Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Diane's Office

We just finished remodeling John's office and my office. John's office isn't quite back together yet so we'll save his office for another post. My office mainly got new floors, new windows, new wiring, new lighting, and new drywall in this remodel. The stupid pipe that stuck out of the floor (see earlier post) got rerouted. And in doing that, we had a little surprise. We're on a concrete slab, so John removed some of the slab so the plumber could get to the pipe better. Well, as he was cutting through the slab, he thought it sounded hollow underneath. Not a good sign. Sure enough, once he had cut a big enough hole that he could look under the slab, he could see there was a big hole in the dirt under the slab right there. A big enough hole you could fit a person into. Then he remembered that last year, in redoing the deck, which was right outside that wall, he had found a big hole under the old deck that a squirrel had made. And there had been a tunnel going from that hole towards the stem wall.... Well, the tunnel obviously had led to a big comfy heated squirrel condo under my office! It took 4 wheelbarrowfuls of dirt to fill it in. You could see where the slab had sagged over this hole, but I had never noticed it before. Good thing we found it. John used a lot of floor leveler to fix it. Well, this is the kind of stuff you discover when you remodel an old house!

So - here's a "pre" picture of my office wall from the hallway door-

And here's how it looks now-

I now have much better lighting. The original house had basically no built in lighting. We added track lights for over the desk and work table, and also added globe lights for more overall light. I really like the trio over my work table - all are scavenged from thrift stores and Restores - they are all different sizes, at varying heights -

We ended up going with the same tile floor that we used in the bathroom directly across the hall. It's a fake slate by Mohawk (Ember Forest, Gravura). I like the having the continuity and I also like having a sturdy tile for a workroom / high traffic area (access to our deck is through this room).

And finally - I had had lightweight wood slider closet doors.

I had been happy with these and would have been happy to re-use them after the remodel. But for some stupid reason, they had been cut off at the bottom so they were too short and hung too high above the floor level. The contractor thought we should get new, heavier doors, so I agreed. At first, I just figured they would be a natural wood finish like the others. But then, when I was thinking about painting a wall or two of the room in a bright color, I started wondering about painting the closet doors instead of a wall. Then I started thinking about painting ONE closet door. It seemed kinda weird and the idea got mixed reviews from my friends. I was really going after the look of those cabinet doors in the Kerf ads-

But I really didn't know how it would look with only two doors. Well, we went for it and painted one of each set of closet doors a nice orangey red. And I love it! It adds a lot of color to the room.

And I just saw an article on the trend of mixing natural wood with a color. So I guess I'm right in the groove.... :-)

Then I found this pic of a vintage house, that shows a set of doors, each in a different color (blue and white)! Pretty cool. I will definitely be playing around with door color more when we remodel the 2 bedrooms.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Denver Modernism

We finally made it to a modern show! A friend has been going to the Denver Modernism show for years and it just hadn't worked out for us to go until this year. The timing turned out to be perfect - we had just finished phase 2 of our remodel and wanted to go up to Denver to the new Ikea to buy some bookcases for John's office - so it worked out perfect to go there last weekend.

It was a great little show. Not as many vendors as I would have hoped for, but it was still great fun and the prices were really terrific. The show prides itself on having something for everyone, in all prices ranges, and they were right. We went on opening night, had drinks at the tiki bar, had some fried cereal at Charles Phoenix's booth, caught a little of the Miss Modernism pageant, and did some shopping. The last booth we came to had some vintage Jensen Selig Z chairs that I had always admired. They were in terrific shape and the price was really reasonable. Still, how would we get them home with the Ikea bookcases in the back of the LandCruiser? So - we slept on it but ended up going back and buying them when the show opened on Saturday. Ikea always manages to pack things in impossibly small boxes - so we had no trouble fitting the 2 chairs in the car with 3 Ikea bookcases and miscellaneous other purchases. So we are now the proud owners of 2 Z chairs!

We had a great time in Denver and definitely hope to go to the show again next year. We also toured the Arapahoe Acres area of town (in Englewood), which is a lovely MCM neighborhood. Too bad they didn't have any house tours here, like they did during Modernism weekend last year. We also went to a few antique stores - some on S. Broadway (0-100 block and 1800 block) and a new place, Mid Mod and More, at 1716 Boulder St. It's in a cute little modern house right near downtown. And of course there are the classic modern stores there, Mod Livin' and Zeitgeist, but we skipped those this trip.

We just finished our remodel so will post about that soon. Still putting on the finishing touches though. But in the meantime - here's a few more additions to our vintage collection. First - a goofy little 1950s wire fruit basket I found in Roswell -

And finally, some friends are moving away and cleaning out and gave us their vintage Panasonic Panapet radios! Woo hoo! I love these, I had one as a teenager myself except mine was an orangey-red. It's great to have the pets around.

So stay tuned for remodel news. Sorry about any crazy formatting here, I'm doing this is Google Chrome for the first time and the formatting is not working like it's supposed to!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Remodel Phase 2 Begins

Two years ago we did a major remodel of half of our house. We gutted the whole front half - the living room, kitchen, laundry area, and pantry. We learned that the original wiring from the 1950s was scary, and that the wiring from work since wasn't any better. So we realized that eventually, the rest of the house would need its drywall and paneling taken out too. So - here we are at Phase 2 of the remodel, which will be John's office and my office. Phase 3 will be the guest room and master bedroom and bath. Then the inside will be done except for the guest bath, although it had some of its wiring done in the last remodel.

John's office is in what was originally part of the carport. The roof is very low at that point, and John's office has always seemed a bit...cozy. So, his main objective is to make the space feel bigger. He is removing the walk-in closet which is at one end of his room and adding windows (in addition to ripping the paneling and wiring out on the existing walls). He is also removing the old carpet and putting in click Marmoleum flooring. John has already started demolition, here's our progress so far- here's how his office looked at the beginning- with one little window above his desk (there will be 3 along that wall after the remodel) - the trapezoidal window that will be added is in blue tape on left-

And here's a similar shot after he ripped out the carpet. Edge of closet that is ripped out is on right side of photos. Under the carpet was an old parquet floor in pretty bad shape.

And here is a "before" picture looking from the entry hall into John's office - you see a view of the closet door-

And here is how it looks now, since he tore out the closet last weekend-

His room now seems much bigger and airier already. And here's a final shot of the wall where the trapezoidal window will get added and the other window removed-

Now, on to my office. My office is simpler. Mainly the problem is the carpet and the wiring. But we decided to add another window (see blue tape. Final placement of windows has changed slightly from this.)

And here's what we found under the carpet -

I had forgotten that my office was originally 2 small bedrooms that had been joined into one room at some point. You can see the changes in paneling styles on the wall - half the room has a smooth painted paneling and the other side is grooved paneling and they meet in the middle of the room! Well, under the carpet, you can see the original flooring - one side a checkerboard imitation cork and the other is a charcoal grey with speckles of color. And in the middle, where the wall once was, they have filled in the gap with a variety of flooring.

Also in that wall that got removed in the past is a water pipe that goes outside to a faucet and the drip system. The problem is that it was inside the wall and when the wall was removed, it stuck up out of the floor an inch or two-

To conceal it, they cleverly (?) covered it with a piece of PVC covered with carpet to disguise it- (that's my bookcase to the right of it, I know it's a bit confusing visually)-

Anyway, the plumber is going to have to figure out a solution to this problem because I don't want a pipe sticking up out of my floor! (which is going to be the same slate-looking porcelain tile that we have in the guest bath directly across the hall).

I really don't like this checkerboard tile. The other bedrooms of this house all have different tile. So I don't feel so bad that after the remodel, we will have a bit of variety in flooring also.

The contractor (the same one we used last time) will start in 3 or 4 weeks so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we'll continue demolition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

San Diego Modern

We spent last weekend in San Diego. Had originally planned to go to the Cincinnati modern show but just couldn't quite bring ourselves to fly north in the middle of winter. So we headed to sunny southern California instead. It turned out there are quite a few midcentury modern shops in the area, so we got our midcentury fix. For anyone else planning a trip there, I just thought I'd list them for you.

All of the following deal in original vintage furniture-

Along Park Blvd.-

The Atomic Bazaar
3816 Park Blvd.
Wed-Sat 12-6
Sun 12-5

Mid-Century Design
3795 Park Blvd.
Wed-Sat 12-6
Sun 12-4

3789 1/2 Park Blvd.

Near Little Italy and only a few blocks from where you pick up your rental car from the airport-

989 W. Kalmia St.

Boomerang for Modern
2475 Kettner Blvd.
Mon-Sat 11:30-5

There is also a nice little antique mall on Kettner -

Antiques on Kettner
2400 Kettner
Closed Tues, open 10-6 Wed-Mon

And there is a fabulous architectural salvage place on Kettner as well. Didn't see anything very modern but a great place for architectural/ design junkies to visit nevertheless-

Architectural Salvage
2401 Kettner
Tues-Sat 10-6
Mon, Sun 11-5

And one new place dealing in contemporary modern stuff-

2210 Kettner Blvd.

And one last place, a teeny little store in a different neighborhood but with cool vintage stuff-

Nest Vintage
830 25th St.
Tues-Sat 11-7
Sun 12-5

Happy shopping!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Planner Group Catalog

I grew up with quite a bit of Paul McCobb's furniture from the Planner Group. We had a coffee table, two end tables, a drop lid desk, and some bookcases (with and without the sliding glass doors). The coffee table and end tables were given away a few years ago but mom still had the desk and bookcases. The desk was sitting in the garage and we nabbed it a few months ago. She had thought she had saved the original brochure (she saves everything) but we had been unable to find it. However, I was back visiting last week and we came across it. Pretty cool to see the original catalog of all the designs, with some prices that my dad had scribbled in. I have scanned the whole brochure and am posting it here for anyone who wants to study it. Enjoy! You should be able to click on each picture to be able to read the fine print.

These last two are part of a big foldout and overlap a bit - sorry -