Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A new beginning

It's been about six months since my last post.  I was sparing you the heartache of a long, wet winter without a roof.  We are now seeing lovely warm(er) days and some blue skies so hopefully the roof will be completed in the near future.  While waiting for this to happen I had to divert my attention elsewhere so this post will be all about that diversion.  It came in the form of light fixtures!

But before I get to that, I wanted to show you one of the first interior finished pieces.  This is a little exposed rafter in the master bath above a window that provided a special surprise to us.  My son helped to build this with one of our craftsman--and at age 18 it is something to be proud of and grateful for the experience of learning how to build.
When the window was cut in we realized we have a view of Puget Sound to the south.  We thought our only view would be due west but most of the maritime traffic is to the south so we now get a little peek of it each day.

Right now the masons are in the house building the fireplaces so I need to get some pictures soon since the fireplace is an important central element to most Greene & Greene homes.

Lighting the Greene and Greene Style Home

The kitchen is where I decided to start with lighting since it concerned me the most.  Much of the lighting in the rest of the house will be with lamps and wall sconces. We also plan to use hidden rope lighting where it makes sense. And of course a few art glass fixtures will be in the main living areas.  The objective is for the house to glow and for the eye to never ever meet a visible light bulb.  We'll see how successful we are when it's all finished!

You may recall from previous posts that I am attempting to go "no cans" in this new construction.  A challenge to be sure since most architects can't live without recessed lighting in their plans these days.  Our architect appreciates the goal of a period home where recessed lighting did not play a role in the early 1900s but he didn't eliminate them entirely from the lighting plan but I aim to do so.

So I went back to my friends at Mary Davis Vintage Lighting in La Conner, Washington and poised the challenge.  Using photos of the Gamble House and the Robinson House kitchens shown below we tried to find fixtures that would provide great task lighting and overall light for the room.  The Robinson House was completely refurbished in the past 10 years, it was in pretty bad shape following a big earthquake but the current owners have taken great pains to restore it beautifully.

Robinson House (photograph from phaedra.biz)

Gamble House (photograph from gamblehouse.org)

With the above kitchens as our guide here is what we will use:

Three small halophane pendants over the island.

A large halophane over the kitchen sink.

The middle fixture will be used throughout and is surface mounted near the ceiling

The inside is mercury glass.
The net effect of the metal surface mounted fixtures with mercury glass interior will probably be very similar to recessed lighting but it does look old (because these are all old fixtures with new insides) and they won't be cans!  Yay!

Dimmers will be used --at certain times of the evening it drives me crazy to have a room completely lit up.  And undercabinet lighting will be throughout the kitchen and adjacent laundry room too.