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:


Saturday, October 29, 2011

so about that spare room...

... it's amazing what those guys can do in a couple of days.

The wall from the game room in to the spare room has been taken down and a new one has been framed in -- this time in between two of the windows, instead of through the middle of one :)  Do you see that light behind Ben (the guy in the plaid shirt)?  It's one of the barn doors -- you can see it here (the one on the left).

Here's the view from the other direction -- looking in to the game room (and off to the west) on the left and into the barn on the right.  When I took this photo Bobo, Tai, Sean and Ben were talking about how to frame out that wall on the right so that we can still see the beams.

More tomorrow -- we spent the day tearing down the wood shed and are exhausted!

Love to all xoxo.

Friday, October 28, 2011

the sun came out

It's been a really gray fall but today was gorgeous -- sunshine!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

catching up, part two

I'm afraid that all of the photos look the same at this point -- lots and lots of drywall and windows -- but I promised I'd do some catch-up and show you all what's going on, so please forgive the repetitive shots!
As I said yesterday, the new windows are in upstairs.  There's another one along that southern wall there, as well as one on the western wall that looks down to the courtyard with all of its weeds (what?  It's a barn!) and then the Adirondacks beyond.  I promise to get a shot of that this weekend, when we're there demo-ing the wood shed. 

So, most of the wall to the left there will be gone very soon and in its place will be an entry in to the spare room, which the guys were going to start on today. 
Here it is:  the future spare room, with the wall to the existing room on the right.  We have no idea why the previous owner decided to build a wall in the middle of that window, but soon it will be fixed!

These photos do give you a sense of what the top of the barn is like -- I have very few pics because it's often too dark for anything to show up, but it's beautiful up there.  One day soon I'll open all the big barn doors to let in the light and will snap away :)
Do you see the nest up there, under the hayloft door?  That will stay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

catch up, part one!

There's so much catching up to do!  Since last I wrote the drywalling has been finished up and almost all of the seams have been taped, mudded and sanded.  The upstairs windows are in and the outside frames have been installed on all of them -- now they're ready for us to paint them next summer, which will be one of our first warm weather jobs.  (The pics below are a mix from before and after the taping)

Here's the northern view now, with the drywall in and taped -- the frames leaning up against the wall on the right are for the outside of the windows.  I wish the views showed up in the photos, but I'll get those once we're moved in and watching the snow fall through the glass.

Here's the kitchen area, facing west.  The cabinets (the peninsulas that will be right in front of this photo) are being built right now and will be done in the next two weeks (!).

Pardon the wonky composites and weird color tones :)
To the east -- we're still trying to figure out the right shade of white:  one that's warm enough to counter the coolness of our northern and eastern light.  A friend recommended a white with pinkish undertones and I have a sample pot in the car that I'll put up in the next few days.

Our living space facing south from the kitchen.  The pantry is right in front of us, with the drywall stacked in front of it.  The corridor to the right leads to the bedroom.

Here's the bedroom right now, with the corridor out to the kitchen on the left -- the windows face west to the courtyard.  We have the first bit of door hardware up (it will be a sliding barn door) and the closet is straight ahead.  Our bed will face the windows so we can look up out at the night sky.

More pics tomorrow, I promise :).  I miss you guys -- love to all xoxo

Monday, October 10, 2011

platforms, windows, dogs

Friday:  in process.  We bugged the guys during their lunch hour so we could get a peek of the barn before heading up to Burlington for some appointments.  The french doors were roughed in and the platform extension was done!

I took this photo standing in the hall that leads from our bedroom (off to my right) into (what will be) the kitchen.  I'm facing north east.  That big opening on the right (partially obscured by leaning drywall) is the entry to the pantry, where the fridge will be.

Poor Luther was just trying to drink his iced tea but I had to take pics!  You can see the eastern windows on the left and one of the southern windows in the middle.  I took this photo from (what will be) the other side of the kitchen, behind and to the right of me.

