What IS it about remodeling?

March 24, 2013

From Janelle:

We want our life back. “They” say that remodels test a marriage. “They” were right. We knew it would be so and we’ll get through it but it is time to finish up and move on. Ten months is a long time to be living in a construction zone.

If we were home together every day it would be ok; we would discuss things and talk about them and problem solve. As it is now, the construction guys show up and the agenda isn’t known until they get here or I get an email in the morning with something that needs to be resolved; NOW. It is a well known fact that I am not a morning person and every day is a Herculean event for me to get up and get to work. It’s not that I’m not up; it’s just all the last minute details that need to be taken care of before I leave. At work I have done away with my penchant for procrastinating but at home, it is a well honed daily morning activity.

As I run out the door I rattle off 5 or so things that need to be taken care of that day. Lewis listens but doesn’t write anything down and since I’ve change my mind 3 times while mid-sentence he’s still stuck on item #1 so he’s frustrated that he doesn’t know what I want and I’m frustrated that I’m not getting it.

Sound familiar?

From Lewis:

Its 6:30 A.M and the Monster has woken. Don’t talk to it or ask questions or it will eat you for breakfast.

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Life is a Rainbow

March 17, 2013

From Janelle:

I love color.  When we purchased this house it was an opulence of monochromatic blahness.  The kitchen, bathrooms and stair railings were traditional dark stained oak, all tile was beige with insets of flowers in the master bath (gag), the carpet a mixed blend of cream and tans and bathroom linoleum surprise, surprise beige.

We knew that it would be some time before we were able to remodel so we painted and painted and painted.  The bland kitchen tile remained but the cabinets were coated in white, walls in aqua and the linoleum floor in industrial indigo tile.  I’ve read that blue is the least appealing color for a kitchen (think about it, the only blue foods are berries) but it radiated happiness.

We had painted our 1938 bungalow bedroom raspberry, leaving the rounded low ceiling white and carried that color palate to this house but the vaulted ceilings looked odd white against the deep color.  I instructed the painters to keep going inspiring the leadman to gape at me incredulously and then plaster more intense pigment onto the ceiling. The room inspired strong opinions from viewers; a few loved it, some hated it and most just didn’t get it.  That’s ok, we liked it and we loved our “sleeping tomb” as we called it, the heavy dark green velvet curtains shut out all sunlight and any shards of brightness that dared creep into the room were obliterated by raspberry denseness.

No matter how many lights blazed little could penetrate through the concentrated tint and five years later I was over it.  It had taken three or four coats to transform white walls into a passionate hue and it took the same to convert the darkness back to white, one wall colored the same turquoise as the scullery.

Our new kitchen will be gleaming, reflective white with a pop of orange in the bar.  The guest bathroom is swathed in a dizzying array of blue glass and the guest bedroom will feature funky Andy Warhol tile over a built in cabinet and at least one wall will be bathed in sunshiny orange that might have leapt from a Sunkist fruit. Some might think that that it is too much but it makes me happy and that’s what matters.

From Lewis:

Somehow all the color did work one way or the other but in the back of your mind you know it will change in the future.  Hopefully not from white to raspberry again but I’m sure there is some sort of insulation rating for ten layers of paint.

Goodbye Raspberry…..

Hello aqua and lime!


What’s Your Style?

March 10, 2013

From Janelle:

While shopping for 3 ½” Schedule 40 TP 304/304L stainless steel pipe, the question continually posed was, “What are you going to do with this?”  Fabricate a one of a kind circle patterned staircase of course!  Isn’t that what every woman does for fun?

The ultimate goal of design is for the “Wow Factor”, that moment when your breath quickens and your heart stops, that “I can’t believe how amazing that is” effect.  That happens to me when I read design magazines and I yearn for that feeling when I walk into my house.

I am inexplicitly drawn to 60’s mod hip, not necessarily Palm Springs Rat Packer slick but a nod to the mod with a psychedelic Andy Warhol/Peter Max twist, a Mid-Century modern slant, hard core modern simplicity and some Hollywood Glam thrown in for good measure.  What’s my style?  Rad with bling baby.  What else?

From Lewis:

Of course a nice simple stainless steel cable stair rail would look great but noooo not for Janelle, a self-confessed junky for design shows.  She is putting steel fabricator Tom and crew to task.  And of course the budget. I’m sure it will look great.

What’s your style?

This makes my heart stop.  In a good way.

This makes my heart stop. In a good way.


Light at the End of the Tunnel

March 3, 2013

From Janelle:

The cabinets were scheduled to be dropped off today so it wasn’t unexpected but the sheer quantity and magnitude of the stacks crowding the front entry way and great room were overwhelming.  The darkness softened the full visual effect but the large blocks casting shadows against the walls were impressive.  I walked slowly amongst them and thought, “Wow, this is really happening”.

We have been ensconced in this process for so long that we hardly remember what it was like to live in our house without the construction war zone and we have both agreed that it will be an adjustment having access to more than two rooms.

The fireplace tiles go in tomorrow, the cabinets will be installed next week, the appropriate shades of white for both the cabinets and walls will be chosen and hardware selected.  “Nothing pedestrian” is decorator speak and sounds silly but the sheer joy of designing a space that no one else has created is dizzying and immensely satisfying.  Tom, the “Metal Artist” will be here tomorrow as well to present a mock up of the design that I created.  The hours of watching decorating shows really have paid off.  It’s not a crazy wild design and it has been done before (I saw something similar on my favorite, Open House) but I’ve never seen a design like it on a stair railing.  I’m hopeful that it is as fabulous in reality as it is in my imagination.

From Lewis:

Have I already said enough design shows?  There are too many inspirations and ideas to draw from. Does every cable channel have one of these shows? I guess on the bright side you don’t need as many design magazines around but we still have a stack of them in Janelle’s mail pile and under the bed and in her briefcase and in her car and on her Kindle……

What major changes are happening in your life?

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