Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Japanese Mushroom

The original 1900 living room had seen better days; cherry floor, stone walls, and south facing windows gave way to rot, mildew, warped floors and uneven walls. Between the spores and the CO from the nearby furnace it was a place to chill out but not in a good way.

Now, however, it is an elegant Japanesey zendo-flavored guest bedroom-cum-meditation spot fit for a blissful hermit. Shoji screens filter outdoor light to the interior (and boast hidden LED lights too for the evening, along with hidden loudspeakers), grey roundel floor tiles, willow paint, Korean door across the closet (thanks, Sylvia), my rice merchant's ledger from the Kyoto flea market, Zuiko-san's sumi-e, a cohune palm brush from Belize carved by Roy, two closet doors that are wall decorations but fold down to become work surfaces, assorted bamboo things, manila rope, futon, flower vase with zinc silicate designs, and a Buddha ("I don't like this. He's not my god," says Flo).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

HGTV Armchair Designer Audition

Preston thought it would be a good idea to have Philip submit this video to get his own show on HGTV. No results yet but here's a glimpse of the reality that they are missing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


In searching for views of what this place used to look like a year ago we came across Preston's 360 surround photos from Day One (August 2008). See if you can spot any differences.

There are also some pics from before the closing when we had to fix the deck and kitchen cabinets before the bank would agree to let the deal go through (even though the kitchen was to be gutted hours later).

You can see the arrival of the IKEA kitchen in the back of my Range Rover, coming to save the day. Every cabinet on the old kitchen was of a different size, never mind the mold, so could not be fixed.

The Last Bathroom

Out with the rot, beige tile, urine-soaked "drywall", all things white, and the dumpy loo. In with the purple walls, copper vessel sink and faucet, hot Italian porcelain tiles, Moroccan mirror, designer flushing toilet, Singer sewing machine base and marble surface (thanks, Craigslist and Reuse Center!). The skylight is unchanged and illuminates the space splendidly. It sure is elegant and Percy can turn on the water at any time. Phew, no more bathrooms to do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drew's room (formerly the shrubbery)

While the sun set rather dramatically I managed to finish the downstairs main room which had a nasty concrete floor, building debris and trees huddled from the winter. The knotty pine walls seem less cabineque now the cayenne paint is in place, the Johnsonite rubber floor tiles cut and artwork and blinds hung. There's plenty of room to swing a cat.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Washstands all the way down

So this was a dark gloomy space under the stairs where a teen kitchen might have been planned once. The yellow sparkly glass vessel sink (courtesy of Craigslist) with waterfall faucet was intended to grace the upstairs washroom but turned out to be too big. The downstairs room had no studs to attach the frame to, so I resurrected the existing pipes in this area.

With the addition of parallel Mylar reflective surfaces you can observe yourself washing your hands forever. Behind one of the walls I attached a loudspeaker; by pumping music through it the whole wall should vibrate and quiver the reflections. As yet untested.

Bathroom 2 of 3.5

This is the main bathroom. It was not a pretty sight, unless you were a microbe

Now it features a handsome solar tube to bring ghostly light in from the roof, copper plate decorations and towel rail, marble fireplace-turned-washstand, Po-Mo sink with pistol shaped faucet (impossible to attach hose lines to so had to get an ex-marine at the hardware store to struggle with it for hours).

There's tumbled glass on the floor and throne suitable for a regal dump.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Bathroom Reclaimed

There are no Before pics of this, the smallest of the 3.5 bathrooms. It had no electricity, rotting vanity, yucky muck and broken glass in it, as well as a shower with a loose door. We wanted to leave it until last to deal with. In the course of having the electrician over he needed to get behind the wall to diagnose the power problems. That's when we discovered a portion of the original wattle and daub wall.

So now we have a vitrine (the old shower door) exposing the illuminated view of said wall, decorated Maya style, with broken pottery (relics from the Museum Company) and local fossil beds, framed by Brazilian Koa wood left over from the floor. The bathroom floor has grey roundels like you find in a gym (or on Craiglist where we got enough to do the whole basement acreage). The rest of the ensemble is choice IKEA, Lowes and Menards.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Interesting Scenes from Prestonia

Don't zoom in too close or you will notice imcompletenesses everywhere, but you get the picture.

After a last minute clean up for Fred and Tom (Fred had seen Prestonia in its white and flooded stage last August so was able to notice some differences).