doorway)...

Redux of image from before. Dark and light. Blue, tan, brown, and white...





Renovation 4028: Part 12

10 03 2010

Getting really, really close, but I’m amazed at the squillion and one things remaining to do. The bathrooms are done, though (sound the trumpets)! Floors are completed as well! Lots of paint touch-ups, as well as baseboards on the first floor. Then there’s the entire laundry room/3rd bathroom and the work shop. Then the bars on the windows. Then the kitchen (eeks, I’m in denial about the mess that that is). But let’s focus on the positives… I have electricity (although there still may be some issues in the kitchen, but I’m still in denial about that, remember?) The weather has been much, much kinder than of late. And I’m beginning to move real stuff into the place. Yay, Team!

Just about done! Light fixtures and switch plates are all that remain outstanding in these shots.

Bathtub and accessories. Note the "crazy" toilet paper holder. My contractor's eyes got wide when I told him I wanted it installed on its side. Guess I really am weird.

The floating vanity/sink and floating mirror work well together. Funky toilet will take some getting used to...

Master bath with shower. Oh, so the glass isn't in yet. Another thing to add to the list... But the rest of it is looking good.

Close up of these fixtures. I really like the layout of this bathroom, and the fact that it's so similar to the other bathroom doesn't even seem to matter...

The little shelf here is one of my favorite touches in the entire process. I'm so glad I pushed for it...

Subway to the left. Mind the gap.

Lovely details...

Light, light, light...

Cross, blocks, and circles.

Now onto the floors. More shadows...

Downstairs, pre-treatment...

Ew, cruddy.

Second Floor: more to come.

Third floor: soon to be all mended.

Neato-view. Dark. Light. Finished. Torn up.

Detail of first floor floors. Next post will be the reveal on the refinishing. Stay tuned...





Destruction 4028: Part 1 (of 1, hopefully!)

2 03 2010

Of course, nothing can be simple. What I thought was an electrical problem inside the house turned out to be a larger issue connecting the house to the main city power. Ouch! After a small explosion and some smoke, the original Pepco crew decided on Saturday evening that it was a bigger deal than they had thought. Fast forward to Monday, and more digging. Oops, too big of a job to be completed. 8 more hours of work on Tuesday, and — hopefully — there will be power when I head over tonight. Cross your fingers!

Where it all began... Pop of light and whisp of smoke as 69 year old wires touched metal...

Now everybody knows that I have faulty wires. Oh no!

Do we really have to dig?

Inside the house, look at the crappy wire...

I'm not going down there; you go down there!

Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The sound of concrete being cut...

No duh!

Really? This is all necessary?

If only the wires were under my crappy steps, we would be in business. But I couldn't convince the Pepco guys to dig just a little to the left...

Looks like a party.

Drill, baby, drill!

Paint on the grass. No blood spilled. Yet.

No, say it ain't so...

All this fuss. Maybe I don't need electricity, after all...

So this is what's in these things? You gotta be kidding me.

At least the workhole cover didn't blow up on me as was happening in Georgetown a couple of years ago...

Thanks, Pepco guys, for all your hard work. Here's hoping that it was all successful!





Renovation 4028: Part 11

1 03 2010

Another delay in posting, but there has been a lot of progress. Despite the Snowpocalypse, which did shut things down for over a week, the place is coming together. Here are some artistic shots and snow scenes. There are more to come, but they may have to wait for another post…

The excess grout has been cleaned away to make everything look neat and orderly. It's still a little too light, but I'm going to live with it for awhile to see if it grows on me...

Dots!

Other/Master/Shower bathroom... looking good... Okay, I said there were going to be abstracts and snow pics, so they're up next.

Fade to vanishing point...

Crazy fade...which way is up?

Sky light above...could that be the soft blue glow of snow?

Snow, indeed, as seen from the new bathroom window.

More snow, adjusted to "normal" snow tones.

Oh, yeah, there's stuff going on besides the bathrooms (but still snow out the window!)

Extreme close up of backyard. All the garbage from the renovation is now hidden by a white blanket.

I had to include this one as well... what a difference color makes...

Downstairs is coming along as well...

Snow (and a great photo) make everything look beautiful. Never thought the scrolies on the window bars could look so nice...

A little further down...

Go bus, go! (This was before everything shut down for a week plus).

The neighborhood all quiet and waiting...





Renovation 4028: Part 10

6 02 2010

Slow, but steady progress. Even amidst the snow some good work got done today. Grout is now in, but — oops — it dries lighter than expected (and than appears in the pics). Will have to look into a finish that makes it a little darker. Always something. These are right before the excess grout was wiped off, so another moment in time…

Looking a little abstract...

"That's a bunch of crap!" Looking down the rabbit (or toilet) hole. Where's Alice?

Threshold into the shower -- after much debate -- is all set. There is concern that it may crack under the weight of the glass that will go in, but I have faith.

