A lot has happened at the Hyde Park Condo since our last update. Mainly, we finished!….or did we? More on that later.
So, where did we leave off? Ah, yes. Fighting over a laundry sink and suspending an air conditioner over 25 stories in the air. Okay! Rough problems over, now we can close everything up! This is the easy part….right? Mmmmm, not so much.
In order to install the air conditioning system, we have this 9” duct running along the length of the 2,500+SF unit. We are restoring most of the plaster and mouldings so that “exposed, loft” look will not fly. We needed to cover these ducts with a soffit that disappears from sight lines. First, we thought, “okay, we will put this duct in the Library and just drop the ceiling, making the Library its own distinctive space as opposed to an extension of the Living Room. Then, once again, our architect came up with a brilliant idea: make it interesting! Yes, let’s drop the ceiling and then recess the center in an oval shape to further merry contemporary with traditional and REALLY define this area.
Well, in the words of Toyota: you ask for it, you got it!
Quite honestly, I was so impressed with the steel installation of the oval ceiling that I was sad to see it closed up with drywall. The schedule marches on, however, so we must do what it requires. Closing this thing up is no small task. First, we had to anticipate drywall from the very beginning and ensure that we had a smooth curve for the drywall to attach easily – it’s hard enough to get the drywall to curve without also having to fight the structure. We don’t want drywall screws popping out after we’re finished. Then, we have to make sure the drywall is installed completely symmetrical around the opening – even ¼” difference will be visible. At the end of the day, our crews never let us down, and we managed a beautiful drywall installation:
…and, of course, let’s not forget the original arched entry into the Dining Room:
Then, on to the fun stuff! Finish Carpentry. First, our New England Hickory Hardwood floors – 6, 8, AND 10″ wide (nothing like having to lay out 2,000SF of hardwood flooring before actually installing it to make sure it’s all evenly spaced!):
Done! Now on to the Kitchen tile: 40”x 40” pieces – think about that for a second. Think about how big that is, then imagine it’s ¼” thick.
Remember, our Kitchen cabinets were ordered 5 months ago from Italy. They have been done and on a boat for months already and they are not making adjustments for us, there is no room for error. Our floor height has to be perfect. So, we have a super thin tile that is also super large. This mean that if those tiles are not on a perfectly level surface, any given step in the wrong place could EASILY crack those tiles into pieces. Here’s the floor we’re working with:
(The guy on the right is our architect – we love you, Todd!)
The highest point is in the center and then slopes and peaks throughout the Kitchen by a difference of 2 inches at its most dramatic. Usually, we would pour concrete to fill the crevices and level the floor – if we did that here, we would raise the floor up 2 inches. See our problem? We can’t raise the floors up – we have 1 inch to work with otherwise our luxury cabinets will not fit. So, what do we do? We get to work!
We painstakingly grind, buff, and spot-fill the entire floor until it’s perfectly level and at its original height. Then, we install these tiles like counter tops – we used suction cups and everything!
Now, onto mouldings. We restored the original plaster mouldings. We re-framed all 17 windows. We restored the original millwork. We restored the original arched entry door into the Dining Room.
Then, we moved on to the new wainscot, working tirelessly with the architect to finalize the details: what’s the height of the chair rail? how many panels? which panels will match and which won’t? how many panels on this wall? how do we finish the top of these windows? the bathroom walls aren’t level, so…?
We might have been cross-eyed, we still pulled it off in the end:
Sebastian got his hands on our custom cedar closet. Of course, as only Sebastian can do:
We finished up the bathrooms, installed the cabinets, installed the appliances, installed the radiators, sanded, painted, and prepared for our clients’ visit from Europe for final completion.
Then, I got the call: our custom stainless steel back splash was cut incorrectly….from Italy. No problem! They’ll replace it!….in April!
…and our custom doors are back ordered, until April!
Whelp, we almost made it! Final Reveal in the Spring, folks!
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak:
Want to see more projects? Check us out at Integro Rehab!