Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Bad Wall Resolved

The masonry wall of the kitchen was in bad shape where we removed the old cabinets. I decided to paint it with hopes that its imperfections might be muddled if I chose the right paint. In another house, we had used a Ralph Lauren paint called "Ambassador Silver" that worked well with stainless steel. Several coats later - and although this picture is charitable - the imperfections were even more pronounced in the areas close to the ceiling and the other walls.

This is a difficult paint. Home Depot is about to discontinue carrying this line. The color is good but my husband less than diplomatically suggested that perhaps we should have hired someone more skilled at plaster repair before we applied the paint. I had to think of a solution to what was being chalked up to the results of my own impatience, and I did. I suggested a perforated metal covering. Once again, it helps to have a husband in the biz. He designed a soffit covering that would be mounted about an inch off the wall. We played with a sample piece to determine exactly how far away from the wall it ought to stand to allow the right amount of light filtering. He made a support beam and applied the sheet of metal that he had cut and bent to fit exactly. (He had made the measurements himself because I tend to say things like "It's 87 inches and just two of those tiny lines.")

S hooks from The Container Store fit perfectly through the perforations (The ones from Home Depot were too fat.) I used those common spring clips that everyone has in desk drawers to hang the pot lids.
Some things don't become apparent when you design these kinds of things on the fly, like the fact that the support beam was unhappily visible through the perforated metal. To hide this - and also to soften the overly industrial effect of this installation - we added an oversized strip of oak egg and dart molding painted with the same Ambassador Silver. I was glad I had refrained from throwing out the little bit I had left of this annoying paint.

Feeling almost done with the kitchen, I announced that it was time to "trick it out" with some stuff we had in storage, like these industrial brackets from an old factory in Waterbury, Connecticut. A vintage washing machine agitator stamped with the endearing phrase "Spiral Dasher". Three white McCoy vases that I had kept in a box for twenty years. A Michael Aram trivet. A Bosch coffepot designed by Porsche.

We just about done with the kitchen.

Next up: that narrow tunnel of an entrance hall.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

metal radiators

Turning to the eat-in part of the kitchen, I decided to refinish the built-in metal radiator. There is also another one nearby that got the same treatment. I don't think they are original to the building (1926) but I didn't see any reason to  replace them. I doubt they were originally just polished metal but I didn't think I wanted them to be repainted. I removed many coats of heavy old paint. The Baad Lamb took the removable covers to his shop where he blasted them and clear coated them. I used an old issue of Details to cover the heating parts and I sprayed a glossy clear coat on the fixed parts and damn if they don't look swell in a butch kinda WW2 way.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Skip My Crash Course - Take Mike's Master Class

Even if you don't live in south Florida, Mike Minutillo give us some good advice in my interview in the current issue of SFGN.