Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Window, A Door, Five Walls, and a Floor!

Now that the Villa del Vigneto ground-level rooms have ceilings, it's time to become upwardly mobile and go on to the second level. I've been shifting a big stack of walls around from one spot to another for months, waiting for just this moment. It's time to paint! I want the three bedrooms and the bathroom to have a fresh simplicity that befits a rural retreat, and white has been my chosen color from the beginning. 

I was torn between a cool, stark white and a slightly warmer not-quite-stark shade. The warmth won, possibly because I started painting as snow fell outside my workroom window. Cool didn't have the same appeal as it formerly had. I mixed up a warm white color, and the fun began!

I used one end of my work table for the painting and found space where I could for the pieces to dry.  By the time I finished painting, days later, the snow had come and gone, but the warm white paint stayed.

There is only one small window on the east side of the house, and I constructed it using the same technique that I had used on the living room windows. I bashed ready-made windows to make two window panels. I dislike the waste, but it's the easiest way I know to get the window that I wanted. 

The window frames received the same paint as the walls.

The plastic material for the window panes is barely visible here. I had to cut each pane separately, since the frame size is very inconsistent. You can see the two drawer pulls that I turned sideways and used for window pulls.

The window panels are installed in the opening, but some extra fitting and repair work was necessary.

The interior side is finished; the pulls have been attached to the window frames.

The exterior also needed some personal attention to make the window panels fit properly. (Actually, they still fit improperly, but I'm not admitting that. Disregard the photographic evidence.)

The interior doors for the three bedrooms and the bath won't be needed for a while, but I thought I'd experiment with a design for the first one. These are the various components that I decided to use.

That's a bunch of doorknobs and backplates; and a whole lot of bright, shining brass!

A few dabs of dark paint take away the brassy glitter - and a slight smear of white glue dims down the crystal doorknobs.

The brass hinges earn the same treatment of dark paint.

I created a door panel with thin strips of wood and metal beading...

...and added a bit of embellishment in the center of the panel...

...then applied a few coats of paint over all. I liked the rough, aged texture of the door so decided not to sand it smooth.

The door knob goes on; 

 the hinges are attached; and - it's a bedroom door!

At LAST - another milestone; the FIRST wall goes up on the second level! It's permanently attached with toothpicks and glue.

If you're on the outside looking in, you can see a long way down the back hallway through the arched door on the east. 

Or you might be on the inside looking out.

I must be on a roll - this is the SECOND wall to go up! This is the east bedroom, the smallest of the three; it opens onto the back hallway. I have applied a bead of spackling to the corner and the bottom of the wall. 

Same wall, this view from the back of the villa. I love the DAP spackling that squeezes from a tube; it goes on pink, leaving no doubt as to what a messy worker I am. But it dries white, erasing all the erratic evidence.

Here are walls number three, four, and five! I AM on a roll - something must be wrong. I'd better check my construction time line again if I dare. You can see the thick white line starting at the east bedroom doorway; an interior wall will be erected here, separating the two bedrooms.

These are the same walls as above, seen from the back hallway.

I know that we've already looked down this hallway, but now there are walls on one side, making it look more like a real hall that serves a purpose. You can see the bedroom door on the left.

We've seen enough walls for now; it's time for a downward turn. This is a basket of leftovers from the lower level tile floors that I made from cork coasters. I kept them, knowing that there would surely be a use for them somewhere, sometime. 

I had already decided that the tiles for the hallway floor would be the same size as the ones that I used in the lower level entrance hall, which are smaller than the 1" tiles in the main rooms. All the leftovers were strips that were already marked into smaller squares that needed only a bit of trimming. I used some of the large strips to cut into thinner strips for a variation in the tile pattern.

The floor is complete in the back hallway. It needs only to turn the corner into the shorter hallway, and I think I have enough of the leftover tiles to cover that area. Such a serendipitous time saver!

Unfortunately, the tile pattern scarcely shows in the photos.

A long view of the completed floor seen through the arched doorway. In order to discourage a "tunnel effect" when the back wall goes up, I will install sconce lighting and hang a mirror and paintings on the walls. Meanwhile, the villa construction will continue with MORE walls, MORE floors, and MORE doors. (Such Excitement!)

I bought myself a gift to celebrate the end of February. My new work apron is a cheerful (and hopeful) reminder that Spring Will Come Again. Soon and Very Soon. 

The only drawback is that I can't bear to mess up the apron with paint and glue and joint compound and sanding dust and spackling and varnish and bits of smashed styrofoam. Maybe I'll just keep it for "best." Or at least until Spring has Sprung.