Free your mind and the creativity will follow...

Free your mind and the creativity will follow...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

There's A Hurdle In My Hallway

I have a hurdle in my hallway
And my bathtub is too small.
Which one do I try to fix
The floorboards or the stall?

The ramp is not so rampy
And the door may hit a guest.
Can’t we mend the too-short window frame
Is that too much to request?

My vintage floor got ruined
By a quack who hacked the maple.
It all started sorta shaky
So let’s hope it turns out stable.

Framing The 2nd Floor

View from the roof garden across to the new 2nd floor of main house

Ahhhh, now we're getting somewhere. I never thought I would have a 'second floor' when I was little. I grew up in Los Angeles in a Spanish style home with a front and back yard. We're talkin IN THE MIDDLE of town, not in the burbs. One floor. That was back when, I guess, there was still space for single-story homes in the center of town. My Dad still lives there. 
Originally, we planned to do 3 floors and put the kids on the third level (trap em in, I always say). But our architect Andreas Gritschke talked us out of it noting that this home is our dream home; translation: "the place we will never be able to afford to leave", We figured three floors doesn't mix well with hip replacements. 

So two floors it is.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Floor Framing

The house of cards begins on the first floor.

 I will try to take the photos from the same place every time so that you can see the progress. This is taken from the roof deck garden of my studio, which is above the garage. We rebuilt the garage-studio-rumpus room several years ago thinking we could live in it when we rebuilt the actual house. Well, two kids later that CLEARLY ISN'T GONNA HAPPEN. It's so weird to look down from this angle because the whole thing just looks 'detached'. Well, it IS detached, but I mean it in the way that one's whole life is scrambled and pulled apart and all the things you knew no longer appear to be what they were. And I try to constantly visualize the end result. Looking at the bones of a house in ex-ray is really pretty interesting. Here it looks like those card houses you make with deck cards when you're waiting for your food in a restaurant when you're little. What? You mean your Mom didn't have cards in her purse?

This is the first floor. Wow, that's a freakin whopper of a steal beam!  We did a reverse floor plan because I wanted to save our yard. We're one of the few homes in our neighborhood to actually have 5 blades of grass and unless it's hailing, we eat outside. But all the neighbors around us (we gracefully opted to let them go first in the renovation process) went up, thus sucking our sun with them. The German and I fought to the blood about a staircase versus a yard, and our brilliant architect came back with our plan. We put the bedrooms on the ground floor where light isn't an issue, and the living area is  a second floor loft style open floor plan. The ground level connects the old and new building; upstairs we have a courtyard in between.