Monday, June 12, 2017

Inching back home

The house is officially 95% done, so I thought I'd show you a few tiny glimpses of the pretty, today.

This view has been the same since we added the second floor and framed in the window, but it feels different when you are looking out at it from a painted room with beautiful trimwork.  Our neighbourhood is very picturesque and leafy but looking out at it from up here on a sunny afternoon, it feels downright bucolic.  I am really, really looking forward to seeing this view every day... sunny, cloudy, ice-stormy, moonlit-nighty - I'll gladly accept it all.

My evil plan to create box shadows in the front hall has paid off, thankfully.

I wanted to create a space where I could photograph knitting in natural light on the floor even if it's WAY too cold to go outside. I think this will do nicely don't you?

Speaking of the front hall, I am delighted with the lighting in there.  Did I bore you with this already?  Because it is really boring, trying to find a matching ceiling fixture/wall sconce in black with bulbs that can be easily accessed for replacement, and which isn't going to cost about $1500 for the pair.  Eventually it occurred to me: LOOK AT OUTSIDE LIGHTS.  Instant love with practically the first exterior light I saw.

And, for almost the only time on the whole project, my first choice was the cheapest.  Like, $35 each or something.  Only the sconces in our bedroom ($17 each) were a better deal.

There is so much lighting in the house now.  Total overkill lighting and I am so excited because it used to be so dark in there.  And we have tiles in the kitchen!

Ray did a cool effect where the subway tile is perfectly lined up vertically and horizontally but not in terms of depth, so there is just a little texture, as well as a sense of the house being as old as it ever was, which has been our goal the whole time.  This little stretch of counter is where I will corral and process all the mail that comes in - far from where I will prep food, and out of my sightline while I'm prepping food too, on the off chance I have to leave anything out instead of slipping it into the drawers below.  Excess paper drift has been a big problem for us for years and years and I can't wait to have it under control at last.

And here we have a bookshelf.  We had it run straight to the ceiling with crown molding painted to match the cabinetry, and to me, this feels very grown up! 

But it turns out it's also very tall, like the ceilings are now.  I am going to have to keep a sturdy two-step stool on hand to be able to reach the top shelves.

I am not tired of looking at these lights yet, which is lucky because there are four of them in the house.

We put LED bulbs inside so hopefully it will be many years before I have to open them up to replace one! But the other bonus is that they are white glass, in a hall with a white ceiling and off-white crown molding and door trim.  Sorting out whites in an entirely new house is a challenge because stark white really isn't fabulous with off white... but the wall paints I wanted look better with off white, and we really wanted white appliances because Tradition.  Thankfully, if you repeat a colour enough, it looks good - so our white light fixtures help make our white appliances look less sore-thumby on a long bank of off-white cabinets.  And my white vintage milk glass stuff and white stand mixer should help too, when I have that all out on display.

Also not tired of the black tile we used for the halls and fireplace fronts.

It was a bit of a gamble choosing a lighter grout for these things but I am really pleased with the neatness of the result.  And it's just big enough to set out small knitted things when I need a colour contrast, too!

I think we should end today's tour where we began, looking out an upstairs window, albeit a different one:

This is a bathroom.  I was careful to choose the MOST neutral finishes - paint, tile, counters - so they would never date, but of course, now it just looks Blah in here.  I am going to get around that by hanging a huge piece of reproduction art on the left side wall and sewing a cafe curtain out of some soft pale fabric that lets the tree appear over top.  And I will probably pick a fun colour for the towels, too.

I think we are just a few weeks away now from moving back.  There are a few small messy things left to be done - the fireplace surrounds built, a wall mounted light fixture moved over, the stairs sanded and stained (which reminds me, you will love what we're doing with the underside of the stairs).  And then of course CURTAINS.  I am mostly having those made by somebody else, so as to avoid needing to sew everything in the first week, but I will do some small easy ones myself and I guess I'd better figure out my sewing desk soon so that I have a place to do that job. 

For now though, I am just going enjoy the house being 95% done.  And also, obsessing about buying a stuffed animal version of an ice cream sandwich.

That's it, second shelf from the bottom, between the watermelon slice and the bacon. The ruffled edges of its cookie cover are sewn with velvety fabric and its ice cream inside is Neapolitan - strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.  I mean HONESTLY. Like I can resist something that adorable.

(I can, really, because we still have so much to buy for the house... but it's so, so hard!!)

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