Sunday, 27 January 2013

Day 9: Letters

I bought these little IKEA cups and saucers last spring.
Today I opened the package and used them for the first time.
Dark brown, matte finish, tiny saucers.

 Two letters were in the mailbox: one from my sister Anne and one from my father.

They both had housewarming wishes.

I bought an A, B, C fire extinguisher for the hallway: safety first.

Check out the old, brown vent register and the new one.
The new one is cast metal: heavy brass or something. Quite nice. Expensive.

Day 8: Ideas and Inspiration

 Natural materials (stone, metal, wood, leather), handmade objects, palette of browns, black, white, grey, greens, silver (stainless steel) with some shots of intense colour.

Beach on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Wood, stone, grasses, shells

Cow hides at IKEA. Each one is a different size and pattern (obviously). They are really beautiful.
I would like a very large, black and white one for the living room floor.

Dark brown leather couch at IKEA. It is quite long and clean cut, stainless steel legs.
I love the warm, dark brown colour and the pared down design.

Lake in British Columbia, Canada. Soft, dissolving palette of greys and blacks.

This is the other couch that I like: black leather, tufted, with wooden legs. It's twice the price of the dark brown sofa (above) but extremely comfortable -- soft and cushiony. This is the loveseat version of this design. I prefer the proportions of it to the full sofa which has three cushions. 
This is what it looks like from the back.

Seating ideas. I love the log as a bench in the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Ucluelet, BC. The walls are black slate.

This shot of red could go in the living room.
Long Beach, Tofino, BC. Pacific Ocean, sand, surfers.
Kitchen counter/butcher block/island/cabinet. Utilitarian. Good baking surface. Nice large drawers for baking pans, dishes, etc. This one has an overhang on one side that functions as a counter -- fits two chairs. I like the combination of white, stainless steel and wood.

Again, in the lobby of the Black Rock Resort, Ucluelet, BC. Lighting idea: cords with squares of variegated green glass or plexi threaded on to them with tubular beads holding the glass squares apart from each other.
Looks like a fern. Could make something like this.

Lunch is served at Zambri's in Victoria, BC.
Basically, a Nicoise salad: (l-r) heritage cherry tomatoes, olives, white bean, tuna slices, frisée greens, artichoke, pepper, olives and boiled egg with anchovy filet on top.

More IKEA chairs. Russian Constructivist palette plus natural wood.

IKEA double sink.

I like these large, black semi-industrial feeling lights.
I love chandeliers. This is not a chandelier but it has a dramatic, explosive form -- three dimensional radial symmetry. I am very drawn to radial symmetry. This light fixture is made of paper. It's about 36" diameter.

Local Dungness crab cake with quinoa and lemon salad, roasted garlic and chili aioli courtesy of Norwood's Restaurant in Ucluelet, BC.
Seared Baja scallops and grilled local octopus on a truffle potato puree, with sweet ginger chili sauce and leek hay. Background: salad of young arugula with roasted beets, chevre and red wine vinaigrette.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Day 7: Nitty Gritty

Following up on the mystery of the metal heating vent: this is in ceiling of the corner of the living room.

However, if you follow it upstairs, it leads into the north facing bedroom at the front of the house.

The round, metal plate was on top. You can see down into the living room.

I see more lino in my future...

The metal vent may fork off from this chimney thingy or maybe it is a vent from something that used to be in the basement -- like a wood burning furnace.

My friend's mother grew up in this neighbourhood. She may be able to put me in touch with someone nearby who knows more about the story of this house and this type of heating system.


This was my project today... to finish the dining room and upstairs landing. By finish, I mean, remove all the tack strip, nails and staples... all of them.

So, it took me more than "a few minutes" to do the landing.

Removing large swathes of carpet is dramatic but, then, being on your knees removing all the carpet strip, nails that hold it down and the hundreds of staples used to tack the underlay to the floor, takes forever.

My new set of "Knee Armour" made the job a lot easier.

Tools for the job: "Knee Armour", pry bars, claw hammer, utility knife, screwdrivers, pliers and respirator.

You have to make sure every nail and bit of staple is removed because, later, when you sand the floors, one little piece of protruding metal could rip the sander apart.

In the end, I was pleased with the result.

I think it looks super nice.

Day 6: 1924 Flooring

 I found out that the house was built in 1924.
Next year, she will be 90 years old.

Stripping down the floor in the bedroom was an amazing process.
I didn't even consider what I might find under the chip board.

I knew that there wasn't hardwood but I had no expectations.
Having said that, I didn't expect to see this!

I have a vision of the end product for this house.
When I say vision, I mean that I literally have an image in my mind.
That's how it works for me. 

Here is the image: it's dark; the interior of the living room is predominantly dark, varnished wood; there are candles flickering and white lights on the lilac trees outside -- twinkling; there are handcrafted pieces of furniture and fixtures in places (natural wood, metal, ceramic, glass, textiles and stone) made by artists and craftspeople -- local artisans, friends from away and myself; there are some distressed, antique Newfoundland pieces of furniture; my favourite works of art from my collection are on the walls; everything is stripped down -- both retaining and revealing its story; there is a black and white cowhide on the floor; on top, a dark, leather modernist couch that looks out to the Bay of Islands; the house has warmth; there is music and lots of friends; Cash is curled up; I'm having a party.

That's what I see and I just keep working towards that.
Everything in between is a very cool surprise.

Isn't this lovely? The patterns, colours, textures.

Each successive layer is older and more closely resembles a textile.
The older the lino, the more pixilated and grid-based the pattern.

Underneath the five or six layers of linoleum, was an actual piece of textile: a threadbare rug (as you can see above).

This third to last layer actually looked like a carpet on the floor.
It had a border that was on either side of the room.
The room must be a standard width and this lino was produced in a standard width which could then be cut by the length and fitted into rooms to create a border along two sides.

Several layers of lino also had newspapers between them.
Each layer was clearly older than the one on top.

I'd estimate the dates to be:
carpet and chipboard -- 2003
mint green tartan lino with ochre flowers -- 1955 (newspapers)
another layer of that same lino but less blue / more green -- 1953 (?)
curvilinear floral pattern layer (not shown here) -- 1946 (?)
petit point pattern layer brownish colour vases-of-flowers -- 1938 (?)
highly pixilated, vase-of-flowers pattern with carpet border -- 1932 (?)
wood grain lino -- 1928 (?)
thread bare carpet -- 1924 (?)

The last layer of linoleum before the wood floor itself, was this linoleum (below) printed with a wood grain pattern.

The pattern appears to have been screenprinted on the lino (the ink is raised).
How ironic.

Finally, wood floors. It's interesting that the boards are all different widths.

The room looks really nice and the floors creak.

Lastly, check out the ad in the newspaper I found in the floor.

"Who says Brides can't bake bread!" The Western Star Newspaper, 1955.
To be continued...