Work continued this week on the Cocktail Room while August West rebuilt the chimney. We had hoped to be far enough along this week to put up a Christmas Tree, but the room is  still full of construction stuff. Fingers crossed for next weekend and for the possibility (no longer probability) of a fire in the fireplace Christmas Eve. There were also other details filled in, inside and out.

The shiplap planking on the walls and ceiling look great, but installation has been more labor intensive than anticipated. The stuff goes up easy—bang bang with a nail gun. The problem is (and this is always the problem with old construction) nothing is square nor plum. In one area in particular, the corner of the floor drops several inches. With plain, flat wall, this is not obvious to the eye, but when you need to run a series of horizontal lines, do you line up with the ceiling or the floor? Or with true horizontal? This is when carpentry turns from science to art, and Ed tells me you have to eyeball what looks good. Well, it’s looking good, but it’s been slow going to get here.

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The narrower boards on the ceiling required similar jiggering, plus workarounds for the odd ceiling joists which are all different sizes, heights and spacing. Very strange. (Had that not been the case, we would have gone with exposed beams to gain some height.)

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When say they are going to rebuild the chimney, they mean it. Out with the old, in with the new. All new bricks down to and below the roof line. And we are still messing around with the rest of the bricking down to the fireplace.

Current code is to have no wood touching brick anywhere. There needs to be space all around. We don’t need to be that strict, but for safety, need to address this at the hottest points, mostly around the firebox. Some of that is open, but we’ve had to tear in thru closets on the sides. They will probably have to pull bricks from the back of the firebox to get in behind. Goddamn it, we had that outside wall stripped down 6 weeks ago and they could have easily gone in from there, but now it’s freshly shingled. Hoping they get that all squared away Monday/Tuesday. Then we need a liner, and we’ll have to figure out whether that will be insulated stainless or masonry fabricated in place using a product called Golden Flue.

We have started installing new windows in the Cocktail Room and the bedroom above. Eventually most of the windows in the house should be replaced, but that’s outside the scope of the current plan. In any case we are aiming for the traditional black and white look, probably with paint on some of the current windows.

We are now the proud owners of some new gutters. They are not complete, and I’m not sure why, but the ones that are installed look fine. And, you can see one of the new spotlights complete with motion detector.

Meanwhile back inside, the much-needed coat closet off the kitchen foyer is complete save for a coat of paint. And the microwave/convection oven and drawers look great installed. The pantry (which we’ve cut down substantially from what was to create room for the master bath) is getting shelves. Finally finally, we will have tons of kitchen storage between pantry, new drawers below and deep shelf for large pots above the microwave. The pictures below are ordered in the reverse of the commentary, but consistent with their physical locations.

Decorating update: The table in the dining room wasn’t working for us, so we brought in this twelve foot beauty. It was custom built in France, but so big as to not fit through the doors of the buyer’s home.  It’s a little tight in our room too, but how nice to have the capacity for a big dinner party.

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And, finally, apropos of nothing, here is the pretty morning we woke up to yesterday. Snow tonight.

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