Kenji is working on our bathroom remodel. Trained in Japan, he still uses traditional Japanese saws when it suits him. He also built the cabinet that we had in the bathroom and are saving to re-use again. Click here for a link to Kenji's website.
Update on the remodeling of the Pine Street bathroom: The old tub, ceramic tile, cabinet, sink, and flooring have been removed. Demolition is about complete. New fixtures and tile have been delivered and is being stored in the garage. We have decided to raise the sill height on the window to avoid interfering with the counter.
I ordered ceramic tile from Ann Sacks on June 28th and they said it should be delivered in 7-10 days. I always thought Ann Sacks was pretty high end, but the last time I went in, they had some moderately priced tile. It's hard looking on-line and at small samples to figure out how it will look. The showroom is a better place to try and visualize the final result.
Sure enough, it got here July 8th within 10 days via ABF delivery from the east coast.
a 1,000 lbs of tile
I ordered two different tiles and everything looks in good shape -- except I think I got an extra box of one type and was short one box of the other. Oops, double checked - its all ok. I had to make a little space for it in our packed garage. Thanks Katie, for helping make space.
I'm still looking for a new handrail and handrail bracket for Pine Street. In an attempt to find a wood handrail with a metal bracket that might be available in today's market, I looked at this handrail bracket at the UCSF Bakar Fitness Center in San Francisco's Mission Bay by the Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. Simple and straight forward, the bracket has no curves and is consistent with the cubist forms of the building. The warm wood tones and brass colored metal contrasts with the intense blue wall. Intense contrasting colors cover all the walls of the center. It's a legacy of Legorreta's time in the office of the master architectural colorist Luis Barragan.
I've never seen a handrail bracket like this on the market and I'm thinking this is custom made. I'll let you know when I find something for Pine Street.
Villa d'Este handrail outside of Rome
On May 5, 2011, I wrote about how much I wanted to change the handrail in our Pine Street house. One example I saw last year is giving me ideas about what I want to do. This example here is at the 17th century Villa d'Este outside of Rome at the famous Tivoli Gardens. It looks as if the bracket and the handrail are one seamless element without any interruption of flow. In this case the one seamless element is metal so it is still cold to the touch.
The attachment at the wall is hidden behind the plaster - simple and elegant. As much as I like this design, I still want to avoid the cold touch of metal. Wood seems to be the logical response to this concern, but wood brackets would lack the strength and elegance of this metal solution.
My solution would need a hard close-grained wood that is smooth and warm to the touch. The bracket would be metal with a shape and elegance like this one. Stay tuned as I explore the world of handrails.
Titania Light Fixture by Luce Plan
At $3,000 the lightfixture I picked will blow our budget so I'm looking for something else. When we remodeled our downstairs bathroom, Chris picked this light fixture called Titania from LucePlan which is both elegant and fun.
By adjusting the fins on the fixture you can varying the colors of light that it reflects off the fins of the fixture. Sometimes by taking a photo you see something you didn't notice before. Notice the lavender reflection of light at the top of the photo where the light shines on a lower ceiling. It was there but I didn't see it until I looked at the photo. I was taken with the colors and composition of structured elements. The white umbilical chord attaches this ship to its cosmic mother -- tethered yet ready to fly free. Maybe a twin of this fixture could fly in the bath upstairs living in a parallel universe.
This metal handrail in my home has bothered me ever since I first encountered it when I bought my home.
It is cold to the touch and the diameter is slightly too large - like an awkward embrace. It's brackets are perfunctory and ungainly. Its been painted several times and I feel the lumps in the paint everytime I go up and down the stairs.
I believe that items that form an integral part of our environment should support our well-being and not irritate even at a subliminal level. I've thought of stripping the paint and grinding it smooth and applying a smooth matte black chemical finish like Insta-black. Perhaps I can change the brackets as well. I can't, however, change the coldness of the metal or the diameter of the rail.
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