As the weeks and months have piled up, so has all of the stuff around me. Stuff that's too important to be in the barn or garage, too immediate to be far from sight and finally too lazy to make it any further than the newly created corners that just get closer and closer to the middle.
This is going to be my own version of a tragically hip large tiny house. Large by tiny standards, yet small by Mcmansion pretense. I will be editing once again down to just the most necessary and prized possessions, yet will leave me with more than most will ever have in the course of a lifetime. Everyone's idea of necessity is relative and I will have no one but myself to answer to. I like that.
I've always been a collector. I love artwork, pottery, books, parts and pieces of architecture. Anything that has the fingerprints of someone's soul. These things have life.. A story. An energy that exceeds the time in which we are the keeper. I find beauty in the smallest and most random of objects. Sometimes I can spend hours just holding and examining the simplest of things. The cross section of a rock can keep me mesmerized all morning. It's more than the object, but the thought of its history, purpose and God's roadmap for the big picture in the realm of infinity. It's mind boggling and humbling, yet connects us all in a way that is comforting and peaceful.
Today is the second day of 4-5 in the sanding, plugging, staining and sealing the original hardwoods of the main part of the house. The south end is the original living space of bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, utility room living/dining room. It has been covered wall to wall in carpet for the past 50 years.
The bedrooms were uncovered to find perfect oak running north to south, whereas the rest of the space was wider and softer yellow pine that was probably the sub floor of its time running east and west. By the end, pieces were feathered in to compensate for removed walls and closets and other spots that were just too damaged to be salvaged have created a perfectly salvage look that I trust after filling, plugging, leveling and creative staining will suffice in my need for a perfect combination of budget, recycling and historical kindness..
It's going to required a rather dark stain to help camouflage the differences in age, hardness and all differences in wood integrity.
The walls have been painted a light gray that reads gray, to taupe with a hint of green. I want something contemporary, but shy from hints of blue that now seem to be dated. The floor will be a dark walnut with absolutely no orange or red undertones. The trim and cabinets will be classic white and the three together will give a classic earthy look that will pair nicely with all mixed metal finishes to look purposeful, easy and timeless.
The floor finishing excluding parts, pieces and labor to get to this point is about $3000 and still connects to the original breezeway and 500 sq ft garage conversion that sit about 3/4 of an inch higher than the main house on solid concrete that will simply be covered in a stone looking laminate for ease of maintenance and continuity.
The minor difference in height will be simply transitioned will a small graded lip. You have to choose your battles or else rebuild the entire house.
The entire house will be painted in the same color, including the breezeway where the floor differs and transitions, straight through to the ceiling in the entirely panelled knotty pine large family room for visual continuity.
And yes, you can mix metals and finishes. We are using chrome, stainless, bronze, black and even brushed brass. It's tricky, but can be done and if successful looks eclectic, sophisticated and allows you to change certain pieces over time without a complete do-over. That's just simply good sense and looks cool. The key generally is to remember function over form, let the piece speak to you and trust your gut. Look at the home as one large painting. If one piece is louder than the others and it's suppose to be a background dancer.....................tone it down. Just like Channel said, "take one piece off".
The plan is to paint the outside of the house in basically the same neutrals as the inside since all of the windows create a cohesive view. The floor decking off of the living area will too be stained in the same darker tone as the inside as there will be no break in the sight line and visually create space.
As is with all new builds and renovations, the last 20% of the work is the details and staging and unfortunately for all of the truly hard and artisan work of the wonderful people mending and fixing the true bones of the house, makes 80% of the visual difference. The true beautiful "afters" are just around the corner, but until then............................