29 April 2010

Reinhabiting



The glass shower door was installed on Tuesday. Take a good look; it’ll never be this clean again.

The double towel rack we ordered arrived yesterday and Jerry mounted that. He also did a neat job of encasing the cord for our electric toothbrush -- another small, why-didn’t-we-do-this-years-ago? adjustment.


Our towels are hanging, there’s a new rug on the floor. The skinny cabinet is loaded with our toiletries and sundries (there’s a word you don’t hear much anymore).

On the one hand it’s slightly depressing to clutter this pristine space with our funky old stuff; on the other, it’s fun to organize, shake things up, view objects in a different light.


Moving into a re-built environment involves a process of adjustment: Oops, the door opens that way now. Oh right, the mirror’s over here. Band-Aids are on the middle shelf of the upper cabinet. One must now place one’s front paws in the sink to get a drink of water.


When we completed our big Berkeley remodel, Stewart Brand came to the addition-warming party and asked us a lot of questions. He was writing a book called How Buildings Learn, and was interested in the adaptations that structures make, over time, to meet the needs of their inhabitants. At that point all I could tell him was that we’d most likely never close the pocket door on the walk-in closet and probably shouldn’t have spec’d it. What we didn’t know at the time was that the new flight of stairs would become magnificent loge seating at singthings, the magical musical gatherings that we would eventually host.

I don’t expect any profound social opportunities to unfold from this simple bathroom remodel. But we’re already starting to think about the next project. That’ll involve knocking down walls and dramatically altering spaces. Who knows what might happen then?

10 comments:

Gerrie said...

I hope you enjoy your bathroom redo as much as we do ours.

Terry said...

It looks beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing it. I love the idea of buildings "learning" and embrace that concept! I think we've taught our wierd old house a thing or two and I'm not done. Your story reminded me of the first apartment Ray and I rented. It was actually the main floor of an old two-story house that had a rather grand staircase in the livingroom that had been wallboarded closed at the top. We stored luggage at the top where it wasn't visible from below, but the lower part was great seating when we had parties. I can still picture friends sprawled on those stairs drinking beer and solving the problems of the world!

Revalani said...

Thanks, both of you!
About the stair-seating, one thing I forgot to mention is that, early on in the design process, we decided to do a large rectangular cutout in the wall separating the staircase from the living room -- basically to leave the lower half of the stairs exposed rather than walled in. The opening ran almost the length of the wall, starting just above a long, built-in shoji-fronted cabinet along one end of the room. The fact that you could see so easily into the living room from the stairs really made it happen. Hard to describe; maybe I can dig up some photos.

Jackie said...

The bathroom project has turned out very well and looks terrific in your photos. I am amused that the warm tones of the kitty give good contrast on the cool tones of the tile. How do the softer tones of pooch work out? Haven't seen her in a photo since the early construction.

Revalani said...

Hi, Jackie! China Rose sips from the sink, Stella Luna laps the drops from the shower floor... I guess it’s time to encourage Sophie to drink from the toilet.

Linda B said...

love the switchplate...was it a fortuitous find or created from tile??

Revalani said...

Neither! The switchplate was there before the remodel; we noticed when we spec’d the tile how consistent the colors were.

June said...

I've been painting stairs, which figure in my personal mythologies as well as history (our old bell tel. party line phone was at the bottom of our home staircase, and so I spent most of my teenage years, sitting on them, talking to friends while my father bellowed at me to get off the phone. I think I may have to add some figures to the next painting series.

But I must admit to serious admiration of your ability to tolerate renovation. Jer and I swear, never again. And we have almost everything in place. Never again. But that's what we said after the studio, too.

Donna said...

Wow, Reva
It is beautiful. How wonderful to have a new space. clearly your kitties are enjoying it too and have rapidly adapted....
What is your next challenge. Ours is a new 5th wheel RV so Doug can get out of Sea Ranch and we can go adventuring....with our kitties....
I think I will Blog about that...

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