Monday, February 19, 2007

Nursery In-Progress

This weekend, we scooped out what used to be our bedroom, and painted little clouds and a tree on the walls for the nursery. Seriously, it is so dreamy, you will have a baby just looking at it.

Click for the set:


Above is the tree without leaves. As you will read in my flickr note, I was very tempted to leave the tree like this, because I completely depend on Plain, Drab Colors. However, there was no need for that, and also, the tree looked kind of spooky and dead. So, I left the house while Erik added leaves (read: blobs). We used Blickrylics acrylic paints in a nice mix of burnt sienna and raw umber, then pure green oxide for the leaves. And, of course, pure white for the clouds. We used little circle sponges for the clouds and the leaves - the same one. We had bought yellow with the intention of having different shades of green, and even yellow accents in the clouds, but holy god. That would have a) taken too long, and b) probably looked nothing like we'd planned, and c) would unsimplify the look too much. Erik also wanted to shade the tree trunk with lighter and darker lines depending on how the light hits it from the windows. It didn't happen yet, and I already put away the paints due to my Frantic Nesting yesterday.

I'm 33 weeks now (the belly, it is gigantic), and things are going as swimmingly as possible for a third trimester. After next week's appointment with the midwives, we'll start going in for weekly appointments. I've never felt so important! This also means that we shouldn't show up for said weekly appointments without a) a pediatrician lined up, and b) a carseat which we do not own yet installed into the car.

Which leads me to the Frantic Nesting phase that I mentioned earlier. The reality that we're having a BABY is kicking in, strangely. I'm starting to panic about having the nursery set up. I just tried to set up some of the cabinets we bought for the baby's room, and ended up just laughing at all the parts, and lining them up in a nicely arranged manner on the floor for someone else to deal with. Yesterday, after the painting was finished, I cleaned every square inch of baseboard and trim, and then washed the wood floors, something we hardly ever do. Mostly out of laziness, but rationalizingly out of the fact that we really don't need to clean them that often. Also, today I made a spreadsheet of Environmentally Friendly Things To Buy Before The Baby Comes That You Really Can't Put On A Baby Registry. I'm panicking about where the baby will sleep, and the great lengths we've gone to to make sure that the baby's crib/nursery is free of anything scary and chemical (i.e., organic bedding, using wool pads instead of waterproof/plastic things, untreated pure wool rugs in the nursery, etc) (sorry, sheep), but then realizing that half+ of the time, the baby will probably be in our bed, which is currently clothed in all sorts of pesticides. Making one decision about organic home products is like a huge, expensive slippery slope. Also, at one point I considered myself a Vegan Who Avoided Wool But Not Militantly. Yeah, not so much anymore. Wool is pretty much the only things remotely "waterproof" without the prefix "poly-" infront of it. So wool it is.

And if you question my ethics I will smother you with my overpriced wool puddle pad.

[by julia 11:28 AM] 6 comments

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Target Muscle Group: Triceps.

Step 1: Take down kitchen cabinet doors.
Step 2: Sand, prime, and paint cabinet bases.
Step 3: Do other things for like, two weeks to allow your sanding muscles to successfully weaken. Hide cabinet doors in a corner of a very crowded garage, to aid in forgetting about them.
Step 4: Plan New Year's Eve Party. Extend invitations.
Step 5: One week before the party, remember/stop procrastinating the cabinet doors.
Step 6: Take a gatorade break. Proper hydration is important.
Step 7: Set out all doors on the back step and kneel above them.
Step 8: Lean onto sander, make small circles and apply pressure.
Step 9: Repeat to fade.

[by julia 10:36 AM] 15 comments

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Floorish.

Almost done. Dave is coming by this afternoon to finish up the grout. HOT DAMN WE ALMOST HAVE A KITCHEN.