"Hellooooooo!?!" Alien face, soon to be my sink connections.

The grout came out perfect between the subway tile. Soon it will look like it's always been there.

Welcome to the spa...

Tools of the trade... but who is Julio?

Hall bath. Maybe I should have chosen different tile for each. Oh well, too many decisions.

Taking a bath... well, not quite yet.

Extreme close up.

Fading, fading...





Renovation 4028: Part 9

3 02 2010

Well, the home stretch. At least with the bathrooms. Tile is going up, and — damn — it’s just right. Well, almost. The process has been difficult… the crazy “penny tile” that was ordered from a German company and took 4 weeks to find and ship arrived half broken. Several frantic phone calls later and a new shipment was sent within two days. All’s well that ends well, but really, I could do with a lot less drama.

Okay, here's the best shot first. Couldn't wait. Band of tile down the center of the bathroom. "The Waterfall Wall." No grout in yet, but you can get a sense of how it's going to look. Neat-o!

Action shot...

Another angle. Love the contrast between the subway and the penny tile.

Details, details...

Fade to black...

The IT Team seems to like...

All sanded and painted. Just like new.

More pics to come… more work to do… For the bathrooms, they are finishing the tile work today and maybe putting in the grout. The cabinet maker is bringing the vanities this PM. The replacement faucets have arrived, so most everything is in place. Of course, after this is done, I have to coordinate the kitchen counter people, the floor guy, the furnace guy, the locksmith, oh… and write another major proposal before moving in hopefully at the end of the month.  Eeks!





Renovation 4028: Part 8

1 02 2010

There are so many good pics from the work being done, it’s hard to choose which ones to share. Just to let everyone know that the first “official” party will be here on May 1, 2010 (thinking ahead… maybe the main work will be done by then and I’ll be mostly unpacked). Call it a “May Day” or “Cinco de Mayo” bash, anything but a housewarming. Hopefully, it will be quite warm by then…

This view really gets me. At top of the second stairwell at landing to the third floor, looking into the spare room. Shades of white upon white. You get to see the amazing transition space leading into the room. It will be a great place for visitors.

Hall bath. Looking more like a room...

Master bathroom (and my contractor's helper). You can see the buildout that hides the plumbing and has created my "shelf" that I'm quite proud of. Oh, and the new window is in. Cool!

White, white, WHITE!

I'm thinking a sputnik light here, top of the stairs on the third floor.

Ewww... the backyard... Need I say more?

Scrollies. I love them, but maybe not on the windows. Thinking they will have to go... Maybe they'll become a garden sculpture at some point.

So, this is my favorite picture from the entire process. Thanks, Mike. Light and shadow. White and black. And lotsa gray in between.





Renovation 4028: Part 7

30 01 2010

Just think of this at time-lapsed photography. Several days (or maybe even a week) have passed in real life, and a lot of changes in the place. Things are really speeding up. Life has been a little crazy (understatement) with the work proposal and this all at once, but that’s life. Let’s see what this batch of pics looks like…

Oh wow, look at the second floor! Ceiling and walls finished. Protective coverings removed from the floor... but OOPS! The tape removed the finish from the floors (see the stripes). Urgh!

Guess I have no choice but to have the floor done now as well. Gotta love these surprises... not.

Scrub, scrub, scrub...

Library Loft: shiney floor. I can almost see my books in here, all along the back wall...

Master bedroom floors. A little rough, but nice glow...

Woah, I have a bathtub!

Eeks! So the renovation has revealed that I really need new windows in the front on the third level. Damn, I had hoped to put it off a bit... oh well, what the hell...

Spare bedroom... okay, the floors don't look as good in real life, but still fun.

Yup, think I'm gonna like it here...

Repairs made to deco curved wall in the foyer. It still needs to be sanded and painted, but I can't tell you how much better it feels now.

First stairwell. This is going to look so good. I'll strip off the black paint on the top rail to reveal polished metal under... and then it will SHINE.

First floor/rec room. Messy but looking better...

Living room. The doorframe and half-wall top have been painted... it was a big decision, but the wood wasn't great, so I'm happy with the decision to paint them. Now I have to figure out what to do with the fireplace/mantle (covered by the screen in this picture). Maybe it will clean up? Or should I paint that as well? Suggestions?

Dry wall up in the bathrooms! And the new green, mold-resistant type. Fun! Although it's weird how small the bathrooms look now.

View of the master bedroom from the bathroom. If you look closely, you can see the sink top that will go into each bathroom. The carpenter came this week to measure for custom (of course) vanity cabinets, because I couldn't find anything else that I liked that wasn't one squillion dollars.

Detail of the cement board going in.

Hiya Neighbor! Myrtle Lewis, my good friend, stopping by to say hello. We're going to have a lot of fun once I move in!

Light squared. And doubled. Mathmatical formula for home.