Archive for February, 2010


February 26, 2010

This morning we took a look at the progress on the floors. We didn’t expect much else to be done over the last few days, as the sanding and polishing takes some time. The floors look awesome:

We were hoping that there would be a worn look to them without them being damaged or dangerous, and that’s definitely what we’ve got. Beautifully used original hardwood.

What was the biggest surprise was that even more had been done. The rather ratty radiators have been painted and positioned properly:

And baseboards have been put on the walls. The next (and possibly last) major renovation item is the installation of the ceiling lights/fans:

Or we could just go with the vacant building look, right? 🙂

Our decision to leave the brick exposed on the one small wall was definitely the right one. It alleviates the feeling of the space being just a white box, and adds some interest and texture to what is in essence a completely new space.

It’s amazing how much work has been done in 13 days. We are finding it hard to believe that this space was an oppressive, dingy, cat-pee-carpet environment a mere fortnight past.


Old + New

February 24, 2010

Here you can see our current studio layout (above) and the new shop layout. It looks like the square footage is just about the same, with the scale tipping ever so slightly in favor of the new space. Now we can finally do some space planning.

We’ve already got all of our existing furniture measured and placed in the old studio layout file, so it’s going to be easy to start grabbing those rectangles and fitting them into the new box.

White Box

February 23, 2010

The walls are finished, a fresh coat of paint added today. The exposed brick has been repointed and looks amazing. Tomorrow the floors get a rough sanding, and by friday they’ll be finished as well. If all goes as planned, we’ll be able to officially start moving in next week.

The frighteningly dark nook is now our favorite part of the space. Our first thought is that this may end up being a sort of photo booth where we can take product photography. But until we do some solid planning, it’s all academic.

By tomorrow, we’ll have the floor plan finished and layout strategies can begin.

Weekend Progress

February 21, 2010

Four days after the start of work, it’s looking great:

(top image: the first day. bottom: this past saturday)

We picked up ceiling fans and a few lighting fixtures on Saturday. Our Friday night at Home Depot was a bust; the first store we went to had very limited options and even the options they did have were missing their additional parts. Store Note: If you have parts listed on your shelves, they should exist somewhere in the store.

Luckily, the location at Diversey and Halsted had what we wanted.

The walls and ceiling are almost completely done with the drywall work. The brick we left exposed will need some rehab, repointing, et cetera. Soon all that will be left is baseboard installation… and a coat of paint. Of course, the item on everyone’s minds right now is the floor.

Under the carpet was vinyl composition tile. Under that tile was ANOTHER layer of vinyl tile, then some adhesive, then the original hardwood (maple). It’s impossible to tell the color and shape of the floor right now, but soon it’ll get a cleaning and sanding and we’ll see what needs to be done.

The bathroom floor, on the other hand, we know about:

Yikes! The previous tenants had installed a dubious shower in the bathroom, and our guess is that they didn’t protect the floor properly. All of the old fixtures have been removed, and the damaged floor will be pulled up, replaced with plywood, subfloor, and tile. It’s really the only damaged area of the space, thankfully.

More to come!

Planes & Volumes

February 18, 2010

As you can see from the above photograph, we’re not quite at the point in construction where we can really illustrate the space as it will be. But we can start to imagine our store as more than just a lot of construction rubble.

It does help a little bit to see the walls as clean planes. It’s way easier to understand just how large a wall is when you can take away the scrapes and holes and loose wires.

The space we’re looking at here will be part of the studio rather than the shop. We will likely put some shelves up here for ink and printing supplies, pegboards for tools and such… but who knows? so many things to think about.

This $#!& Just Got Real

February 16, 2010

Thirty-six hours after the paper is up, the walls are down:

The space is now completely open, whereas before it was divided into three rooms. We didn’t take any pictures of the true Before, so it’s hard to describe, but there were a lot of unnecessary nooks and crannies in the space.

Now there is only one nook, behind the opening on the left. It goes back into what might be considered a closet space underneath the stairs that reach to the apartment spaces above.

There is a small bathroom space that will be completely renovated (along with almost everything else), but we wanted to keep this original sink. It seems like a good size for our studio work.

Paper Up

February 15, 2010

The space is cleared out and the brown paper is up on the windows. It is a very exciting feeling to know that passers-by now know that the old stuff is over and out.

Now we feel that we can officially start telling more people about the upcoming move. Once the demo work is done, we can fully measure the space and start talking to a few designers about some fixtures.


February 4, 2010

(View from the Brown Line, Damen Stop)

The bridal boutique that has occupied the space for the past fifteen years is in the final stages of moving out. Once that is complete, the space will be renovated and we’ll be able to start measuring in order to draw up plans and elevations.

We are eager to begin some real planning. When idle, we start to talk and sketch out ideas for the space: