Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Shell

I'm told San Francisco requires home owners to preserve the Victorian exteriors of their property. Prosperous buyers are gutting the places and finishing them minimally with lots of stainless steel.
What makes sense for one property might not make sense for another. It depends on the condition of the original design. Over the last ten years I have found that debriding dormant inventory works miracles of efficiency in this interior that was built in 1890.

Recently an acquaintance confirmed my all too recent perception that my place is eighteenth rather than nineteenth century in design. She recalled visiting a house owned by an aunt who lived in Boston across the street from the monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill. Karen said my rooms resemble the ones she enjoyed as a child.

Interestingly, over the decades I've been arranging furniture in this place, I have consistently found that eighteenth-century design and minimal, or more aptly essential, furnishing are the most joyful to use and manage. A room containing only necessities that are light enough to move here and there to take advantage of natural illumination and changing use is in actuality many rooms in one. Dedicate space on each floor of the house to store the small amenities that clog activity if left lying around -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Ain't All Hardship

One of the joys of integrating the ten essentials of field survival (see The Great Big Hiking Co-op website) into daily life comes from realizing that high-end clothing marketed to winter wardrobes is the most efficient at conserving heat. Velvet, for example, is fake fur with a very low nap. Even synthetic velvet is comfortably warm, and, in Seattle's climate, a four-season fabric.

At the moment, the mid-range designer who markets simply cut co-ordinated clothing out of a shop across from Seattle's own Great Big Northern European Clothing Chain has two trouser designs on sale that are well-suited both to urban dress and emergency evacuation. One is merino wool and the other silk satin. The prices are comparable to field wear and the range of use far broader -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When Pajamas Are Dress For Success

Support working at home with consciously considered storage. I account it as a labor cost. I like to minimize the number of physical variables I have to contend with. To that end, the following systems have proved irreplaceable.

Legally acquired commercial grade dairy crates are in-boxes for everything. "Metropolitan" epoxy-coated wire storage shelving is versatile, compact, and self-cleaning. It is modular with museum-quality storage boxes and dairy crates. Use the heavy-duty castors that double the cost of the unit. Account them as cost of space and labor.

Ordinary aluminum-shaded clamp-on shop lights with Bakelite sockets support the pricey halogen light bulbs that transform any space into a supportive shop or studio.

Invest in a HEPA air filter and nylon entry matting to slash housecleaning. Remove street shoes at the door to isolate 97% of the dust that would otherwise be tracked through the interior.

Top it all off with the most recent edition of Getting Things Done, and you're good to go -30- More after the jump.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Fruit Salad

For fast food at home, it's hard to better a simple dish of fresh and dried fruit dressed with lemon juice and seasoned, perhaps, with grenadine and a judicious amount of minced ginger. Prunes and slivered almonds are synergistic. Add soft fruit like banana and strawberry at the last minute and serve with a little shortbread on the side -30-
More after the jump.