Archive for ‘House Reno’

Monday, December 24, 2012

outside

We decided a messy tree hovering close to the house had to leave so we called in the pros, of course the morning of, it rains.

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Our earth mover dude was back to dig some drains,

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relocate the bamboo

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and sculpt the yard too.

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Some concrete waterproofing gets done as well.

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Then our friendly landscaper neighbor dotted the yard with rescued plants, hint, hint, get planting folks! She’s just as sick as we are of staring at a dirt yard. Three olive trees, blueberries, grasses, yuccas, thanks Paige!

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Of course digging holes to plant is not so easy when the dirt thinks its concrete.

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Sometime during all this we found ourselves in L.A. having dinner at Mozza which always inspires me to whip up my own pies, so much so I know I went through one too many burrata pints that week.

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We also tackled the mandatory ground cover the city insists we must have for drainage issues, grass seed was a temporary no-brainer to pass inspection.

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Concrete dudes are back, pouring the concrete patio off of the guest house

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and pathways to the front door

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and the side door too.

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and remarkably this neglected orchid I leave outside all year round comes back every year..who knew?

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Friday, December 21, 2012

odds and ends

So many finishings, catching up and the doorbells finally get people-friendly.

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Stucco dudes squeezed us in between jobs and finally got the last part of the stucco done as well, the house is one color now.

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The neglected cacti that were given to me over a year ago reminded me with pretty white fragrant blooms which the bees went nuts over that they’re still alive and well.

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We moved appliances into the guest house and I got stuck peeling off the sticky protective film off of a fridge we bought over a year ago, of course not coming off easy. Bored of plain walls too and I told dude to rig up some large picture frames from scratch; once again cutting, sanding, staining to size.

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Obviously we learned it wasn’t the best idea to put the first frame together on a wool carpet, took the sticky film off of acrylic and what a static mess.

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Guest bathrooms get done too. Shower doors TAKE 2, this time without shattering the glass and then we cut, sanded and stained wood bases for towel hooks.

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Wall sconces in the guest bathroom finally up..I thought they’d be a bit too high but the scale of the aged steel glass cloche filament sconce works.

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and with a counter full of pineapples that meant the dehydrator was being put to work too, work never ends here.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

update

Still nudging away at this house thing, it never ends.

Last window getting installed, the rest getting tar papered and now we’re ready for the last bit of stucco to go up.

Kitchen counters and cabinets get done and the last bedroom’s hardwood floors finally get installed too.

Building and installing the last of the mahogany doors, hallway closets and the last bedroom.

The Cali sun also had me re-oiling the hardwood facia. And the storage containers that we’ve had parked in our yard for 2 years finally bid farewell with no animal casualties to report of, just a startled rabbit that shared its home with one rudely awakened skunk, both angrily bolted out from under, evicted!

The last of the mangaris (Indonesian mahogany) soffit gets installed as well, as does a patch of sod our landscaper neighbor had left over from a job, just hoping now it survives the summer heat.

And there’s no shortage of decapitated beasties around here. We figure the hawk that lives in our neighbor’s eucalyptus must be on bath salts or something ’cause it attacks and only eats the heads of its victims. Wha..what?? not looking good for non-zombies.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

ridiculist

Been back for 2 weeks now, my head committed and completely back to wrapping up this house reno. 3 more mahogany doors to install, the trim as well as around the windows, finish the bathtub, pick and order bathroom wall sconces, hang one last mirror, decide on art and photos, ceiling fans for the bedrooms, put up the last bit of the soffit, put floorboards down in the last bedroom, blah, blah, blah…does it ever end?

Motivated I am and I came across these Maison Martin Margiela runners on the Barney’s site last night, $525, you gotta be kidding me? After a two year house reno I have a bunch of runners that look just like this, one of a kind and they’re all yours for half the price, women’s size 7.5, men’s size 8 and 9. Seriously!?

Nearing the finish line and decor ideas appear left and right here. Dude sent me this link for bedspreads, looks like the recycling bin, homeless chic, anyone?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

after the storm

Recovering here from a week afflicted with that mean coughing bug that’s been making the rounds and monday night’s hail storm, my poor house and some damage control is in the works, yard drainage issues setting us back a good month now. I’m beginning to think this reno process enjoys our company a little too much, right when you think you’re nearly done, the rug of course gets pulled right from under you. What’s a little more work thrown into the lot? they won’t mind kinda deal. Mind we do of course but there’s not much you can do but bite your tongue and keep on.

