Spicewood Texas Renovation: Update

Last week while I was working on some final touches to the Durango Mountain House the painters conned here at Spicewood and the results are pretty spectacular.

As I mentioned before, the photos are a bit darker than real life.  You may click on the image to view it larger.

The Powder Room looks very different than before even though all that we have done is paint.  There is a handsome stone top and mirror surround that was installed when the house was built.  But the stucco walls had a color and glaze applied that made the stone just blend with the walls and removed anything that was special about it.  The new walls create a beautiful contrast.

The paper has been removed so I wanted to post fresh photos of the Gallery from the Library to the Garage.  In the second photo the wall looks to be blue behind the credenza but that is just the trick of daylight in the camera.

The Library Fireplace is also complete.  We are working on plans for a custom fire screen which will include the Mexican Persimmon Tree leaves and fruit, a tree that is native to the Hill Country.

While we are talking about fireplaces, here is a view of the large fireplace in the Living Room.  We are also doing custom metal work to insert in the two niches above the mantel.

Last week Omar (the lead painter) has sent along some photos of the refinished wood ceiling.  I took some additional shots today that show even better what a great change this has made.  You will wonder why I included the really dark photo at the end.  If you click on this image you can see how beautifully smooth the finish coat is.  Really handsome work.

The glass installers where here today to install the frosted satin glass inserts in a couple of the interior doors which will introduce sunlight to some dark areas.  They also installed the glass in the Master Dressing room doors and in the Pantry.  The Mirror in the Dressing Room was also installed.

The custom windows for the Meditation Room have been installed along with the sub-flooring.  We now need to determine exactly how we want to treat the color scheme in the space.  The new door should arrive this week.

I had mentioned that we are refinishing the wood and stone floors.  The wood floor color is great currently and we will return to that.  However, the stone floors have darkened considerably.  Here is a before / after comparison.  It is going to make a huge difference. 

The cleaned area is to the lower right.

Headed to Houston in the morning to meet with my existing Houston client, a new consulting client and then my Spicewood client.  Then off to LA for a few days with the Spicewood client for accessory and lamp shopping.  More soon!

All the best,


Spicewood Texas Renovation: Day Twenty Two

While I am taking care a couple items for another client in Durango, the painters are continuing on with the work at Spicewood.

The coved ceiling in the Living Room has been repaired and repainted.  The color (in reality) is very much like the color of the lake.  Once the drought is over, we will have Still Water Blue above and below.  The cove is lit from within and is pretty spectacular at night.

The stained wood ceilings in the Gallery and Entry were a bit dried out.  The humidity here is fairly low most the year.  They have been cleaned and resealed.  They look darker in the photos than they actually are.  They are much richer looking than they have been in a long time.  You can also see that the trim around the windows in the tower above the Entry are now the same deep bronze that has been used in many parts of the house.  Really handsome.

There is a long curved hall with great windows that leads from the Library past the Office and to the Garage.  On the plans, it is referred to as the Mud Room.  But it isn't like any Mud Room I have ever seen.  You can't tell from this photo but there is a very tall curved stone wall to the right.  The custom door to the Garage is handsome enough to be on the front of most houses complete with its antiqued cooper mounts.  The Bluestone slate is still being protected by construction paper.

The same low humidity had also dried out the wood under the clear lacquer on the cabinetry in the Office.  The cabinets are now refreshed.  The walls in the Office have not yet been painted.

I had mentioned in earlier posts that the photos do make the rooms seem very dark, but now that the paper has been removed from the floors you can get a better idea of what the end result with be.  The floors are going to be cleaned, screened and resealed.  The floors in the Living Room will be sanded bare, stained and sealed.

You can't quite see on the fireplace photo above but the stone was actually applied to the fireplace after the beams (which we have removed) were installed.  The stone will be stripped from the area above the mantel and relayed with additional stones added.  The little niche which is centered on the firebox but not on the mantel has made arranging anything attractive up there a chore.  We will remove it.  There is also a single stone which is not the right color.  It will also be replaced.

Last but but by no means least, the front door to the house is a one of kind piece of art with rondel glass, copper mountings and custom hardware.  The air had also dried it out.  It has been renewed.  You can see that the trim has been masked off as we prepare to paint it the Bronze color while maintaining the aged stucco on the wall.


The windows have been delivered for the conversion of the screen porch into a Meditation Space and that work will begin very soon.

Have an amazing day!


Spicewood Texas Renovation: Day Nineteen

An early wrap day here as the Painters drive back to Dallas on Fridays to spend the weekend with their families before returning Monday morning.  It is seldom that you can catch two of them in the same frame but the photo above was from last night just before they wound things up at 11:00pm

Here is another view of the Master Bedroom giving a slightly better representation of the colors.

The Laundry Room is now complete.  Once the painters wrap, we will have the stone floors carefully cleaned and resealed.

I know other painters will paint the HVAC grills but how many de-gloss and prep them first?

In the event that you hadn't already heard this, never, never use anything than an oil based enamel to paint your metal supply grills.  There is a component in latex paint (however environmentally friendly it is) that encourages mildew and mould to grow on the grills.  It is particularly important in warm climates.

The Dressing Room and adjacent closets are now complete as well.

Here are views of the Family Room which show how much more clean the architecture is of the space now that the beams have been removed.

Now that the plastic wrap is off the the stone, you can get a sense of where I have been going with the house colors.  The image on the left is a pretty good representation.  It is a bit more "green" than real life but close.

And just because I have a thing for Pantries, here is the new one with the paint complete.

The paint is still a bit wet, the walls are not the least bit shiny.

The paint is still a bit wet, the walls are not the least bit shiny.

A big travel week next week between Dallas and Durango but Omar will send along photos so I can keep my Client informed.  Have a great weekend!


Spicewood Texas Renovation: Day Eighteen

Lots and lots of painting continues but first I want you to look at the automobile like finish on the enamel in the photo above.  I really wish each of you could feel how smooth and see how beautifully the enamel has been applied.  This is some serious prep work!  Thanks to Omar, Isaiah and Jose!

The Kitchen cabinetry is draped and the painting has begun in that area.

The Library and Curved Gallery are also enameled.  The Library Closet is complete.  The trim is not nearly so green as it appears in these iPhone photos.  As always, you may click on the images to view full size.

Aside from the huge amounts of glass that allow great light into the house, there are several monumentally sized skylights.  Of course they require scaffolding for painting and the prep.

The electricians were here yesterday to complete the installation of additional can lights in the Family Room.  The light trims have all been painted to match the ceiling.  The new HVAC supply grills will be enameled to match as well.  The electricians also installed the lighting in the new Meditation Room. In the photo to the left you can see the actual wall color that has been cut in around the windows.

Before the wall painting began today, all the walls were touched up one last time, then spot primed.  All the old "Tuscan Stucco" is history.

Just because the view out the Kitchen corner window is so pretty, I have included this photo post-prep / pre-enamel.

And finally, here are two shots of areas where the painting is complete.  I warned the client in advance of posting these that with half the lights burnt out, my camera phone and the paint covered floor drops, the areas seem very dark.  But in reality, they are rich and really beautiful.  The first is a view into the entrance to the Master Suite and the other a corner in the Master Bedroom.

More Friday (in the light of day) as we wrap up the week.  I will work to have a lot for you to see since I will be traveling on to other projects next week before returning to Spicewood on March  10th. 

All the best!