The original Eames fiberglass chairs were, of course, groundbreaking in many ways: an innovative uses of materials, an interjection of color into businesses and homes, the creation of a "system" of shells and bases... and doing it, originally, at a fairly modest cost. Today, the irony is that these original examples are quite sought after and carry a high price tag. Our friends have a few "rope edge" chairs that are even more sought after, so scour your grandparents' basements, kids.
Avery contacted me to restore a few of her Eames fiberglass shell chairs. She had picked them up at her old University... undoubtedly bound for the skip. Being commercial chairs, they were originally fitted with stacking bases which are the least covetable of the variants. To use other bases, the shock mounts need to be relocated. We've done that before, so we took on the job.
These came to us in fairly rough shape. Someone had tried to relocate the original mounts unsuccessfully and in the process did a bit of damage to the fiberglass. They had used a variety of glues to try to adhere and re-adhere the mounts, but — as I mentioned to Avery: no worries — it's all part of the restoration process and price.
In short: We took the chairs in, (1) removed the old mounts, (2) ground off the original and re-applied glues, (3) affixed new mounts, (4) rejuvenated the surface, (5) fixed the damaged fiberglass spots, (6) balanced the bases, and (7) gave them a final polish... all in all giving new life to the chairs.
Our Friends Michael and Iris are selling their house and that makes us quite sad... some recent work on the house bought me back to San Rafael where I was able to review some of the past work, get some new photographs, reflect on the work overall, and see how it's held up five years later.
The Laundry Area: This modificationgot a bit of press. In revisiting the home, a few things became apparent: (1) it was the right thing to do -- the machines that will fit there depth-wise are "condo sized" in the first place (smaller and lower) so having them on the platform makes sense and (2) the materials have held up quite well — I can't really find a scratch. As-is, most any counter-depth machine will fit and the height of the counter is very usable. The washer box is easily accessible should you need to turn off the water and the way the hoses (down below) and electrical lines (up above) run through the area makes it a very tidy space. Some additional design details like the aluminum trim under the counter and on the sides of the shelf (see pix below) and underlit shelves add to the style-element while the drywall backing adds additional file protection.
A few months back, we replaced the redwood strips in the atrium... we got tired of sweeping rocks up and tripping from where we had to remove the decayed spacer strips. It was a success. This weekend, I tackled the driveway. The premise was the same, except the slope added a separate challenge.
The technique was similar, so see the old post for that. The sloping pieces were a bit shorter and cut at slight angles at the ends to facilitate the curve to match the slope. The were pocket-screwed together along the sides — a bit unnecessary, but it should help to keep them from lifting at the joints. You could also glue and side toe-nail them. Shims on the sides helped to keep things aligned and wedged in place until the adhesive and sand set. Once it dries and weathers a bit, it should look very original. (What you're seeing below is still very wet.)
Every Eichler owner's nightmare is having one of the large glass panes break. There are also a lot of misconceptions involved in what it might take to replace one — from the forfeiture of a kidney to having to separate the large pane into several smaller panels... or worse: vinyl.
A broken window is likely every Eichler owner's nightmare...
Chris and Sara had the original "conquistadoor"... the poorly placed Spanish revival door more appropriate for a Taqueria than an Eichler. It needed to go and they had been counting the days until its departure for some time. Chris even started using a hashtag: #byeconquistadoor ...
Chris booked a day in December and we took care of business. Since the weather has been so cold and wet, we were just now able to finish off painting.
One of the first things we did when we bought the house was to plan the wired house network prior to putting on the foam roof. This was a good move in a number of ways and we've gotten a lot of use out of it.
We wired each room (8 runs total) with cat-6 (data), cat-3 (phone) and RJ6 (cable) and installed plates in each room. We plumbed everything into a central wiring box that handles the distribution along with hubs to handle each of the cable runs and clusters. We were even able to get some speaker runs (back/surround) in place before the foam went on. Although not terribly complex or costly (comparatively... all-in, i think it was $500), it's a pretty robust system and definitely something to plan if you're putting on a new roof... along with some new electrical for exterior lighting. This was one of the things we liked when working with Rick at Abril roofing. He worked with us to separate the "scrape" from the "foam and coat" which allowed for this to happen.
(One of the things about writing this post is that it reminded me that I ran cat-6 instead of cat-5e wire... yay, me!)