Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stained Glass Window 2

When we first bought Glenlochan, one of the interesting features in the home was a stained glass window, buried in a downstairs master bathroom in the back of the home and surrounded by painted green trim:
When we tore off the poorly built back addition of the home to rebuild a new one, Rob carefully removed the stained glass window and brought it to Philly.  I had fortunately happened upon a stained glass business in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Phildelphia, Majeki's Stained Glass.  Although the above picture doesn't really show it, the window was in very poor shape - damaged and neglected.  Frankly, we weren't sure if it was worth any effort or cost of restoration - it seemed like it might be fake, not real.  Majeki's owner agreed to take a look at it for us over the phone and to our surprise, we weren't even through the door carrying the window when he was busy exclaiming how wonderful it was. 

It is, apparently, quite real, quite worth the restoration costs (which were not insignificant) and quite beautiful.  Likely dating back to the 1920's based on some of the "jewels" incorporated into the window, his guess was that it originally came from a church.  How it ended up in Glenlochan is a mystery, but we were pleased to have it restored after learning more about it and the materials in it.  This all happened over a year ago, and after the restoration was complete, we carefully stowed the window, heavily wrapped, in the back of a closet in Philly, not trusting that it wouldn't be damaged if it was on site during the construction phases.  With all that has transpired in the past year I had really forgotten what the window even looked like. 

Once the heavy construction was finished a few weeks ago, it was time to transport the window to Virginia, which I did on one of my solo night treks from Philly to VA.  I carefully seatbelted the window in my car across my back seat.  It was a nervous trip - gingerly driving and hoping I didn't have any mishaps en route (and Tosha had to sit in the front seat, not her usual spot at all, which was a bit distracting for both of us).  Thankfully, we all arrived in one piece.

We had earmarked the window for a place of honor in the study - with a beautiful view of it immediately upon entering the home in the breezeway.  Rob had previously ordered a custom window for that spot, designed to have the stained glass window carefully installed over it at the end of the process.

Install day:

And, here's the finished result.  The pictures don't really do it justice, but it's stunning.  We are happy to have been able to restore such a neat piece (more on the great vintage and original Glenlochan light fixture also in the shot soon).

Monday, November 11, 2013

One More Door - Repurposed!

Yup, I lied when I said that all the interior doors were completely done.  There was one more little door project to complete, but it was a BIG door.

This was the original back door of Glenlochan, saved from the project prior to the demolition phase.  Measuring about 40 inches across and 68 inches tall, it was a beauty (with a little imagination).  The above shot shows it partially stripped - I cannot take credit for the stripping of this door, both our cabinet maker and Rob worked on this one.

When we designed the kitchen, we knew we wanted to re-purpose the door in some way, and our idea was to use it for a huge pantry door.  The old glass couldn't be saved (and we needed tempered glass given the size of the panes) but just any old plain glass just wouldn't do for such a cool door.  So, as per usual, I shopped around in person and then online for the perfect glass, which only took weeks to find.  Luckily, one day I happened upon Bendheim Cabinet Glass which not only had an awesome selection of glass, but also sold small samples, and we had about 12 samples to peruse in the comfort of our home in just a few days.  There wasn't one in the mix we didn't like, which was a welcome problem to have.

The above shot is the glass we selected:  European Clear River Ice Horizontal and we used the same glass in all the cabinets that had glass fronts, as well as the pantry door.  As the pantry was being built, we had to fit the door, with a few modifications, we were able to make it work:

Then our cabinet maker applied the same paint, glaze and lacquer to the door to match it to our cabinetry.

The final step was to add the glass and hardware before the final install.  Then end result is awesome, and it's the best pantry I've ever had, made more special because we were able to keep, improve and re-purpose that great old door.

Loving it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Moving Day!

Even though the project is not completely done, we desperately wanted to get moved into the house - and we are planning on having Thanksgiving dinner there this year, done or not!  Almost 2 years to the day after we sold our Richmond home and put all but a single carload of our belongings into climate controlled storage, we were able to liberate our stuff from the tightly packed, floor to ceiling, 30x10 storage unit that had held our items.  

