Thursday, September 13, 2018

Historic Restoration

An eighteenth century room reflects a period when labor was precious, all artifacts produced by hand, and lines of supply were months long. When I married, my grandmother proudly handed me the bill for the first wagon-load of groceries that were delivered to her honeymoon cottage a few miles to the north. It was for a hundred pounds of potatoes and a big sack of flour. As late as the mid-Fifties in a small town to the west, the butcher boy arrived weekly to set a carton of food on her kitchen table.


Lately I've been asking that groceries be delivered to the back porch of this vintage building. The orders complete the restoration of this old house -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Skilled Lighting, Skilled Result

This is obvious but often overlooked: flooding a worktop with light makes a huge difference in product quality. Be conscious of the light source. Different technologies effect different atmospheres. Choose whatever is most suited to a given project. Flood fluorescent light with incandescent to even out the subtle flicker of the cheaper source. Differing qualities of LED have their own virtues. I don't hesitate to switch on the fierce raking light of an incandescent spot if a job seems to call for it. Assess color with a daylight source. Factor in the end user's likely sources of illumination. For a low-tech context, I use florescent, incandescent, daylight, or even sometimes firelight. LED seems made for digital.


In a discussion of the light bulbs that vary in color, a photographer pointed out that it's more effective to warm up a cool interior than to try to cool the visuals in a warm one. He was explaining why he had chosen fluorescent white base paint to refresh a room -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Restless Inventory

If there is even one too many piece of furniture in my abode, I can't stop arranging things. Much of the advice I have read about managing an interior has focussed on how to fit as much as possible into a given space. Now that I have relinquished my choke hold on inventory, the essentials that are left can breathe elegantly in their own situations.

It helps greatly to have seating that folds flat. I use director's chairs, that are comfortable for an amazing range of body types and sizes. Also very useful, and unexpectedly so, are the cheapest and lightest 30"x60" folding tables from an office supply. I disguise the ones that live in the front of the house with long woven king-sized cotton blankets in a neutral color. Visually "bury" a bulky piece by matching the color to the floor.


A couple of months ago I took a plunge and discarded the punishingly uncomfortable innerspring seat cushions of an otherwise elegant 1926 sofa. It took four generations to comprehend that the lines of the thing are traditional French. Steel springs are nineteenth century US. Some weeks of improvising a seat using a self-inflating air mattress from the Great Big Hiking Co-op did not pan out. Gazing idly at the sleek lines of the bare sofa led me to realize that my daydream of gutting it and storing bedding there were not necessary. The seat of an original French canape' was cushioned with an enormous puffy down-filled pillow. Perceiving no essential difference between that and the plumage in bed pillows, I fluffed up a row of four, laid an Oregon Round-up blanket over the whole works, tucked it in to fit the curves, and transformed grandmother's pride and joy into my favorite period of French antique, the latest one, known as Louie Louie. When the weather cools, I'll top the pillow array with a down sleeping bag -30-
More after the jump.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Prop

I wanted to support a wood surface at a convenient angle for a finishing project. I happened across an exercise roller that has ribs like a truck tire. It's just the ticket, and I'm delighted to find another use for it -30-
More after the jump.