Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sneak Preview

Just in case you are unsure as to whether or not you want to come to the Open House (see previous post), here are a couple pictures to tempt you.

 View into the dining room from the living room

The window on the stair landing 

Looking up the stairs 

The laundry room, waiting for laundry

It's all much more impressive in person - so I hope all local blog readers will consider coming on the 27th!

Invitation to the Open House

That was then….

“It’s a Showplace!”
You are cordially invited to attend
An Open House
To celebrate our completion of the
 Cheney Cottage 
A 1902 State and City Historic Landmark
That We Cut in Half, Moved Twice, and Restored.

Come see what we have been spending the last few years doing,
and why we always look so tired.

(You’ll also get to see the Delaney House, which is still a wreck)

Sunday, January 27, 2013
1Pm – 5PM
1632 62nd Street (between King and California)
Berkeley California

Food and drinks will be provided, but very few chairs

Depending on whether or not PG&E has hooked up the gas, the heat may or may not be working.  Don’t be a big shot - wear a jacket.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sprinting Toward the Finish Line

This weekend, we are hoping to largely finish the Cheney Cottage.  So yesterday and today, we got a lot done.  Some of it is small stuff (moving the refrigerator in and changing the door so it opens the right way) and some of it is bigger stuff (tiling the backsplash; shellacking the woodwork).  We got the water running in the kitchen sink, and tested all the pipes for leaks.  And the dishwasher is finally hooked up, and ready to start washing dishes (once we have hot water).

These pictures were taking after we'd worked all day, so the light is bad and they are somewhat blurry (just like us).  The living room has no lights in it currently, so we set up a light shining at the area under the stairs, and snapped some quick pictures.  But this gives a sense of how it's going.

The shellac is amazing.  It dries pretty quickly, and it makes the woodwork somewhat darker and definitely richer and deeper.  All the wood shines once the shellac is on - it's really beautiful.

The bench under the stairs

The corbels and stair railing

The bench and pedestal

In the kitchen, we got some antique tiles, and put a couple of them into the field of tiles as accents. The main tiles match the color of the 1949 metal cabinets beautifully, and the accent tiles add some interest.  We still have to install the toe kick and get a cutting board for the slide out space in the cabinet - but other than that, the kitchen is complete.
The Cheney Cottage  kitchen with backsplash

We're making great progress, and we still hope that, by tomorrow, the house will be pretty much done.

Tomorrow: more shellacking, and lots of cleaning.  And more pictures, taken during the day.  I'll also post an invitation to the Open House for the Cheney Cottage, so Bay Area blog readers can come see the finished house.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Victorian Corner Beads

Back in the day, houses with plaster walls often had wooden corner bead, which was used to protect outside corners.  In the Cheney Cottage, all of the outside corners had them.

As the house aged, people put up wall paper and painted, and the corner beads were buried.  When we started working on the restoration of the house, we rediscovered them, but were not really sure if they should be exposed.  After some consultation with Daniella Thompson and Anthony Bruce of Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, we decided to keep them in place, and to finish them. So when Armando and his crew re-plastered the house, they ran the plaster to the corner beads and did a traditional finish detail.

The exposed corner beads have now been scraped and sanded and re-stained and re-shellacked.  They make a beautiful contrast to the white walls.  They also match the other woodwork throughout the house (in the kitchen, for example, they match the door to the pass through).

Corner beads in the kitchen of the Cheney Cottage

The corner bead, stained and shellacked

Tomorrow, I will be tiling the backsplash in the kitchen.  The staining of the woodwork is 99% done (just a couple doors upstairs to do) and then the shellacking will begin.  By Friday, we hope to have taken up the floor covering, and have the bedrooms, the hallway, the living room and the dining room completely finished.  The laundry room is finished, except for moving in/hooking up the washer and dryer.  The first floor bath is completely finished.  

Getting closer and closer.....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Downstairs bathroom - finished (almost)

And here it is, with the woodwork finished, the toilet and sink installed, the linoleum floor in place.  All that is left is the baseboards and a curtain for the window (there's already one for the door).  Oh, and there's no water in there yet.  But soon.....
The half bathroom off the Cheney Cottage kitchen

Working at the house today, what I was really missing was heat!  We have to get the last of the plumbing done, so we can get the gas hooked up and finally heat up the place.  It'll be a lot more home-like when its warm and cozy.