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.


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