Monday, December 15, 2008

My Details

Antique grill which is installed in the foyer. When I got it, it had layers of old paint--white, on top of green and on red. I had it delivered to the site and one morning when I got there, I found an eager painter scraping off all the paint! He said he was cleaning it. I almost strangled him!

Above, design of the catch basins around the house. (it'll be painted black, this is just the primer). I finally found an ironwork contractor who knew what I was talking about. This design emerged from my doodling.

This is the front door. Battered narra double doors with a curly detail at the top.

Carved adobe will be on the wall--with fountain to the pool in the middle of the carving. There are 3 of these.

Curly ironwork detail of the balconies.

The staircase grills are from Bingo's lola's house. I'm going to use it with the old paint peeling off--will just remove the flakes that are loose, then wax it down.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Greens are In!

While I was gone, mom offered to have the garden done even if the house wasn't completely finished. "It will make the workers go faster",  I was told by two other friends. So of course I accepted. "Offered" as in she would organize and make arrangements. I already got Ponce to agree to do the garden in between mom's garden and another one.

I was all set to get someone else, but after I got to know Ponce well, I decided I like him a lot personally and I think he is very talented. A natural talent who knows his craft by instinct.

What I like about his style is his massing, his choice of leaf shapes (texture), and the way he layers his colors--cooler greens at the back, warmer greens up front. Gives his gardens lush depth. And he does this all by feel.

At first, he loaded the garden with tons of plants. I was overwhelmed when I first saw it. I knew plants had to be reduced by half. He still used the plants I liked such as calatheas and bougainvilleas.

This garden is a departure from his usual Asian style. and his first time to specify flowers too, so let's see how it will grow out. It's not done yet. Still need to ground the bougainvilleas and the pink vine.
These photos show the overwhelming amount of plants. It doesn't show the front wall lined with Podocarpus Maki, and other plants. However,  it's much less than this now. We diverted some plants to the outdoor shower of the den, and returned some plants to the supplier.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Renewed Inspiration

We got back from our trip ten days ago. I didn't  want the trip to end and I'm getting sadder by the day because the feeling of being in those places is slowly slipping away. I didn't realize how stressed I was until five days into the trip when I stopped thinking about the renovation back home and decided "to be here, now!"
Rome was just what I needed at this stage of the renovation (where did I say I was, in "finishing"? whaaahaha!). Seeing all those old stone buildings, stone floors, solid wooden front doors, curly old grills revalidated my choices. Being my first renovation, and one that i'm completely doing by myself (with a lot of solicited comments from designer friends too), I sometimes feel insecure that what I like is baduy. How can one not feel that way here when we're surrounded by Asian modern stuff and straight clean lines. I like that look--but NOT for me. I've been gravitating towards curly grills, carved old wood and basically an old-world look. I probably was a Roman princess in a past life, or maybe a Roman servant! Either way, I'm sure I I was exposed to all these curly things in my past life.
I came home with renewed confidence in my previous choices and an attitude that says "follow your heart" and not the trend. I will be surrounded by things I love to look at. And how on earth can my choices be baduy when they've been around for a couple of thousand years? 
The photos show things I were drawn to during this trip. I'll post what I have in the house as soon as I find those similar shots somewhere in my iPhoto. I have pictures of the house from the time it was vacated  by the last tenant, and in all stages of  the renovation. Wouldn't that make a cool scrapbook for the kids?

I'm tired of saying "the house is almost done--just a few more things".  But it really is! They just need to retouch the lousy duco job, finish the kitchen, finish putting the molding on the balcony, begin the final coating the floor, but they can't do that until absolutely everything is done in the interiors. The varnishers are so slow--I think it's only Mang Ben working and he still has so many doors to do. The paint contractor tried to bring in other varnishers but I saw the difference right away, and the workers were gone the next day!

I'm not happy with the way the granite supplier installed the stone. Very sloppy work! I already told him to assign his BEST guy to this project because I was very particular about these details. If this is his best guy, this guy will be out of business soon. This photo shows the joint where the agglomerate cream stone meets the white tiled wall. This is a macro shot, but still, this should be a hairline joint.

My light supplier is excellent. Great prices and service. I like him a lot and I've recommended him to about 5 different projects--all much bigger than mine, and they all like him a lot too and have been referring him to even more people. People like him make me happy. The others, I want to strangle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Almost Where?!?

DId I say "Almost there"? Hahahaahah!!! Maybe I should say that was a joke! Everything has slowed to almost a sanding halt ever since the "finishing" started. Maybe it's just the way it looks. All the floors are done. The kitchen tiles have been installed, grouted and waxed since six months ago. The wooden floors have all been sanded and primed. All the bathrooms are tiled. So what's going on?

Well, all the floors are covered with plastic and 1/8" plywood at my insistence, so the jobsite looks far from finished. The painters are almost done wit the the second floor. All the wooden closets are also duco-ed, the cornices with flat duco, the walls all done. They are currently doing the doors and I just chose a walnut color as opposed to an orangey color. Looks more "old world". I've learned so much about varnishing in the last 2 weeks and now I can tell whether the varnish is a good craftsman job, or if it's just varnished for the sake of stain and protection. Also learned that I won't save much by using plywood instead of solid wood (cabinet doors, doors) specially since I insist on a particular quality of finish. I would have been better off with solid wood, and then the varnishing is simpler. With plywood, the have to do the process 7 or 8 times, with solid wood, you do it twice only. Hmmm...

We have two weeks to get things in order because we're going on another trip that will keep us away for 3 weeks! I wonder what's going to happen to our workers. I want the carpenter and the electrician to stay until we actually move into the house and live there. I'm sure I'll still have many things done--shelves, install lighting, etc.

Having occasional lunches with friends who are also renovating their homes has been a very educational experience. From validating my own design details, to sourcing suppliers and contractors. I got the glass supplier from Marge and Nicole, learned that flexible plumbing pipes would have been better (for my style of renovating) from Bee, and sourced the ironworkers for my trellis grills and canopy from Joy! It's nice to work with suppliers who have passed very discriminating friends--then all I have to worry about is design.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Don't Keep Notes!

And that's why when I finally have time to write about where I've been and what I've done, all of a sudden, I can't remember anything! I better look through my iPhoto and see what I remember. How about starting with "What We Did Last Summer?" and focus only on the trips and move back from there, until it's time to move forward again. Or will that be too tedious. Hmmm... Okay, let's just get started, shall we? But first to put the kids to bed..

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Almost there...

Renovating is much harder than building from scratch. Everyone told us that. But how do you tear down a pretty good house, one which was loved by a former tenant withe three kids, and before that a British consul? The house was originally built in 1970, and I think it was built to rent out. Three bedrooms and a den, three bathrooms, living room, kitchen, staff area. A pool was added 9 years later. Lay out was basic and simple--no funny corners, no weird shaped rooms. Just square.

And so we began to renovate a little more than a year ago. We were going to extend the second floor and maximize the lot, without making the garden any smaller. We wanted an open layout, open kitchen, bright and airy house. As many rooms as could fit, and roomier closet since we were coming from a condo with limited closet space.

It was so exciting when the partitions started coming down. I still couldn't visualize what the spaces were going to feel like so it was nice that it was unfolding little by little. And of course, as in all renovations, once they start taking things down, you start thinking of more things that can be done. We're the worst nightmare of an architect and a contractor!

BUt also, as in all renovations, the as-built structure was not like the old architectural plans that we were holding. Beams and columns showed up where they shouldn't have--so we had to re-design as we were going along.

It was fun in the beginning, then it got tedious specially when the contractor had below par workers. Then as we are coming into finishing, it's getting exciting again. When will it ever finish? One thing for sure, I realize how OC I am and that I have to learn every detail about something before deciding what to buy. Search the internet, interview other homeowners, ask 2 or 3 architects what they think, confuse myself, and then okay--DECIDE. Whew, one down. And then it begins again with something else. The next project is going to be much easier and faster. IF there is another project!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...