Thursday, December 6, 2007

A proper meal...

...deserves a proper table. The excuse-du-jour for purchasing new furniture? Hosting the family for Christmas, the old college furniture looks especially tired in our new environment, lights over our table are larger than the table itself...pick one. The overscaled pendant lights were a seed planted months ago...they're the right size for the space but the table that sits beneath is far too small. We chose Room & Board's Portica table in White oak, part of the Parson's typology but in brushed stainless, not black. Choosing chairs was perhaps the hardest part, what's durable enough for everyday kid (ab)use yet still fits with the look of the table and the materials of the house. At the risk of being too matchy-matchy we submitted to the oak ply chairs to match the table top. Problem is, at $89 each the order gets large quickly. What's more???? We get to assemble it, so Christmas arrives early. Throw it in with the Automoblox and LEGO sets I suppose and there will be some tired fingers come January.

Room & Board's Portica, Solid White Oak top; $1419.00

Room & Board's Boxy Chair, in Oak Veneer (cherry shown); $89.99

The other contenders:

Seven feet of table, Crate & Barrel's Big Sur in White Oak, $1699.00

I love the idea of benches but agreed that it's not practical for many guests.

Room & Board's Parson's table, $1299.00...

(we were afraid the black legs would disappear against the dark floor)

Jake by, $89.99

Sundance by, $123.75

Pony Chair, CB2 $119
Laura loved this one, I contended it looked like a laundromat chair

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dressed in winter white

December 4, 2007
Monday's storm is departing now, leaving about 15" over most of the surrounding island and Downeast. We were playing 'sweat lodge' last evening, cranking up our woodstove to a balmy 75 degrees inside. Blogging has taken backseat to life of late. We're unpacking boxes, tending to sick children, and catching up on other parts of life left too long untended.

My post on "10 things I'd do differently" is coming soon, (I'm narrowing the list). I knew going into this that I would treat it as a learning lab of sorts, my wife, however, didn't. Architects are often hyper-critical beasts esp. of their own work. All of this is not to say we're unhappy in our new digs, we love them and there's the companion list of thing's I'd do again that deserves a post too.

I've been fighting with my wardrobe from IKEA lately. Serves me right really. Laura reminded me that the more you spend at IKEA, the more they make you work to assemble it and come up with something good looking. Such is the case with our freestanding PAX wardrobe.

We're using it as a room divider in our master bedroom sectioning off the entry area for use as informal dressing. We knew we'd have to finish the back side of it not only because the backing board is hideous but unfinished and full of VOCs. We're using 1/8" plexiglas, sanding to mimic the translucency of the glass on the front of the wardrobe unit and mounting it on stainless steel studs. This cabinet has taken me the better part of 20 hours to joke...and I'm no tenderfoot when it comes to IKEA pictograms anymore.

Master Bedroom Plan, (wardrobe orients to top of page)

Good luck if you're buying this monstrosity. You're better off purchasing the interior components and fitting them into a well-built plywood cabinet carcass. Maine Coast Lumber is a great source for this kind of thing, all made to order and inexpensive. Dovetailed drawers rec'd within 5 days (living in New England), hard to beat. Many local lumberyards offer this service, keeping things local is another on the 10 items project.