Sunday, October 19, 2014

Marching bands aside, 'brassy' is never a good thing

Aging brass. I have to say, this is a project I resisted like mad. Months ago, when John first brought it up, the contractor and I both just wanted to pretend like we hadn't heard him. We have to dip what in what? Huh? I thought he had forgotten it but then he brought it up again a few weeks ago. So I told him he had better order the product and then we would figure out what to do once we got it. When we got it we decided that it might be better if we did the dipping ourselves. A little too hard to explain to the contractor, and in retrospect, probably would have cost us a penny or two to have them do it.

The result? I must say this is a situation when John was 2,000% percent on the right track. If we hadn't have done this I know I would have been unhappy (and he would have been even more unhappy) with all the too-shiny brass in the house. Now, I think the hardware is gorgeous and very fitting for our house. I'm so glad I gave in and I'm so glad we worked on it together. 

I had to start off with an after picture just because it was so pretty. These are the knobs for our interior doors AFTER we aged them. They are from Baldwin and they are solid and heavy and feel wonderful. Can't wait to see them installed. We went with the 1.75" knobs over the more common 2" knobs. Seemed more appropriate for our house.

We are beautiful, but too damn brassy. So why not get a finish that is closer to what we wanted? John wanted the properties of unlacquered brass--that is it ages and gets a nice patina over time, but didn't want to wait the years it would take to get that. Plus, you have to just look at this picture to realize that these are just too shiny for an 80-year old house.

The same knobs after we dipped them in acid (more on that later).

The knob in front has been dipped but not yet rubbed with 0000 steel wool. The ones in back have been rubbed.

A pile of completed knobs. Don't they look like they came out of an old house?

Here's a lot of shiny window locks. And yes, we dipped the screws as well.

One before the dip, one after the dip.

All of them dipped but before the steel wool. Unfortunately, we didn't take a picture of the completed locks.

These are "ballcaps" for our door hinges after they were dipped and given a once over with the steel wool.

The rosettes that will go behind the knobs before dipping.

The same rosettes after dipping.

Not only did we have to unpack all the parts--these are hinge packages--but we also had to repack them so nothing would get lost for the installers.

Hinges before the dip.

The dip itself. The directions say soak between 1 and 10 minutes but we took ours out after only 10 seconds. I can't imagine what 10 minutes would have looked like. 

The parts get soaked in the brass ager.

Then you give them a rinse.

A batch after their dip.

Our dining room sweatshop showing John rubbing them with 0000 steel wool.

The final product. So much more appropriate than the bright shiny original. Go back and look again.

You're right, most sweat shops don't have glasses of wine on the work bench.
Those stacked boxes are the dipped and burnished hinges already complete.

Some one needs to tell the State of California how useless this piece of paper in every single boxes is. What is the likelihood a pregnant woman is going to eat a hinge?

I wanted to title this "Casegoods are good" but it is really millwork

A few pictures of some of millwork that has been installed.

No, that's not a coffin about to be place under the window John always felt those two closets seemed out of place and like they were afterthoughts. He wanted to take them out, but the absence of closets would have turned our five bedroom house into a four bedroom house. Not exactly what one should do when relying on real estate appraisals for financing.

I'm about to unveil John's solution to the orphan closets.

A window seat really kind of does the trick. I must admit, a cushion and a few pillows and I can see some reading getting done in this spot on a Sunday afternoon. Or a rainy afternoon, or even a snowy one. 

Our little Butler's Pantry is starting to come to life. The color is just the primer. They will eventually be painted in Farrow & Ball's full gloss Hague Blue.

You can see how it snuggles in this niche between the kitchen and the dining room.
The upper cabinets will have glass doors and the entire alcove walls,
backsplash and ceiling will have wood paneling in the same color. 

I love how the base board on the cabinets is a different scale than the base boards on the walls.

 I think those upper brackets are going to be gone. They built them correctly, but I did my math wrong. The slide out shelves on the bottom are meant to hold liquor bottles which can be pretty tall.

The Living Room mantel built but not installed. I think some additional trim work gets added as well.

Me, not sure what I think of the new mantel. I think I liked it better on paper, but think it is perfectly fine. And am waiting for it to installed before I make my final declaration.

One of our screen doors.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bluestone and other bits

Entrance to the mudroom off of the driveway.

The three large pieces of premium bluestone have been put into place.

The grates are in over the basement egress windows.

Painters were busy at work.

Cabinet sneak peek

A lot of the cabinetry has been delivered but not installed. We couldn't help ourselves taking a peek under the plastic and cardboard that covered things up.

A mish mash of cabinets and appliances sitting in the Family Room

A little sponge hopper under what will be our kitchen sink. Cabinets were painted with Benjamin Moore Smoke Embers.

rubbish and recycling

Slide out shelf from the corner dead space.

This unit will sit on the counter top on the same wall as the wall oven and fridge.
It is the only place where we are having upper cabinets.
Vertical dividers for sheet pans, trays, cutting boards, etc.

Another shot of the vertical dividers, this will be directly above the microwave/oven combo wall oven.
The two big drawers in white behind this cabinet are the base for a window seat going into one of the bedrooms.

Master bath vanity has been installed.

Those holes in the walls are for medicine cabinets which you can see in the next few pictures.

Inside one of the new medicine cabinets.

Not only is this a thing of beauty by it is solid as all get out. So much more so than the Waterworks version it was
modelled on. And at only about 60% of the cost of the Waterworks version. It was even less expensive than a
Restoration Hardware version we were considering.