I do worry about the lack of southern light.  The original plan called for a big, polycarbonate window on that southern wall, where the barn doors are still evident from the outside.  We couldn't figure all of that out in time (would it be too hot in the summer?  Would the polycarb shatter if a snow plow threw up rocks?), plus we ran out of money and also had concerns about privacy, since the road is right there.  But I suspect that's something we'll save up and figure out how to do in the future.  In the meantime, a couch will be right under the visible southern window and the upstairs studio and spare room will have tons of southern light -- so there will still be spots for me to take sunny winter afternoon naps :)

And there will certainly be enough northern light!  Have a look:

The dogs checked out the new platform...

... and kept me company while I painted paint swatches on Saturday afternoon and then checked them on Sunday morning.  The wider Sunday shot (on the right) shows more of the western view from the main lounge-y area;  you can see the side of the 1700's barn through those western windows, which extend to the left and into our bedroom, behind the pantry wall.  The kitchen peninsulas will come out on either side of the pantry opening, which is behind those leaning sheets of drywall.  The far (western) peninsula will have the sink, dishwasher and range, while the closer (eastern) peninsula will be plain counter space on top, with cabinets on the kitchen side and stools on the lounge-y side.  No uppers, just a couple of open shelves.

I'll sketch up a rough idea of the floor plan so all of this makes more sense -- we've changed a lot of things since our initial design. Until then, xoxo.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a hint of what's to come

More pics tomorrow, but this is what we found when we arrived at the barn the other day:

The old back door -- you can see it in the two bottom photos of the entry below.  And you know what this means?  That the platform extension is in, as are the french doors leading out back...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

window update!

Drive-by after work to see the fixed windows and they look perfect!  I just want to use a million exclamation marks right now because we're both so happy and excited -- we had to get home to make dinner and feed the dogs, but we couldn't stop looking out of the windows.  And work begins on the platform tomorrow, so it will be even better.

(Do you see the drywall around the eastern windows?)

Pardon the bad cell phone shots -- it's hard to see, but the Adirondacks are out there!

The far north-western window has been replaced so it matches the others now.

More pics when the platform is extended.  xx

Saturday, October 1, 2011

and about those windows...

The northern windows are (roughed) in and, well, they don't work.  The biggest issue is that the framing between the upper plate glass and the lower awning windows is, when you're sitting down, right at eye level, so the view -- the whole point of that northern end -- is obstructed.  And since the northeastern corner will be our main hanging out and lounging area, this is a big issue.  It's totally our fault -- we rushed through the window-picking part of the process -- and now we have to figure out how to fix it.   Something else that bothers me (although I think it's less of an issue for Roberto) is the proportion of the lower windows;  they just don't fit in with the other windows in the barn, and I feel like it's important that there's a sense of continuity -- that they're in conversation with each other.

So, what are we going to do?  Well, our amazing contractor came up with a solution that not only solves the problem, but actually makes the space even better than it would have been if the windows had been what we had imagined.  This is going to cost us a bit more, but we think it will be well worth it.  What Sean suggested is extending the platform across the northern end so that the seating area is raised, which will take care of the view issue.  We'll also be taking the lower awning windows out and building a short wall in their place;  there will be less window, slightly less of a view, but I think it will be more in proportion now.  We love that the kitchen and adjacent lounging area will now be on the same level and also that having that northeastern part raised will break up some of the long, open space that makes up the eastern side of the barn.

RenĂ©e came over this afternoon and we did a little birdwatching -- the baby eagles were playing in the wind as it pummeled us from the north.  It was amazing to watch the weather.

The platform will extend all the way along the space above, which will tie it together so nicely.

There is so much light from those northern windows!  It was a rainy, gray day today -- the clouds were low in the sky -- but the barn was lit up beautifully.

Extending the platform also takes care of a couple of other problems:  the first is that the french doors that are going in where that old door (above) is will be now be on the same level as the bigger windows to the right.  The second is that when we want to access the kitchen -- either from the bedroom or the living areas, we won't have to walk down the steps, around the kitchen peninsulas and then back up again;  we don't mind walking up and down the steps (we can use all the exercise we can get!), but there is an awkwardness to the flow that will be gone, now :)

The view from the kitchen to the lounge-y area -- the wood stove will go between the two big windows... it's getting closer!