Sunday, January 11, 2009

'08 Roundup or Baby, It's Cold Inside

I've neglected the blogging. Between an iffy router situation and the need to get the most out of my holiday break, I was offline for most of the holiday season. To get up to speed, here's a brief synopsis of the past month or two:


It was just the two of us, but I used the day as a test run for making a big meal in the new kitchen. We were left with more food than we could possibly consume but I got to figure out the workings of my new stove, which performed beautifully. There are some cosmetic details to finish in the kitchen, so there'll be no pics for a while, but the big news from Thanksgiving is that we used the fireplace for the first time!

We didn't have tile but it kept us warm, and since it's the only heat source in the house (other than a portable electric oil heater in the bedroom) the fireplace did its job.


Since my family was coming for Christmas (when this plan was hatched, we thought the interior work would be done. Oh well.) K made an extra effort to finish the cosmetic work on the fireplace before their arrival. That meant a new mantle, created by K himself out of lumber that was leftover from some framing that was taken out when walls were moved.

It was made from redwood that would be a shame to waste. It's a very unconventional mantel but it really works with the house, especially considering that we've chosen to leave one part of the framing exposed -

To put the finishing touch on the fireplace, the tile work was completed -

K was about to do it himself, but while checking out a tile cutter at HD, he was approached by a couple of men who said they could do the work at a reasonable price. They lived up to their promise, doing not only the fireplace, but also the kitchen back splash and the back entryway floor. It's not complicated tile work, no designs or fancy edging, just simple slate 1 x 3s. But we're both happy with the results and K was free to get to other projects while the tilers did their thing.


It was cold. Almost like camping cold. We've been cold before, back in the day when we had those horrid louvered windows.

Now the problem is that the new windows, which were installed in the spring, needed to be stained. It's a big job so K took some time over the holidays to do it. Which meant that they had to be removed, conditioner applied, stain applied and wax finish applied. And of course, each application of anything needed about 4 hours to dry.

So for about three days we were held hostage in the house - the cold house. We celebrated the new year with a bottle of cold bubbly and big pieces of cardboard stapled to the frames where windows would be.

But it makes a huge difference. Even though the moulding's not up yet, the new wood stain makes the whole house seem more like a real home and less like a construction zone -

Ok, I think that's enough updating for now. I'm just waiting for one switch plate and some grouting and I'll show off the kitchen.


Jenni said...

Very pretty tile around the fireplace.

NV said...

Wow! Things are really lookin' good. Kudos to K and the tilers.

Dennis said...

Sounds like the Finish Line in sight!