For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about how excited we are that This Old House is featuring some of our products on this season’s project house. We are glued to PBS for every episode now, and love sharing progress on Emily and Nick Deldon’s home with our readers.
The Paint Question
Episode two of our favorite show got off to a genteel start. Host Kevin O’Connor met homeowner Emily Deldon at a design shop in Boston’s upscale South End. They conferred with interior designer Jill Goldberg about her ideas for keeping the Arlington house’s Arts & Crafts soul while brightening and modernizing.
One idea shocked Emily. Frankly, we were rather shocked, too. Ms. Goldberg suggested painting most of the natural woodwork a color called super white. She described it as a “warm, non-antiseptic white,” and played down Emily’s concerns about natural wood being a signature feature of an Arts & Crafts house. We say be strong, Emily! You don’t have to do whatever the designer says!
We feel much more comfortable with Ms. Goldberg’s suggestions about incorporating William Morris wallpaper into the house. William Morris began designing wallpaper in the 1860s and was the main originator of the Arts & Crafts movement. Originally hand-printed with wood blocks, you can now buy modern versions like the examples below.
Dealing with Lead
Meanwhile, back in Arlington, the rest of episode two was mainly about demolition. Upstairs, the show’s plumber and HVAC expert Richard Trethewey talked to Ron Peik about lead abatement. Lead-based paint is trapped behind the many layers of paint families have applied over the years. Peik oversaw the use of a huge HEPA machine to filter the air down to the microscopic level. Workers wore disposable suits and respirators while they loosened plaster, then used a shovel to tear huge plaster strips away from lathe.
TOH head landscaper Roger Cook met with Nick, Emily and their landscape architect, Kimberly Turner. She revealed her new plan for the yard, including an entrance courtyard, porch, yoga studio and off-street parking. Turner will study the sun pattern to determine the best location for raised vegetable beds. She also suggested a fire pit terrace in the back corner, where their four-year-old daughter can toast s’mores.
Goodbye, Silver Maple
Roger met with certified arborist Ben Staples, who had concluded that the old silver maple had to go. The tall, pretty tree had rotten limbs, which could be hazardous to anyone passing or parked beneath at the wrong moment. They brought in a crane to lift huge sections of the tree out of the yard, and chopped it up in a giant wood chipper.
Hello, Fireplace. Eventually.
Lastly, Kevin and TOH general contractor Tom Silva knocked out walls for the bump-out that will house a new 20 by 18 family room. We’re excited about this future room, as we’ve heard it will contain one of the house’s two fireplaces.
We hope you love This Old House as much as we do. We love to hear from our customers and we love to help them improve the beauty, resale value and livability of their homes. If you need help with a fireplace project, call us today.