Santa’s elves were still running around here as late as Friday night to get the place ready for Christmas. Key accomplishments: Heat on the second floor a fire for Christmas Eve and a temporary bar.

It was touch and go with the fireplace. When they capped the rebuilt chimney–all new brick from below the roof up–they neglected to install a damper. As a consequence, up went the scaffolding again, and they had to dismantle and reassemble. It’s an arrangement I’d never seen before. The damper is at the top and controlled by a chain accessible though the firebox.


This was all on Friday. Earlier in the week the carpenters closed up with wall around the chimney build a new mantel. In parallel the masons installed an insulated steel flue pipe. We opted that way because they thought blowing in Golden Chimney material under pressure might blow out some bricks on the way down. The final touch was cementing in the bottom of the flue and skimming the brick face for both integrity and aesthetics. The cement had to cure, but finally, Saturday afternoon we were OK’ed for a test fire. It worked!

Also on the carpenters’ agenda was to finish off the shakes around the new windows above the French doors. Also, we have a couple of new outdoor lights for the patio.


They also, finally, put in “balusters” on the back stair the runs up from the kitchen. I was extremely impressed with the job Ed did on the eye splices attaching the heavy manilla rope to either end of the gaff. Love it.

Fans will also note that we repainted the goldish walls that frame the ends of the kitchen with Shaker Beige, the trim color on which we ultimately settled for the dining room and front hall.

Another important development was getting a bar in place. We still need cabinets, fridge, ice maker and sink, however, we were somehow able to get by with just a makeshift bar top. (And, note new outside light on the patio.)


So, the room came together. We got it all tidied up and the dining room as well.

And come Christmas, it worked!


One thought on “A Laughing Gull Christmas

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