I'm currently trying to secure the bin pulls to the drawers. The previous handles had large screws that went from the inside out into the housing of the handle. These pulls have screw heads on the outside, with the dainty little screws ideally resting snuggly in the wood of the drawer. However, they just spin in circles in the vast existing holes, and then the drawer pull comes off when pulled. Instead of you know, pulling the drawer. I got some fat screws, which are also ridiculously long, and sharp at the ends. They still spin inside the hole a little, so I'm going to have to find some nuts or caps and (gasp!) use them on some wood screws. Just don't tell any of my coworkers. And then, when the nuts secure the screws in place, I'll hack off the ends of the screws with a mini hack saw or this little toy my dad has that spins tiny discs around. We used it to make some total hack job shelves one year in college, shaving off screw ends rather than spending another five minutes in the hardware store finding the right screws. But in this case, it's really hard to come across black or antique rubbed-bronze looking machine screws.

Without further ado:
before:


currently (well, taken first thing sunday morning. after a day's worth of work on sunday, it still seems to look very much the same. sad times):






I'm also going to purchase some hose to connect the stove to the gas valve thing in the wall tomorrow. The local utility will be out on Thursday to inspect the safety of the connection etc. This doesn't change the fact that I have no freaking clue how to turn on the stove. Whatever. KITCHEN! TOMORROW! (Except for, of course, the cabinet doors, which are approximately 5% complete. Pesky details. Cabinet doors are so bourgeois anyway).

[by julia 11:05 PM] 7 comments

Saturday, December 17, 2005

...Now with more latch.

Today, I put the latch on the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. This is big news, because now the medicine cabinet actually stays shut. Of course, this is the lazy way of getting it to stay shut. I suppose one day I'll don the whole respirator thing and sand it down so the door actually fits easily in the hole. Whatever. Until then, this will more than suffice. It's so pretty!





And while I'm typing, Dave is cutting tiles and laying them in our kitchen. We also painted the cabinets (not the doors, yet, because it was too overwhelming and I just wanted to put them away in the garage and deal with them later) and put the drawer pulls on, only to realize that the provided Restoration Hardware screws were too puny for the existing holes. I'm going to try some fat #8 drywall screws, which only seem to come in gigantic lengths. Either we will always scratch our knuckles when reaching for spoons, or I'll just hack off the ends. But you're going to have to wait for pictures of that, because Dave will make relentless fun of us (notably: me) if I go in there with a camera and say I'm documenting it for the internet. He thinks all we talk about on the internet are our rashes and Survivor.

So as soon as he leaves, I'll take some pictures and post them for you. It's so awesome, even filthy and incomplete and ungrouted. The black and white checkers are choice.

I'm still waiting for something to go wrong with the tiles, because so far this has been the only thing that has worked out for us from the get-go. I'll believe it when I see it. Alright, enough previews. Hold please.

[by julia 5:10 PM] 3 comments

Monday, December 12, 2005

Progress! Technology! Science! Concrete!

I can't ever say the word "progress" without proclaiming it, and following it with similar proclamations of technology! and science! or sometimes scientific!advancements!. But today we're proclaiming kitchens, specifically concrete backer board. We have officially shifted from that uncomfortable phase at the start of any project where it feels, looks, smells, etc like you're doing more harm than good. Like in college, whenever someone would come over to my room and gasp at the mess, I'd (lie and) say that I had recently begun a major reorg. But with the un-fond farewell of the vinyl sheet floor and the installation of the concrete backer board, it's actually starting to look like we're making something. The smells, however, are still fairly ridiculous. We replaced the ghastly and ecologically evil smell of PVC with the really bizarre smell of Hardibacker. It's somewhere between dirty fridge, rotten fruit, and soil.

We did have a wee snafu, for which we give our relentless gratitude to Dave, our friend who is helping us out - slash- doing all of the hard work and math with the floor in exchange for legal tender. Dave noticed that a tiny section of the floor would sag when stepped on, between the new(er) heating vent and the wall. Fear swept across me as I braced myself for the possible diagnoses, but it turns out he could fix it. Super Dave!

