A wall to grow on
It recently occurred to me that the rear wall of the master bedroom, facing the stairwell and directly below the skylight, would be an ideal location to install a nice plant wall. Not a heavy duty built-in irrigation kind, but maybe just using some felt wall pockets or something (provided that they can still be watered without amateur acrobatic moves). I sincerely don’t care if these plant walls are all the rave - I’m a sucker for a plant wall. I love all the life and texture they add!
Steel, safety hazards, and stairs
Here’s a view of more deadly sharp steel shelves that we had installed in each of the bathrooms. They look pretty much like giant safety hazards now, but the surrounding sheetrock will conceal them a bit making them more narrow and floating gently from the wall, and the depth of the toilet below will keep them out of head-height (at least, i hope so…)
And the brick along the stairwell is getting cleaned up nicely! This middle portion has been re-grouted too. I like how much discoloration is still left behind. It’s a very very very slow process.
Another view revealed!
The windows were uncovered this past weekend in the master bedroom - they have been boarded up since the project began, and it let in so much additional light into the upstairs level it made me giddy with excitement. I also love this view across the street of this ivy-hugged tree (even in winter).
Some of the tile work began last week in the space behind where the boiler and hot water heater will be installed. One major benefit of buying a house in the condition ours was, and especially in this neighborhood, is that we had free reign to decide where to locate the utilities (which also ultimately helps with flood insurance rates). We decided early on that the boiler and HWH will be sharing the same closet as the pantry and IT services in the kitchen on the main level.
Would you believe that the blocking is already in for the TV as well as a suspended shelf for the center channel speaker?? If you know Ben Krone, you might…
Brick by brick (by brick)
The crew started bricking the rear facade this week, and continued this weekend since we finally got a break in the weather. It’s a slow and laborious process, brickwork, and gives me a new sense of appreciation for all of the giant, beautiful old warehouses surrounding us. Unfortunately we didn’t end up with enough of the original bricks in-tact from the previously demolished rear facade, so we needed to supplement the supply with new bricks — they look drastically different, so we decided to sprinkle them in so the effect will be more ‘salt-n-pepper’ and less ‘receding hair line’.
We have insulation. And drywall! Things feel like they are flying now that we have tough stuff out of the way…
Up against a brick wall
Here are some images of one of the main brick walls along the stairwell we were planning to leave exposed. It’s difficult making the final call to do this for a few reasons: 1) the brick walls will obviously not be insulated, so it’s not ideal for energy consumption; 2) there was a fire in the house sharing this adjacent wall (we think in the 40’s?) which left some soot stains and pulverized many of bricks, causing them to crumble quite easily; 3) fire or no fire, bricks naturally create a lot of dust and necessitate tons of cleaning.
This next image is a sample of what the bricks will look like when the grout is removed and the surface is cleaned a bit. I think after new grout and a matte sealant is applied, we will still try to leave these walls exposed if possible. The look is pretty rough-and-tumble, but I like the contrast against some of the more modern finishes. Plus it expresses the age of the house and I love the idea that this wall was standing during the Arts and Crafts movement!