Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cardinal House : Construction in frigid temperatures

A friend sent me an email the other day asking what happened to my blog. Yes, it's the third week of January and I haven't posted yet this year. Like the weather, my mind is frozen.

Lake Ontario at Oakville shores - 
those Canadian Geese floating on the water are much more brave than me.

I think the bears have it right to hibernate for the winter....... I am most definitely not a cold weather person and have trouble functioning when it's bitter outside. Tonight the thermometer will plummet to minus 23 degrees celsius, it makes my head hurt just thinking about going out.

The work on Cardinal House has taken a slowdown the past month. Cold weather, trades having time off during the holidays, a severe storm that left thousands of people {including my Mother and Sister} without power for almost a week and several crew members not able to travel to the job site = sloooowww. The weather has played a big part in the process of our building schedule. Despite the weatherman's sad promise of double digit negative temperatures for the remainder of the week, we are pushing to get the schedule back on track.

Despite the frigid temperatures the sun peeks through the bare tree's at Cardinal House and gives promise to sunny, warm days on the lanai. My fingers froze when I removed my glove to take a picture with my phone, but the glow of the sun on the lanai warmed my heart while I stood there and imagined the fun we will have in this great outdoor space.

The masonry crew completed the work they were able to for this time of year. They will return when the temperatures stabilize in spring so that the over-grouted stone can be applied to the lanai fireplace and on the wine room wall.
The eave troughs and soffits will be installed this week as the crew from Accurate Aluminum return to the house. The insulation will be installed within the week, none too soon since the temperatures are brutal. Then it's time to fire up the furnace and get the interior finishes started.

The midday sun glows against the new windows.
The mill work crew managed to get the wood ceilings installed on the lanai and front portico before the temperatures took a dive again. The picture above shows the right side complete, the slat wood ceiling will be white washed and a large lantern will adorn the space.

The pillars on both the lanai and front portico have been roughed in, final mill work trim will be added and all of the wood will be painted out in the spring to match the colour of the windows.

We are searching for outdoor lights for the front of the house and want them to have a French vibe. Black lantern style with seeded glass are high on the wish list.
These are the lanterns for the back lanai area..........

Lantern for the lanai via Restoration Hardware

two lanterns for the lanai walk area via The Chandelier Man

Over the recent months Richard and I have been searching and sorting through the variety of finishes to compliment the look we want for Cardinal House. Hardwood flooring, tile, mill work, lighting, plumbing fixtures.............. the list is long. While we don't agree on everything, for the most part our tastes are the same so it helps with the decision making.

Richard has wired and prepared the house for all the pot lights and has been testing LED lights to capture the soft white glow light we are looking for. Running all of the lights on LED is part of our energy saving endeavor and Richard has really impressed me with the program he designed to ensure we are running the house efficiently. Once the lighting is installed I will share details on the types of lights used and the bulb testing.

We visited a great lighting store in Toronto called Turn of the Century Lighting. The store features antique lights that have been reconditioned and wired and custom lighting that presents so well you would believe it is antique.

Our new dining room chandelier.

As we walked up the steps to Turn of the Century Lighting, the prettiest chandelier twinkled back at us. The piece is from 1930 and features Spanish cast brass. We bought two wall sconces {below} that will be finished in the same cast brass finish as the chandelier.

The bulb on the left is LED - the store has candle sleeves that cover the base.

Turn of the Century Lighting offers custom designs of vintage/antique reproductions. The fixtures can be altered in style and finish which makes the options almost endless.

Antique light pendant for over our kitchen island.

The glass globe hanging pendant is very different than what I had been searching for to hang over the kitchen island - but we love it. I had been envisioning something along the line of rustic antique lanterns - but then thought we have those on the exterior of the house already.
The Paris reproduction chandeliers {below} were high on my wish list, but shipping them up from California to Canada is becoming a big hurdle for the supplier.

Still have my heart set on this lantern for somewhere.

On my list of things to do is the final designs for the master bedroom walk-in closet and the mudroom closet. The mudroom/laundry room will have full size closets to hang coats on hangers, some hooks, and vintage wood chairs to sit and put on our shoes.

wood chairs from The Door Store

Decorating a home is about layering and building, it does not all come at once. Just as we searched for the house that had the vista we wanted, a house with a soul underneath it all, in a neighbourhood that was about being a community; we are taking careful steps to layer the finishing touches.



  1. It's frustrating when things intervene - even things like unusually frigid weather and storms! Still, every bit of progress is thrilling.
    And i loved those lanterns you have your heart set on too:)

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