My blog is focused on what I saw, heard about, or encountered during my day. I ZOOM IN on things I find particularly interesting, beautiful, or humorous. My interests overlap and mesh in the fields of interior design, rehab, photography, architecture, color, and anything painted. Throw in salvage, bargain hunting, recycling and that summarizes what you are likely to find on this page.
When I got serious about the new studio/garage I checked out permits and such with City Hall. I was informed I could not build the new structure directly on my property line along the alley where the old garage stood. The overhang of the roof could reach the edge of the alley but not the wall of the new structure. I was trying to squeeze out more square footage, not less, so I knew I would have to push the footprint into the yard. That meant the dogwood trees could not stay where they were.
The concrete sidewalk ran between the two trees and along the south side of both of them which made digging around them an even tougher job. Tree #2 was also right next to a sewer vent pipe. It is a wonder these guys even took on the job.
The garage/studio was mentioned in my very first post to this blog. The details of how it came to be were never mentioned. This post will reveal some of the details of that process. It began with a book from the library that had a few pictures of garages from the 1930's. I showed Paul Sansone features I liked in these pictures. He drew the plans, I tweaked with my suggestions, and in no time the project had been set into motion.
The previous picture shows the fence that wrapped around and was attached to the garage with a gate. This picture shows the fence along Spring Ave. This should answer any questions as to why it was one of the first things removed when I bought the house. Amazingly enough, the fence on the opposite side of the yard is still standing.
The sewer line was the other major delay. Locating the original line was a nightmare as it ran diagonally across the yard to the alley. The first thought was to tie into the existing line. But, after all the digging to find the line, it was decided this would be the prudent time to put in a new one.
The floor is poured. Halleluia! Even some grass seed and straw get rid of the mud. This is definately progress. Although there was no garage yet, I planted geraniums in my urns and placed them on either side of the door that would soon be there.
A decision was made to use trusses. The original plans were drawn for a vaulted ceiling but that was labor intensive which translates to "expensive." So, as so often happens in construction, we went to Plan B.
I am a bit of an eccentric but a polka dot garage crosses the line for me. It did shock me when I came home to this one day, but under closer scrutiny I discovered the red dots are actually plugs to hold the foam in place.
This picture goes way back. The Black Walnut tree is still standing next to the driveway... ah, but that's a story for another time. This post is about the retaining wall. It is functional but definately not pretty.
Forsythia and barberry bushes helped to distract the eye from the tacky wall. However, the wall started to rot and even though a few sections were replaced it was obvious that was not going to extend the life of the wall by much.
This area is about due for a makeover with the plantings. Although there are tulips in the Spring and a butterfly bush with lovely purple blooms, I would like more vibrant color. (No fair checking for weeds. It's tough to stay on top of that job.)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there were four fireplaces that had been covered over before I took ownership. There was some debate about how many to restore. After discussing pros and cons with my brother, I settled on restoring two of them.
The second one was in the dining room. The original mantel and tile had been removed. The opening had been bricked shut as well. I was able to find a mantel that fit the flue wall perfectly. It just required some elbow grease to strip, sand, and stain it to match the trim work in the dining room.
You guessed it. It was time for a change! Rather than remove the existing tile, I cut a mirror into small pieces and used tile adhesive to stick it to the existing tiles in a mosaic fashion. Next came the grout and, Voila! Anyone reading this knows it was not that easy or quick. I lost a few ounces of blood in the process but I persevered.
This is the room I saw when I entered this house for the first time. Paneling in a faux stone pattern covered the walls. It was hideous and one of the first things to go. I thought nothing could look worse, but I was wrong. Under the paneling I found red flocked wallpaper! (I have removed a lot of wallpaper since that day and never have I come across anything harder to remove than that paper.) It came off in the tinest of pieces over a very long period of time. Once some layers were removed it was apparent that a fireplace had been a part of this room.
A mantel with a few coats of paint was purchased, stripped and returned to it's full glory. The floor in this room sloped slightly and had to be leveled by jacking it up from below before everything could be put into place.