Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Details!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet about blogging and commenting but it is after all summer time and we’ve waited a long winter for the warmth and to be outside. Outside also means I’m riding a tractor 10 plus hours a week mowing (3 open acres), hiking Dylan dog 30 plus miles a week and with our home and all the things that go with life, gardening and my business, well you get the point. So if I go quiet on you I’m just really busy!

One of the details on the outside of the barn are the windowsills. See the sill under the window it’s one solid piece of granite stone and took four men to lift it up into place. New Hampshire is called the granite state since we have a lot of it and you literally trip over the stuff.  

Since we had a lot of the antique granite blocks leftover from mister man building the end walls he decided to use some up making the apron in front of the barn. It also matches the foundation on our home, our foundation is made up of giant and I do mean giant boulders faced with huge slabs of granite stone. Mister man laid the block and then filled in with stone dust.

 I purchased this zinc planter from Restoration Hardware for the front corner of the barn but it would eventually sink in the dirt so mister man built a pad for it. Yes I know my shrub is small but it’ll grow, it’s a “Green Mountain” upright boxwood.

This picture came from a beta-plus book called "Building with Reclaimed Materials"  (love this book) it was the stair railing I was interested in because it was so open.

Well the railing arrived and voile OPEN! The railing is right in the middle of the third bay jutting out into the room and I didn’t want a busy railing cutting off my view of the entire barn. The railing also sits in front of the French windows and I didn’t want them cut off from view from the annex. Yes I know this railing isn’t to code but there’s a way around that problem.

The code only states that the railing has to be solid not pretty to the eye so our contractor made the railing solid for inspection. Nice huh? It passed.

See how a solid railing would have cut the room up? Anyway the wood is off my railing and I would say nobody's the wiser but hey, I just put it on a blog...lol.

I got this door picture from the same beta-plus book above. I thought a dungeon type door would look amazing going up the stairs with the stonewalls.

But instead our contractors made this door…not exactly the door I envisioned but for now it’ll do until I find a door I prefer.

This picture was taken out back of the barn just look at that nice big open space I get to design for my secret garden. I say secret garden because you can’t see it from the street or from our driveway in front of the house.

Mister man is going to put in a stone patio for me as soon as I make up my mind what kind of stone and pattern. Yeah that’s going to happen quickly, making up my mind but you have to understand mister man is aging ;) and he’s only going to do this once for me so it has to be the perfect stone! (Yes mister man reads my blog so he'll see this....Hi honey!)

As you can see the area where the patio is going needs a lot of dressing up but I started by sticking a bench in already did you notice in the picture above?

Dylan dog is going to help me plant too he’s already digging a hole….lol. Up next the revel of the decorating inside the barn. I can tell you’re all excited!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Details, Details, Details!

The last you saw our barn/my new studio the plaster board was just going up, well what do you think of the plaster painted? I had the whole barn, annex, ceilings and between the rafters painted in Benjamin Moore paint called Pismo dunes, number AC-32, it’s gray with a taupe undertone but stays mainly gray. Since I’ll be draping and hanging textiles everywhere I didn’t want a blue, green or purple undertone interfering and I needed a neutral background for those textiles.

Unfortunately at the time I took this picture the only light came from the windows and my contractors blaring workman’s light since the light fixtures weren't up yet. I had the trim painted in Benjamin Moore paint called water chestnut number 522-3. Because the trim paint wasn’t as warm as I wanted it to be we had the paint primed double or 200% to achieve the warmth.

This shot was taken from the annex looking out across the staircase and out the French doors into the back yard of the barn which is really the side of our house, does that make sense? The whole space, barn and annex, work as one space and is sort of L shaped but you have to go up two small steps to get into the annex and it’s actually a whole separate BIG room.

During this whole project everyone from our contractor on down liked to torture me in some small way and our electrician was no different. I wanted him to hang the chandeliers in the barn first because they were in huge crates and I hadn’t seen them yet and the suspense was killing me, so he hung the annex chandelier first and then went to lunch…. Grrr! This chandelier came from Wisteria and is called their regal French chandelier. It works for my needs but I’ll be honest here its not as hardy as I was hoping and not what I was expecting but since we were closing in on our budget it was good enough.

Now these bad boys were what I was expecting!!!! The chandeliers came from Restoration Hardware and were fashioned after 19th century Italian street gas lamps. I was a tad worried before they went up because at four feet tall they were massive at human level but once hung they sort of got dwarf by the sheer size of our barn. Since the barn has those cross beams at equal intervals I kept calling each area bay one, bay two, you get the idea and the two chandeliers were hung in bays two and three. The second is directly at the top of the staircase. Each bay, and there are four bays, is slightly bigger then an average room if that helps in gauging the size of the barn.

I couldn’t get to the hardware store fast enough to buy light bulbs for the chandeliers but when I got back our electrician was gone for the day…yikes! I hate heights and to take pictures from a ladder I was having some heart palpitations. But I sucked it up and climbed a ladder and just look at my chandeliers! They don’t really put out a ton of light they’re mainly for ambiance but that’s ok since it’s not like I was relying upon them to sew by.

With everything done except the baseboards it was time to lay the flooring. Our home has the original flooring of heartpine wide planks. Heartpine is the actual heartwood of the tree. Since pine used to be quite large when it was logged some hundred or more years ago, the pine trees were able to grow large enough to develop heartwood. Not any more as pine trees do not grow as big because they are harvested at an earlier age. The "heart" is dark colored. It is decay, insect and rot resistant and more stable than the white/yellow sapwood. We wanted to match the flooring from our home in the barn since they’re connected.

So we went to Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring since they have a great reputation and they’re close by here in New Hampshire. We had the floor stained deep walnut and I for one am in love with our floor. The railings hadn't arrived yet as they were being custom made.

It was at this stage it was time to have our home re-assessed because we added on more livable square footage and we wanted to make sure we didn’t price ourselves out of the neighborhood and for insurance. Just because you may have spent a fortune remodeling, renovating or adding on doesn’t mean you’ll get that money back out when it’s time to sell. I know this might crush a few people but the decorating in your home doesn’t mean much to the worth of your home it might only help sell it easier some day.

I couldn’t help myself even though there were odds and ends waiting to be finished I had to move something into my new studio. I didn’t care there was a wire hanging down, see right above the chair, the outlets needed their covers, I just needed something in there! But in the end I had to move these items back out because the walls were dusty and the floor needed cleaning, you get the idea but it was a cleaning job I actually enjoyed.

So after all the painting was done, everything was scrubbed and walls dusted down it was time to move in and it was only fitting that the first item to go in was my desk, ok so it’s really a table but hey I need room to spread.

Up next are still more details but what do you think of my new studio?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For sale...CHEAP TOO!

All of you might be thinking how wonderful mister man is right about now after he made me these wonderful pedestals from a picture. How handy he is after he built the lower walls on our barn and he is handy and wonderful……most of the time.

He’s very romantic, he was gone once on Valentine’s Day and sent me a dozen roses all in the form of a card, that ribbon pack. Yep, he sent me a single rose through the mail and I actually received one a day for twelve days with the last arriving on Valentine’s, it was all very romantic. See all those little white hearts in various sizes, those were hidden around our home leading me from one clue to the next until I found my gift, it was a ton of fun!

Our Anniversary is no different, mister man made me this card for our seventh anniversary and those pennies have the year date for each year we were married. (Don’t worry honey the bottom penny came unglued but it’s in my keepsake box.) The romance comes out all the time not just special occasions.

But there’s a dark side to him you may not want to hear about, something no woman should have to be subjected to….AIRPORT HEIRLOOMS! You might be wondering what these heirlooms might be well I’ll tell you, they’re little trinkets mister man picks up at airports all across the country when he has been traveling because he’s to dang lazy to go out and find something decent! And lucky me he has termed these lovelies airport heirlooms!

I can’t begin to tell you what a great actress I was keeping a straight face the year I received a cordless drill on Valentine’s Day but at least it was wrapped up in pretty PINK flower wrapping paper even though he knows I hate PINK! Coincidence, I think not!

My personal favorites would have to be this lovely sewing kit and thimble, keep in mind I’m a professional seamstress and sew for a living…..special huh?

So you still think mister man’s so wonderful? You may have him but there’s a catch he comes as is and THERE ARE NO RETURNS!

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