Back to business. Demo was finished, the gross old floors were out, and we had some exciting sections of wall down.
It was amazing how huge the whole place felt now that you weren't moving around through little artificial hallways between the platform and the walls. The kitchen felt like it was twice its size. The ceilings seemed enormous. I was thrilled.
At this point, the process began of building things back in. Again, 85% of the work was just taking out the gross things, so this was minimal. The gist of it was:
- Build a platform back up for the dining area, so we had windows at a normal height somewhere in here, and also the back of the dining area wall was going to be the perfect spot for the TV in the living area.
- Close off the remaining loft from the kitchen and part of the living area, so we still had some hidden storage.
- Build a giant, swanky new library wall. HOTNESS.
When we first began this process, I annoyed my husband (side note: he was just my boyfriend then, technically, but it feels weird to downgrade him now) greatly by making him play my reindeer games that I use for clients who don't know what they want. For people who don't live and die by House Beautiful, it can be a little confusing to try to identify what they might like best in a Matrix-like world of endless possibilities of architecture. They probably have paid very little attention to architecture, as a whole. Me, I have bulleted lists, but I'm special.
So I have a few stock questions to help, based on things most people have spent years developing preferences for: shopping and media. For example: is there a store whose aesthetic you would live in? (if they answer Anthropologie, for instance, you'll do a very different room than if they say Apple) Can you think of any movies whose aesthetic really appeals to you? (Hello, Wes Anderson) How about any favorite album covers?
So I got The Mister to write out a bunch of things a dream house of his might have if money and laws of physics were no object. This is a great exercise, because while it is unlikely I will ever have a Swiss Family Robinson tree house (number one on my own list), it gives a designer some really good insights into what makes you feel at home. To be useful, I wrote a list, too, and then we compared.
We both had 'an English-style library room' on our lists. Well, that I could work with. We had to stick it into a loft space, but we had a giant dramatic blank wall that suddenly seemed to be whispering softly to me "Come on, girl, give me a big-ass floor-to-ceiling shelves. Built in desk. Yeeeah. Paint me dark. You know you want it." And Barry-White-fantasy-wall was right. I did.
Here she is in progress. I chose to have it made in a paint-grade, which is less expensive. Basically, If you want to see stained wood, you'll have a wide variety of rather expensive options, depending on what variety and grain and color you want. If, however, you are using paint, it will be made out of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), which is a compressed board made out of the sawdust from lumber mills. It is very heavy, very smooth, and very reliable. It's not particleboard, which is the ikea crap. Trust. It takes paint very well, it never warps with temperature like wood does, and it's marginally less expensive. MDF was my jam.
You can also see that there are a number of fixed shelves, for stability, and then the large spaces had adjustable shelves made to fit. The large center section behind Leo there is an open area for a desk, and the bottom has doors for closed storage. My cats spend a lot of time trying to paw their way inside those doors now. But they lack thumbs, and so I still win. Always, cats. I will always win with thumbs.
There's the plastic up for the spraying, which was how it got painted. Fancytown. I will save the big reveal for a later post, because I am withholding. But it's good. It's goooood.