Week 1 rolls to a definitive end and we’ve already coined the term “Guillotine Tuesday” to capture the full impact of self-imposed deadlines and other feelings of isolated insanity. Weeks run Wednesday to Tuesday around here – just like they will at the cafe once open. So Tuesday becomes the chopping block on which we assess what marks we’ve hit and what we’ve (already) let slip.
Already we’ve veered off course – making allowances for the weather, picking up the wrong item at Lowes, and making some projects more complicated than they need to be. But, in good news, we have worked ahead on projects in Weeks 2 and 3! So, even though we can’t cross off everything in Week 1, we may still be on track. Any way you slice it, this will be a scramble to the finish line!
Week 2 sees the deadline for the health department application (a doozie!), the end of the staircase and Gallery projects, and some final decisions on products we’re ordering wholesale from China… as well as a barrage of research on our next wave of purchases. I can’t believe how much stuff we have to buy to open this place – all the “big stuff” is done but a cluttered list of little purchases sits squarely in front of us. Fortunately my timeline breaks the buying up over the next few weeks. But, I definitely believe opening your own business forces you to become a mini-expert on the WIDEST assortment of things possible, in the shortest amount of time!
I’ve been reflecting on how to organize my blog posts for this next stretch of time because the format I was using no longer seems relevant. As we gear up to open, I want to tell some more stories about the renovation itself but not in so much detail. If I did, we’d be here until 2019 still talking about putting up the walls. So we need to fast-forward a bit… compress time… and showcase the highlights… while still keeping you up to speed on the here and now of our new phase of this project.
This week’s story: the Bar Walls! As with many stories over the next few weeks, I think it sums up as a “multi-step, many month process” compressed into 1 post. Here goes!
First up, the wall under the stairs in the Bar. We framed in this area to encase the stairs, provide a little storage, and be the access-way to our basement.
Next up, the long anticipated Bar walls! We used “Wonderboard” – a type of cement board people often use as the substrate for tiling in wet areas (bathrooms etc). But we loved the rough, industrial texture of the material itself. So onto the walls it goes!
This accounted for a majority of the walls but there was one BIG project left to do! Switch out a secondary door here for a new window!
Once the walls were finally up, we needed to jazz them up a bit… Jazz:
Yes, my friends, the ivy idea didn’t work. I’m still not entirely sure why… the idea was to grow ivy on the cement board like ivy grows outside on brick walls. Both substrates are porous and the ivy’s little aerial suction roots should adhere to the material, growing up the wall. But, ivy apparently loves SUN! Who knew?! And there isn’t a whole lot of sun in our Bar. I did a bunch of research on living walls inside houses and it’s possible. But, apparently, in a room with way more sun than we have. So, after 6 months of trying to convince the ivy to work, we pulled the plug. The remaining ivy plants will get relocated to an outside project.
As for the rebar, that project turned out quite nicely! The first pass was to cut the grid into varying lengths and hang on the walls with a series of nails. Then, after a few months of staring at that (and watching our ivy die), we realized it needed a second layer. So – we decorated the interior of the grid with smaller off-cuts of rebar in a massive squiggly art project of lines and shapes. And we topped off this pattern with “lollies” – square pieces of steel we turned 45 degrees to look like diamonds. And we bolted these to the walls at the junction of 4 panels (to hide the rough corners!). Again, a great choice!
I’ll leave those pictures for another post as they’re still on the camera. Fitz just finished this week! 🙂 And it was a “Week 2 project”. Wow, ahead of schedule!