Monday, December 12, 2011

a couple of before and afters

The entry the day we first saw it (luckily the camera does not capture the smell of the dead animals and mice in the woodpile)





You can see where the boards were sanded the other day -- that will fade in the coming days...
 More tomorrow!


ps.  That's the wood stove between the two windows -- it gets hooked up tomorrow -- cannot wait to have a fire in it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The porch is going in now...

And the stove, dishwasher and fridge were installed on Friday:

Ben and Luther putting the legs on the range
And the light is in the stairwell :)

More tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

almost there

I can't capture the wall color, but it's a lovely and light, warm white -- it looks beige in these photos, but isn't.  A big thank you to Julie for suggesting BM Atrium White because it's perfect.

Here's the entryway, looking up into the tv room.  These southern windows look out on to the road, but the place is well-insulated enough that it's not noisy at all.  Plus, it's a dirt road in Vermont, so there's not a ton of traffic anyway :)

Below, the bedroom's on the left, the view from the bedroom to the back door is on the right.  The little nook you can see there on the right will house the washer and dryer.

And finally, this is an old photo from before the painting was done, but I wanted to post it for two reasons.  First, it's another glimpse of the floors, which we've decided to leave completely unfinished.  We may put a clear finish on them in the summer, but we're going to see how they wear;  we'll have (for the first time ever) a strict no-shoes policy, but there will be scratches and dents and all kinds of proof that two dogs (and two not-very-tidy humans) live here and that's just fine by us.  We love the light and warmth that the pine offers now and want to keep it as natural as possible.

The second reason I'm posting it is so you can see one of the barn-y features that will remain, namely the slight sag in the ceiling -- do you see it over there on the left?  Don't worry, we had a structural engineer take a really good look at the barn while we were in escrow and it's as stable as can be, but it is a barn and will sag and sigh like this as long as it stands.  What it does mean is that the builders had a lot of work to do to even up all the walls and ceilings and floors -- there was a lot of shimming going on! -- and they did an amazing job with it.  Every corner of this place has been so beautifully and meticulously done;  we're really, really lucky to have such great guys working here.

So, the electrician's here today finishing up the lighting and switches, the fridge goes in tomorrow and by the weekend I'll be able to start hauling kitchen stuff over and putting it away (!!), though we won't be moving the big stuff in until the 17th.  We think we have all of our handles and knobs sorted out, although Bobo and I are still bargaining:  he wants to keep the walls in the game room/studio upstairs knotty pine and I want to paint them;  I want to put leather pulls on the bedroom closets and he really, really doesn't want to, so we're going to compromise in one way or another.  What will it be?

And finally, yesterday the UPS man delivered a pendant that I ordered in September for the front entry, but it turns out that the website -- one of those subscription super-sale sites -- listed the wrong measurements, so it's too small for that space.  But it *is* perfect for the staircase and I love it.  Especially because it's one of the only decor items we've actually bought for the barn;  the rest will have to come very, very slowly as part of the twenty-year plan!  In the meantime, I will enjoy looking at this beauty every time I go up and down the stairs :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


With all the windows covered in plastic it looks just a little too much like a serial killer's house...

Primer going on
Bobo stressed, but excited :).  Stairs!

You can still see all my paint swatches through the primer, but they won't be an issue once the actual paint goes on -- the primer will seal the wall so all of the pigment is soaked in uniformly.  Thank goodness, because I painted swatches ev-er-y-where!

More soon,

Monday, November 28, 2011


So, we got one of the those huge Ikea lampshades off ebay, since they only seem to have the small ones in our closest stores (Boston and Montreal).  The plan was (still is, since we can't afford to replace it) to paint it a bright red-orange, like this.  But we didn't realize quite how big it was until it arrived...

It's goofy but I actually love it, despite the fact that (forgive me, Grampa) it looks like a giant wicker cervical cap.

So, that's for over the dining room table, and then I'm hoping to eventually get a beautiful, big Noguchi for over the tv area, although I might switch them around.  Bobo's never liked the Noguchis, but I will always  love them...

What do you think?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

the kitchen drawers...

... are in!

Facing east...

... and west (with the 1700s barn and a peek of the view beyond :)  The sink will be on the left, the dishwasher in the middle and the range on the right.

These are the cabinet pulls we'll be putting in, courtesy of Ikea:

Which will match the (Ikea) stove and (Ikea) fridge, in the hopes that none of them will stand out much :)

I really wanted these pulls (click the link and swoon), but they're twice as much as the Ikea ones, and since we'll need 28 for the kitchen alone, I ordered them for the bedroom closet, instead -- much more reasonable!

There's so much to do this week; the plan is for everything but the floors to be done by the end of the day Friday (!).  I can't wait to see it all painted, so we have a sense of the space without all of the gray drywall.  And tomorrow morning we're going to talk to the floor expert at the local paint store so we can make a real plan for finishing them.  Can you believe we're almost there?  I can't!


** Edited to add:  all the latest posts (and the interior) are so gray, aren't they?  I hope it will be different -- warmer -- with a coat of paint!  xx

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The first snow and my first piece of mail at the barn, a magazine whose colors echo the landscape right now: blue-gray, mushroom-brown, white and a bit of gold.  I love the winter here. 

