23 July 2012

Frieze Angst

Got my frieze paper samples from Bradbury & Bradbury.
They are breathtakingly gorgeous. And yet ... None of them is right.

The largest one, Land's End, is so ideally Arts and Crafts and so beautiful that considered spending far more than we had budgeted for this, but I simply can't pretend that it is not too large. And it's a coastal view, when I had wanted to echo the riverine environment of Southern Illinois.

 Of the others, which are riverine motifs, the second, River Frieze, is lovely on many counts. It is our hoped for theme, a more modest size that would work well with a lower wall placement, and an entirely budget friendly price, but it is far too much green when paired with our wall paint. The third, Birchwood in the new Rookwood colorway, is perfect, all the colors are ideal and don't overwhelm with the pain we chose, but it is too small. Much too small, even in the new larger format released recently, because this border would need to be placed above the picture moulding to look right in this space. Alas. I had such high hopes, but our space had other plans and our budget rules out asking for a custom print job.

 My next idea is to paint a frieze myself. I can and do paint, landscapes especially well, and murals aren't unknown to me. I can get the colors just right, and I can make it fit. Now to sketch it out.

I've created a board on Pinterest just for collecting inspiration photos. I am thinking of sketching out a 12 foot section and repeating it, or possibly going mostly freehand all around the room. Also, incising the pencilled design into the plaster before painting is looking like a nice touch. I am researching period decorative painting methods right now.

14 July 2012

Insulation for the WIN!

It's been quiet around here, but we've been busy with PeeWee Baseball and summer vacation.

Speaking of summer, it has been astonishingly hot. So hot I could barely use my own kitchen, since it would get about 10 degrees hotter in there than outside, if I wasn't cooking (on the highest days, that meant it got to above 115 in there). The rest of the house was really just barely tolerable, with two window units going full blast we got it down to the high 80's or low 90's in the rooms with a/c.

So, between bouts of heatwave, we ponied up about 200 dollars and my husband and our good friend J put GreenFiber blow-in cellulose in the attic. It took them about 4 or 5 hours, including breaks. The attic is now insulated to R-19 or a little better (we used the r-19 calculation that didn't make allowances for framing, and then added one extra bale), and it has made an amazing difference. Mostly, it shows in that the house isn't heating up so fast in the morning, and the cooling is lasting longer with less active cooling being needed. It has made such a difference that we saw a 15-20 degree difference vs. outdoors in the rooms without air conditioning during the day, and 10 below the outdoor temp in the kitchen, even with the stove getting used on and off throughout the day.

This is my favorite thing so far: I was able use my oven and cook a full meal today, without getting heatstroke. Furthermore, our enclosed front porch, on the west end of the house, which is usually best described in warm months as "ovenly," was actually comfortable, and it got up to 92 outside. Usually it is already intolerable when it's up in the 80's. That bodes well for the next time triple digits roll in around here. And, frankly, it bodes well for wintertime as well.

Tomorrow, heat-reduction tint goes on the west-facing windows. That small improvement should also help the front porch be more usable through the year.