Friday, September 30, 2011


They're being roughed in...

Bobo in the bedroom...

Gratuitous dog shot -- Gramma, Grampa, Mom, Dad, Uncle Johnny Bon-Bon and Auntie Tina:  Enzo and Lulu send their love!  xoxo

Thursday, September 29, 2011

out with the old...

Almost all the downstairs windows are in now and it's a completely different space!  I don't know how or why, but bigger windows actually make the barn feel cozier and less cavernous -- maybe it's that all the life and color right outside are now part of the space?  Whatever it is, it's beautiful.  I can't wait to sit and drink my tea in the morning and watch the sun come up over the mountains.

 See anything different?

And now?   The big windows in the front have been replaced!  We'll be quite exposed now, so curtains are the first things to make, but it will be great to get all of that southern light in the winter.

Out back.  We're saving the old windows and will probably out them upstairs in the barn-y part of the barn one day.

Mom, this one's for you -- all twelve of the eastern windows in one shot!  xoxo

(Sneak peek: the big northern windows are almost in...)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Quick stop at the barn at lunchtime, with only a cell phone in hand.  Will get a chance to take real photos this weekend, but wanted to show you how the (new! big!) windows look...

Pardon the composite shot -- will get a less wonky one tomorrow :)

Although we came up against some resistance in the planning stages, we're really glad we lengthened the windows;  now we can actually see the beautiful views!  And the barn does look less barn-y, it's true, but it still looks appropriately old-timey, I think.  Like a schoolhouse, perhaps.

The living room area from my studio -- it's amazing how much light an extra 18 inches of window provide!  The fog had just burnt off when we were there, so it was still a little gray.

Eastern-facing windows in what will be the dining area...

Brandon and Tai were just starting on the west side when we got there -- these windows are in the soon-to-be bedroom.  We'll look out at the courtyard area and the side of the 1700s barn.  I love this view.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

because i'm fickle

I'm back to the white kitchen, I think.  Something simple -- probably the IKEA Abstrakt, although our builder may do something similar for us -- which I'm thinking will show less dirt because the cabinet faces will be so plain, without the grooves or beveled edges where dust (and coffee grounds and dog fur!) can gather.

This is something like our future cabinets -- lacquered and simple -- although the configuration will be very different.  We'll have two peninsulas: one facing the western windows that will hold the stove, dishwasher and range;  the other facing the eastern windows and the lounge-y area (with wood stove and seating) that we'll set up there.  The eastern peninsula won't have anything on it, so it's where we'll do our prep and there will be stools on the other side, so when one of us is cooking the other can hang out.  I figure it will be a good place to read the paper while eating a late night bowl of cereal...

This is too stark and fancy for us, but the island will be similar
The floors will probably be wide pine planks like the rest of the house, which we'll treat with a paint wash so they don't turn orange or yellow -- I'm thinking a light gray, perhaps, although we'll have to see what works when we start experimenting in the coming weeks!  If anyone has any ideas or tips about that, please send them on!

When we changed the configuration of the kitchen (it originally faced north, rather than east and west) we lost the wall where we had planned to hang an open, wooden shelf, which I think would have added some warmth and lived-in-ness to all of that glossy white.  I'm still trying to think of ways to bring it back -- colorful art and wooden counter stools?  Would love any input you all might have.

Even the knockoffs of these are too expensive for us, but they would be lovely!

So, how do we keep this space feeling calm and peaceful, but also warm and  inviting?

Monday, September 19, 2011

drywalling the ceiling

Now this makes it feel like it's going to be a home...

Dry-walling of the ceiling has begun!  Here's a view of the kitchen on the northwestern corner of the barn.  Two peninsulas will come off of the framed wall on the left and extend to the northern edge of the platform, so there'll be lots of room for cooking and hanging out.  I took this photo from what will be the lounge-y area, where we"ll have a wood stove (just to the right of this photo, between what will be two north-facing windows), and seating perfect for reading, napping and looking out at the view.

Speaking of the view, the windows arrived today and installation starts tomorrow -- we can't wait to see them in!

On the left:  Bobo ponders the infinite... ceiling.  On the right, the stairs are starting to be framed off (and a view of the wall innards from my studio).

Tidy, tidy workspace!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


After a hectic first week of classes there's finally time to post a few photos...

Upstairs, facing south.  This will be Bobo's studio space and game room.  We're going to open it up on the left and add a spare room (there's a little bathroom behind me).  New, insulated windows are going in as well.  We'll do a wash for the paint so the wood shows through.

The sub floor on the platform is done!  This is a view of the bathroom on the left, the doorway into the bathroom in the middle and the bedroom on the right.  Next up:  dry-wall...

Nice and tidy -- Tom the plumber does such a great job!

On the left, one of the old windows just waiting to come out -- this one is western-facing with a view of the 1700s barn.  On the right, what was once an outer door in the living room area is now being covered up so it will be a little more cozy.  Can't wait to move in!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

four good things

1)  The former car lift bump-up area has been totally framed in down near the north end.  You can also see the framing is set so the ceiling can be lowered once dry-walling begins later this week.

2)  Uncle Johnny Bon Bon and Auntie Tina came to visit!


 3)  Plumbing and electrical are going in.  These pics are from last week and lots more has been done since then!

4)  Farmer's market.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

art spaces

Plans for next summer:  Susan and I are talking about turning the 1700s barn into an open air studio.  There's already electricity, so we can switch on some lamps when those thunderstorms blow in from the west and it's too dark to see anything.  We'll also pull in a hose and put it in an old sink that we have rattling around somewhere here... I think this can happen!  Now we just need to do some major cleaning and set up enough table space to print fabric, as well as paper things.  I'm going to start searching for an old letterpress that we can get working (I'm looking at you, Susan -- you're the mechanical one!).  You never know what we might find if we set our minds to it...

Chokladbollar lovelies, this will be our space if we decide to have a mini art camp next summer!

Oh, and most important of all:  I'll stock up on all-natural mosquito repellant because, well, Vermont does get a bit buggy in the summer.

Mirjam showing us the 1700s barn for the first time
One end of the barn and the other (and Curt and Jennifer!)
A boy and his barn

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

color palette

For a while, I've been thinking of painting the barn is just pale shades of white and then adding color with textiles, furniture, lighting and art work;  there are so many windows and the views are so lovely, that I thought something very simple and calming would be best.

But then!  Oh, then I saw the home of Harriet Maxwell Macdonald and Andrew Corrie in the latest living etc, and fell in love with the palette they use -- soft grays, creams, some brown and black, a bit of white.  There's something to these colors that plays to the northern light we have up here, that echoes the light of the Dutch masters.  I love that.  And I think with all of our windows and the color I can add within the space -- greens and turquoises, reds and pinks -- that this might be the way to go.

Have a look and tell me what you think:


Was planning on a glossy white IKEA kitchen, but this is calling to me!  A lighter gray, perhaps, but still...



When I went online searching for electronic copies of the pics above, I found out that Macdonald and Corrie are the owners of the living room that appears on the cover of my new favorite decor book, Undecorate, by Christiane Lemieux.  In fact, this is the image that made me want to buy the book in the first place!


Any thoughts, design-y friends?

ps.  Photos are turning out a little more gray on here than in the magazine, so imagine a bit warmer, with more brown adding some depth...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

swollen river

All the rivers and creeks around here are still swollen from Irene, and now we have more rain.  We stopped by Otter Creek the other day to see how it's faring and it's just about to go over its banks... please keep Vermont in your thoughts;  so much still needs to be done to get the state back on track.

From the bridge -- the falls in the back to the right

Froth and debris from upriver

day ten

Quick trip to the barn at lunchtime -- we had to figure out a lighting issue (there wasn't enough room in the ceilings for the recessed lights we'd planned on, so we're going to lower the ceiling by 4 inches, which will be fine) and saw some major progress going on.

Left:  new stairs at a slightly less steep angle -- you can see the outline of the old ones.

Middle:  The ceiling's being removed in parts so the recessed lighting can go in -- the ceilings on the platform will still be 8 feet, so we're good.  They'll be 9 feet in the open space.

Right: in the foreground, some of those recessed lights.  In the background, on the ladder:  filling in the cavernous car-lift area -- wooo hooo!  So glad to see that thing go :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

day eight and nine -- framing!

The core has been framed!  On the left is the studio (it will have a barn-sliding door made of something translucent, like a poly-carbonate), then the bathroom, bedroom and pantry/laundry closets.  The kitchen will be in the open space on the end.  The lowered, concrete area on the right will be an open floor plan with living, dining and study areas.  There will be wood floors on all of it.

Outside the studio and looking up the platform towards what will be windows to the north (sheets of plywood are covering those openings now).  All of the windows on the right need to be replaced because they're not insulated -- the new ones will be about 18 inches longer, so we'll get morning sun and a view of the Green Mountains (!).

Looking back at the core from the other end of the barn.  The open space is the kitchen area.  The bump-out in the ceiling was put there by the previous owner, who used the barn as a workshop and wanted to put a car lift there;  we'll be framing out and dry walling the recess so that it's flush with the rest of the ceiling.  All the knotty pine in the barn will be covered up :)