Tag Archives: walnut flooring

ice storm house … finishing touches


stepping stonesThe house that just a year ago looked like it was ripped out of the movie The Ice Storm, or the 1970s in general, is almost through its remodel.   I skipped a portion of construction with sheetrock, exterior work, etc…to this 11th hour.  Approaching now a more prominent -and 0bvious– entry to the house on concrete pavers and plantings that will eventually fill out the gravel gaps.  You can barely make out orange peels on the front stoop, from a Feng Shui house-blessing that had just taken place. stone tile foyerThe 12×24 stone pavers on the front stoop continue in to the entry to create a mud zone to take off your shoes, and transitions to the walnut throughout the house.  living room doorsA view through the main hall past the kitchen to the sunken living room beyond. The glass panel rails continue from the first floor to the third. glass railingsThe glass rails are finished with a wood cap to match the floors. 3 sided fireplaceThe living room doors and sidelights, next to a peninsula fireplace that straddles the steps to the dining room.  Let’s turn around and look back toward the front door.  That’s a weird red thing smoke detector on the ceiling. (I really just wanted to use the ‘strike’ feature, which seems to only allow red text. WTF?) walnut stairsA small powder room near the entry was tiled in a black basket-weave pattern from Ann Sacks, to give guests something interesting to look at other than their reflection.  (there’s a small mirror to the right)basket weave tileThe dragon sink below was selected by my clients’ son for his bathroom, so we used a lot of blue in that room to match. The cabinet is dark blue but it’s hard to tell in this photo..dragon sinkblue bathroomTheir daughter’s bathroom shower has ‘Ming Green’ marble tiles also from Ann Sacks, and white / greige on other walls and floor. I like this bathroom scheme the best of the four in the house…green tileThe master bathroom is dark, with a recycled concrete tile by ‘Revolv’ on one shower wall that reminds me of old 45 records. The bench was covered in a countertop material at the urging of the contractor even though I’d called for 24×24 tiles from the same line as the floor mosaics, but he insisted, warning of potential leaks (!?). Form vs function as always!  record tilesLooking down from the master bedroom balcony to the patio below. The exterior design was a collaboration with my friend Jared Vermeil – visit his site here. Jared actually introduced me to this project – a huge thank you to him! patio gardenThere is a water feature, gas firepit, bench seating and planted area at the patio. Steps lead down to the rear yard with a small wood deck and meditation hut. The sharp angle of the patio is taken off the rear property line.  As for that glowing orange wood, I’m not happy with the color, and I can’t wait for the elements to tone it down to something more soothing. Good thing it’s south-facing – bring on the UV! twin peaksEven from the first floor, the view to the backside of Twin Peaks is pretty sweet. This is an enviable outdoor space that will see many parties in years to come, hopefully I’ll be invited to one or two : )   — more to come, once I get it pro photographed and up on the website.


Filed under 1980 house

lightwell house


front This house built into a hill in the mid 1950s had a common layout where the entire living area is on a single floor above a garage and unfinished basement first floor. Upon entering the basement level, everyone was surprised to find 14′ high ceilings! An exterior stair is all that connected the two levels.  concrete retaining wallThe high ceilings result from this concrete retaining wall that was in place when the house was built in the 50s. concrete wallWith all the height the homeowner wanted to finish the area into a master bedroom suite, laundry room and new interior stair. The project was divided into two phases; the kitchen, stair and laundry room in phase I and master suite in phase II.  lightwellThis laundry room and lightwell would be eliminated to locate the new staircase. brick belowHere’s the underside of the existing terrazzo stairs – we had to break through one of the brick walls for a doorway in the new first floor layout, but the other wall was left exposed in the new laundry room. kitchen studsThis is the demolished kitchen. Behind plywood is the old lightwell.  The roof was about 3′ above the ceiling, so we raised the ceiling in the new kitchen. new landingDownstairs the new staircase approached the garage ceiling before the hole was cut in the floor above. That’s the new stair landing at the top of the ladder. stair stringerThe upper run completed the framing. new stairA view from the top of the new stairs near the kitchen.  walnut stairsSkipping ahead, here’s a view up the lower run of stairs from the basement hallway.  The first floor will have walnut flooring so we continued it up the stairs, while the existing second floor has oak floors. walnut slatsThe giant, ugly return-air grille would have to be located at the landing, so I decided to clad the walls with wood slats to obscure it.  Air can pass through the slats as it needs to, and you don’t have to see a metal grille on a sheetrock wall. from kitchenHere’s a view looking from the kitchen toward the new staircase with display shelves and a skylight above. The stair is located where the laundry room and lightwell used to be.  More to come!

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Filed under lightwell house