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. 

HAPPY MARCH!! HAPPY SPRING!!

17 comments:

  1. Genial Marjorie con el comienzo del segundo piso, es un trabajo arduo pero ya lo tiene muy bien planificado,la ventana con el semicírculo me encata, ya tengo ganas de ver más avances.Besos:-)

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    1. Hello, Rosa Maria - I appreciate your taking the time to comment on the Villa del Vigneto. I'm so glad that at least some of the second level walls are up. I feel that I'm making progress now, and I'm excited to keep going! Thanks for checking in!
      Marjorie

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  2. Hi Marjorie! It is so much fun when the vast amounts of preparation work finally start to come together! Suddenly it looks like a building! LOL! I can't wait to see the next part of the progress too, because I am sure it is just going to look better and better as all the walls and doors go up! I Love the small window you have built.... and I think it fits Perfectly.... in the way of old buildings where Nothing aligns exactly as it should! LOL! The view down that long corridor is going to be special..... because it will give a tantalizing glimpse into the interior of the house.... something that is always so much fun to imagine walking into! I think you chose well to have a warm white.... it will feel more in tune with the lovely rich colors of the downstairs rooms, yet will have that old fashioned "whitewashed" feel! This is such a fun project to follow! Keep up the Great work!

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    1. Hi, Betsy - Thank you for your encouraging comments! I'm sort of excited about that long corridor; I've never included any "back spaces" in my houses before, so this is a new experience. I'm feeling my way along, because I need to take the right steps in the right order, which requires a bit more forethought than usual. I appreciate your opinion about the "whitewashed" effect of the walls - that was my hope for the upper level of the villa. I'd love for the bedrooms to exude a simple elegance. I have much to strive for!
      Marjorie

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  3. Hello Marjorie,
    What an exciting post. The villa is really taking shape! It is great to see the second floor going up. I think the warm white was the right white. It looks beautiful and does add a lot of warmth to the rooms. a cooler white would have a hospital effect I think. Great job on the window and the door is lovely. I really like the "S" detail. I must say I adore the long corridor. It is so much fun to look down it and see the rooms open onto it. I think that adds a lot of realness to a project, and I love the floor tile. Keep it up! You have worked so hard and every effort has been well worth it. this is an amazing project.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Hello, Giac - Your thoughtful comments are, as always, very welcome. I had such fun making that door and fiddling around with different designs. And now I get to make three more, similar but probably not identical. I'm also looking forward to (hopefully) making the long corridor seem interesting without actually using any furniture. I am excited about using more doors and hallways that will open into other rooms. I've never done that before, so I'm trying to develop a far-sighted mindset so that I don't have any doors opening into a blank wall! Thank you for stopping by.
      Marjorie

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  4. Hi Marjorie! I can see the pattern in the hallway floor -- it's lovely! And I love your window! I know you don't want to hear this now, but they make those crystal knobs and hinges in various metals now, including dark metals. LOL Your technique of dulling down the crystal with white glue is genius though! I always hated how bright, pristine, and fake those crystals usually look...your glue trick makes them look much more realistic. I can't wait to see the rest of the progress: And even though I am looking forward to Spring too, I hope Spring (and nicer weather) doesn't take your attention away from the Villa for too long! -Lori

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    1. Hi, Lori - I'm so glad that you found the tile pattern! I can hardly see it myself, especially looking at it straight on, which will be the only way to see it when that back wall goes up! Yes, it was good news about the door hardware being available in dark metals now; it was bad news that I'm too late to take advantage of the new products this time around! But I'll remember for future use. Now that I've started work on the second floor, I'm feeling really excited to keep moving, so I'm pretty sure that I'll be going strong right through spring. (Besides, spring in Nebraska usually just means thunderstorms and tornado watches, so it isn't always very tempting!) Thanks for taking the time to leave your nice comments!
      Marjorie

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  5. Me encanta todo lo que has hecho,la planificación del segundo piso ya va tomando forma,la ventana,la puerta...todo se va integrando y ese suelo que se adivina es precioso!!!!
    Besos.

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    1. Hello, Pilar - Thanks for stopping by the Villa del Vigneto! It was a relief to finally get some walls up on the second floor! It seems to have taken a long time to get those first floor ceilings on so that I could continue with the second level. Now I can't wait to make more progress; I'm enjoying this project immensely.
      Marjorie

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  6. The window looks great. I really like how they are recessed in the thickness of the walls. The dark paint on the shiny brass is good too - It makes it look more realistic and less sterile. Keep up the good work - Troy

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    1. Hi, Troy - I appreciate your comments! One of the many reasons that I like using thick styrofoam to build with is that I can have those nice deep windowsills without having to add on any extra material. Easy! I'm not a fan of shiny brass, whether Real Life or miniature, so I always try to "tone it down" a little. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
      Marjorie

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  7. It is great to see your walls go up. I love the view down the corridor it makes the house look so real. Beautiful flooring and the small windows are amazing. I love your door fantastic idea. Fantastic work I cant wait to see more.
    Hugs Maria

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    1. Hi, Maria - I'm so glad that you like that long corridor! I was afraid that it might seem a bit like a tunnel, especially when I put the back wall up. But I needed it in order to have access to the bedrooms. I've been experimenting with mirrors and pictures, etc. this afternoon and am hopeful that I can keep down that tunnel effect. I have three more doors to make, and I'm looking forward to that - lots of fun! I always appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by the Villa del Vigneto!
      Marjorie

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  8. Hi Marjorie! First off let me say that I LOVE the title of your post! :D
    Next I am in complete agreement with the others about how Intriguing it is to be able to see down a long hallway and see doors ,windows, lights and pictures lining the way so I am already imagining what yours is going to look like now that you have installed most of your 2nd floor walls.
    I also LOVE the thickness of your walls and the deep window sills which give a sense of coolness to the touch. Your choice of a warm white was the Right One since it ties in better with the floor below.
    And WHO doesn't love the versatility of BALL CHAIN??? :D It is Marvelous how you have incorporated it so Cleverly into the design of your bedroom door and I agree with your revamping of the door plates. It is an ongoing bugbear with me also that the overly shiny metal can so easily spoil the illusion of history when they persist in looking brand new- so BRAVO for making them take the back seat! :D
    I am Very Glad that you had enough left over tiles to finish the upper hall way because it add continuity and is a warm color to the cooler interior walls: they look Really Good, In Fact- EVERYTHING is looking FABULOUS!
    I think that your Villa del Vigneto is- BELLISSIMO! :D

    elizabeth

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  9. Hi Elizabeth - Thank you for taking the time to send your nice comments! It seems to have taken SO LONG to put up some second floor walls; I feel as though I've accomplished a major feat! The process was very motivational, so I think I can keep up some momentum now. Robert just left town for ten days, and I'm ready to put in more working (playing) hours. A good thing, too - I've hardly done anything on the villa this month, and March is more than half gone! Your encouragement is much appreciated, as always.
    Marjorie

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