Sunday, February 24, 2013

holy aesthetic movement batman!

Dinner smells incredible, and tonight's about the only night there's anything good on tv, so I'll make this short.

First off, grouting's done. Yay.

Second though requires a back story. The first condemned house we had permission to plunder was an incredible Italianate duplex. It was in better condition than our house, and had the most incredible porch which would have provided us with all the columns we needed for our own restoration.

The porch was so rotted it disintegrated on impact, but in the 18 hours we had in the house we were able to save a smorgasbord of goodies. Among these were all the newels and spindles from both staircases. These were used when we rebuilt our back porches. We never thought much about them as they were slathered in paint, but when we had to trim a couple of spindles down to size we realized they were solid mahogany. I literally cried at the thought that we had used them on our porches where they'd be painted and unappreciated - at least mahogany does well outside.
rebuilding in progress

From that point on one of my rules is that anything I plan on painting doesn't get stripped. Sanded and cleaned, not stripped. Needless to say, I almost broke my rule today.

you can see some of the gilding
on the lower right of the white
The corner blocks we're using on the window came out of a brownstone style mansion that would have been at home on any of the best streets in NYC. It was going to be knocked down, but the contractor changed his mind. Although he gutted it, he was saving the best to reuse, but anything damaged he was throwing out. He let us have all the blocks we could pull out of the 2 story trash pile in the backyard, as well as some drawers and beadboard we took out of the kitchen. In cleaning up those corner blocks I stripped the outer layers of paint so the detail reappeared. All the blocks turned out to be more mahogany (figures). Not only that, they were ebonized and gilded
Visions of Whistler's Peacock room are dancing in my head. I mean, we already have the peacock blue washer and dryer right? RIGHT?

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