Coming into the home stretch

Halloween is fast approaching and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 It’s been almost a year and a half since we broke ground and we are definitely coming into the home stretch now of finishing building our home and restoring the historic landmark Kitchen Brother’s property. While I’ve enjoyed this process so much and absolutely love my crew, I’m also really looking forward to wrapping things up and moving in.

Here’s what’s happened since I last checked in…

The roofers have been hard a work and are nearly done installing our beautiful terra cotta tile roof. The Santa Cruz Green Builders team has been busy multi tracking so many efforts including trenching for all our utilities; tiling the bathrooms; installing the HVAC system, as well as painting the exterior and starting to stain the interior cabinetry.

Brian Sarinova, our resident artist, has been very busy creating our courtyard fountain and it’s been a really amazing process to watch and participate in with him. He has also been laying the foundation for what will be decorative metal connectors between the DG (decompressed granite) courtyard and the historic building veranda, as well as between the DG and the gate in the historic portal at the head of the courtyard. We needed to create a solution to manage these ramp sections as the DG could not be installed directly over these angled areas due not being able to install the necessary base rock to stabilize the DG in this areas. Brian came up with a solution that did not require us to permanently alter the bricks in these areas. It’s a little complicated, so suffice to say it will look amazing and we are happy with the approach he came up with to resolve this challenge.

In addition to introducing us to Brian, our new friend Michael Trainer (owner of Roxa Elixir Cafe) also introduced me to another Brian (Campbell) who he thought might have a solution to our dream of building a living edge dining room table. As it turns out, he did. Brian had been holding onto a ten foot long old growth redwood slab that had been burned in a fire a few years ago. When he came across this old redwood he was hoping it would find a good home. We are proud to say we will be that home. Local artisan Joey Kochlacs will be creating our dining table from this old growth slab; something he is extremely talented at doing and we are honored that we will have one of his pieces in our home when it is finished.

Another cool thing that happened is that while the guys were trenching for utilities they came across what looked to be a bit of a dump site. There was a vacuum pocket in the soil where they found a bunch of broken glass. Brian Sarinova, who has done his fair share of archeological digs and salvage, got excited about this and excavated the remnants to see what he could make of it all. In the end, with his knowledge of dating materials, we were able to discern that the dump was likely Kenneth Kitchen’s and appeared to be where he threw out his glass bottles and jars, as well as one or two tea cups. We salvaged some good remnants and will use the most intact glass jar/bottle bottoms in the “Gaudi” style mosaic work, I plan to do after we move in, within the ruins of the exterior stairwell of the historic building. So fun to find these bits of history!

Another fun thing to note: I’ll be going on the local radio station KSQD this evening at 6:30 to chat about our project and the property with DJ / writer Wallace Baine, who will also be publishing an article on our historic property in the Halloween edition of the local “Good Times” magazine/newspaper.

Hope your Halloween is wicked fun and that you enjoy the pictures of our progress…I’ll be in touch soon with more progress reporting.

PS: we will be opening the construction fence in front of the historic portal and sitting out there to hand out candy Halloween evening. If you’re in the area, drop by and say hi😉

Roof is starting to really take shape
I don’t know how they do it
and with such precision
Our crew hard at work dealing with trenching for all the utilities…the property looks like a crazed mole went through it!
During trenching we found what would have been Kenneth Kitchen’s trash site…almost all glass waste…we’ve saved some of the bottle and jar bottoms to put into the mosaic work we will be doing after we move in
can’t wait to do the pool coping soon!
Grading around the pool burying the utilities
Foundation for the pool equipment room
Pool equipment room went up quickly
Painters have finished the ceiling of our veranda
So sweet!!
Color of the cabinetry…unvarnished…will look a bit different once completed
An idea of what this will look like against the white walls
Upstairs shower tile completed
And upstairs tub/shower tile completed
My favorite thing has now been tiled
Master bathroom tile coming along quite nicely
Love the blue of the shower floor and nook
Picked a turquoise tile for the main house fireplace…will be doing a light gray cement top to this unit
We found a 100 yr old growth redwood slab that was recovered after a fire that we will be having Joey Kochlacs (standing here) make into our dining room table….couldn’t be more thrilled about this!
Brian laying foundation for the connections between the DG courtyard material and the historic building veranda
Now filled in with cement … Brian will next install a decorative metal cover for these…
Our artist in residence (of a sort)
Pouring the concrete foundation for the fountain
I got to help with this … love getting my hands dirty and being involved!
Wood forms removed and white Portland cement top installed
Decorative, partially opened lotus flowers for the sides of the fountain coming out of the kiln
Turned out beautifully! Colors are stunning in person.
Brian cutting out the wood forms that will set the stage for the lotus flowers
The forms will sit in the cement sides while the rest of the cement finishing work is done
After the Portland cement has been laid on and dried, these will be popped out and the lotus relief pieces installed in their place
Positioning will look like this, but after the Portland cement finish is in place
Brian putting the rough coat thin set that will give the Portland cement something to grab onto
Portland cement finish now on the border detail
Brian caught this amazing shot of the full moon rising the other day
This is our local “bubble guy” who does his part to create a little joy in all our lives….he often does this right across from the house we are renting…so cool because he does it at sunset giving everything a lovely glow

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Brooke says:

    So interested to hear how the project is going in 2020 and hoping you will still have something for Halloween despite the circumstances!


    1. Hello Brooke. We’re hoping to, but we aren’t sure yet. I think we can make a safe Halloween experience, but we won’t know for sure if it’s time to do that until October. Keep fingers crossed 🤞🏻


  2. Denise Van Alstine says:

    Artina, this looks amazing! So much is completed – from vision to fruition!


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