Sunday, March 22, 2015

Now We're Getting to the Fun Stuff

Exciting things are happening at the farm house these days.  The pace of our work progress has quickened now that the days are longer and we don't have to retreat home to the hot tub early due to the cold.  With these warmer days, and with Brandon's spring break, we were able to tackle a project we've been looking forward to for a long time.  Over a year ago, Brandon ordered ten glass blocks, which have been patiently waiting nestled in their boxes all this time.  This week, we finally got to put them in play.  

We got the idea of using the glass blocks when we realized how much we liked being able to see the sunlight coming through the upstairs windows from downstairs, in the dining room.  We could see this light because we didn't have any drywall installed yet in the gap between the upstairs floor and the sloped dining room and kitchen ceiling.  We though it would be nice to capitalize on this added light above the beam and posts we built to support the upstairs floor, which is in place of the termite devoured wall that used to be there.   In the picture above, Brandon is standing on a tall ladder in the dining room, placing the blocks in the gap.  Notice how all the electric wires that branch off to the many lights and outlets run along the top near the ceiling.  

This is the view of the blocks being installed from upstairs.  When upstairs, the light from the dining room window, below, shows through the glass, which is in the wall, on the floor.

We spent quite a bit of time trying various arrangements with the blocks and finally settled on using them all in a row, centered between the two posts.  The posts, by the way, are no longer just four by fours, but have been dressed up a bit with some carpentry, to be much more substantial and attractive columns.  

Here you can see one of the columns from the vantage of the living room.  The columns are ten inches by eight inches, and the entire room divider takes on a bigger presence now that the columns are built.  

Once the blocks were installed, we covered all the butt ends of boards that could be seen underneath with a broad board, and figured out how to create a shallow chase for all the electric wires above.  

In the midst of all this carpentry, I couldn't hold out any longer and just had to turn out the lights downstairs so I could see if we were going to get the effect we were hoping for.  It works!  All of a sudden our room divider beam is so fancy!  I didn't get to admire it for very long though, since Brandon seemed to think having the lights on was important for his work.  

No problem, I turned the lights on downstairs so he could keep working, and admired the glass blocks from upstairs while I had the lights off.  It's a very nice effect up there too.  

We were pleased with the glass, and the covering of the electric wires, but somehow the broad board under the glass blocks didn't seem finished.  It needed something... something like... a shelf! Eureka!  We added a ten inch shelf, which will be perfect place to display some of our sculptural objects.  

I took this photo from the stairs.  The shelf and beam remind me of a fireplace mantel.  We built a giant mantel in our dining room.  Cool.  

Not only did we make giant leaps with the columns, glass blocks, and electric wire chase, we have also nearly completed the drywall spackling, and created some beams in the kitchen ceiling that cover the transitions between the different levels.  

The beams are made with one by fours, and they look perfect to me.  I can even imagine putting hooks in them for hanging pots and pans in the kitchen.  I love it that we are now working on projects that are inspiring my imagined organization and decoration.  This is the fun stuff, for sure.  


MA said...

Looking good!

Anonymous said...

That looks great! We should have you guys over to do our "finish work." I think the over-all look is rather Arts and Crafts, with an emphasis on Arts... as is appropriate.


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