Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Renovating Remotely

I'm not complaining, far from it. I have been living it up singing with St. Petersburg Opera Company in their production of Elixir of Love. The new year has been good to me artistically and physically. I have had the opportunity to step away from 24-7 work on the house and have been singing and also training for the Moab's Red Hot 50/33k. If you aren't familiar with this crazy potential catastrophe of a race, you aren't alone. I only heard of it this past year, 2016. Before my father was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we had planned to go hiking through Arches National Park together. After a rocky relationship, I felt like we were beginning to connect as adults, building something we could both feel good about. Then life screwed the pooch. He passed in a matter of months and no one was prepared for him to go. He was one of the most active, fit and healthy people I have ever known. He was on Portland Mountain Rescue Team for heavens sake. This man cycled like a speed demons and flew through the air on just his feet. His love for the mountains and adventure was spiritual. I have always loved running but never pushed myself in the way that is now necessary to complete this race. I feel I owe it to myself to go to Moab, and commune with nature, and loss. So I'll be sharing this awesome run with my other dad, my step dad who is also an amazing man and athlete, and whom I feel super lucky to have in my life and to bond with over sweat and tears. Well shit. That didn't go anywhere near the direction I intended to take it. Here. Look at the puppy.

Now look at the awesomeness that is the scenery on my runs here in St. Petersburg, FL.

And now back to the scheduled program. Yes. Renovating remotely. I didn't think it possible to have more doubts or to second guess myself more, OR to obsess more. I now have hours to obsess. Did I mention I am training for an ultra trail race? Weekly long runs (18-22 miles) offer up HOURS of distraction free obsession time. Even more when I can't manage to get my legs to move any faster than a sloppy trot. Thankfully I decided to anticipate a few things before leaving town. I took the master bedroom closet measurements to The Container Store along with my plan. Someone assisted me there and put it all into their system, sourcing the components and there I let it sit until their yearly Elfa sale kicked off. It would have been cheaper to build it all myself from lumber, but there were two obstacles to this plan. 1) There are some crucial studs missing in the walls. The lesson here, is you can't do anything other than watch the contractors while they are working. The walls missing the studs I need to easily mount a clothes rod, are new walls. Indeed, the newly framed closet does not include strategically placed studs. I blame myself for not thinking to ask for this, instead I just assumed a plan and drawing of the closet would do. I know, I know, assuming makes an... you know. 2) Time. I am short of it and boy does the idea of having something completely measured, cut and ready to assemble appeal to me right now. We are two years deep into living like animals and I am ready for anything to end it. I want to unpack for heavens sake. The box marked "Christmas Gifts 2015" kills me every time I run across it. So with no further ado, the closet plans:

It isn't the easiest to decipher, but just trust me, it will be awesome; a small walk in closet in NY with double shelves up top for out of season storage, a tower of shoe shelves, drawers for Christopher's clothes (I prefer a dresser), a place in the actual closet for my performance gowns (as opposed to stashed in other random closets throughout the house), a valet rod, a spot for a rolling laundry bin and a slim step ladder to reach all the glorious upper storage! Gasp! The trigger was pulled. Elfa went on sale and it is all now delivered and hanging out in our bedroom waiting for me to return home and install it. 

The electricians have been working on the house as well. Christopher has been awesome with the video calls, helping lay out locations for our floor outlets in the two bedrooms along our masonry party walls. The electric is complete for the most part now, minus a small punch list, until the walls are all closed up and fixtures go into place.  I now have to make a few design decisions that I have been dragging my feet on. Part of our historic restoration plan included salvaging or replacing the two ceiling medallions original to the house. One of them only had a quarter survive upon our moving into the house. The other was in the entry and right where the new apartment entry doors were placed. I have been hunting for medallions that reflect the classic Italianate Revival aesthetic. Our home was never overly ornate and was a middle class home with two apartment units in the home. The style should be decorative but natural or geometric, not overly ornate as to suit the home. So I am looking for something, plain yet layered, decorative yet restrained. Once I determined the ideal size (room length x room width / 7), I have it narrowed down to these three. 

1. Ekena Millwork 21 in. Reece Ceiling Medallion

2. Ekena Millwork 24 3/8 in. Traditional Reece Ceiling Medallion

3. Ekena Millwork 20 1/8 in. Berkshire Ceiling Medallion

I am 98% sold on number 2 for our master bedroom, but torn between 1 and 3 for the living room and dining room. There will be two of them in this space, one in the dining bay near the windows and door with the chandelier, and another on the other end of the room with the acero fan.  I love the slightly more ornate characteristics of 3 and how they play so nicely with the shades on the chandelier. I however worry it will be too much and think I should go for number 1 with the simple layered curves that look cool with our trim.

And for something even wilder, my current carpet ideas for the steps going down into our wood paneled basement; thoughts, comments, flashbacks?