Ladies and Gentlemen, The Doors!

If the past few days had a theme, it would be doors…and windows…and a hinge.


Clothes closet up top, air conditioner stored and rolled out when in use from bottom compartment.

First up in our recap, the combo sliding (up/down) closet and air conditioning door. The closet is on the curbside, just forward of the bathroom. We knew the clothes closet would have to share space with the air conditioner (we opted for a portable, rolling unit instead of a rooftop one). At some point a few months ago when Ben was scoping everything out, he asked me to bring out a dress on a hanger so he could see how tall to make the closet. Well I’m not sure what the point of that exercise was, because the closet is four feet tall. But it is beautifully framed out in redwood; the doors are redwood with luan panels inset.

One more lament, and I’ll let it go: we came upon the idea of doing sliding doors, thinking that would be the best use of limited space. I now realize we will not have a “back of the closet door” on which to hang things. 😦

To make the door panels, Ben used the table saw – ran the luan through multiple times with the blade so low it was only nicking the wood – and the result is a fake beadboard panel that is thin enough to fit in the the doors. When seeing it finished, I pronounced the door beautifully rustic, which Ben took as a half insult. JK – he agrees – high design rustic = cool.


Bathroom door, old factory glass

The bathroom door, also of redwood and luan, went pretty smoothly. It includes a glass panel, to let a bit of light in both ways. It’s that greenish industrial glass, with chicken wire. It’s definitely vintage, definitely from eBay, though if you believe Ben’s description of it on Instagram, we also *know* it’s from an old factory. Probably. It made it here in one piece from Maryland wrapped in a wool blanket and 3,000 miles of positive thinking.

He needed a miter gauge to closely fit the various pieces of the frame and panel (also known as stile and rail) door. The one that came with the job-site table saw acquired after we got here was a K-tastrophe. So he built one that only produces 90 degree cuts, but was adequate for the job and way better than the cheapo one from DeWalt. (The table saw itself is decent for its purpose, though Ben says he’s pushing its limits.)


Counter top extension, magic hinge

Next up, the hinge – one that will be much used, and was much labored over – Ben finished mounting a flip-up counter top extension/cutting board next to the stove top. It’s attached with an aluminum hinge he picked up from a boat salvage place. The spring loaded supports came from Rockler. He used a chisel to mortise out the hinge, attaching it both to the existing countertop and the extension. It works like a dream. DO NOT WORRY. To make full use of the napping couch, all one has to do is raise (with ease) the hinged counter top.

In ladies-land, we took on windows, and I started one of my major projects – the Airstream curtains. After considering what might go well with celery-colored bulkheads, wood, and aluminum, we chose a navy blue and white zig-zag stripe, which we are 99 percent sure was the right decision.

From lower left, counterclockwise: fabrics we considered, panel under construction, and finished panel.

From lower left, counterclockwise: fabrics we considered, panel under construction, and finished panel.

It might be a little dizzying if you are prone to vertigo (we are not, thankfully). I clicked around and settled on pleated curtains, which I’ll attach with curtain hooks. The whole shebang involved buckram, blackout lining, and lots of measuring. I have some sewing experience, enough to struggle-though-not-give-up on following written instructions. I’ve been using these tutorials for the curtains, and found this when I realized I didn’t have a blind hem foot. Ya see… Ben’s not the only one who can come up with a work around 🙂

There are six windows in the Airstream, though three of these are double windows, with a smaller second window below the larger one. I may do those smaller windows in plain ole navy blue, to give the eyes a little rest. Some of the windows ARE the same size, but each seems to have its own personality, involving a frame that juts up against a shelf, doorway, or yes, even a bulkhead. So, I re-measure a lot. I’ve only ripped out one seam so far, which I consider incredible. We’ll mount them in the next day or so. I can tell you the blackout liner really works-a must have if we plan on sleeping past sunrise ever.


Grilled veggie pasta, practicing food photography

Let’s break the theme and have a food pic, of a grilled veggie pasta, made with every vegetable acquired at the farmers market last Sunday: beets, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions. Added a little pesto. It was delish. Sister Sara, Ben and I grilled and ate outside with my parents. I’ll leave you with my friend Pam’s critique of my food photo shot (so you can learn as well).

A little too much going on between the bread and fork AND pasta. Pull back the camera a hair and take out the bread. Zucchini piece on the right third, fork on left third, maybe flopped over. 

This shot shows the garage interior thru to Ben's worktable/space in the back.

This shot shows the garage interior thru to Ben’s worktable/space in the back.

We are enjoying mostly cloudy and cool days, though today the sun finally came
out. A real LA day, in Ben’s estimation. He celebrated by riding his bike to Anawalt Lumber for caulk and glue brushes (Anawalt has been a local, family-owned institution since the 1920s, and it’s also our source for redwood. It’s just up the street and though I had never been there, my mom remembers going for boy scout supplies back in the day.)

So much ahead – we picked up our shower pan today, so that sets up more plumbing and bathroom construction. Lots of head scratching about the dinette/bed area. I have 6 curtains down, 12 to go. And, Ben is thinking seriously about buying an Anawalt t-shirt, and is encouraged by the fact that IT will fit in the closet.

6 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Doors!

  1. I am not an expert, but the pasta, and the photo thereof, look pretty good to me. Might try grilling some up m’on self…


  2. You had me at redwood. 🙂 Also, I love the last pic of the open door and the outdoor work space. Fun to follow your progress!


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