Friday, 18 December 2009

Mantel famine to mantel feast

Remember how last week I caved and bought a fireplace mantel which I love but which is totally different than what I originally had in mind? Well, no sooner had I done that than I found *exactly* what I have had in mind on Craigslist. Like I hadn't spent the past 8 months scouring Craig's (along with every other mantel source I know). The seller had not one but two of my dream mantels...for literally 1/10th to 1/15th the price of anything comparable that I've seen. Crazy. So exciting! Naturally I bought both. And now we have not one but three fireplace mantels.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Papercut injuries

I guess you can't die from them, but they sure are annoying. My fingers are covered with them after 4 hours of signing letters, folding them, stuffing them into envelopes, sealing those envelopes, stamping them and sticking on address labels. I'm ready to drop them in the mail later this aft or first thing in the morning, so that 200 of our closest neighbors are apprised of our plans for the RBB. Don't mind doing it but really hope that after all this trouble they let us have our freakin' conservatory.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

On the agenda

We're on the agenda for the two neighbourhood groups' meetings in late December/early January to ask for their support for our appeal to the Zoning Board (for the garden house and to use the RBB's basement as living space). I spent the morning at City Hall trying to get the names and addresses, not just of all the property owners who can see the top of our building from their own, but also of all their tenants, since all the buildings in our neighborhood are multi-family. I came away with a list of the 47 names and addresses of the building owners but have been getting conflicting information about how to obtain the names of the buildings' residents. Either a list of their names will arrive by email this aft or I'll have to make another trip to City Hall tomorrow and try to get it. Then this weekend we'll be drafting a letter to all the affected residents (I'm guessing about 250 names) explaining our proposal and afterwards I'll have the unenviable task of addressing and stuffing all the envelopes early next week. I'm feeling very in-the-trenches.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

ISD application submitted...and a new mantel

On Monday we submitted our application to renovate the RBB to the city's Inspectional Services Department. That gets the ball rolling and clock ticking down the path to a rejection of our plans, neighborhood hearings, an appeal date and - hopefully - approval to build! It's such a relief to be out of the stage of eternally hounding the architects for drawings and answers to various building code questions, even if this next part of the process is sure to come with pitfalls of its own. Fingers crossed that we can get the rejection letter from the City soon, since we have our first presentation to a neighborhood association (there are two such groups on our neighborhood) at the end of December and are supposed to bring that letter to the meeting.

In other news, I bought the mantel for our fireplace today. In a sense it's not what I expected it to be, but in another sense it is. I wish I had photos for you, but we stopped by an architectural salvage place on a whim and of course I didn't have my camera. I had in mind something like the ones in the images above: marble, intricately but above all delicately carved, with an arched opening, and quite large. Instead, we ended up with a wood mantel, regular rectangular opening. It's stripped oak and we might leave it stripped, or else possibly paint it white. What sold me on it were the carvings...they are absolutely stunning. They're not chunky at all like so many mantels, with leaves and swirls, rather than overly feminine roses/flowers. My bf is pleased with the absence of flowers and also by the fact that the mantel is wood, which he far prefers to marble. I can't say I wasn't swayed by the price, either, which was fabulous, even for an wood number, never mind the saving over marble. I'd rather economize here so we hopefully can go big with the budget elsewhere. My only concern is with the size of the mantel. It's a bit smaller than what I had pictured. But our RBB is pretty small, so I'm hoping the proportions are right when we install it.