Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Lighting Plan

architect's office

Every week we have a meeting in the architect's office which is located in his newly renovated attic and has big gorgeous windows looking out over the Glebe. Lately, these meetings have centred on the "lighting plan" for our house. Did you know there were plans for lighting? Most of my previous residences had lighting plans such as, "Don't Turn That Overhead Light On In The Bedroom Because The Wiring Is Bad And It Will Probably Kill Us" or "I Think I'll Put That Old Light My Grannie Gave Me In Thw Corner By The Couch Because That's Where The Only Plug In The Room Is."

But now we have pages of lighting plans. They look like this:

drawing lighting maps

The main push and pull between us and the architect so far has been around his love of open, multi-use space and our love of more closed, single use space. As in, this is the living room where we will read books and listen to records and this is the bedroom where we will mostly just sleep. We had a major break through when the architecture team realized that the lighting was going to mostly be task-specific, rather than adaptable to many different uses of one space. It's been cool to work with people who will challenge our perceptions of what we want and at the same time listen to us and figure out what will work for our lives, even if it isn't what they normally do.

Here's John demonstrating the lights in his office and giving us all a collective heart attack by standing on a chair at the top of a staircase.

demonstrating lights


Saturday, November 19, 2011


first floor

The architect said next week we'll actually be able to walk on the floor all over main floor of the house. I want to run around yelling, 'I'm in the living room! Now I'm in the kitchen! Now I'm in the laundry room!' My husband is not planning to do the same, he says.

floor joists

The meeting with the landscape architect this week went well, though I think it took until the end of the meeting for her to grasp my true desire for a food-producing urban farm. As we talked more, though, she started suggesting pear trees on the front lawn and figuring out the logistics of growing grapes on our third floor terrace. She's not a fan of bees, being deathly allergic to stings, but she did seem enthusiastic about their pollinating capabilities.

landscape talk

We went to look at fireplaces today, which is a whole other story. Opinions and anecdotes regarding gas vs wood-burning are welcome.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011



A few weekends ago I got an actual look at the foundation of the house. It was more exciting than I thought it would be. It hadn't occurred to me that this would be the first time I'd actually see the real footprint of the house. So much different from looking at drawings.


Tomorrow I meet with the woman who is helping with the landscaping. I hope she's excited about this being a little urban vegetable farm. Because that's mostly what I'm excited about.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reality Vs. Imagination

Right now the site of our new house looks like this:

construction site

There's a hole in the ground and a porta-potty and some machines and a fence. Not the kind of thing that excites me. But then the architects send us pictures like this:

giant green jello cubes

Yes, it looks like a mock-up of what it would look like if we became jello farmers, but really it was to help us choose a colour for the window frames.

It is amazing to see these pictures with added detail, even if the detail looks like giant cubes of a wiggley, low cal dessert.

whole house


Giant green jello cubes and some guy.