Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ground floor renovations at Stella’s

One of the very first things to do was fill in the interior dimples in the walls left behind by the molding process. I don’t think the buildings in this line of products were ever meant to have full interiors, just some decoration inside the windows to give an illusion of one, so the insides are pretty sparse. And, frankly, I’m not going to do a full refurb job on the interior, just enough to suggest to a brief glance that something is going on inside. Nothing contest grade here.
Once the holes were filled and sanded flush, a floor was cut from styrene and glued inside the ground floor opening. Super glue was used to hold it in place. It was then on to some painting.
And the painting was actually rather enjoyable. I was getting the sense this was going to be a fun project. Successive layers of paint were starting to make this one pop. I won’t go into the details, but I hope the pictures tell the tale. I tuned up the shading on the brick, and used some thin red washes to enhance some of the exterior wood moldings.
One design element I had to decide on at this stage was where to put the stairs to get to the upper floors. After some humming and hawing, I figured they’d go against the back wall, and I’d add an interior wall to block the staircase from full view via the main windows. All one can see from a secondary end window are the stairs leading up to the yoga studio. I added a door at the end of the stair wall to suggest a small storage room, or stairs to a basement.
The windows were a bit tricky. As I mentioned, I didn’t want to do a full interior detailing and build out the interior window frames visually suggested by the exterior window framing. In the end, I simply cut a piece of clear plastic for each window, drew a ‘frame’ along it’s perimeter with silver and black Sharpie pens to simulate some sort of aluminum frame, and then superglued it over the window opening. It’s serviceable.
A service counter, record bins, and lighting will finish off the ground floor, but I think I’m going to do those details later and move onto building the upper floors.

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