Saturday, 19 February 2011

The staircase at Mister W's house will soon be in ours!

It is still unclear what happened to dear Mister W, our crotchety old neighbour from across the street. We are not sure whether he passed away or if he has moved to an old age home. We like to think that it is the latter. But either way, we miss him. His house has been sold to a very well mannered, flashy young man who drives an Audi Q7. Seemingly the vehicle of choice for the newer residents of the Small Street.

We still aren't sure whether the young man's intentions towards Mister W's house are honourable or not. Meaning, we suspect that he is a flipper. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just that we are used to folks who really love their houses. According to my mum, his direct neighbour and one of the Small Street's legion of Mata Haris, he plans on completely stripping the house and turning it into a modern city dwelling. Which after seeing the estate agent photos of Mister W's historically bereft, multi-vinyl floored house, actually makes a lot of sense.

The one original feature left in the house is the staircase. And guess what? Its OURS! We are still pinching ourselves. The FYM (flashy young man), having no use for such antiquities, has actually given it to us. We had originally planned to have our spindles and banister copied once we opened up the wall on the middle floor. But this is even better! Okay the spindles are not the same design as ours, but these elements are a part of the Small Street's history. And every time we pass the middle floor landing that little quirk will be a reminder of our dear departed neighbour. It will be Mister W's legacy.

A staircase is a strange thing to inherit but we couldn't be happier. Yes, we will have to modify it a bit as the banister currently runs at an angle and for our purpose it will need to be horizontal. The spindles will probably have to be cut and there will be of course (oh joy!) more paint stripping. But in the end it will all be worth it. A piece of Mister W will live on in the Tall House.

Our top floor landing.
This is the banister and spindles that we were going to have copied.

What the middle floor landing looks like now.

We can't wait to knock down that wall!

Hopefully, it will look something like this when we are done.

Photo Canadian House and Home

Friday, 4 February 2011

The kitchen (minus the switch plates)

Ze back splash

The closet doors minus the hardware and the mirrors in the openings

When the subject of renovations comes up, we are invariably asked "Have you finished yet?". No phrase in the english language seems more foreign to me than those four words. Yes, we are living in the whole house, and yes we have made great strides since we bought the place over three years ago. We have beautiful top and main floors. We are so far thrilled with the results. But we are far from finished yet.

Forget that there is a list as tall as the house of things that need to be done (not to mention two whole floors, the façade and the backyard). We honestly don't want to be finished. The process is too enjoyable.

The house is more than just our home. It is our hobby. Heck, it is even our passion. Call us kooky, but we are in love with a pile of bricks.

So naturally compromise isn't an option. This is why we still have not yet settled on tiles for the front vestibule. Having had our heart set on those ogee shaped marble tiles, we are having a hard time changing gears. So until we find a worthy replacement, a lovely murky grey industrial carpet is there to greet us.

But we have been moving forward. The marble subway tiled backsplash is now in place. The ceramist charged a paltry $64 (and a bottle of olive oil) for 4 hours work. Making it more than worth the wait. The coat closet doors have also been installed and painted. And if I do say so myself, they look smashing. We have sourced out a glass merchant for the mirrors in the door openings as well as a company that will restore the old hardware.

And of course we've already started thinking about the next projects. The three most likely candidates are properly insulating the basement. Prepping, priming and painting the stair risers and trim. And most thrilling of all, taking down the wall by the stairs on the middle floor and installing new spindles and a banister. So stay tuned.

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