Posted: October 7th, 2012 | Author: eliza | Filed under: life, nature, yard | No Comments »
fall colors in the meadow behind our house
fall colors in the meadow behind our house
We’re starting work on another bedroom! This is the bedroom at the top of the stairs, to the left, next to the bathroom. It’s got three doors, one connecting to our bedroom, one to the hallway and one to my studio. Since we already have one guest room and don’t have another extra bed, for the moment this room’s been used for storing studio overflow, extra art supplies, winter coats, linens and stuff, and hosts the occasional visitors on an air mattress. I’m not sure what’s the long-term plan here, but we’re all tired of looking at the insanely pepto-bismol-pink walls and cruddy floor and missing trim. We’ll have marmoleum laid down on the floor, which is an easy solution because we don’t need to rip out the existing layers of flooring. Marmoleum is the original brand of linoleum, which has made a comeback in the past few years as a green building material. It’s made from natural linseed oil, pine rosins and wood flour, without all the toxic ingredients that go into vinyl flooring.
So, step one: pack up all the stuff and clear out the room.
All cleared out. This room is hideous. When we got here there was filthy carpet on this floor. Judy ripped it all out for us! Under the layers of carpet and foam backing, we found this weird particle-board stuff. It looks like there used to be some kind of vinyl tiles on this floor but they’d been removed by some previous owner. Presumably there is some real wood flooring under there somewhere, but it’s a pain in the ass to rip out this particle-board layer and we don’t really know if the wood underneath would be nice or not – some of the original floors are in pretty rough shape here, and a lot of them are covered with lead paint, which is a brutal mess to deal with. So we’ll just leave this stuff there and cover it with marmoleum, which at least will look better, and is lovely smooth and easy to clean. Unfortunately Marmoleum is not easy to install as a do-it-yourselfer, so we got some recommendations for a local fellow that does a good job.
First Dan laid down a thin plywood underlayment (because the old flooring still had residue from vinyl tiling and old adhesive that could interfere with gluing down the marmoleum) and then a natural, non-toxic adhesive and then the giant sheets of marmoleum. He used a giant, weighted roller to roll over and over the flooring, bonding it with the adhesive underneath.
I kind of like the pink walls now, they look pretty amazing with the green floor! But we’ve hated them for too long, so the next step is definitely to repaint the walls and trim.
I went out for a run on Cape Road. I usually run on a quieter dead-end road but I tried something different for the sake of variety. I hated running on the side of the road with so much traffic going by! and won’t do it again, but it was nice to go down a familiar road on foot and see so many details about the neighborhood that I never notice from the car.
What a relief to turn down a quiet side road away from the traffic. I wish we had more off-road paths for running and biking.
we’ve finished assembly! sanded and planed, plugged the screw holes and we’re ready to varnish.
We are FINALLY getting our new bay window in! I’ve always hated this big picture window, mainly because it’s cruddy and falling apart, but also because it’s ugly and ill-suited to our kitchen and our house. I think it would fit better in a mid-century bungalow or split-level ranch, but it looks all wrong on an old victorian farmhouse. When we asked our master carpenter, Lynn, to build the window trim to finish up the inside of the window, he said “are you kidding? that whole window frame is totally rotten!” And so my parents came to the rescue and offered us A NEW BAY WINDOW as our wedding present! It took us maybe 9 months to shop around and pick out which window we wanted. It was hard to pick the best window brand because my parents (who’ve renovated their own lovely old farmhouse) warned that they had bought a bunch of new windows at great expense that they ended up hating! They warned us against windows with plastic frames or plastic sashes or plastic runners or any plastic or vinyl at all (because it can get brittle when exposed to sunlight and weather, and crack and break easily). And they warned us against finger jointed wood in any part of the window whatsoever. Most of the manufacturers we called were disqualified because they do use plastic somewhere on the window, and wooden windows do have finger joints (which allow moisture into the wood and cause the paint to peel away and the wood to rot). Finally we picked out a fancy-pants Marvin bay window from the showroom in Portland, which does have durable vinyl in the runners but does not have any finger-joints on exposed wood and is generally very very beautiful and fancy! The sashes slide up and down with delightful ease, they pivot inwards for easy cleaning, and the double-paned glass means they are very energy-efficient and no storm windows.
Once we ordered the window we called our carpenter Lynn to install it – this was part of my parents’ gift to us! Unfortunately Lynn was very very very busy so it took a few months before he could start the installation.
Lynn came with his son Levi to help out. They make a great team. The day they tore out the old window was the most spectacular sunny June day, warm and clear, and the feeling of sitting in our kitchen with no window at all, just a beautiful wide open wall filled with fresh air and the view of sunshine and green grass, was a delight. (Too bad we don’t live in California or we could’ve just left it like that.)
We finished planing and gluing and cutting down all the wood for the shelves! We’re cutting grooves into the long boards to fit all the pieces together.
It is going to take us forever! we finished planing all the new wood and now Mike is sanding them all. I’m hand-planing the edges to get them nice and neat so we can glue the edges together. Once they’re all glued then we’ll start cutting them down to size.
Done painting the livingroom! we finished just in time for Mike’s birthday, and I framed and hung some of our posters and art for him as a birthday present. I’m glad we decided not to paint this room yellow, though I think the mint green is a little boring. Anyway it definitely looks better than before! And it will look even better when we replace those horrible ceiling tiles. And repaint the floors.
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