Also, Super Joel! At the time, we were concurrently trying to clean out our condo in order to pass off the keys to the new lucky owner. Erik was up there, with his car and mine (long story), so I was stranded at the house with Dave. This was fine, because I was eating up everything Dave taught me about flooring and tools, and was happily put to work whenever possible, screwing in 800,000,000 screws on the concrete. Or something close to that. But when it came time to repair the subfloor with some 2x4 pieces, we looked at each other and said, okay, Julia go and get some 2x4s. Without a car. After considering walking to the hardware store (a mile), I called Joel who was over in no time with his beautiful and glowing wife and a not as glowing but certainly beautiful to us 2x4. Joel told me today that they somehow ripped that 2x4 out of their old kitchen, which was built in the late 20s. Now it's right at home again. Swoon!

Speaking of math, screwing down the backer board is strangely satisfying to my inner perfectionist and geek. I found myself, in between unsightly contortions trying to get the best angle for the cordless drill and my aching knees, calculating optimal distances between screws in order to get perfectly even intervals. I couldn't get it right, which makes me anxious to get back in there and finish up the rest of the floor. For the love of god, I am looking forward to driving hundreds of screws into smelly concrete. Help me.

In other kitchen news, I've finally finished sanding the cabinet bases. The doors are still in the garage, looking shiny. I've also vacuumed everything with my dad's shop vac. The hose on that thing is obnoxious and really hard to control. I feel like I'm wrestling a giant amazon freakishly large hose beast. Erik keeps insisting that we buy our own (vacuum, not amazon hose beast), but I am faking resistance because I know that my parents bought Erik a shiny new shop vac for Christmas. The man loves to vacuum.

Up next? Priming. We are prime for priming. We'll shoot to get that done Wednesday evening, because that's pretty much our only free time before the tiles go in this weekend.

In he meantime, I present to you a brief look at our smelly new concrete:



carnage from afar:


hot:


But more importantly, I hung stuff from the picture rail this weekend, too. Good news about picture rails: you don't have to vacuum beneath where you attach the picture to the wall. Bad news: your fingertips are already raw from sanding/weeding/scraping up floor glue, and the fine gauge wire you're using to hang will hurt.




Toss in a crazy experiment with sufocating grass and the two puny charlie brown strings of lights hung outside, and you have our weekend in a nutshell. Ah, nesting.

[by julia 11:23 PM] 4 comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Barren landscape.

Our yard is pitiful. And completely neglected. This started when the previous owners began the neglect when we went into escrow. Any pictures of the exterior were taken about a week into this escrow-neglect. Envision everything being about two shades less green. We water the grass everyonce in a while, but only begrudgingly so, because we know that most of it will be replaced with a more drought-resistant ground cover. But until then, what? Just let the grass crisp up to a lovely golden brown? Dead is the new black. But still - our most immediate neighbors either work from home or have one partner retired and therefore spend all day long working on their perfectly immaculate showcase gardens. Not that I'm competitive or anything. Also, the neighbor across the side street is a freaking master gardener with a membership card and discounts and what have you. No pressure.

Other than replacing some of the grass, the two other immediate needs in the garden are plants to go around the perimeter of the building to frame the foundation a little more, and something done with those bubbly trees. And painting the house something a little less cold and gray, but that's in the long-term plan.



I promise, we do have a darling Craftsman porch hiding behind those tree bubbles. The opinionated neighbors suggested grooming them down to their 50s/60s glory of two to three mini manicured blobs per tree. Surely you can envision this from my highly technical description. Think: Edward Scissorhands. I might try to go at the branches with a chainsaw and make some mini-bubbles (NOTE: find someone with a chainsaw to borrow that's not my dad, John, or Joel and already loaning us tools). Or I might just go at the trunks with the chainsaw. This pains me. Even ugly trees deserve to live. I'm very much open to opinions here.

