Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Ball Lights!

The original lights in most of the house were ball lights. Over the years they were "updated" and the original lights met with a fate I hate to discuss.

The dome light... not right!

We've been searching for replacements and decided to purchase three 10" ball lights from IKEA.

Not perfect... but Steve had ideas to make them work. I sense another craft project!

After trimming, painting, and replacing the mounting plate the finished lights look fantastic.
The main problem with the IKEA FADO lights are their bases... they're shaped like deep, handle-less teacups. I went to a hardware salvage place in Portland and bought three suitable, low profile bases, cut 2" off the IKEA tubes, painted everything gloss black and put it all back together. I think they turned out pretty darn good for a guy who's totally afraid of electricity. -Steve

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Building the Beds

The atrium needs plants! When the previous owners poured the new concrete floor, they filled in the flower beds. The only solution is to create raised beds... but with what? The typical materials just don't look right. We want something very simple and preferably stone or concrete. The garden supply centers turned up nothing that worked, but in the cement aisle of Lowe's we found simple 4" x 8" x 16" concrete blocks. Perfect!

Well.... perfect would have been the original atrium configuration of a few beds, exposed aggrigate concerete and a ultra-swanky water feature in the form of a small koi pond being fed water via a cement volcano!!! (I know... a VOLCANO!!!) That would have been amazing, but Haley says volcanos belong outside, so Krakatoa-east-of-Gresham will have to wait. Meanwhile in realityville, the concrete blocks look good, are super heavy and I think they'll take the sealer very well. -Steve

We "dry fit" the bed design and plan to live with it for a bit before we make it final... but so far I think it will work. And the step really makes a nice transition into the loggia.

Next steps:

1. Secure and seal concrete blocks
2. Select plants
3. Install drip watering system
4. Hook up Tiki water feature
5. Fill beds with river rock
6. Install lighting