Friday, March 14, 2008


The first crocus of spring in the wintery Northeast

Fritz found this tiny, elfin crocus among the dried grasses and pushed them back to fully reveal spring's first flower here on the property.
The snow pack is melting and the maple sap is actually flowing faster than we can boil it down. It's also the beginning of mud season--a couple of vehicles, mine included, almost got mired in the stuff up at the construction site on Wednesday.

Things are racing towards completion now. The flooring on the second floor is installed and all that's necessary for the entire second floor to be complete is some baseboards, hooking up one hanging lantern, and a bit of plumbing.

Downstairs, the only floor left to be done is in the exercise room. The material for it, made from recycled car and truck tires, is called ReTire and is a special order item now. Eventually, I hope it will be standard flooring, in stock everywhere. Below is the kitchen floor as it was this afternoon, still in the process. I designed the simple layout specifically to pull together the two separate areas of the kitchen, the food preparation area in front and the little dining area in back.
This morning could have been completely chaotic, but some careful preparation on our part and well organized, careful work by the participants made it all work. Gentle Giant Movers came to take all the furniture that came up from my house in Boston and move it up to the house from Fritz's barn. Anything for my studio and the guest room on the second floor was able to go right upstairs, but all the downstairs furniture was stacked in the great room until the individual rooms there are ready to move into.

My history with Gentle Giant has been extremely happy--great guys, efficient, friendly, fun to work with, and in my experience, pretty good to look at as well. The crew today was no exception and they did the job in two thirds of the time estimated.

While they were getting things into the house, Sears arrived with all the appliances to be stored in the mechanical room until the floors have cured in the kitchen and laundry rooms.

And through it all, the flooring guys were working away, needing a constant warm atmosphere so the marmoleum, an eco-friendly non-petroleum-based product, would remain ideally flexible for installation. This meant no doors left conveniently open to the early morning chill, so I stationed myself in the entry area, opening and closing the front door for every piece of furniture, but also able to give directions as to where each one was to go.

Here are the latest pictures:

The big chandelier, nestled in the V of the great room trusses. It will be front and center in the south-facing windows for people walking or driving up the hill to the house.

The entry hall chandelier and beyond it, the antique Chinese lantern that is to hang over a round table in the corner of our bedroom.

A look into the sauna at dusk. It's entirely sheathed in cedar and smells incredible.

Yesterday evening we were finally able to turn on the outside lights. One or two bulbs hadn't yet been installed, but this gives an idea. Front door to the right; the door to the mechanical room (ie. "the back door") is on the left.


I'm off to New York City early Saturday morning. I'm going to a matinee of Benjamin Britten's "Peter Grimes" at the Metropolitan Opera, and an evening performance of Purcell's "King Arthur" in director/choreographer Mark Morris's new production at the New York City Opera.

As I'm on my way back on Sunday, I stop in Boston for design meetings with the directors of the operas on the double bill that the Intermezzo Chamber Opera is producing in mid-May.

Have a lovely weekend, and I'll be back on Monday.

It just occurred to me that when I visited you guys, you were hoping to have the place ready for your annual New Year's bash. Oh my. I had no idea how much time has actually slipped away. It's looking HOT though. Very very nice.
Yes, Lewis, the delays just kept mounting up. And that was disappointing--but it's exciting now and I've heard horror stories of new houses going over a year before completion which won't be the case here, thankfully.
You must be stoked seeing the house taking its final form. Congratulations, it looks fantastic!
the smell of cedar is lovely; you are a fortunate person.
i miss crocus; i used to have a full lawn of them.
The house looks gorgeous. I've left a meme over on my blog for you. It's The meme applies to most people, although I'm not sure our P could lay his hands on a book over 123 pages other than the Good Book.
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