In terms of planting around the foundation, we currently have some excellent daisy-looking plants on the side of the house. They are in full bloom right now and just look completely cheery. The front of the house? Absolutely nothing. Other than the giant bubble trees, that is. And very-close-to-death grass. I'm telling you, our neighbors are probably wishing they had renters living here again, because at least the landlord forked it over for a gardener.

And all of this, the bubble-tree fix and the planting and the grass-near-death-equilibrium stuff? It all has to be done in between refacing the kitchen and trying to find time to get in the freaking Christmas spirit with exterior lights and a pretty tree in the front window. But first we need to get an outlet installed outside and figure out a way to completely close off the floor heating vent in front of the aforementioned front window lest the tree dry up and die. Matching the grass. But I'll be damned if we don't have a tree and exterior lights for our first Christmas in the house. This is kind of like when parents force the kids to have fun on a road trip or a family meal or something. "WE WILL HAVE A GOOD TIME AS A FAMILY OR ELSE."

[by julia 2:55 PM] 5 comments

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kitchen, phase 1.

This weekend we began work on the kitchen bandaid restoration. We'll be leaving some work to the professionals, including a new tile floor and any plumbing, if we ever get around to installing our Coveted Ikea Farmhouse Sink. It may actually be shattered in pieces in the box, because there's no way in hell we deserve this sink. No, we haven't opened the box yet. Don't ask why, but it probably falls into the same category of reasons as me never watching our wedding video. Not even once. It's fear.

Back to my point. I pulled down all the cabinet doors and removed all of the hideous knobs and pulls. One of the knobs would not budge. I solicited Erik, thinking maybe I was just a pansy. After we had completely stripped the screw head, I put some calls out to my subject matter experts - my dad (didn't answer) and my friend John (also didn't answer). Maybe they are learning early never to answer calls from me on Saturdays. Finally, we got a few calls back, and I was on my way to buy a mini hack saw from Hillcrest Hardware (Saturday morning trip #2). I've never sawed through metal before. It was awesome and strangely satisfying. I'm trying to come up with other excuses to use it. Does anyone have any metal they need sawed?

As of this weekend, all of the mid-door mounted knob holes are filled with wood-filler (that smells vaguely like that new plastic toy smell of my youth), and all but four of the cabinet bases are sanded, using a combination of Joel's 1/4 sheet sander (his description: "it looks like a large vibrator, but DO NOT USE IT THAT WAY") and some steel wool that is now in a million pieces and will probably show up in every single corner of the house for decades to come.

But most importantly, we bought ridiculously overpriced hardware! (Thank god for Restoration Hardware friends and family discounts.)

We got the 1.25" circle knobs pictured below:


And the large bin pulls here (chosen entirely because the 4" size means not having to fill the old drawer pull holes):


We're not going to replace the hinges. They're sort of antique brass-y. I wish they were a little more antiquey, so I'm open to suggestions for speeding up, well, time.

I'll post pictures later in the week of further progress, but right now it just looks dusty. You can use your imagination.

[by julia 10:44 AM] 2 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moved. Ish.

I'd say we're all moved in, but the "all" part would be a rotten lie. We aren't going to get a fridge or washer and dryer delivered until the kitchen floor has been ripped up and replaced. We won't be unpacking anything in the kitchen until we paint the cabinets and try to un80s them. And the closets currently have giant holes in the ceiling with only a thin mesh wire cover protecting our clothes from the beasts and dust in the attic, so our clothes are just going to stay put in suitcases or the condo for the time being.

And also, we can't use our shower until the end of the week. This has proved to be wonderful. This morning, I took a bath. I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO SHOWERING. I promise you, I'm going to be a morning bath-taker from now on. I'm all soft and steamed and lavendery and what have you, and it took less time than a shower. Well, less time than one of my showers, that is. I also feel like of vintage legit about it.

I girl scout promise, we're never ever moving again. And not just because moving hurts. The house is so lovely in the mornings and the late afternoons. Light suits it very well and the living room is perfect for sunny naps. In fact, just thinking about our living room makes me feel a lazy spell coming on. That sounds bad, but I'm a little high strung and frantic sometimes, and I have a hard time doing the guiltless lazy thing. This will be good for my stomach. See also: morning baths.

