House On The Hilltop - Part Ten

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm sure you're getting just as sick of looking at these cathedral ceiling/planking/beam/ pictures as we are of looking at it in real life!  But, I'm happy to tell you we are very close to climbing off the scaffolding for good! 

Eldon worked a couple days on veneering the beam and column in oak, which I sanded, stained and oiled before he put it up. Once up, it required a bit of wood filler to get the mitered edges to come together nicely but overall we were happy with it. He trimmed the long edges of that in pine trim. 

Then it was on to the trim against the cathedral wall.  We spent a lot of hours in Lowes and Home Depot looking at trim.  This house doesn't seem to call for some of the fancy trim available to purchase.  Not that there isn't some absolutely gorgeous product out there that we loved, but we just kept coming back to the select pine trim.  It fit the look of our house a bit better. 

Once the trim on the walls was done Eldon started on the trim of the big dormers.  He had really been dreading this as there are 3 angles that come together.  I can't seem to get a good picture showing it, but you can sort of see what I mean by the above picture.  It required some mathematics and great mitering cuts to get it all to come together nicely. 

And because we were working with wood and not an MDF product (an engineered wood product), then we could sand away at the areas that didn't fit together exactly!  MDF sure has its place but in this case we said yay for wood!

You can see the dormer trimmed out in the above picture. It still doesn't show the different angles too well, but you get the idea!

Then came the debate for window trim.  We struggled with the same thing as the ceiling trim.... what to use in a house that we want to be custom, but yet keep with the country farmhouse feel.  Eldon did a  lot of reading, I did a lot of looking online and finally one Sunday night supper at our daughter and son-in-laws house it hit us - we wanted to copy the original trim in their 80 year old farmhouse!  It has just simple painted wood trim around the top and sides with a ledge on the bottom called a stool and below that another piece of trim called an apron.  Evidently this sort of custom trim on windows goes way back.  Above is the picture with the stool piece just sitting there as we were doing the custom fit.   (Incidentally, you can purchase the "stool" from Lowes but it was an MDF product and it wasn't as thick as we wanted.  Eldon used stair tread wood with the bull nose edge and he cut it to fit.)

Here is the finished trim!  It was my job to do all the caulking, filling nail holes, sanding, and painting.  I absolutely love the look.  All three dormer windows are trimmed out and beautiful!  We plan to use this same style throughout the rest of the house.

The scaffolding doesn't reach into this middle dormer and the only way to get in there to work is this home-made tower with a scaffolding plank on it.  It is a lot higher than it looks in this picture above.  It took me quite a bit of courage to put my step ladder on the wobbly thing and walk the plank to get in there to work but I did it.  The scariest thing for me is that I can just picture myself forgetting that I'm on a narrow plank 15 feet up and step off my ladder to the floor that is not there.  But the wiggly tower sort of kept me reminded that I wasn't on solid ground! 

I got the final bit of painting done in the upstairs craft room and sat back to re-evaluate the fact that my original goal was for this room to look a little bit like a barn loft.  I would've loved to have had old barn wood walls and floor but never could talk Eldon into it!  Life is all about compromise and I'm okay with that but I was still yearning for the barn loft room!  I started really thinking about the floors... what could I do that would be a good compromise but would still give me the feeling I was going for?  I was in Lumber Liquidators looking at the flooring we had chosen for the rest of the house when BAM it hit me.  For up here, I wanted this crazy looking laminate that is called Dunes Bay Driftwood but is an old barnwood replica... sort of a grey/whitewash color.  I took a sample home, set it in the craft room for a few days and fell in love!  I went and bought it yesterday. 
I just laid a few planks down to look at.  Use your imagination because I could not get a good picture no matter how hard I tried.  But I love it. (Lumber Liquidators has a good picture of it in a loft bedroom on their website here.)  Next week we will start the ceiling trim in here and then the flooring!  (And build some sort of custom door for the little storage area that is in the rafters!) I am confident it will give me the feel that I want.  Plus keep the room light and happy! 

