Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mid-Century Ranch Bathroom Remodel: Framing and Sheetrock

These projects always take longer than you think. Our first problem arose when we installed our bath and it happened to be about an inch and a half too short. Since it's probably not a real good idea to have large gaps in between your tub and the walls, we had to nail furring strips to all of the framing to reconcile the difference. Problem solved.

Next, the shower and bath faucets that we ordered from lightinthebox.com (never again) took 3 weeks to be shipped. They were then seized at customs and held for several days somewhere in Germany. The helpful staff at lightinthebox told me to call the German customs office to see if I could speed up the process. Ridiculous. We had been holding off on sheetrocking until the mixing valve arrived so we could modify the plumbing. Meanwhile, we framed in the shower niche and reinforced some other areas in which stuff would be hung. We added the new outlet and finished all our electrical work...and we were still waiting. 

When it FINALLY arrived, we tore open the boxes only to find that the shower head was chipped. Guh. There was no way we were about to send it back seeing as it would delay the project weeks. Instead, we began the process of adapting our 50+ year old plumbing to a modern system. Ha. Twenty trips to home depot later we had all the right parts and put together the plumbing. We mounted the new shower pipe a foot higher so my 6'2" husband will actually be able to stand underneath it.  Then, the big test. While Eric turned the water back on I chewed off all my nails in anticipation, waiting to hear a leak....and...the silence was golden. It felt like the first time something had actually gone right. 

the tub is in!

framing in the shower niche

hardiebacker installed on floor

It barely looked like anything had been done at this point, but it was a very happy day when we were ready to install the insulation and visqueen barrier over the framing and get ready for sheetrocking! We had installed greenboard (mold/moisture resistant sheetrock) in our powder room. Messy but pretty easy to work with. However, we decided to use hardiebacker (cement board) around the shower which is a.) ridiculously heavy and b.) ridiculously impossible to cut although it claims to be "score and snap." This stuff was a NIGHTMARE to work with but will be worth it in the long run. Once the cement board was up, we test fitted the shower arm just to find it, very noticeably, drooped. We had to UN-INSTALL the cement board to fix the pipe. While Eric was fixing it, he accidentally hit the faucet, causing water to shoot out in all directions and soak the bathroom....and us. Wonderful. We sopped up all the water, made sure the pipes weren't leaking and reinstalled the cement board.

insulation and visqueen membrane installed

hardiebacker and sheetrock installed on the walls

starting to look like a room again! 
And...we're finally ready for mudding and taping! Yahoo. Unfortunately, this meant that we spent the next week covered in a fine layer of white dust from all the sanding. Not a fun stage. Especially when you don't have a shower to clean up. Hose showers work too...they're just not nearly as pleasant...especially in October. After the final sanding we inspected the walls to make sure there were no visible seams, nail holes or any other imperfections. We slapped on 2 coats of primer and voila...ready for paint!! 

three layers of joint compound and hours of sanding FINALLY done!

two coats of primer dry!  ready for paint!
More to come...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mid-Century Ranch Bathroom Remodel - The Plan

I just finished the design plan for the main bathroom remodel in our mid-century ranch. We weren't exactly planning on undertaking a project of this magnitude with a baby just around the corner and an enormous Halloween party to plan. But, that's the way life goes. A clog in the sink led to a hole in the wall, which led to the decision to just gut the whole bathroom and start from scratch. So here we are.

The culprit: 

Below are a few pics of the current bathroom.

The problem(s): 

1. Not enough storage! I'm sure all women can agree with me..we come with a lot of "stuff." Bottles and perfumes and make-up and hairdryers really take up a lot of space. We are planning to install an IKEA godmorgon cabinet with two very spacious drawers along with a medicine cabinet. In addition, we are adding a custom, double shelved niche in the shower. All my "stuff" will be neatly tucked away..out of site, out of mind. Yahoo!

2. No plugs. Our house was built in 1954, which I guess gives it a valid excuse for not having outlets in the bathroom. But, not a good enough excuse. I've grown rather tired of using an extension cord strung from the bedroom to the bathroom to dry and curl my hair. Nightmare. Time for a change.

3. Water damage. I mean everywhere. This bathroom was recently "remodeled" before we moved in...whoever did it had absolutely no idea what they were doing. We are rebuilding the shower with cement backer board and several kinds of waterproofing materials, replacing all the drywall with green board AND installing a bathroom fan JUST to make sure we don't have problems in the future. (I'm a little nervous about cutting a hole in the roof...might seek some professional help for that one)

4. Outdated.  Plastic shower surround? Yuck. Linoleum floor? Yuck. Brass hardware? Yikes. Time for a face lift.We are tiling the shower surround with modern, white 4x12 subway tiles and replacing the floor with a gray/silver honed travertine. We will be painting the walls a very subtle shade of gray and adding some bright pops of yellow for contrast.

