The Progress Post

When we tore down the old deck last summer we used the scrap wood to build out four 8' planter boxes, shoveling in 4 cubic yards of soil, planting our first garden of greens, fava beans, arugula, onions and potatoes. Amidst the chaos of tarps, dust and very cramped quarters (I'm slowly going insane), we still have our garden, and today I harvested the remains of the winter crop. Last week the boys picked and juiced over 100 lemons from our lucky tree, and in the front yard our plants are huge and almost in full bloom. Despite the fact that the house is so torn up right now, we still have a wonderful place to be, we just need to remember to go outside.

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A few weeks have gone by since my last dispatch from the remodel and we still don't have a kitchen or floors, but the plumbing and electrical is in the walls, the entry way has been bumped out,  permits have been checked and we have drywall up and ready for sanding. Next week we will start painting and building the cabinets! Here's the progress in pictures...

The original 1960's groovy glass panel has been removed and the entry has been bumped forward 2 feet. We could only go that far out in order to stay under the existing roof. A new foundation was poured and the new wall was framed in to create more of a foyer, which doesn't look like much from the outside, but from the inside it feels like a whole new house. No longer does the door open directly into the hallway, and there will be room for some storage.

With the walls opened up, it was two weeks of rough-in plumbing and electrical. This is a tedious process, lots of wires to step over, but not as messy as drywall, which is really driving me bananas right now.

And here we are now, I had the existing texture skim coated smooth in the open space, all the way down the stairs.  It's just about dry and ready for sanding, and me, and my paint brush. Until then...

Deconstructing Home

Deconstructing Home

I am sitting on the original parquet wood flooring, lightly coated in sheetrock dust, surrounded by canvas tarps in the skeleton of my former living room looking out into small expanse of our newly opened up house.  I feel both thrilled at the progress and consumed with pangs of horror for having destroyed the place we call home. A live-in remodel is not for the faint of heart, and doing it all with children is just bananas.  There's a reason why people move out.  After almost a year of planning, a month long battle with the city about a 13 sqft addition, and an eleventh hour refinance to restore our budget after having to bring on a structural engineer we have arrived, one week into a seven week renovation, making toast in our garage and doing dishes in a work sink. This is the ugly part, the deconstruction. Here is the past week in pictures...

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Days Go By

Days Go By

When I made the decision to finally begin my career in interior design, I had a choice, take a full time entry level position with a firm, or strike out on my own, slowly.  I went back and forth on this and finally decided that my favorite thing about the practice is in the details, the psychology and function of a space, and finding a way to marry those things with the people who live there. This isn't the technical part, it's the personality part.  I decided to go it my own to focus on what I love; creating inviting and relaxing family spaces.  I also went this way so that could continue to be my own boss, and work from home to be there for my boys.  Of course, skipping out on working for someone else, I've had to cultivate my own way of doing things, a unique style, a work flow, invoicing, marketing, all of which take me away from writing, and developing my upcoming classes.  If I'm being honest, I've been pretty stressed and uncharacteristically overwhelmed. I have a modest  client load and a major remodel in my own house beginning in the next couple of weeks which is delayed by permits and requires so much of my time, a kid with the lead role in the school play who is also juggling two different sports (too much) and a preschooler hot on his heels with places to be and things to do, and they would like a home cooked meal every night while we still have a kitchen.  I've backed off from blogging and social media a lot while we get ready to tear our house apart. I'm taking time to focus on the next steps for the business and the kids, and while I have about 20 unfinished posts in my head, I'm going to have to roll them all out very slowly.  I do hope you'll stick with me, because I'm sure it'll pick up soon.

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The Hawkins Haus

The Hawkins Haus

Here's a recently completed Make+Haus project! A few months ago I met with The Hawkins family to help them rethink their recently purchased 1950's rambler. They had this funny room, a sunken addition with oddly built-in cabinets, a brick fireplace with a wood burning stove, wall panelling, and a dated color pallete.  They use the room for tv watching, as a play space for their 4 year old son, and a spot to practice Capoeria, a Brazilian martial art that both Erin and Robert are very passionate about- a practice that involves beautiful, large wooden instruments and a dedicated floorspace.  I was tasked with a few things: creating a new floor plan, designing a new built-in system including a window seat, choosing all new furnishings, including a comfortable sofa bed for out-of-town guests, and styling all those new shelves.  Here's a look at the room before...

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Dark As Night

Dark As Night

A few weeks ago we took the plunge and painted two of our four bedroom wall with Benjamin Moore's "Soot", a deep dark gray/black with a hint of blue to it. You might recall that it was one of our house colors when we were doing exterior paint over the summer.  When we moved in, the entire interior of the house was painted in flat "Swiss Coffee" white, even the woodwork, and the windows were covered in almond hued metal blinds. I left it that way for months while we contemplated the scope of the remodel and spent our energy on the outside of the house, landscaping, deck. Well, I'm almost ready to show you what is step one in getting our room together (truthfully, I'm waiting for our drapes to arrive).  Before I do, hopefully later this week, here's the inspiration.

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