Then.... the cherry on top of the whole week!  My Barn Light Electric order came!  Four gorgeous red pendant barn lights for the kitchen.  This was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make on the house (for me anyway).  I knew I wanted these lights... and I knew I wanted red, but I had the hardest time taking the plunge.  When I opened the box and pulled one out I was so happy I had the courage to do it.  The red color was gorgeous.  And then this happened...
Eldon hung them and I went into panic mode.  There was a little problem....  the 7 foot long black cord that came attached to them is this super strong industrial strength electrical cord and in the packaging it was folded in an accordian like fold with a rubber band and we could not get the kinks out.  I worked on them all morning trying everything I could think of - from the warm sunshine to a blow dryer.  Eldon finally went ahead and hung them and then we hung weights on them and tried that for awhile.  No change.  So here we are with these beautiful Barn Light Electric pendant lights with kinky cord that make them look cheap.  I contacted the company and they are going to email me with some solutions.   All we can hope is that with gravity and time the kinks will work themselves out.  If not, I don't know if I can stand to look at them. 
 But, I will say they are absolutely beautiful, the red is everything I had hoped for.   

I took a few days off and went to South Carolina with my daughter and her friend and their four girls.  They attended a homeschooling conference while I got to be Gram to not only my two beautiful grand-daughters but honorary Gram to two other precious girls. (My grand-babies are the two little ones in the photo above; Rosetta is the baby and Jillian is almost five.) It was so refreshing for me to be off the hilltop and doing something completely different!  While the Mommies were busy, the girls and I did the zoo, the Falls, and the swimming pool at the motel!  (And I even let them jump on the motel beds for a full five minutes!  Isn't that what all good Gram's do?  shhhh!)

Eldon stayed home and took care of the farm; however, he and our son-in-law did take a day off to go  canoeing and fishing.  When we got home, there were two little girls that were really happy to see their Gramp!  Especially Rosetta.  I think it was a good 15 minutes before she took her head off Grampy's shoulder!

 Its been a good couple of weeks on the farm.  Calves are still being born, older calves growing in what seems like inches every day, Eldon bought a Bull that will be delivered in a week or so, there's a hint of spring in the air, and our house is getting closer and closer to being finished.  There is a lot to give thanks for.  (I made and shipped the above custom sign to my winner of the "guess the day the calf will be born" contest!) 
I hope you have an absolutely wonderful Easter weekend. 
P.S.  If any of my readers has a solution to the kinky cord problem, I'm all ears!

Continued in House On the Hilltop - Part Eleven


  1. I can't wait to see the finished product of your home!

  2. I love the lamps and am positive with time (and maybe warmer temps.) the kinks will fall out - they look stunning regardless. If you're ever in central Virginia, I'd love for you and Eldon to stop by; our place is so reminescent of yours and we,too, built it ourselves. Our cathedral ceiling and dormers are almost identical!!
    Great post!

  3. I had the same problem with two pendant lights I hung in my kitchen last year. Eventually the cords will straighten out and look great!

    Mary Kate

  4. Hello, Dori;
    Your house is really coming along! It is going to be beautiful. The lights are so you and go well with the house! I hope the cords relax and straighten out for you.

    Take care.

  5. Everything is absolutely stunning! I love the pine trim and the dormers are spectacular. I think the cords will hang out - maybe let the kids swing from them (kidding - just kidding!).

  6. I love it all! And I imagine the kinks will work themselves out with time and gravity. :)

  7. Oh it is going to be so lovely! Love your lights and that flooring you chose is absolutely AWESOME!

  8. Wow, those dormers look complicated. I love the lights too. Wish I knew something to tell you. Maybe they will straighten out. I know you can't wait to get in that craft room. It will be beautiful!

  9. Dori, the house is looking gorgeous! I put my electrician husband on your kinky cord problem, and he said they get pendant lights like that all the time. Frustrating, but apparently they will straighten out with time. He said there is a clear plastic straight "sleeve" type thing you can clip on the cords to encourage faster straightening (then unclip and discard when straight). He couldn't find the product he was thinking of online, but it would be a similar concept to this: (sorry, hyperlink isn't working)

    Hope this helps! It would drive me crazy too!

    Bonnie S.

  10. Hi Dori, Your house is looking beautiful...the lights definitely
    look your style, but I must say that being somewhat of a perfectionist
    those cords would drive me crazy...hope they straighten out for you. I
    know I would definitely have a hard time living with them like that.

  11. Oh my gosh things are really starting to come together. All the trim work is just stunning. I would have had an absolute fit over those light cords too. I hate stuff like that! Wouldn't you think they could come up with a better way of shipping those things? Sounds like they will straighten out from what some of the comments said. Oh...and red was the perfect choice. :o)

  12. It looks so pretty! I just love those floors. So charming! :)

  13. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.
    Pendant Lights