08 September 2011

Piano for S

In just less than a year, Savannah has come a long way in her piano lessons. I'm so proud of her that she can already read music better than I can. Sometimes I try to imagine where she'll be in one more year of piano lessons. Anyway, the time had come when her keyboard was holding her back. The keys aren't touch sensitive and there were no pedals. But the dilemma for us is that in our open contemporary house, there are very few interior walls. Add that to the fact that we heat two floors of our house with a woodstove and we have a recipe for disaster for a real piano. Fortunately, we discovered that the electronic pianos have really come leaps and bounds in the past few years and without strings and hammers, they aren't as sensitive, requiring even humidity and temperature year round.

So Savannah finally received a more suitable practice piano and it even comes with a view of the garden and pond, something a regular piano couldn't have. She enjoys the pedals and the three levels of touch-sensitive keys and we enjoy the sound of her playing. I don't know how long she'll continue her piano lessons, but I hope it's for a long, long time to come.

04 September 2011

Busy bee me

I know it seems like I let a time slip by without posting much. Summers are challenging because they are so busy. One of my projects has been renovating the guest/project room. It is a small bedroom and I needed a project room much more than we needed a guest bedroom so even though it took me two years to do it,  I finally sold our super-comfy queen size bed that didn't fit in the room no matter how you tried to arrange it. And then I built two more to fit into the space (yes two more!)

This is the XL Full daybed I built with a Full-size trundle beneath it - two beds in a smaller space. I already love how the smaller beds have transformed the space in the room. I also made the drapes and pillows (after all this room is also my project room!)

The dresser is an antique yellow pine one that I fell in love with at an antique show in Boston and have had ever since. I wouldn't dream of painting it antique white to "match". I like the Bohemian look to this room.

Kevin helped by finally replacing the closet doors in this room. They had to be removed during the radiant floor-retrofitting, but that was two years ago... The quilt on my design board is the most recent one I've completed.

On the other side of the room is my somewhat organized, always in use, sewing space. I built this desk as a Christmas present to myself last December but it's been in use from the day the paint dried so I've never taken a photo of it. I custom-built it 2" lower than average so it suits my height perfectly (no more stretching my toes down like a child to reach the sewing machine pedal!)

I've tried to make the most of the space by adding shelving to store fat quarters, peg board to keep my sewing tools within reach and a fabric covered design bulletin board for my lists and ideas.

On the corner wall I painted a pair of thread-holding racks and mounted them to keep my thread with reach as well. The sewing desk is large enough to accommodate both my serger and my regular sewing machine at the same time and for large projects, I can pull the table away from the wall to let the fabric drape over the other side as I'm sewing. Forms follows function is the motto of this room.

01 September 2011

Laundry renovation

When we first moved into this house, the laundry was in the basement, crowded in the mechanical room where we needed to put a whole house water filter and mini-furnace for the radiant floor. So we moved the washer and dryer upstairs, to a hallway in the master suite area. After the move, I really wanted to put cabinets up but there was a window, our only window for that area nearly flush with the wall and cabinets would have blocked half of it. I finally settled on open air shelving.

I'm glad I finally finished this project. I had cabinet-grade plywood ripped to 15.5" strips for wide shelves and painted them to match the trim in the room. The baskets on top (one is missing) hold little used items like candles and light bulbs (with the new energy-efficient bulbs, it seems we never have to change a bulb!) And the basket on bottom holds the things we use for doing laundry like stain removing mineral spirits, etc. Now it's easy to clean off the tops of the washer and dryer and they don't collect trinkets like rocks and acorns and coins from people's pockets.

I am still considering add a small ruffle curtain beneath the bottom shelf to hide the outlets but at the moment I kind of like the cold, utilitarianness of it. (Did I mention laundry is not my favorite chore?)

Utiliarianism, in architecture:
  1. The belief that the value of a feature is determined by its utility.
  2. The aesthetic of exposing necessary materials and features, such as metal or heating pipes, which are normally included in a design for their utility rather than their aesthetic appeal.