Monday, July 10, 2017


Hello Chickens!

How is everyone's summer going?  Things here at the Chateau have been a perfect storm of busy and slow, and eminently unphotographable.

The good news is that we are in the home stretch...we are scheduled to be fully completed by mid-October.  After nearly four years of living in a construction project, you can imagine how thrilling that actual end date is for us.  It has gone from an ephemeral, almost theoretical, future date to a day in a calendar that we can start to see like a pinlight at the end of this long tunnel.

We have moved upstairs to our master bedroom suite, which is about 95% completed.  The master bath, second bath and laundry room are still not fully done, but they are imminent, and I can't wait to share the design details with you as soon as I can!  The bedroom is missing only one window treatment which is coming this week, so stay tuned for a full update on that space by early next week.

You have seen our dressing rooms, which have been working really well.  I think we both are still getting used to the new organization, but generally, it is so lovely to have all of our stuff where we need it and can find things!  The laundry room, while still not fully complete, does have the washer and dryer installed and functioning and that has been a gamechanger.  Since 1993 when I moved into this building, there were shared coin-operated laundry in the basement.  They were expensive and you always needed to put things through the dryer at least twice, towels three times, which required endless schlepping up and down the stairs going through three different locked doors, and praying you didn't run out of quarters.  I figured out very quickly that it was easier and cheaper to just take my laundry up to my family's weekend place ere, or to drop it off at the eighty-cents-a-pound fluff and fold at the local laundromat.  So having a washer and dryer on the same floor as all of our clothes and sheets and towels, where we can just toss in a load whenever we like with ease is beyond exciting.  I'm sure eventually laundry will cease to be such a joyous entertainment, but for the moment, I'm loving it.  Of course, it takes a lot of getting used to, having never had laundry of my own before, so I am currently very guilty of throwing a load in the washer or dryer and then completely forgetting I've done it.  I'm using the 10-minute refresh setting on the dryer a lot!

The elevator is almost finished, it won't get a floor till we do the floors on the first floor, but it is operational and our knees are deeply grateful!  Just in time, because we have officially lost access to our front stairs.  The staircase, which will be getting its own post soon, has to be removed from the basement to the third floor, and then the new one brought in and installed in sections, then trimmed out and finished on site.  This is really the big project, the one thing that will take this building from feeling like three apartments into feeling like a single family home.  So we are very excited to have the process begun.  Our contractors have installed barrier walls, essentially framing with doors and just plastic dust barriers nailed on, on all four levels to protect the finished spaces as much as possible from the mess.  They will demo the the stairwell first getting as much of the mess out of the building before surgically removing the walls on the upper floors to open the space completely.  So while we have access to all of our living and working spaces, it is a little convoluted, and we have to do all of our moving around from level to level on the elevator or up and down the back exterior stairs.  The only thing saving this from being enormously annoying is the knowledge that every day we live with it is one day closer to the new stairs being finished!

We have had a couple interesting discoveries.

This is what we found under the drywall in the dining room.  That is a combination of bordello red paint on top and starburst wallpaper below, which we assume at one point were separated by a chair rail.

This was under the drywall in the foyer, sort of a ghastly 1950s Holiday Inn lobby in Indiana sort of vibe.  

Apparently one of the previous owners had seriously questionable taste!  We were not sorry to see any of this go away.

We are in demo mode for the next little bit, but I will be back as the third floor continues to come together with updates on those spaces and some pictures of pretty things for a change!  In the meantime, continue to enjoy your summer, and if you have not already, do take a moment to pre-order my new book How to Change A Life which will be out August 15!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath