Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Warm Outer Layer

The Yum Yum Farm house is getting its skin applied this week, just in time for some cooler temperatures to arrive. The siding is James Hardie's Hardie Panel; a cement fiber board. When all is finished, this will resemble a traditional board and batten barn siding, painted barn red. Exceptions are the dining porch, and the kitchen "bump out", which will be finished in horizontal cedar siding. Long lasting materials means less time with paint brushes in our hands.
And here's another look at the architect's rendering, now that completion is drawing near. Despite the fact that John is from Seattle, he neglected to include all the rainfall that has visited the Yum Yum Farm this year in this drawing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In The Sweet, Sweet Summertime...

As a chilly October night descends over eastern Iowa, I thought I'd share some fond remembrances of the Summer of Yum, that have made this process so enjoyable for us. One of the happiest visitors to Yum Yum Farm was our beloved neighbor, Piper. Piper lives with her human companions Richard and Rachel on the other side of our duplex (which they have named La Casa d'Amore). Piper spends a lot of time in the gardens behind our house, so she felt right at home here, in the future Yum Yum Farm kitchen garden. She is in a thick growth of medium red clover, a legume we planted to fix nitrogen in the soil. This has since been tilled in and planted with buckwheat, which was also tilled in and replaced with Austrian winter peas. These were soil building hints from our Amish friends. We'll see how it works next summer. Richard, Rachel, and Piper are wonderful people (or beings!) who are dear friends, and we will miss them very much when we move to the country. Piper seems to have a clear preference for the new garden, however, and will certainly insist on regular outings to visit her friends on the farm!
This lovely piece of pottery enjoying a sunny day is our downstairs bathroom sink. Since we chose not to include a utility sink in our laundry room, we wanted the bathroom sink to be more utilitarian than the typical small sink formed into the vanity countertop, so we found this design, which is actually a small kitchen sink. This will sit atop a pedestal that is being fabricated to resemble the larger unit in the main bathroom. Chicago Faucets will mount on the wall behind this sink, and should still be working many years from now as the pages of this blog turn yellow and brittle.
We were so impressed by this UFO as it hovered over our backyard, that we decided to adopt it as our pendant light over the dining porch table! Soon, this lovely fixture will be spreading a pleasant light over the dining table, but its flat profile will only minimally obstruct the view out the windows to the south. And, it's pretty cool looking! This is Louis Poulsen's PH 4/3 pendant, if you're curious.

A Natural Beauty

The floor on the main level is now complete, and while this photo may not provide the most expansive view, it is quite clear, and if you click on it, it will expand allowing you to see the wood in greater detail. Just do it! This is taken from the west end of the dining porch, looking north into the bedroom. The salvaged floor covers the living room, dining porch, bedroom, and alcove between bedroom and bathroom. We are thrilled with the appearance of this material. It is at once rustic, elegant, old, and new, but mostly, just beautiful. Thanks to Bob and Dave K. (good to see you after 20 years, Dave!) of Gray's Hardwood Flooring for their care and craftsmanship.
Here's another view, looking west from the living room into the bedroom. The framed wall you see between living room and bedroom will be covered by wood slats with small reveals that will allow light to filter through, creating a type of "lantern" effect. The slats will be cut in such a way that plywood boxes can be hung from them, for storage and displays. The method of attachment will allow us to move them around according to our wants and needs, or just leave them where they are.
This picture shows our sample piece of flooring, with the finish applied. We will be using a product called Osmo (you're welcome, Osmo staff), which soaks into the wood, rather than creating a clear coat on top of it. I'm not going to waste too much time talking about specifics of the finish, because I really don't know much about it. It sure looks pretty though! The floor as depicted in these photos has been milled, but has not received its final sanding, or, obviously, its finish. It will be covered for a while, as other work progresses inside. There will be much activity over the next several weeks, as cabinets, trimwork, outlets, switches, plumbing fixtures, tile, lights, appliances, etc. will be installed. I hope blogger can keep up with us!