Archives for posts with tag: Architecture

This past August I received an email from a friend that’s the editor of Spokane Metro, a regional fashion/home/food and wine magazine. Metro has especially clean design, fills an important media niche in Spokane, and I appreciate their effort to launch a media vehicle at a time when it’s hard for print publications to get traction. Cheryl Anne wanted to feature our house in the November issue.

I mostly thought this was an idea bordering on insanity. It’s one thing to post pictures on an anonymous blog. It’s another to invite 100 or so people to check out your house on an architecture tour. But to be photographed for a magazine while still under construction? I’ll use the word once more. Insanity.

Alas, I’m a sucker for helping a friend, plus Cheryl Anne agreed that the story of how we worked hand in hand with Matt and Jesse made for an interesting angle. (Well, figuratively hand in hand. I didn’t really walk around holding hands with Jesse and Matt.) K and I agreed long ago that we would look for ways to help our builder and architect, and publication certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Flash forward to the end of September. We spent a three-day weekend finishing cabinets, touching up paint and generally getting organized to find something a photographer could shoot with a straight face. Don’t get me wrong, the house was beautiful. It wasn’t complete though. Trim was missing, there were big piles of topsoil scattered around the landscape…you get the idea.

Angela Parris met us to take photographs, full of enthusiasm and (great) attitude. She spent a couple of hours at the house, taking an approach of shooting what was there, vs. trying to stage something that wasn’t. Not a small thing in my mind.

Last week Metro hit the newsstand and the article looks fantastic. You should buy a copy. Really, support Metro. You can buy a copy at Auntie’s in downtown Spokane, or Barnes & Noble.

Yesterday Angela emailed. She put together a gallery of her favorite shots that didn’t make it into the magazine. This was very, very cool of her, and last night our family had a great time checking them out. We thought you might too, so I’ll post some over the next few days.

Angela was a lot of fun. She was game for heading out on the hiking trail to get a shot from a far. She laid down in the meadow to take pictures of me and L. And she put up with Sacha the dog, who given half a chance would have licked/slobbered on/stolen  Angela’s speedy (and I’m sure expensive) lenses. If you need a photographer, I’d give her a call.

Today…shots of the entry and one of the board-formed concrete walls. Check out the sweet depth of field and sparkly bokeh. These make me want to run out to Huppin’s and plunk down on a digital SLR and a fast lens. Sadly (for me) though it’s the photographer, not the camera, that makes a great picture.

I’d love to know what you think of Angela’s work.

We had a good weekend. On the project front, I finished installing the living room shelves and the guts of our office storage. This is kind of a big deal, as it 1) makes the living room feel quite complete (because it is!) and 2) got rid of a stack of boxes that littered the two rooms. Good stuff all around.

The living room shelves in particular are quite beautiful. Vertical grain fir boxes, custom-sized for each opening, moulding that needed to be scribed to fit perfectly with the imperfections of the drywall, and of course K’s handiwork applying polyurethane.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention our daughter L in this list. Seems she noticed too. So yesterday, after watching K rock her leg of the Spokane Marathon (that’d be 6.7 miles in 54 minutes–nice!) L got quite excited to help. Her idea was to drill all of the holes for the shelf supports. Now she’s quite coordinated for a 6-year-old. But drilling perfectly straight holes in very expensive wood? Probably not the best task. She was willing to settle for installing the steel shelf support pins into the holes I drilled  though.

It turned out that some of these were tough to push in. So, being the veteran construction observer she is, Lyra suggested using a hammer. I thought this made sense. So she ran to the garage and came back with a giant framing hammer. I guess she couldn’t find the sledge hammer.

The main problem with using a framing hammer isn’t its size, but the texture of its face. It’s waffled. When framing and whacking giant nails into equally giant pieces of lumber you’ll never see, the waffle is great because it keeps the hammer from skating off of the nail, and landing instead on say your thumb. But it also wreaks havoc when it comes in contact with wood, destroying the surface and leaving behind a nice waffle-shaped embossing.

Alas, she was so proud of herself for finding the hammer in our catastrophe of a garage that I actually let her use it, with careful oversight. Trust but verify. This philosophy worked well for Nixon, so how about us? All is well that ends well. L did a great job, carefully tap, tap, tapping away.

Better pictures will follow some other time. And if there are any mind-reading blog visitors, if you could let me know which box we packed our camera charger in I’d appreciate it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Choking up on the handle for better control. That's my girl!

