Monday, January 19, 2015

Moving (Stein)back in...

It's been a month since the last post and there's really not much to report. We've had yet another screw up with our bank (long and painful story…) and last week, for the third time, they sent their appraiser out. We still have no idea when, and for how much, our home equity line will be approved. Needless to say, the financing anxieties continue.

Also last week, John and Gary dropped off the bookcases for the BBQ room. They will eventually be connected by shelving that will wrap around the corner walls. The shelving above the back counters were also delivered and are safely being stored in the main house. We have no idea when the contractor will return to finish the cabinetry installation. We're also waiting for the transoms to be installed as both the BBQ room and the guest house have been quite cold recently. Last Saturday we took it on ourselves to temporarily install the transoms for the BBQ room as we were celebrating a belated birthday for Chip with his family that evening. At 9 am we turned on the heated floors and started a fire in the fireplace and by dinnertime the room was nice and cozy. It was the first time we cooked and had dinner in the BBQ room since we started the renovation and, we're happy to report, it's an awesome space for entertaining.

Prior to the big birthday bash we spent a few very long days unpacking stuff from the garage and moving it to the BBQ room and guest house. We now have room to park one car, but there's really only enough room to get out of one of its four doors. Hopefully, that will improve soon.

We may end up having to do a temporary installation of the transoms in the guest house, too, as we're soon to have our first "guests" since the project was (almost) completed. Kevin's college friends Leslie and Mark (and possibly their two daughters) will be driving down from San Francisco to join us for NPR Senior Science Correspondent Ron Stein's visit to our campus for a presentation to KAZU station members. Rob and Mark have known each other since their early college days at University of Massachusetts, Amherst where Mark studied before returning to our alma mater, CSU,Chico. Mark is quite the accomplished illustrator whose work frequently graces the cover of The New Yorker. He recently published Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly which is a must read for anyone who has ever been part of a canine family. Our Catahoula, Jack, gives it an enthusiastic two paws up!

Now that there's furniture once again in the Phase One spaces, it seems like an appropriate time to show some "before and after" pictures. The first reveal: The transformation of the quintessential ManCave into...

…the much more functional and MCMish BBQ room:

The old bar area was fun and funky but it was almost impossible to work behind it. The new area easily accommodates at least two people and there's now an electric range, dishwasher and small fridge. And lots of storage:

We still have lots of 50s barware and kitchen stuff that we brought back from our former house in Palm Springs, including our much loved set of Temporama dishes. We even have a matching set in melmac!

Now on to the second reveal, the very much improved guest house. Remember the mismatched pitched roof and the funky grape stake fence? Gone!

Now a roof that matches the rest of the buildings, a much cooler door and fencing, and a new bamboo deck that almost doubles the size of the back yard:

And now the interior, where the most dramatic changes appear. Remember the old bedroom area with its funky acoustic tile ceiling and two doors leading off to an incredibly small bathroom and cramped closet that barely had space for the bathroom's water heater? Gone!


And the old, kind of scary, bathroom that visitors really only used the sink and toilet…

…is now a spacious space with a great shower and awesome view. Still, no shower door but don't worry Mark and Leslie, we'll have it taken care of by your arrival.

So that's it for now. Hopefully, Bank of America will come through for us very soon. We'll leave you with a photo from last week. We've had some incredible cloudscapes this last month but, unfortunately, almost zero rain….

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