Julia: spastic-colon-free since moving to Texas street.

When we find the camera charger, I'll take some pictures and give you all a little tour. (Of the house, not my spastic colon.) (Although, with the marvels of modern medical science, it can be done.) (For the love of god, stop this post now.)

[by julia 10:56 AM] 5 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mirror, mirror, on the wall: I hate you.

I know, this may sound like yet another rambling depressive pity-me event about my body/skin/whatever, but it's not! It's a house post! Lucky you guys.

Anyway, this last weekend has been all house, all the time for us. Ridiculously so. My reasons for wanting so badly to hurry up and move have changed due to this. Now, instead of just wanting the sweet life of living in a sweet house, I just would much rather be able to crawl into bed after painting until my arms ache, or at the very least, not have to pack three different outfits every morning. We even took over a TV tray and some folding chairs because we were sick of eating El Zarape potato rolled tacos (heaven!) on the floor.

I digress. We spent all.weekend.there, and if our bathroom hadn't been taped up and currently mid tile restoration and therefore out of commission (more on this another day), I might have dragged over an air mattress and some shampoo.

We also had Our First Totally Our Fault Damage, complete with Our First Taking Responsibility And Fixing It On Our Own Like Grown Ups event. I present to you: the office mirror. Yes, a mirror. In the office. And one of those giant bathroomy ones. Yes, you can't even see the edges of the mirror because it's THAT HUGE.



So, I quickly unscrewed the little claspy mount things (this is totally how I would write my user manuals if they would make it through the review process), and nothing happened. I tucked my fingers behind the sides and tugged a little. Still nothing. The fucker was glued to the wall. We made a trip to Ace Hillcrest Hardware, as un-Home-Despot as they come, and picked up some respirator masks, protective gloves, and a putty knife that I could wedge behind there and do a little poking. Still nothing. I heard a few cracks and grumblings, but it wasn't really doing the trick. I started hammering the putty knife further down there, but that was lame. Finally, I took the back end of the hammer and used the simple scientific concept of leverage to pry the mirror off the wall. Some loud banging and cracking noises ensued (manifestations of which will be identified below), and suddenly I was using every ounce of my being to hold up the heavy mirror currently descending upon me. We didn't really have time to survey the damage, because at this point, I had dragged Erik into the picture to help lift out and carry the massive 500 lb mirror (not really). It's currently outside, and I'm waiting for mother nature to break it for me so I can throw it away guilt-free.

Unless you want to buy it! I give you good deal. It comes complete with 5 priceless pieces of our house!





Good thing we wore those respirators.

Another trip to the hardware store later (luckily, it's close, and the salesguys are adorably indie rock hardware storeish, my new favorite genre), and I was quickly versing myself in the fine art of plaster application. The room is now patched up:



...and has been primed and painted in a tasty creamy latte color, of course. Late last night, mid-first coat, I turned to Erik and announced my current hankering for a latte. That room is going to be the death of me. Please look at the pictures above to note the colors that were previously in that room. It was either leady mustardy yellow, barbie-flesh beige, or Apartment White. Not delicious. I'll take another picture later to show you the finished product this weekend, ALONG WITH ALL OF OUR FURNITURE. (Including the bookshelves that will likely be in front of the lame plaster patch job we just did.) Because we're finally moving. This weekend. Hot damn.

I was immensely proud of myself, and found each step of the destruction and repair process to be completely charming. I also understand that this will soon pass, and house problems will quickly stop being quaint and fun (which also means I'm not likely to blog about a step-by-step plaster patch-up any more, thank all that is holy). But I will blog about the spiderous crawlspace if I ever decide to tackle that, but I'm trying not to even entertain that thought yet.

Good times. Dusty, but good.

[by julia 10:32 AM] 2 comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fintage.

