Saturday, January 19, 2013

Big update

Part two of the house was finished in late November! I've been slow at getting any posts up, but my mother (the current co-resident of the house, along with my father) took a nice group of photos the other day that are worth sharing...

From the sidewalk:

Steps up onto the front deck from the "driveway":

Front door:

My parents call it the vestibule, and I call it the mudroom:

Living room, with a natural gas stove, which is the sole heat source for the house:

The plaster is a mix of purple clay, lime, sand, straw, and wheat paste. It was applied over drywall, which was the first time we tried drywall as a substrate. It doesn't have as much potential for curves (like cob), but was very easy and pleasant to plaster on top of. We coated the drywall with a sandy primer (literally a gallon of primer, with a whole bunch of sand mixed in, painted on with a brush).

I wanted to keep up with the theme of the arches. This is the view from the kitchen nook into the living room. The green door has a tiny closet behind it:

And in reverse... looking into the nook from the living room:

Some more photos of the built-in booth seating:

Into the kitchen!

The cabinetry was crafted by Jeremy Curtiss, a friend and woodworker from Philadelphia:

If you bring your mind back through the house into the living room, you would find another door which leads to the bathroom.

I'm sure I've posted photos of the shower before, but here are some more. It's quite a pleasure to use this shower, with so much natural light, and so much room to stretch (or sit, if you wish):

On to the back porch:

And back out through the gate, onto the driveway. The wall you see is a strawbale/cob wall with cedar shakes for the roof:

"Leo's Cottage" also got an update recently, with some fresh paint, and a new lime plaster!

What a beautiful sunny day in Durham, NC:

There is still another addition to be built. The permit is being processed right now... The cob floors for the whole house also need to be installed, but that will be the last step, sometime in the late spring.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eating nook

I always imagined the center room with a built-in booth eating nook. It felt like the right time to finally make it happen - check it out:

I couldn't find a really good photo that depicted the entire space, but to give you an idea of what it looked like before:

So I removed the table, chair, shelf, and other stuff, and got to work on building the bench frames (with Leo taking the measurements):

I used the same tongue-and-groove pine for the benches that we had used for the ceilings. We had plenty of leftover scraps, and I thought a bench would be a great application. I built the tabletop out of plywood, and attached it firmly into the wall and floor, and then I attached the oak strips around the border, and laid the tile inside.

Grouting the tile:

I cut some pieces off of a long cherry board that has been sitting around the site for a while, and sanded/stained them. One will be the front of a drawer under one bench, and the other will be an opening door for storage under the other bench:

The back of the bench is a lime plaster. You can see the drawer in this one. It extends 28" under the bench, for plenty of storage to utilize the space most efficiently.

The purple plaster is an earthen plaster, with wheat paste, straw, sand, and clay in the mix.

I took out the old window, because it was single pane and was operating improperly - and replaced it with a fixed window with a double-pane glass that I ordered from a local glass cutting company.