 The cabinets are installed, although the drawers still need to go in.  But now you can see what the kitchen will look like -- we're so close!

Those are the kitchen and bedroom closet drawers in the foreground.

Here's a view into the pantry, with our kitchen sink on the floor there -- it got broken, so we'll need to make another trip down to Ikea -- probably next weekend.

Looking down the hall into our bedroom (that's the door to the mechanical room down at the end).

We hope to have everything but the floors done by the end of next weekend... sooooon!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

two things

Bobo and Renee

 1)  Front door!  Not sure what color it will be yet, but still, front door!  With glass!

 2)  CABINETS!!!  No drawers yet (they come tomorrow), but cabinets!  Eeeeeeek!  That's the bathroom cabinet on top there...  so excited!

2.5)  !!!!!!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011


The spare room's coming along...!

I love it that we were able to keep the beams and the metal-thingies-can't-remember-what-they're-called-but-old-versions-of-cables  :)

And no need to worry about floors here -- luckily, the previous owner saved the old barn boards.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


What I'd like to do:

From Living Etc, October 2011
Would love to have that muted tone -- a little brown, a little gray, but no orange or yellow.  I fool myself into thinking that it might actually be pretty practical, especially with our light-colored dogs and their endless shedding... what do you think?

Living Etc, November 2011
This one is similar but definitely has a little more warmth.  I'd really prefer something like the first picture, but I suspect that if we can get the floors to look like this (above) we'll be lucky.

And so then I think, should we just go with a dark walnut stain?  Warm but with black undertones, instead of orange or red...

Living Etc, November 2011


ps.  I've I mentioned before how much I love Living Etc?  Hands down my favorite design magazine...

Monday, November 7, 2011


The floors are in, though they're covered now so we can finish everything else up before they're treated.  We're still trying to decide what to do, exactly -- torn between keeping them very natural and warm, staining them a darker color, or pickling them for a white-washed effect.  They're Southern Yellow Pine with a gorgeous grain... what should we do with them?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

above the roof

On Saturday Tai took us up in the cherry picker so we could see the view from up there.  It's 'stick season' now -- the time between the bright colors of changing leaves and the quiet beauty of snow -- and though it can be gloomy on a gray day, when the sun is shining the varying layers of brown are nothing but beautiful.

Luther and Tai were finishing up some repairs when we got there.  You can see where the rotting woodshed once stood and where we need to do a lot of patching!

From across the road, looking north to east.

 On the way up.

We may put glass in the cupola one day, but for now the windows stay boarded up.  I'm glad about this because I hate the thought of birds trying to fly through.

The courtyard (left to right:  milk house, the former cow barn and the 1700's barn) and the Adirondacks beyond.

 120 year old slate.

It was so cool up there!

Pigeons :)

More tomorrow!


Monday, October 31, 2011

some design bits and pieces

Please excuse my scrawls here!  This is the basic design of the downstairs.  It's still a bit off from reality -- we moved the platform a couple of feet to the east and added those two feet onto the rooms (studio, bathroom, bedroom), so the dimensions are a little wonky, but this is pretty much it.  I hope it makes it easier to understand what all my pics of drywall  and windows really mean!  I didn't draw any dog beds on to the plan, but try to imagine at least one in every part of the house :)

At some point in the next few months Bobo will make the built-in between the dining and study areas; an even bigger project for the summer is the built-in that will house the tv on one side and the desks on the other.

After having most of our books boxed up for the past two and a half years, it will be really nice to get them unpacked, but that will also require bookshelves, probably in the form of one long row running under the eastern windows.  We have lots of building in our future.

Last of all, we think we've come up with our (very, very neutral!) colors:  we're going for the same white on all the walls -- it has a pink undertone, which doesn't show up on the walls themselves, but definitely adds some warmth to balance out our cool northern and eastern light.  The counters will be a white solid surface and the cabinets will be gray.

Colors look so wonky until you see them in a particular space, but after much swatching we think these can handle all of the chaos and color that will come in the form of all of our stuff.  We think we'll probably add a lot more color in the future (we seem to go through seven year cycles of lots of color, then lots of white -- we're in a white phase right now!), but at least there will be something on the walls when we move in.

(ps.  One day I'd love to put this color on the kitchen wall, or this, or this :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

upper windows and woodshed(s)

On Saturday we demoed most of the woodshed there on the left.

This required big tools (a couple crowbars, a hammer and a sawsall) and super high-tech gear (we looked really goofy to any soon-to-be neighbors who happened to drive by).

But we figured out what was making the place smell so bad:  dead mice and rotting siding.

And despite the fact that it took three (thank you, R!) people much longer than it would have if we'd been a little less sedentary...

...we did it! 

The contractors are going to finish it up and then build a very basic open porch, so we'll have a clean but protected front porch that will allow some of that western sunlight through the front door.  

Speaking of western light, here's a view of the scrap pile on Friday (it's now about twice as big as this shot, thanks to the remains of the woodshed) and the Adirondacks beyond: