Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things That Got Left Behind

A year or so ago, I was getting clothes out of the laundry room before heading to work, and I stopped to admire our "spider clicker." It's this little device that makes an intermittent clicking noise, which apparently spiders mistake for some sort of predator. Before we got it, I would find big spiders in the laundry room sink all the time. Now I never do.

Anyway, I was standing there marveling at it when I happened to notice a trickle of water coming from the water heater. Because I happened to be spacing out in the basement at the exact right time, we were lucky enough to have caught the leak before it turned into a big nasty flood. (Yay, me!)

Our luck continued when my husband started looking for the valve to turn off the water flowing into the heater. He removed a couple of the ceiling tiles above the water heater, and down plopped these two magazines:

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and

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Until today, I thought these were the funnest relics we'd ever found in the house.

But now we have an older, better artifact, from January 1959. It was discovered in the attic when we had the old insulation removed.

It's only the cover, but I think you'll agree that it's much cooler than the other two. Dude!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Got Ideas About the Rainier Cold Storage Buildings?

Sabey is soliciting ideas from the public about the design of the building to replace the Stock House portion of the Rainier Cold Storage Building complex, and also how materials from the Stock House might be salvaged.

It's hard to articulate ideas about what you think a new design should look like, or even accomplish. We recently worked with an architect to come up with conceptual drawings for our house, and I looked for (but did not find) some sort of online guide to communicating with architects.

So I gave him a "Dream House Manifesto" -- parts of which I will share with you here just for fun.

First, a definition of terms:

Goals and Considerations -- We have both goals and considerations. Goals are the must-haves, while considerations are the nice-to-haves. We’d love for you to be able to plan out the goals in a way that would make it relatively easy to also achieve many of the considerations.

Sacrifices – What we’re willing to part with in order to attain a higher good.

Open Questions – The stuff we have no idea about.


The important stuff:

Phase 1 -- Primary Goals

1. Add a deck to the main floor.
2. Open up the kitchen.
3. Enlarge the upstairs bathroom.
4. Open up the dining room.
...


And some less important stuff:

Phase 1 – Considerations

...

5. Lighting. We hate direct overhead lighting, yet nearly every room is wired in this way. Is there a better way to light these rooms, where we’re not just flipping on the overhead light in order to go around and turn on all the lamps, then turning the overhead light off?

6. Upstairs/downstairs. We would like a fluid, inviting connection between the upstairs and downstairs. Right now, we have a dark, straight staircase practically ushering you out the side door of the house. It is the opposite of inviting.

7. Private/Public Spaces. We would like to define the private spaces in the house as separate from the public spaces. For instance, we’d love to have a dedicated hallway (which perhaps could be closed off) leading to the master bed and bath. If the “master bath” is the only bathroom upstairs, then perhaps the master bedroom could be set slightly apart from this public bathroom?

...

10. Pocket doors. For the love of God, can't we just get rid of all the non-functional pocket doors in the house?

...

14. Basement conversation pit. Dig into the cement floor to build a sunken conversation pit? Groovy!


And the end:

Postscript

We like weird. When people complain about new, bizarre-looking houses in their neighborhood, we usually love them. If you have bold ideas for the house, we’d love to see them.


I do plan to send Sabey my thoughts about the building that will replace the Stock House, though I don't yet know what I will say. Maybe I'll ask them about sunken conversation pits. Groovy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Art House and Garden

Last night some artist friends invited me over for a birthday dinner. Their house and garden are also a studio and showcase for their work and their collections. It's my favorite house in Seattle.

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