The semi-finished product.

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Yowsa. It’s been busy around here lately. I’ve been flying (literally and figuratively) at work, L is of course back to school, gymnastics and lots of playing, and K is cranking on a bunch of fronts too. We’ve been keeping our feet to the pedals at home in an attempt to finish some big projects. So consider this an interim project report. It’ll be light on the details, but I’ll at least post a few pictures.

And speaking of pictures our trusty camera has been a bit funky lately. For some reason the images aren’t quite up to snuff and are all a bit fuzzy. Chances are the lens is coated in sawdust, like so many of our things, but put it on the list of stuff to figure out.

Patio-building. 

OK, I’ve referenced this one a bunch lately, but Jesse is just about through with his part of this project. He and Scott poured a small retaining wall on Friday which will add a really nice detail to the big courtyard. We’ll now have two levels, about 7 inches apart, separated by a step/garden bed. Awesome.

Scott at work. This is taken from our bedroom. The retaining wall will be a nice step to a lower part of the court, and breaks up the pattern a bit.

Cabinetmaking.

I’ve been cranking away on a stack of storage-related items. The shelves in the kitchen storage posts are built, finished and installed. Big exhale on this one, and we love how much this helps make the room feel finished. I still have a free-standing unit to build that replaces the wire racks we have in place temporarily, but am short a big piece of butcher block. Bummer. Soon enough though…

More shelves to the right of the refrigerator. These hold cups and glasses and most importantly, coffee making equipment.

Panel installing.

In the living room we’ve had two big voids to stare at that are filled with crap, I mean boxes of precious possessions. These are designed to have a 3/4″ thick solid panel of vertical grain fir, that I thought would look best with a 1/8″ reveal between the wood and drywall. The first one went in yesterday with one more to come. On the backside of these panels is deep storage that hold books, art supplies and electronic gadgetry, accessed from our office niche. In the soffit above the panel we’ll eventually install a similar fir panel, this one just a 1/4″ thick.

Another fir panel will eventually sit in the recess above.

Art making.

K plans to write a more detailed post at some point, but she deserves a major hat tip for her various art projects. This weekend I hung her most recent, which she’s typically humble about. I’m not though. It’s amazing. K trolled through our scrap wood pile, finding discarded pieces of fir, cedar, plywood and beech. She then arranged and painted them before installing them to a panel, which now hangs in our dining room. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but especially at night it creates a stunning effect.

Check out the shadows. In person this is quite a piece.

Armor on. Ready for battle.

There’s been satisfying entertainment value at the house recently. This is another way of saying that there’s a lot going on. From painting to siding, and applying lacquer to hanging doors, we’ve been finding ways to fill our time. Somehow the rest of life doesn’t seem to slow down either, but hey, it makes life interesting.

At the moment I don’t have the endurance to write a post about everything that’s been happening and it would require a serious attention span for you to read it. So let’s start with what went down two weekends ago.

After drywall wrapped up we spent a couple of days in a humid cloud of paint fumes, transforming the house from primer white to White Dove. What a difference!

Picking out a color, especially if said color is white, can be a bit torturous. Ultimately we settled on Benjamin Moore’s White Dove OC-17. We’re certainly not the first people to use this color and won’t be the last, but it’s a fantastic shade that has the right balance between shades of red (which can get too pink), blue (potentially too icy) and yellow (potentially too…urine-like).

It’s good to know we’re not the only ones over-thinking the right shade of white. Here’s a link to an article on Remodelista highlighting their favorites.

Rather than use Ben Moore paint though we bought our goods at Home Depot, using a Behr low-VOC option that was color-matched to White Dove. HD has this color in their computer so it’s a foolproof way to go. We’ve had good luck with Behr paint and it’s about 50% less expensive. Given that we sprayed over 40 gallons this isn’t an insignificant savings.

We sprayed the paint using my father’s Titan 440i sprayer. My dad sprayed, I backrolled the ceilings and Kristy took care of the walls. If you’re new to this process here’s how it works. The first person sprays. We started on the ceilings, then worked down in sections. The person rolling can fill in any spots that was missed by the sprayer, and the rolling creates a very smooth, hard surface once it dries.

For our 2,200 s.f. house, two coats took two long days. Even with high quality respirators (Sherwin Williams is a good source for these) we all had white paint end up on a kleenex when we blew our noses. Thankfully this isn’t a career for any of us.

So how do things look? Amazing. White Dove. Much love.