Monday, June 23, 2008

    NY Times: Bragging rights for LEED

    I'm doing that irritating thing where a blogger doesn't come up with original content but just refers you to something really obvious on the internet. So, here you go.

    This caught my eye for several reasons. The first is that LEED Platinum would be insanely difficult to reach on any reasonable budget, so I'm a bit jealous of their $2.5 million selling price.

    The second is that the article really gets into some of the biggest complaints with LEED, some of which I've aired here in the past. As you go up the LEED ladder (certified to bronze to silver to gold, etc.) certification quickly becomes cost prohibitive to most people and a huge pain in the neck to all people. It's also become the evaluation tool of choice in the industry, inaugurated as such because there simply aren't any others: "Frances Anderton, a KCRW radio host and Los Angeles editor of Dwell magazine, longs for the day when LEED recognition is irrelevant. 'Architects should be offering a green building service,' Ms. Anderton said, 'without needing a badge of pride.'"

    The third is this line from the article: "Today, dinner-party bragging rights are likely to include: 'Let me tell you about my tankless hot water heater.' Or 'what’s the R value of your insulation?'" I attended such a dinner party last night where the topic of discussion organically came to both tankless water heaters and rooftop solar arrays!

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008


    With all this great weather lately, we have some serious yard envy.

    We are currently looking at two lots, both in the general 9th-and-9th/Liberty Park areas. We're hopeful that we'll be able to get something soon, but in the meantime the posting will be light because we're just enjoying the completed condo and looking around for land.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    After: office

    Here's the "before" on the office:

    And here are the "after" photos:

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    After: bedroom

    We were reminded the other night that we haven't posted "after" pictures of the bedroom or office.

    Here's the "before" in the bedroom:

    And, the former wallpaper:

    That carpet's pink, that fan is what it looks like, and the doors are 70s wood.

    Here are the "after" pictures:

    The paint is Benjamin Moore, maybe meadow green? (This is what we get for waiting six months to show the after!) The ceiling fan is the one clean-ish design from Lowe's, and the other stuff we've had for a while.

    Sunday, June 8, 2008

    Many thanks

    We really enjoyed seeing you all last night — thank you for stopping by and sharing our place with us!

    Above, some flowers from a guest...thanks!

    Saturday, June 7, 2008

    House Warmth

    Tonight's the night for the little open house/house warming/party.

    Tonight from 6-9.


    The great thing about Tai telling my grandfather about his design for our mantle is that my grandpa said, "well, what are you going to cover the plywood with?"...about three times.

    I think we confused the poor guy.

    Tai worked out a plan for the mantle/floating shelf by gluing together four 3/4"-thick pieces of plywood. He notched out the back of the shelf to acommodate a back support recycled from discarded 2"x4". He drilled the back support piece into the wall, slid the mantle onto the support, pounded in some finishing nails to connect the mantle to the support piece, then patched and sealed the mantle.

    We've had a few people come by recently who said something like, "hey, you guys are finally finishing things up!" when the only difference between visits was the fireplace and mantle. It feels good to have the face on.

    Here are some process photos:

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008


    It. is. finally. done.

    It's a green-black granite tile surround, with plywood edging.

    What's that you say, my friends? Different from the "before" only in materials and color?


    We couldn't do an all-wood surround like I wanted because of that pesky fire code, and we were limited by budget, will power and ability in any other fancy designs. Plus, we had been living in this place for more than five months by the time this baby went up. I just wanted it done.

    Renovation geeks will attest to the fact that the longer you live in a place, the less willpower you have to complete renovation tasks, no matter the ugliness of the unfinished item, the inconvenience of incompleteness, or the sheer shame at not having finished months (or years) later. This fireplace cover proved to be that final task — the one that didn't really affect how we lived in the place, had no impact on our daily lives, but still stared back at us every time we sat on the couch. And now it's done — hallelujah!

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    The sad nook (and sadder checkbook)

    No washer and dryer. In the meantime, I sadly shake my head to the kind inquiries of neighbors to whom we bragged about adding the W/D combo months ago...

    We're stymied on a couple of things, both of which ultimately come back to the sad checkbook. Our power to this corner is a mere 110V, and the vast majority of washers and dryers require a minimum of 220V. The second is that we just don't have the wherewithal to purchase the W/D combo at the moment, so it's going to cost us in quarters instead.

    In the meantime, it remains a junk nook:

    Sunday, June 1, 2008

    Hey Internet!

    We're finally having that house-warming party I promised back in February.

    Saturday, June 7
    6 to 9 p.m.

    It's an open house, so come by whenever you like, for however long you like, and check out the "after" in person. We'll provide treats; you provide the conversation.

    Email me if you're interested in an address or directions.