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One Step Closer...

It is amazing how a project hits a point where things come together quite quickly, making you more and more excited about the end product. This past weekend was one of those moments. We still have a long way to go, but it seems like the worse of it is behind us. (Knock on wood. Please, someone, DO IT. For all of our sakes.)

In the time since our last post, the walls were spackled and the space painted -- two of what I would consider the biggest challenges of this project. Jim, being the crazy soul he is, tackled them both on his own... For those of you who actually know my dad, you aren't surprised by this in any shape or form. I shouldn't have been either, but I was. When I arrived on Friday afternoon from Madison, I felt an equal combination of guilty and excited when I saw the progress. It is definitely amazing what a bit of drywall compound and paint can do to a space.

We spent Friday night finishing the second coat of paint and prepping the lights for install. For you design nuts out there, we realize the space looks pretty cold and naked right now. Our goal from the beginning was to embrace that industrial workspace vibe throughout the bones and structure of the room. The warmth and character will come with everything we plan on putting into the space. Once we get some plants in there, it will feel just like home, right?


Above: Testing out the newly installed lights, just in time for the sunset.

With lights installed, Jim and I finally called it a night around 10pm and made our way in to eat dinner. Not my usual dinner time, mind you. There were definitely some strange, food-induced dreams happening that night.

Saturday was devoted to what I am tempted to nickname 'Floor-pocaplyse 2015'. This. Blasted. Floor. The amount of conversations had about how to handle the existing cement floor verged on lunacy. Mostly it was a contention between painting or not painting the floor. Ultimately, tile was our compromise. Tile didn't even exist as a possibility originally, mostly because a giant palette of tiles that was once gifted to my parents was recently donated to the Habitat Restore... perhaps a key example of why we should never part with anything that could one day be useful? How hoarder-ish do I sound right now?


Above: Sweeping out the space, prepping it for tile. Barb has an uncanny way of taking the most attractive pictures of my backside. (Photo credit: Barb)

In theory, tile sounded amazing. It would cover the cracks in the floor, hide the oil stains from years of storage, and would be waterproof enough to handle the damp and humid days that effect the space. It had a certain amount of studio sex appeal, you could say. In practice, it was way less sexy. Lots of prep and forethought were needed before one could throw those ceramic babies down and grout them up. The floors had to be scraped, swept, washed, and then swept again. Jim, the tiling master, had done this plenty of times before, so he led the charge while I scraped plaster boogers off of the cement.


Above: Jim laying down some adhesive and lining everything up.

Here's something to note about a milkhouse that was built in, like, 1890-something. Its dimensions don't tend to be square. And placing 12"x12" square tiles in a space that isn't square? It leads to some huge frustrations, especially for a very precise man like my dad. Hence Floor-pocaplyse 2015. It is at this point where I quietly stepped away, planted some onions in the garden and stopped by my grandma's bar to help her with a few things. When I returned, he had done a really incredible job handling the off-kilter nature of the space and his mood had much improved.


Above: The bulk of the tiles complete. The smaller ones to be cut and set later.

Below: 24 hours later, cutting and placing the remaining tiles. Sean and Seamus have taken a liking to the space. Such good mascots! (Photo credit: Barb)


And with that, here we are today. Walls painted, lights installed, and tiles set. This weekend we will work on grouting the floor and begin tackling how to get some permanent electricty wired to the space. Stay tuned and, as always, thanks for reading!

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