attack of the HVAC, neoplastic cat, decorating, landscaping, artscaping, green knees, and a place for umbrellas

One ringy-dingy...

attack of the HVAC

We've been having issues with the HVAC where it struggles to get the master suite to temp while the rest of the house turns into a meat locker. Case in point from bedtime early last week:

By the morning the "public areas" and "upstairs" were 69 and 68, respectively. Not good. I became convinced that a damper controller and zone had been reversed. While isolating each zone (raising the target temp in the other two zones and lowering the target temp in the zone of interest), the cat and I heard a good crash upstairs when I isolated that zone. And here's what we saw when we rushed upstairs:

Basically blew out the damper (which shouldn't happen, by the way...). The "clean-up dude" came out yesterday to check the zones (he believe the upstairs and public areas had been switched; I'm not so sure...) and southern engineer the blown out damper for another crew to come out and fix properly this week. Hard to see in the photo above unless you know what you are looking for, but the installers left a hunk of solid wall insulation in there that had blown up against the damper (there should be nothing but black distance between the damper blades, some have silver; that's the obstruction). That could have also been the reason for the failure.

We also chatted with the clean-up dude about the ERV not being connected to the thermostat control. For some reason, the installers chose not to use the Bryant ERV, which would integrate with the system both in terms of on and off but also speed of the fan (low, medium, and high). The system they installed only allows the on-off, and that isn't connected to the system. That means the ERV blows all the time, even if the HVAC fan is off. That's fine with a fully ducted ERV, but ours is only connected before and after the plenum, which means that it just circulates with itself when the full system fan is off. Not good. That will (hopefully) get fixed this week, but we're stuck with the one speed.

corbusier/perrand sofa

We had a bulky settee we moved to the house that just wasn't cutting it in the new space, something we suspected would be the case:

The settee is that spatially heavy thing at the bottom of the photo.

To replace it, we got a le Corbusier-Charlotte Perrand love seat lock-off, which works much better in the space:

It's not as comfy as the other sofa in the living room (perhaps because it's a knock-off?), but the cat seems to like it!

neoplastic cat

Speaking of the cat, he seems to have gone neoplastic on us!

a little more fence work

The builder is coming out this week to finish off the punch list. A crew came out to work a wee bit on the fence, including the fence on the south side of the house:

We're glad to have that up since it secures that side of the house. Soon it will be painted the same gray as the garage. The crew also finished the fence at the back of the house. It is (ahem...) tall.

on the hook

We've been placing hooks and whatnot about the house and have been debating whether or not to drill into the tile. We're reluctant for a variety of reasons, so we're happy to "discover" that suction hooks work great in the bathrooms for holding towels:

and are easily moved or removed without leaving a trace.

The other type of hook we've discovered are sticky-temp hooks (3M Command Hooks, as seen on TV!). What's cool about them is that they stick to unsuctionable surface but also can be removed later without damaging what they are attached to. And you can get them where they are nearly invisible.

For example, we hung this print in the kitchen:

Here it is with the print removed:

Can you see the hook?

Look closely! It's like underwear from Victoria's Secret: It's barely there!

Other places require a more visible and traditional hook or bar. Here are a couple:

de stijl walls finished

The yard walls out front received their final coat of paint last week. Lots of comments and questions (and head shaking) over these walls. A friend calls them "the tombstones".

other landscaping bits

In other landscaping news, the feather grass for the front were planted this past week:

The grass is starting to grow in the back driveway:

Found these cool solar yard lights at IKEA to use out front:

Bought some yard art at arhaus (not exactly a place to shop for modern stuff...). As I was checking out, the lady behind the counter asked what I had come in for. "Balls," I replied. "Well," she said, "That's not something you hear every day!"

But it was the truth. When they first opened several months ago, I checked them out, and they had these cool sandstone and granite balls. And that's what I came back for (bonus: on sale this time!).

Also found a cubic planter for the bride's jade plant:

turned my knees green

In other news, I turned my knees green installing those IKEA lights...

Need to use Photoshop to spray on a tan...

window treatments

Found some removable window film to add some screening to the powder room and the door to the backyard form the master. Seems like it will work like a charm. Had been looking to replace that back door, but the film with wee gaps of unfilmed window has made me reconsider. It totally looks modern now!

a roof for the bookshelves

Finally have a roof for the bookshelves!

plugged in

Thanks to Beaker's Bro, I've fallen in love with adorne plugs and switches. Along those lines, I switched out the humdrum plug at the front entry with this beauty that hides the plugs. Building code goofily required a plug in this wall. This gray replacement fades into the background a bit and ties in with the floor.

a place for umbrellas

Been raining lately, so we needed a place for umbrellas. Found this beautiful umbrella holder at The Container Store:

I can haz scratches?!?!?

found the Gehry

Found Frank's tea kettle.

"Your house looks like a museum!"

We've now heard this comment several times from folks that have gawked at the outside. On the inside, we kept the walls (and much of everything else) white and muted to be able to highlight the art (and whatnot) we have. And we have a lot. 

The house seems to require a bit of sparseness to work, at least by our eyes, and the same is true in how we are placing art pieces. We still have a ways to go (and the three-breasted woman has gone missing!), but here's where we are so far.

This is a Blondie poster from 1976. I've been a Blondie fan since I was a wee lad and heard "Heart of Glass" on the school bus near Fenton, Illinois. Blondie was my first rock concert, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, August 5th, 1982.

A Tara Mcpherson.

A piece we call "The Zombie Bandito". Really, this is the Mona Lisa of Zombie Banditos. By the Amazing Hancock Brothers.

Another Mcpherson at the front door.

Everything in the powder.

An oil by Dan Burns of the old Austin Power Plant in all its Streamline Moderne glory.

A (sad little) print we picked up in L.A. 

A print of graffiti by Fafi.

Another Mcpherson. Yes, we're collectors...

A piece purchased at the Croft Art Gallery in Waco in the master bath.

That art I found in the trash.

Graffiti artist from San Marcos.

That same grafitti artist.

A Frida Kahlo print: The Death of Dorothy Hale.

Another Amazing Hancock Brothers piece.

And here's (some) of the other pieces we have:

Still a lot to dig through and place!

moment of bliss