And as quickly as the gopher assisted bamboo came crashing down the cable railing installation on the decks and stairways went up as well, much thanks to the guys at Pacific Rigging Loft, Inc. in San Diego. Honest dudes that did not take us for a ride and the kind of quality and good workmanship you dream of. Very nice solid stainless steel poles and cables and we finished the top rail ourselves, custom cutting, sanding and oiling mangaris handrails to blend in with the rest of the house, soften the look of the steel frame. Success.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

demo

So Ritchie came back to demo the old front part of the house, the last of it to go, just over an hour and poof! gone! If you need bobcat/backhoe work done, this guy is your go-to guy, Faulkner & Sons out of San Marcos, reasonably priced and always a clean job.

filled up our 4th dumpster to date in no time

and the 5th dumpster arrived the following week. It was a concrete dumpster that was easily filled past the 18″ that was allowed,

and there goes the old tub,

startled by the noise and nowhere to hide now and it seems the hawks will feast

and while you’re at it can you scrape down the yard, taking care of most of the weeds, much appreciated as I had a lawn of nettles pretty much, no joke.

Monday, February 20, 2012

guest shower/tub

A jack of all trades here and if ever he loses his day job there’s some comfort knowing he could build houses, less likely to starve is more like it but in this construction slump, who knows? And as I write this, I picture some heavy eye-rolls directed my way so in my defense I’m also proclaiming he’s officially retired from any more masonry work; ceramic, glass, stone tile, it’s all in the past now. Guest shower and tub done! and just 2 more to wrap up.

Izola shower curtain

Thursday, February 16, 2012

still here

My trip’s been postponed til next month now and I’m still here nudging away on the house, it’s all for the best as our crew has diminished from 3 to 2 now, just me and dude are left to wrap it all up.  So yeah, after nearly 6 months of Cali surf and sun and being the extra hands to help out with our house my brother just left to return home. And no, we couldn’t have taken on this project without all the free labor and critical support from our families, so very thankful for all the good will.

Finally countertops on the brain lately and we went with a Silestone quartz. We were back and forth on the color, from a lighter shade with a natural vein to a flat light grey with no natural vein, the decision’s been made now and there’s no turning back, you’ll see soon enough, the install is late next week.

And then I came across these morroccan tiles and I thought oooh pretty, colorful and fun and so very different from what we’re doing. I do love it though, the colors and patterns do inspire just perhaps for another house, another kitchen, another lifetime maybe..

photo from TimeOut New York

photo from Kitchen Clarity

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

reno pains

Very hectic around here and getting caught up these days seems pretty impossible, hence the lack of posts. You do know we jumped the gun moving into this “new” house and of course we’re now way busy trying to get this huge reno under wraps as it always sucks to be living midst construction and sadly I might add, we still are. Making substantial progress but still not done yet, more like does it ever end? And just in case you think I’m fibbing, I kidd you not, the finishings always take the longest.

Putting the mangaris boards on the 5ft deck off of our living room

and building forms to support the frame of what will be stairs off of the side deck, getting ready for some cable railings now,

of course we nearly get done and then mother nature decides to spit rain on us for a couple of days, building outdoors postponed til the ground dries up

and filling up our third dumpster to date since we started, reno garbage sucks

and demolishing and detaching the last part of “this old house,” prepping the area before the backhoe dude shows up. Old front bedroom and bathroom’s toast now

and custom building our closet too from birch plywood we got from Saroyan Lumber,

also finished putting mangaris boards on the ceiling of our entryway

and our second random light is up too, ta da!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

wood burning stove

It’s up and running finally, my brand new contemporary European Pallas Back wood burning stove that I got nearly 2 years ago for half the price on ebay, a score with a few glitches of course. The first stove they shipped arrived damaged with half of the wood crate missing, really? Take two and the second stove arrived intact at our front door. There was then the dilemma of moving this 500lb cast iron beast to sit in storage for over a year, which it did until we were finally ready for it, traveling up our sloping driveway to the road again, through the front door and into the house. It took a few people and a furniture dolly and if that wasn’t enough, try purchasing adapter pieces for a metric European stove when you live in the U.S., a country who’s main system of measurement is still the imperial system. And the photos I’ve seen of this stove model prior to purchasing it were all ones where the stove was set up right against the wall, and me knowing nothing about wood burning stove rules/regulations I soon realized that that’s an impossible scenario, a wood burning stove has to clear the wall by 18″ for fire safety. We also had to address the dude who built the chimney in the first place screwing up the measurements, the stove now needed to be an inch more off of the ground to have it line up right into the wall so yeah, we had to build up the section directly under the stove with some concrete and tile to match too. We figure one day after a good long break from building we’ll attempt to build a stone wall directly behind the stove so the heat can radiate off of that, super efficient.

Fact being, there were too many trips to fireplace shops, different solutions from different salespeople, some advice completely wrong and my words of wisdom after all of this, if you’re not certain get a second opinion. Henning’s Wood Burning Stoves in Vista was great help, and even when their parts did not fit onto our Euro stove they directed us to hit up a sheet metal place that could custom make something to fit and Addison Sheet Metal near the beach in Carlsbad did just that, delivered real quick too, nice! And considering our furnace isn’t running yet and we jumped the gun on moving in, having a wood burning stove to heat up the house now is ideal, it’s so efficient and it doesn’t take much time nor wood for the house to be toasty warm. Good thing we have lots of firewood from the trees we cut down when we first bought the property, that and the scraps from construction should last us for many, many years, sweet!