I had mixed emotions in the weeks leading up to the big move.  On the one hand, it was going to be so great to get our stuff back again.  On the other hand, it was, well, stuff.  I hated to think that I was getting worked up about a pile of things - it seemed so materialistic.  Frankly, if we managed to survive for two years without it, no issues, no problems, how much could it matter?  Turns out, it doesn't.  Matter, that is, not so much - possessions are not life or death, there was nothing hanging in the balance, and I would have survived never seeing any of it ever again.  Although I think I've always known that, it's been great to have that reinforced so strongly at this stage of my life. 

Having said that, though, once we got through the hectic crazed move itself, there was unexpected comfort, lots of great memories, humor and disbelief, and an incredible warmth in the ritual of unpacking the boxes to see what each one held.  In some cases it was like Christmas - wow, I forgot I had a cherry pitter (who doesn't need a cherry pitter in his or her kitchen??); in other cases the reaction was more like, I cannot believe I paid storage fees on a box of glass jars that should have been recycled years ago.  There were oohs over the unopened Dremel and attachments still in the box - I now own two so I'll never be without - and heavy sighs from Rob that we stored not one, not two, but FOUR completely out of date, boxy, and very old tvs.  We are donating  a lot of items - it's so interesting how a two year break from my stuff gave me a whole new perspective.  I'm not embracing minimalism, mind you, but I am very much in de-clutter and keep the essentials mode.  Rob's about two decades ahead of me in that regard!

The day before moving day did not end on a high note.  I arrived late the night before, making the long drive from Philly after work.  Although I had hoped to roll right into the not-so-comfy air mattress upon arrival to rest up, Rob had other plans.  He was, no joke, in the middle of about three different projects, all of which he planned to compete before our final inspection the following morning at 7 am.  Yikes.  This was not what I had envisioned, but I also went to work and several hours later, we fell exhausted into the air mattresses and grabbed a couple of fitful hours of sleep prior to the 6 am alarm.  That was an ugly sound, it came all too soon and we quickly chugged a pot of coffee trying desperately to wake up.  Thankfully, everything was smooth sailing after that.  The final inspection went without a hitch and we hightailed it out to the storage unit arriving, literally, on the bumper of the moving truck.  Our awesome movers had us completely loaded in a short three hours - the storage unit was clean as a whistle and was due to be re-occupied the next day.  Our mattresses and cushions were all intact - no unwanted guests (aka rodents) had made their homes in them, a nagging worry that was, thankfully, unwarranted. 

A few hours later, we were completely unloaded.  Left to our own devices with mountains of boxes and bags in each room.

There was a mild disagreement about the most important piece of furniture in the mix.  Our king sized bed was my choice - man was it glorious to sleep in a king sized bed again.  This was Rob's pick, although it was a close call, even for him - he loved the king bed, too:
Because we only had the weekend to unpack, there was no way it was all going to get done, but my goal was to get the kitchen done (Rob's was the humidor!).  Everything else could wait for subsequent weekends, but I was determined to clean and line every kitchen shelf, unpack every box, and wash every dish - eating in the camper for so long with only microwaveable meals or eating fast food had taken its toll.  Hand in hand with unpacking the kitchen, I was eager to "oil" the soapstone counters.  The result was incredible - here's a before and after of the small counter by the wine nook:

Here's a few more shots of the oiled soapstone (and an unpacked fully functioning kitchen):
Clean and unpacked, with several boxes of kitchenware awaiting donation, one room down, many to go! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Amazing Re-Glazing

After a week of waiting, I finally was able to see the clawfoot post-re-glazing for the first time.  It was absolutely pristine - RJ did an excellent job, wow!  Here's the inside of the tub before:

And, here's the end result:

All the benefits of brand new, but so much better.  Almost 100 years of history and now ready for a new generation of bathers.