And the road goes on forever...

Friday, May 8, 2015

The First Reveal

I highly doubt you’ve been waiting with bated breath but such as it is in its unfinished state, I present our humble abode along with comments of explanation. Believe me: at this point this house needs some ‘splaining!

We’ll start out in the back of the house with the baths. We don’t spend a lot of time in bathrooms so spa-like features and vast roominess is not something we felt like spending money on. The main bath is utilitarian with a shower only and a small vanity. I found the mirror in a consignment store and repainted it white but its unusual character gives the bath what little charm it may possess. You will note the missing tank lid; it was broken upon unpacking and we’ve not had time to get in for a replacement as yet. Also the first glass shower surround Marc special ordered did not fit so we have to reorder a different kind; meanwhile we make do with the apartment shower curtain. The light bar was a Blenker leftover and cabinet hardware has yet to be installed. 

The half bath is pretty much my exclusive domain, tiny though it is. I must however share it with one of the cat litter boxes. I have favorite mementos leftover from living at the coast and decided this would be a good place to use them. I am very enamored of my copper sink and trough faucet however. Here you will find another used mirror but this one is antique! There is another Blenker light fixture that is not going to work as yet given the way the wiring was initially done (for sconces) so right now I just look at a hole in the wall until Marc can make another hole in the wall to correct the wiring. I must say it is sure handy living with an electrician though….
The master bedroom photographs small but is actually quite roomy for us at 12x14 feet. I especially like the corner windows, where we eventually hope to have a window seat. Just yesterday I completed the window furnishings using $2 Goodwill starched and ironed linen napkins folded over a simple rod. Those cover pull down roller shades. All in all, the cheapest, easiest window furnishings I’ve ever done. I’ve got some big ideas for this room for décor but the most ill-fated was my purchase of a lovely Belgium linen vintage looking duvet for more money than I care to divulge. Turns out linen and cat claws don’t mix well; hence the $20 TJ Maxx fuzzy blanket serving as a barrier between my beloved cats and my beloved spread. Turquoise wasn’t supposed to be part of the décor equation. To be continued….when I figure out what to do!
For now we’ll skip the hallway, laundry (subfloor, yawning open closet with no shelving or door, washer with its dryer in backwards until Marc figures out how to redo a vent which is on the wrong side and reworks the gas hookup), and the hobby room which currently holds extra unhung doors meant for the basement, unfinished door casing, and paint supplies and another litter box. 

Now we’re into the heart of the house: the great room. For those of you who do not favor an open plan concept you will hate our house because not only are the living, kitchen and dining area combined, most of the kitchen is also on display for you to see what we own. Yup, nothing matches but everything is either something I love or entirely useful, so it works for me. 

Ah, the kitchen. How to begin? I guess you could say this is the bones of a kitchen for what is planned in the future. Right now we have an entirely useful and practical Sam’s Club $100 stainless steel work island which sits 43” high so makes for a very convenient height for tall guys like Marc. The idea is for Marc to eventually build a custom island. Needing more storage than this provided, I decided to snuggle my narrow baker’s rack right up to the back of the island where it now houses the important stuff like wine, five of our Dutch ovens, the potatoes and onions (in baskets). Completing this core work area is our all-important Boos butcher block, THE one kitchen item we’d never again do without after having owned one. Once Marc can get my large pot rack hanging over the end of the work table between the light and the fridge, most of the cooking pots and pans will hang, thus freeing up that bottom shelf for something else. I had planned old crates there for storage, liking the interplay of old wood and industrial stainless, but may decide instead upon things like mixers, blenders, etc. I’m loving the light fixture above the island; you can note that the matching fixture above the table is as yet not completely hung. Those are another cheap Blenker “steal” but really seemed to match in quite well.
Moving to the end of the kitchen you see our LG 5 burner gas stove which operates perfectly and above it my real French antique hook, where I’ve hung my potholders for now. Later before too long I hope, we’ll have a stove hood and maybe two small stainless shelves to the right of the stove where I will store the oils and salt and pepper. You can see it all better in the following photo
The cabinet to the right of the stove holds spices, to the left is the lazy Susan housing everyday grub like cereal and kitty food. You will note a combination of bin pulls and cabinet handles; we are using a combination of both but Marc got waylaid just part way into that job so it remains uncompleted right now. They are rustic and will be really neat when done though….Wrought or rusty iron is kind of one of my things…. 

The space above the kitchen window begged for a new clock and this tin one had metal made to look vintage enough to win my heart. Of course, it sits above the broken kitchen window which has yet to be changed out so remains with its large X written across the top (broken) half. I’ve explained before about our kitchen shelving; we’re using the basic shelving Melamine boards but these will be boxed in to cover the metal supports with a rim of some type of decorative molding, probably painted white. The final effect should appear as floating shelves. I thought I had a ton of shelving but in actuality I guess I owned way more dishes and bowls than I thought because it quickly filled up. The top will remain for decorative items and the coup d’ etat will be to the left of the clock where you see the box in the wall. This is for an electrical plug for our special “To Go” neon sign!!! It will be on a switch for when we want to jazz things up!
Looking frontward you can see our new “used” door; another Blenker cull. Can you see anything wrong with it? Neither could we other than it needing repainting; especially for a $1200 saving. And I love the way it made the front almost all windows. The cats love hanging out here watching the birds.
The living room is in progress with the furniture placement subject to change once it’s all in here. We have an old couch I’m not sure I will be using but if I do it will go beneath the cow head maybe with or without the ottoman/coffee table I made. Meanwhile, my favorite birch bark canoes, the real Pipestone Native American pipe, and 1943 snowshoes are mounted and hung. New furniture has to wait.
Now to the final shots, and the story that goes along with it. Through the gift of a very generous friend many years ago I received a lovely Pendleton blanket. The wool is so finely woven it feels silken rather than scratchy and I had always yearned for a place to hang it. Alas, we were moving into the RV just about the time I got the blanket and one day of trying to use it as a throw and the cat hair that was drawn to it soon had me convinced that I had better put it away. There it languished; inappropriate for a beach retreat and not suitable for RV life. I swore to myself that after 15 years of never being able to enjoy its beauty I would somehow find a way in this house. I may have to build my living room décor around it, but it will have all been worth it to see it hanging in all its vivid magnificence. Don’t you agree?
So, there you have it, a partial reveal of our Western, northwoods lodge, cowboy French country tiny home-ha! There will be more to come of the basement and as we make progress towards completion and I’ve also got some thoughts penned on settling in Wisconsin so don’t miss an episode.