Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rehabilitating An Old Finish

This is a wonderful example of working with what you have. These saltillo tile floors had been glazed by a previous craftsperson, and over the years had gotten quite worn out, scratched and dirty. Plus, the new owners wanted a shift in color tone. They had already torn out much of this tile in the kitchen and replaced it with ceramic tiles. This was all wonderful, except that the rest of the house had acres of this sort of pinkish, umber tile, and the thought of tearing it all up was daunting, since they had passed (thankfully) the "construction" phase of their remodel.

The decision was made to repair and renew the tiles, which meant hours of careful touching up before a new, sheer glaze could be applied. It may sound like a lot of work, and it was, but ultimately it was so much less hassle and mess and cost than the nightmare of sledgehammering out the old in order to put in new. And this way they got a custom color that works well with all the different areas of their open-plan home, and a tough new clear finish on top will keep it looking good for years to come.

More photos of this project are here.

These Days...

The world is in a weird place right now. Seems like we're on the verge of a whole new way of being, and it's not really that hard to see this as a good thing, even an opportunity. I don't think we need to forego the quality of our lives in order to live simply, fully and creatively. We just need to do it in new ways -- ways that might resemble more of the pioneer spirit that shaped this country -- which is kind of exciting if you think about it. For the last year or so, it seemed that everyone I talked to was wishing they could live a "smaller" life. I knew what they meant. A life with less of an impact on the planet, one where you could carve out a space for yourself that held what mattered: the ones you loved, a few of the things you loved, with maybe just room enough for a little garden, a couple shade trees and a great wireless connection. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Over the last few busy months, I noticed a trend in my jobs, that they had more to do with repairing and restoring what was already in place than with ripping out and building bigger newer better. This was pretty satisfying to me, since it's my natural inclination, but I also think it reflected the mood of the country, as well.

It's in this spirit that I'm adapting to new realities and thinking creatively about how to conform to my clients needs while still holding my own in these rough economic times. I have faith in our human ingenuity and I think we're up to these challenges, and in the meantime, I'll be posting some thoughts along these lines and photos to help inspire our progress.