Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inching to the Finish

I hate to start out with excuses as to why I'm not showing a finished ...well a finished anything.  The tile that was supposed to arrive in 2-3 weeks did not ship until day 23, so we are still waiting on that.  Then we were forced to remove the gas pipe to the firebox in order to raise it to accommodate the tile.  May I just say it was set in approximately 8 inches of super solid concrete and leave the rest to your imagination?  That set us back time wise.  Add to that the normal, "construction takes twice as long as you thing it should" and you have my litany as explanation.

The hearth went from here,

to here,

to here.  (no grout yet)

Making 5 pieces of this tile come out evenly across each side of the firebox took some finagling.

But, it came out beautifully thanks to Dan's patience. persistence, and fine workmanship.

This is where we got hung up waiting for more tile.  

As you can see the existing chandelier is centered on the room and not on the fireplace.  For 35 years that didn't seem to be a problem.  Now it's a problem!  As I mentioned in my last post, the type and placement of lighting has been a topic these last few weeks.  After much shopping, researching, and mulling it over, I have decided to use two chandeliers that I have in my "maybe I will use these someday" pile.  More on how that will work in the next post.

The elephant in the room that I have been avoiding is COLOR.  Now I'm realizing I have to pick a fabric for the drape before I do anything about color.  That is proving harder than I anticipated.

Ages ago I bought this bark cloth drapery panel at an antique mall thinking I could surely find a way to work it in somewhere.  It seemed to have the right colors but it was pre-living room and pre-tile selection, and...well, just premature.  I dismissed it until today when I pulled it out for this photograph.  Now I am reconsidering. It has some black in it that is a nice tie in to the diamonds on the floor.  It's good with the classic grey woodwork (OC-23), and not bad with the tile on the fireplace.

However, in my fussing and fretting about fabric my friend, Vicki, offered me access to her stash and I came home with the following three fabrics.

They are definitely gorgeous fabrics and it is agonizing not to be able to use them, but they are 90 inches long and I really need between 101 and 106 depending on how high I hang the rod.  Now, if one of them is absolutely perfect for the room, I will figure a way to add 12 inches to the bottom or top.

Given these four fabrics, which would you choose?  I realize you are at a disadvantage as I have more information that you do.  Let me toss a few more pieces into the mix.

I also have two sets of chairs I would consider using in the foyer.

Chair #1 goes nicely with this fabric and...

also works with the bark cloth.

Chair #2 goes nicely with this fabric, and,

even though that is a red stripe with a pale pink, it works for me.

Now, keep in mind I have pink accents in the dining room as seen here.
And although not obvious from the foyer, I think it allows me some freedom to use the pink chairs if I choose. 

The dining room is through the opening you see in the background.

If I use the pink chairs, I might paint the wall behind the mirror in pink.  The mirror might become white, and a new sconce light has been ordered for here. PS: the trim around the doors will be painted OC-23 like the rest of the woodwork.
This area is the walk through from the foyer to the dining room, the kitchen and the stairs to the second floor.

The living room has shades of the turquoise and chartreuse, although, they are more muted than either of the fabrics I am showing you.
And this seems a little off key when shown like this. Too exuberant maybe?
But keep in mind the colors in the dining room.

So, do you have a favorite?, as confused as I am?, or convinced that I need to keep looking?  I'm thinking I might be trying too hard.  Just because it is yummy fabric. and I love it all, doesn't mean it works.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Foyer Progress Report

The first thing on the agenda was to choose the tile for the face of the fireplace.
Next came laying it out in a manner that was pleasing to the eye without distracting cuts.

Finding the tile required a little legwork, but this is what I settled on.

Making it work was a bit more of chore for Danny.  Once the old tile was removed he had to level the base so that the 12x12 tiles for the hearth did not rock when in place.  Before he started that leveling process I took a picture.

My children's names had been drawn into the fresh concrete years ago so I thought I would share that memory with them.

A good layout plan resulted in some creative thinking and a lot of (ugh) math.
We decide to add a strip of wood flooring onto each end of the hearth to make five of the 12x12 tiles fit perfectly.  Luckily we had saved some of the flooring from the dining room tear out in preparation for the powder room.  (I know, slightly different color.  I'll deal with that if I deem it a necessity.)

I decided the mirrors were not not working with the new look so they came down along with the plaster behind them.

This added a little extra work to the project.

The corner to the right of the mirrors also required work.  The perpendicular wall dove into the corner to the tune of more than an inch in some spots.  That had to be leveled to make the next step in the process work.