This weekend, we went to the whatever-th annual Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend. It's always so wonderful to tour around the sweet tree-lined streets with beautiful old houses, and sometimes even go inside and peek into people's built-ins. One of my favorite things about Pasadena is the historical planning convention of requiring specific trees assigned to each street. 100 years later, you have matching canopies of majestic, elegant, matching trees on each street. It's beautiful.

However, the weekend was a little anticlimactic. Now that we're Authentic Craftsman Bungalow Owners ourselves, I did feel a little more legit being there, but I've been sensing something for a while about modern Arts & Crafts/Craftsman culture that was magnified in the home tours. I've always been wary of people who live in museums or antique stores - with everything down to the magazines in the bathroom being authentic! period! pieces!. That's obnoxious. But now I've pinpointed something a little more annoying. It's the 21st century manufactured reincarnation. I'm so fed up of seeing living rooms decorated with new Stickley furniture (you know, those chairs and tables with the wooden arms and vertical slats) and the mica lampshades resting upon new artisan textiles embroidered a few months ago with ginko patterns or a William Morris knock-off design. And hanging chandeliers with the cliche craftsman window decoration in black metal over a white or mica glass.

We saw one house that seemed like it had been gutted and redesigned to match a cover of American Bungalow Magazine. How is that paying any sort of homage to the spirit of the original house? We bumped into the owner during the tour, and he mentioned that he had been up until 2am putting door knobs on. I glanced at the door knobs and saw beautiful retro-looking glass door knobs, but with shiny new esceutions and hardware. The knobs were brand new. The subway brick tiles in the bathroom were shiny and new, the grout blindingly white. The kitchen had granite counter tops and unpainted wood cabinets with over-the-top "craftsman" looking hardware.

I don't know why I'm dissatisfied with both the fake new stuff and the antique stuff. Maybe it's the saturation. Why can't a house have a healthy blend? Why does it all have to look the same?

The emphasis of the era wasn't necessarily on achieving that sought after Stickley chair look; it was on hand-crafted, durable and beautiful joinery. The furniture, like the houses, were designed to find harmony between form and function, beauty and structure. Kitchens and bathrooms, with the exception of a few notables like Greene & Greene's Gamble house in Pasadena, were generally 100% white. The end of the 20s saw a little color being added to kitchens and bathrooms as everyone discovered art deco, but for the most part, cabinetry and trim was painted white in those rooms.

This leads me to my next point. We're pretty much certain that the pink and blue bathroom tile is original. This kind of breaks my heart a little bit. If you recall, we had thought about installing subway tile in the bathroom. Some of the pink tiles were cracked, and others were surely damaged beneath the 70s shower fixtures. I had even almost convinced Erik to go with a light brown grout (ew, I know) to make it look less shiny and new and fake.

However, we've now scrapped the entire plan. We're keeping the pink and blue tile. The only work that needs to be done on the bathroom now is finding new knobs and fixtures, getting a new sink, and fixing the damaged tiles. A friend recommended some guy who is apparently a genius tile restorer. And, since everyone I've talked to is asking me how they do that, I'm just going to tell you right away that I have no idea. We're meeting with him on Saturday and then I'll get back to you.

So now I need to figure out how to decorate this pink and blue bathroom. Good times. I love it already, but it's definitely tough love. I keep telling myself that it takes a special kind of person to love things that are hard to love. This house needs me. Miraculously, the little house has barely been touched over the years. We found out that if it was truly built in 1929 like we're told, we're the third owners. Why should I rip up a perfectly good bathroom now? If I just want to get the pretty perfect subway tile white bathroom, that makes me no different from the guy with the shiny new doorknobs and cliche Stickley furniture.

Also, it will be way cheaper to just fix a few tiles (I hope) than to start over from scratch. The people we bought it from paid $10,000 for it in 1965. Then they sold it to us for a small profit. Everytime I think about how rich the previous owners are now, I cringe about spending another penny.

