Friday, January 8, 2010

Green Events in Atwater Village

Every Saturday in January there will be a small "Ask the Experts" event in Atwater Village. On the 9th and 23rd, it will be held at Jill's Paint on Larga Avenue. There will be several of us at Jill's from 1 - 5 pm to offer advice and suggestions on how to use and find the greenest products for your project or remodelling plan. The other two events will be garden-oriented, and held at Everything Gardens on the 16th and 30th. So, if you're looking for advice on xeriscaping, composting or rainwater catchment, hit them up!
(Click the image to view a full, readable size)

Recent Projects

Last year was interesting. I noticed that many of my projects were of the "repair and restoration" variety. This seemed to suit not only people's budgets, but their growing sense that taking care of what you have has as much value as tearing out the old and putting in bigger, better, newer stuff. I like this a lot, because I hate to see things wasted, and with a growing awareness of our collective need to live sustainably, it makes me happy and restores my faith in humanity.

Back in the early 90s when everyone was supersizing their houses, I remember working in a high-rise condo in Florida that had several whole-floor penthouses at the top of the building. The entire floor below where I was working was being demolished, down to the concrete. It had been done for a wealthy client who never even moved in, but was chock-full of marble and columns and custom woodwork and jacuzzi tubs, etc. etc. The new buyer didn't like any of it, so they just ripped it out so they could put in their own stuff. It was appalling, and I wonder about that person's karma to this day.

The photo at top is what I'm working on this week. It's a relatively new floor in a remodelled 60s ranch in the Hollywood Hills. The original footprint and bones of the house were saved, as well as its essence, but the improvements moved the home into the modern age, and the homeowner took great care to create a home that is as efficient as it is handsome.

Alas, in the year and a half since this cork mosaic floor was installed, the blazing southwestern sun faded it in varying degrees across more than half the kitchen (window treatments are now on order!). So, in order to get it back to its original color, I've spent the last few days slowly making my way around the floor, painting each tiny circle with a tinted clearcoat. It's been oddly meditative! I'm almost done, so I thought I'd post these progress shots. I'll update with a finished one next week.


Another recent project involved staining some older furniture pieces deep brown and giving them a fresh clearcoat. They had great lines and a lot of soul. The side table, before:

And after:

Coffee table before:

and after: