To the untrained eye, there isn’t a lot going on that hasn’t already been going on for the last several weeks. Oh wait, what’s this? This is new.
All that rubble in the front yard is from the basement. They began excavating now that the foundation is complete, and there was a brick wall and a brick support tower that needed to go – to make room, of course, for the work of this ridiculously loud machine. I think its a conveyor belt of sorts.
It looks bad, but its all very good. The foundation walls are 100% brand new now, and those mounds are simply sand piles that need to go. Both the engineer and the city inspector came by this week and we are told everything is in good order. Here is a random shot of the now-hallway which will become a powder room and a pantry for the kitchen, effectively sealing off this space. The window will be located in the powder room, so we need a good lighting plan to illuminate the hall and foyer.
Fortunately, our designer Kate developed a promising plan that was seconded and third-ed by our project leads. I wasn’t able to contribute much to these decisions because electrical is a little (o.k. wayyy) out of my depth. And I have to say, it was difficult to sign off on something I had little concept of or control over. Actually, one of the things I have found very challenging throughout this renovation has been learning to give up control. Some of the obvious elements beyond our control were the myriad structural problems we uncovered, but our lack of control also extends to less dramatic (but not less important) decisions affect our day to day life like the placement of outlets, the spacing of pot lights, and the direction a door swings.
D. encourages me to “let go” of these elements because my lack of expertise frustrates me and causes me stress, but I just can’t seem to! The matter is complicated by the fact that I have been responsible for pointing out – I won’t call them “errors” – but “oversights” on a few occasions, so I feel darned if I do and darned if I don’t. We have this amazing opportunity to do everything completely right just this one time which makes all this stuff Actually Very Important. But I digress. Electrical will be fine, lighting will be fine, and life will most certainly go on if I have to walk six paces instead of four to switch on a lamp…right?
In any case, I was able absorb some knowledge about creating a lighting scheme after conversing with Andy on the matter. And, uh… apparently “dimmers are NOT a lighting plan!!” I don’t know why I find this so funny, I guess because I don’t quite understand it. I am actually really thankful for the passion I seemed to elicited on the subject of lighting, but who knew?
Pot lights have become a bit of a hot button issue between the designer, Andy and myself. Andy doesn’t have time for them, Kate likes them and I think I do – again, I’m not the expert here. So when asked what kind of entertaining I do, and whether I would prefer low light to bright light, I cheerily responded that it probably wouldn’t matter since everything would be on a dimmer anyhow. I think this was the wrong answer. Shadows, I learned, are as important as what is illuminated. And having this explained to me using a drum metaphor was kind-of the highlight of my week. But back to the dimmers. To assuage the comic in me, I am going to take this quote and file it in my mental cabinet along with some other gems that have emerged since we began, like this one D. and I use to jokingly describe the effect we are hoping to achieve:
(note: must be said with maximum seriousness to achieve desired hilarious effect)
“We’re thinking nautical, coastal chic, but none of this Fisherman’s Wharf garbage. More like Cape Cod, more Hyannis.” Ha!
Or how about this one describing a Thomas Paul pillow that I read in a magazine once: “Finally, something in a lobster print that isn’t tacky tourist ware.” Finally!?? As though it were the second coming! Hilarious!
“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born” – W.B. Yeats.