In other news, look what we got a few weeks ago:



It's about a 1932, which is pretty much spot on what the stove would have looked like in the old house. We will go with a modern fridge, because old fridges are a total energy suck (people and electrical). But the stove is just darling and is quite effective. Not to mention it has been professionally restored a few years ago. Hot.

This was a rambly elitist post. I'm over myself now, though. Carry on. As you were. Etc.

[by julia 10:43 AM] 2 comments

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bung hole

I've recently fine tuned my bungalow snobbery with the addition of the American Bungalow Magazine message boards to my list of time sucks.

We're currently faced with a quandary. Two, in fact, but both revolve around the same theme: kitchen and bathroom restoration in light of my burgeoning old house snobbery. Today, we're talking about the bathroom, however, which we will call the Bung Hole Bathroom. Originally, when we first looked in the bathroom before buying the house, we were kind of disgusted. "Ugh," Erik's mother and I fizzed in union. We scoured bungalow and craftsman books and resources to try to get ideas for touching it up. The sad part is that only a few things have been modified from the original 1929 bathroom. The wall tiles are still there, the hex tile floor is perfect, the pedestal tub is original and the medicine cabinet is still there.



Why is this sad, you ask?

Well, a previous owner "remuddled" the bathroom fixtures a little. They replaced the sink, but just spackled in the wall mount holes in the tiles.



They replaced the faucet, shower head, and soap dish in the tub/shower. In doing so, I'm guessing, they weakened the tile and it has eventually formed giant cracks pointing down in a giant evil V shape towards the new soap dish and what have you. The tile will need replacing, which is good because dudes, it's pink tile. It may be original, but that doesn't mean the bathroom designers in the late 20s and 30s had good taste.



We have always, always had our little hearts set on a claw foot tub. You know, with one of those metal pole shower heads and curtain rails. I even found a perfectly cheap one on craigslist and am so close to making a deal. However, despite my general disagreement with the direction bathroom style started to go at the tail end of the twenties and into the thirties, I don't know if I can bring myself to rip out the tub.

Like I said, we are keeping the floor. It's beautiful. We will be retiling the walls up to the same height with white glazed "subway" brick tile.


picture from subwaytile.com

It is highly doubtful that there would be hex tile beneath the existing tub. We had considered this, and decided that we would build a small riser, a pedestal step thing, cover it with subway tiles (to match the walls), and put a claw foot tub on there. A tiled riser would look something like this step:


picture from subwaytile.com

What would you do? I love the claw-foot-tub-on-a-tiled-riser-idea, but it just seems so traitorous to 1929 and our original bathtub. Also, keeping the original bathtub will save us many pennies. TALK ME DOWN.

[by julia 9:14 AM] 7 comments

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Birthday me.



We got the house. A 1929 Craftsman on a large corner lot in the Morley Field area of North Park. Hot damn. Walking distance to our favorite restaurants and coffee houses. One block away from Balboa Park. Beautiful unscathed and unpainted gumwood interior trim and built-ins. An old four chime doorbell with the chimes hanging next to the door. Fugly kitchen and bathroom. Even fuglier 70s addition room with bright green carpet and wood panel walls.




I always felt like such a poser at all the Craftsman heritage weekends and tours we go to, fresh from our 1998 condo. Now we can actually buy fixtures and cabinet hardware from the booths and sellers in the convention halls, rather than just walk by and dream.

Our first post-closing, pre-moving project will be to restore the bathroom to it's original end-of-the-Craftsman-era glory, with mini unglazed hex tiles on the floor and sweet little latches on the sleek white cabinetry. Then there'll be a kitchen to restore, and by restore, I mean, completely rip up the 60s remodel monstrosity and start over. The project list is very long but not at all daunting. And believe you me, you'll be hearing all about it here. Good times.

But still, daunting project list or not: holy crap. Hold me.

[by julia 2:05 PM] 3 comments

texas street

a 1929ish craftsman bungalow in a wee california town.

and we totally have a gun rack.

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