Although it's hard to imagine, things were moving along.

The basic frame of the bookcases arrived. (Lying in front of the door in this picture)

This sent me into a frenzie of trying to pick paint colors so I could paint the walls behind the bookcases before they were installed.

I drove myself a little crazy.  As you can see in this picture and the one above, the color of the tile changes on a dime.  It is freaky and nearly impossible to choose a color.  The glass tile has a ripple and I believe this adds to the unreliabilty of the color.  Hoping that once it is installed I will only be dealing with natural light vs artificial lighting, overcast vs sunny, and whether I am standing to the left or to the right.  I'm slapping my forehead and thinking of something stronger than a V-8.

I was convinced and then not so much.  After buying one gallon and then changing my mind, buying another color and coating the wall twice, I decided to STOP until the tiles were in place.

The bookcases would just have to go up and I would deal with repainting when I settled on the "right" color.

In the meantime I occupied myself with priming the woodwork and,

cleaning in, around, and through the radiator veins.

I also scrubbed the firebox and,

primed that for painting as well.

In my sparetime I'm searching for a new/preferably used chandelier.  This one at the Habitat Restore had possibilities, however, they had broken some of the globes.  (They really were not globes...more like large saucers...and, yes, they MADE the fixure...drat!)

I did some retail shopping too.  This one has dark gray shades that make it a classic beauty. I'm not sold yet.  Remember, I said retail, so I'll be doing a little more looking first.

This post is already getting a bit long, so I'm not going to bore you with that 1/16 of an inch here and the 5/8 inch there that have Dan and I pulling our hair out.  Let it suffice to say, there have been some delays, some scrambling to order more tile and then cancel it, lots of measuring, calculating, brainstorming and throwing in the towel until the light of a brighter day.

Here I'm trying to get a handle on the border tile.  I think I'll leave you with that visual until the next post.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chameleon Foyer

The entry in my home of 35 years has changed it's appearance a few times over the years .  It is currently going through another transformation.  But before I talk about that, let me show you a few pictures leading up to this new look.

This room measures 11' x 13', has one window, a wide pocket door that leads to the living room, the door to the outside, and a doorway to the rest of the house.  It also has a large 4' long radiator.  By now you are getting the picture...bigger than some entries, true.  But because it is actually a room with several openings, it is not really big enough for much furniture.  Leaving a walkway from the front door brings it down to about  7' x 13'.  So, what do you "do" with this room?

When I bought the house, I realized that behind the faux stone paneling there used to be a fireplace.  I decided it was something that should be restored.  This involved removing the bricks that had been put in to close off the firebox, installing gas service, and leveling the hearth floor.

Next came finding a mantel, stripping it and installing tile.  I make it sound like that all happens so quickly.  Makes me tired thinking about it, but I was younger then.

Now the room had a presence.  But there was still more to do.

I thought stenciling in dark blue and paprika would add some interest.  I really loved the fabric for the window treatment, thus the color choices.

That color scheme lasted until I fell in love with the dusty rose and teal.  You all know the era. (well maybe not the younger crowd)  This time the stenciling was on the ceiling.  A bit of a deco feel to complement my wall art and chairs.

As a result, everything was changed including the ceiling light fixture. I tried to ignore the brown tiles this go around.  I thought the pink swan tables were unique. (I actually painted them pink...oh, you already guessed that?)

Then along came this mantel and I was ready for a new look.  Happily the brown tiles on the hearth looked appropriate again.

But if that wasn't enough drama, I opted for a salsa inspired paint on the walls.  You can just see the edge of the chair in the bottom right.  The chair had an ottoman and I upholstered both in this quirky fabric.  I searched but could not find a picture of it.  Sorry, it would have sealed my quirky style for this setting.

This is the wall to the left of the fireplace. (Just in case you are wondering...that is a wire mesh high heeled shoe with a wire bow under the table on the left. That should serve as the quirk factor.)

Then I got tired of the darkness in the room. I lightened up the paint and added mirrors where the tapestry had been.  I had painted the diamonds on the floor during the salsa era and they lived on.  Somewhere along the way the light fixture changed again.

This brings us to the end of February 2013 and once again, it is time to change.  After all, none of this is working with the new colors in the living and dining room.  The rattan chair on the right was moved upstairs, the table and mantel have been sold,  and...

we have come full circle.  The brown tiles are gone and the stage is set for a new look.  Are you curious as to what is coming next?  If so, you shouldn't have long to wait.  I hope to have an update very soon.