Sunday, July 31, 2016

Loggia Floor, Doors, Bookcase, and Front Arches

The lower-level interior rooms of the Tuscan Villa-Fattoria are nearing completion. I've also done some work on the loggia and applied a coat of primer to the exterior. I think I'm dragging my feet a little, because the upper level of the villa is going to be much harder to build than the ground level; it needs a slow and sure approach.

The "slow" part will be helped along by the fact that we're doing some remodeling in our real-life kitchen, and all the long folding tables that I need for cutting big pieces of styrofoam are now being used in the garage to hold every single item from all our kitchen cupboards and the pantry. So I have neither a work surface nor garage space for the villa project for at least three more weeks. 

Meanwhile, I do still have various things to finish up on the ground level, so I'm trying not to think too far ahead to all the hard work that awaits. (But what am I saying? This can't be Hard Work! This is Having Fun! I forgot myself for a minute there.)

This will be the loggia, which opens into both the kitchen and the dining room. I needed to lay the loggia floor before I could hang the doors for those rooms. I made the flagstone floor from painted and torn pieces of cork, just as I made the kitchen floor, which was shown in my last post. This photo was taken before I added sand to fill the spaces between stones.

Apparently, nothing in my villa meets any standard measurements, so I needed to construct the two doors that lead from the dining room into the kitchen and loggia. Robert, who sadly lacks confidence in my math and measuring skills, volunteered (much too eagerly) to cut the doors and the trim pieces that I wanted.

The Master Measurer smugly at work.

While I waited for the doors to be built, I painted the brass hardware black...

...followed by a few dabs of Russet to add a slightly rusty finish.

The kitchen side of one door gets a coat of creamy white paint.

I added some sage green paint to the kitchen door to highlight the trim pieces. The door on the right belongs in the dining room.

I found a stencil just the right size and stenciled both dining room doors; I also added a little wear and tear to all the doors.

All the hinges got the same paint treatment as the door knobs and backplates.

The door on the left will lead from the outdoor loggia to the dining room.
I attached the hinges on the doors easily by following the instructions on Lori's blog, "Works in Progress." Her hinge tutorial is entitled "Small Hinges for Doors." Thanks, Lori. (Sorry, but I haven't figured out how to create a link to another site. My computer skills are right up there with my math and measuring skills.)

The two dining room doors are ready to hang. We will none of us point out to Robert that the panels on the doors are not the same size. He is, after all, the Master Measurer; we're possibly only imagining the measurement discrepancy. 

The doors are hung; I had to wait for the glue on the hinges to dry before I inserted the nails.

The view from the kitchen into the dining room and out to the loggia.

The exterior loggia door is closed, but I left the kitchen door slightly ajar.

A view of the doors from the dining room side.

Time for one of my improvised "makeovers." I need a wide bookcase for the end wall of the living room. I gathered some moldings and trim pieces and embellishments to add to the unfinished bookcases that I bought.  

 I could not find any parts that I could use for the top of the twisted wood trim pieces that hold the bookcases together.  So, as usual, I turned to Sculpey and made some things that are the right size; that's about all I can say about them. But they work.

 Except that I failed to foresee that the flame-shaped Sculpey pieces would make the wood pieces resemble giant birthday candles! 

I stained the bookcase with a coat of walnut gel stain.

And added a second coat...

...then a final third coat, applied very liberally to the candle flames!

After I filled the shelves with books and other objects, I placed the bookcase against the back living room wall and felt very pleased with myself for remembering to get it in place before the front arch and the ceiling are installed. But then - after all the self-congratulations, and after the front arch was put on, I discovered that the bookcase actually fits just fine going in or out through the arched opening that I was sure would be too small. And then I finally remembered that ages ago, when I first planned the bookcase, there were going to be FOUR shelf units instead of three, so that the entire wall would be filled. And four shelf units did not fit through the front arched opening.

But I also want a piano in the living room, and the only place for it is in the corner where the fourth shelf unit would have been. So - I sacrificed the fourth shelf unit for the piano space. And now I must find a safe place to store the bookcase for who knows how long? There are some dusty, messy projects ahead in the villa, and I definitely don't want the bookcase in the living room getting shaken and dusty now that it isn't necessary!

Speaking of the front arch, here it is, installed and sealed up with a spackling compound.

The front entrance arch received the same treatment... did the dining room...

...and finally the kitchen. 

All the arches are ready for a final layer of joint compound and a light sanding...

...followed by a coat of primer, which I applied to the two end walls as well.
So - I'm making some forward progress, and the villa is beginning to look like a potential home. Now, if I can give the villa a name soon, I'll feel that I'm really movin' on!  

This photo was taken on the deck of our Nebraska Sandhills home, which does have a name - we call it Bison Hill. Since our kitchen in Lincoln is torn asunder for the time being, we took our grandchildren, Junior, Sophia, and Leo, there so that we could get away from the remodeling dust and noise. They're all singing "Sun Go Down" to celebrate another gorgeous Sandhills sunset. 

I wish each of you a carefree August and many beautiful summer sunsets.