Monday, October 21, 2013

Black and White Tile Inspiration

So now we are talking about using the existing basic black and white checkerboard tile pattern in the kitchen. Way back when, we thought we'd use those actual tiles and replace the few broken ones. I guess now we would replace the whole floor, but it'd still be cheaper than stone.
Here are some inspiration photos. HERE is the source that keeps coming up for painted cement tiles.
If we just do the ceramic, do we just get that at Home Depot? 
Also, I like the diagonal way better than running parallel to the straight walls.

Major kitchen inspo found here!
Lincoln Barbour
2078 Remodel: subway tile backsplash, butcherblock countertop, checkerboard tiles

tiles above the sink (white and black - or other color?)
old kitchen - LOVE the flooring!
The Steampunk Home • Cement Tiles make a Black and White Kitchen
Antique French cement tiles - French Vogue via
Women cooking in a black and white kitchen with Moravian starred ceilingKitchen floor tiles

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Panoramae - Lots to See

I shot these interiors today:

And the views from the main floor:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Three years. What progress?

Honestly, it sometimes (most times) feels like we're not making any progress at all up there.  So, just to see if there has been any improvement, I went back and looked at some of the old photos. You tell me, have we made any progress?

The living room seen from the fireplace before, during and after...

Here is the kitchen, before and after - shot from a slight different position, but that doorway on the left in the before photo is the doorway on the right in the below photo:

The fireplace looks much the same, but the surrounding area is much improved.

The entryway doesn't look a lot different structurally, but it looks much less charred:

The door to the deck:

One of the most obvious areas of improvement is the staircase.

More views of the staircase from before - I can't believe we walked up and down this thing for three years:

The progress on the top floor/master suite is pretty amazing. 
The wall between the bedroom and the bathroom has come along nicely.

An improved view of the Bedroom from the staircase (the window in the top picture is the window on the right in the lower picture).

And here is a reverse view of the bedroom looking toward the staircase from the middle period.

The bedroom ceiling has seen some minor improvements:

A lot of progress has been made in the bathroom!
Here is the sink wall beside the shower enclosure:

And the toilet corner...

And the tub!

But there is one thing that has never changed in the bedroom: THE FANTASTIC VIEW!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Floor Score: Who you callin' Travertine?

Ever since Saturday I have been bumbling around in my head about the 170 Sq. Ft. of travertine "noce" or "noche" tiles I picked up at BIG on Saturday morning. They look like this (more or less). 

This photo above is the most accurate photo - the stone is mostly a greyish color but with brick red and a little green muddying it up.
These two are a little over-exposed - the tile is much darker than this (as shown in the photo above), but it gives you a better sense of the structure and design.

So, why have I been bumbling?  Well, a few reasons.  In no particular order:
  • The look of the stone is a little "splashy" (Lou's word, but very apt).  I really like the grey and the movement, but it has greens and reds and looks a little like a tissue sample from something not healthy (although the same could be said of a lot of nice stone).  So, I'm not sure it is really the look for us.
  • I did some reading online about travertine and it seems it is a very porous stone which does not wear as well as marble or granite and requires more care.  Plus, because it is very porous, in order for it to have a polished finish, it has to have been "filled" with some sort of polymer.  Anyway, whatever, it stopped seeming as glamorous.
  • I googled prices on travertine noce/noche 12"x12" tile and, although the noce in the photos online did not look anything like the noce I had purchased, it all came up in the $3-5 @ s.f. range and suddenly my $1.75 @ s.f. didn't seem like such a bargain once you add in the truck and the continuing muscle pain in my lower back.  Yes, I am a bargain shopper and value apparently means as much to me as purely aesthetic issues: as the bargain-margin drops, so does the ease of overlooking the other above-mentioned issues.
MY CONCLUSION: We needed to hit re-set on our floor design process. I made an appointment for this morning at the stone yard a few blocks from our place just so that we could see everything and discuss what we would want if money were no obstacle.  V and I walked down there early for an appointment with Joan, the very nice stone lady, who spent 40 minutes showing us various options, all of which are gorgeous and most of which are out of our price range.  But we got a better sense of what we like: honed statuary, bianco gioia, calacatta gold honed, bardiglio, etc.  We like whites and greys.  We like movement. 

It was a useful exercise and the prices on some of the stuff we like is not prohibitive so we are awaiting an estimate.  

But there is more.  I carried a slice of the travertine noche with me and, at the end of our discussion of her offerings, I showed my "travertine" to Joan and she said, "That isn't travertine.  That's some type of marble."  And, wouldn't you know it, all of a sudden my heart opened up and I began to think, "well maybe I could live with this stuff."  

What is wrong with me? 

I'm still partial to big movement with swirling winds of gray so we are awaiting word from Joan on pricing for the stuff we liked most.  She is also going to get back to me on what type of marble my "noche" is.

[UPDATE: Subsequently found out that this is definitely marble and it is called "Montana".   And, to any reader (family member) who might think, "Wait! You mean this whole post about travertine was just rendered obsolete!", let me remind you that I still have 170 sq. ft. of this stuff in a shed and it will re-emerge someday. And nobody was ever worse off for knowing a little more about travertine.]

Monday, October 14, 2013

DESIGN IDEA: Surgical Light for a Dining Room

I broke down and bought an old surgical light at BIG NYC on Saturday when I was there picking up stone.  I don't know if I'll manage to use it or if it will end up back at BIG or on craigslist, but it showed too much promise to just leave it behind.  (let me say from the get go, if you don't like this idea then you don't need to respond to this post at all.)  

V's comment when she saw this thing was that it is a little too "on the nose", by which she means that it looks like exactly what it is.  Unlike a lot of repurposed stuff we like, there is no mistaking this for some obscure bit of obsolete industrial detritus just waiting to be re-purposed.  I agree with her, but I still think it looks pretty cool and merits some consideration.

Oh, and the other thing to remember is that our dining table is going to be a heavy slab of wood sitting on this old embalming table base which I blogged about back in May 2011 when I picked it up on ebay (talk about a lack of instant gratification):

So, yeah, this light over that table... a little on the nose maybe.  But I still like it a lot.

It mounts on a track on the ceiling so that, in addition to having a full range of rotation, it can slide back and forth to be centered over wherever the action is.

I love this old label.
This belongs on "indicia of authority".

Obviously I know I'm not the first person to think to re-purpose a big surgical light as a ceiling light, but I have never actually seen it done.  Here are some examples I found on the web:

Boo! Now I want one of these

Above from:
And, while we're at it, is a pretty bitchen site.

Here is a pair of repurposed surgical lights found in a real estate listing:
"The lighting over the center island is made from transformed surgical lamps from a World War II hospital ship."
Someone is asking $3600 a pop for these silly pendants made of parts from a surgical light hung from a chain.

Very pretty, but older and more steampunk looking than the one I got.