The design solution: 

Here's the plan. Pretty, isn't it?

Now..time for demo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Portland Farmhouse

Every so often a project comes along where you get to work on a design at its inception. So excited for my latest project outside of Portland. My clients are building a custom farmhouse on a 10 acre piece of property. The floorplan was pretty much in place, but the clients needed help making their vision of a northwest farmhouse, a reality. Wise Design will provide interior schematic design and space planning services, assistance in selecting all interior finishes, cabinetry/custom casework, fixtures, lighting, etc.

existing property

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mid Century Modern Hardware

Titan Escutcheon Plate, Rejuvenation 
First off..a quick vocabulary lesson. "Escutcheon" is actually the proper name from the little plate that surrounds your door knob. See how many useful things you learn in architecture school?

Rejuvenation just released a series of, to-die-for,  iconic mid-century modern hardware. I want this pretty piece (above) to bless my front door. With a hefty $228 price tag, I'll have to start saving my pennies...
Atlas Escutcheon Plate, Rejuvenation

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Moroccan Inspired Living & Dining Room

I prepared a design plan for a client moving into a darling house in Multnomah Village. She loved eclectic furniture and wanted a Moroccan vibe in the new space. The interior was previously painted a grass green which was overwhelming to the eye. I chose to extend the blue from the kitchen into the dining room to create a focal backdrop. The rest of the walls were painted a warm gray, providing a neutral backdrop to set against all the fun furnishings. Enjoy!

living room: before

living room: after

proposed floor plan

living room rendering

living room furniture selections

dining room rendering

dining room furniture selections

Thursday, May 5, 2011

the perfect office chair

I am in the middle of an ongoing search for the perfect office chair. I'm looking for a perfect balance between form and function, style and comfort.  It's no easy task. Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite office chairs. Which one would you pick?

the eames management chair. always a classic. simple, elegant and iconic. would make a beautiful addition to any office.

knoll generation chair. RIDICULOUSLY comfortable and flexible.  it's completely customizable so you can personalize it to your space. for comfort alone, this is your guy.

freedom saddle w/ex high piston - prima leather. a little unconventional , but give it a try, you'll be surprised. uses an ergonomic "saddle posture", which reduces pressure points and allows you to be close to your work.  adjustable seat and foot ring makes this perfect for drafting. plus, it can be slipped out of sight under a desk.  

blue dot's "real good chair"  love the name. this chair is ikea-esque in it's assembly .  it's laser cut, powder coated steel panels are assembled to create a sleek modern, yet surprisingly comfortable chair. and, it has cute instructional video entitled "Mr. Squirrel Assembles a Real Good Chair".

ah, the verner panton chair. this chair is SO versatile. i have four of them and am constantly moving them around.  2 are now in my studio on either side of my drafting table. they are comfortable to sit and work in for hours on end. 

philippe stark's hula hoop chair by vitra. in an array of colors, these chairs will add style to your office in no time. the chair gets its name from a tilting mechanism that allows the user to lean  forward, backward and sideways making it both flexible and comfortable. 

i had to throw this one in by the bourellec brothers, who i adore. they are the masters of the unconventional , pushing boundaries with each and every designs. the workbay chair was designed to protect users visually and acoustically from distractions..like blinders for a horse. unfortunately, it still doesn't help with facebook distractions.

Well, that's all folks. What's your vote? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Georges Rousse: Anamorphic Art

Before I say anything about the artist, just have a close look at these photographs.

 Now look again. 

French photographer, George Rousse combines his love of architectural photography with painted installations to create these mind bending illusions. He paints distorted shapes in old abandoned buildings based on digital renderings of the photographs he takes. By viewing these installations from a particular vantage point, these incredible optical illusions are created. The painted shapes appear to be a floating, flat plane on the space. This type of art is known as anamorphic art.  What an inspiring way to take unused buildings and transform them into stunning, ephemeral works of art. Below is a short DVD trailer of his film - Bending Space: Georges Rousse and the Durham Project. 


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Art Nouveau Art + Architecture

I was so happy when apartment therapy posted a Quick History of Art Nouveau today. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/retrospect/quick-history-art-nouveau-142976

I'm a HUGE fan of the Art Nouveau movement. What's even cooler is that I'm going on a trip to Central Europe with my husband and two of our friends. Among the many Art Nouveau attractions, we'll hit the Mucha Museum in Prague, and architect, Josef Hoffman's buildings in Vienna.

I am drooling over this interior by Victor Horta in the Hotel Tassel in Brussels ...too bad Belgium is not on the itinerary! Caption: It's alliiivveee!!