Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Trompe l’Oeil

March 24, 2021 A visual illusion, literally a “trick of the eye” – a painting or photograph which creates the perception of 3-dimensionality…. that is trompe l’oeil. As an artist and art teacher, you would think I would have seen this with my own two eyes, but instead, it was a happy accident of composition… (Bob Ross anyone?) And the camera played the trick for me, which I only noticed later! Do you see the stairs?? Two combined into one, where it will actually be, eventually!

I was up early to continue cleaning – now that a fire had somehow been lit under my derriere, I was on a mission…. but I had a hard stop at 11 AM. I was leaving for the Manchester airport to fly home… and coming back again in only 6 days. Life sure is complicated! But more on that later. First, here is something interesting. You may remember that over the past 4 years there have been both squirrels and raccoons that lived in the house, and at times became trapped. This is the windowsill over what will be the kitchen sink, and the most significant chewing evidence…. ūüôĀ And there is Millie, the neighbor’s cat, who I don’t normally see in the yard, but I hope she is on her way to catch some chipmunks!! (Yes, there is still snow in the yard, but it is not yet April, and there’s been snow in April before!)

Next up, here is a before and after cleaning comparison. I had moved the insulation to the closet and picked up a lot of random scrap wood. I started leaning tall trim pieces agains the wall in the corner, and you can see the very long aluminum channel (what was it for?) that I eventually hope to move against the wall. I leaned that piece of plywood against the facing stud wall (closet is behind that) to give the appearance of a solid wall, to help see the spaces better. And kept sweeping small sections as they were cleared…. so much yuck!

There were a half dozen long sheets of plywood leaning against the central gluelam post that were blocking our vision of how the kitchen should be arranged, which is still a mystery to us… I dragged them one at a time into the media room to lean against the only open wall that was big enough. I think they are longer than 8 feet because they sure were heavy! But it really opened up some possibilities!

It is really challenging to “see” how it could be, with building materials littered all over the floor. Here is the view as you walk in the front doors, turn right and see into the house, it will be the kitchen you see first, along with an empty space with a high ceiling. Open the photo on the left and you can see how “open concept” it it – just imagine the wooden stairs completely out of the picture, as they are only temporary.

The door with a full glass panel leads outside to a deck (not yet built). There can be cabinets/countertops all across the back wall, and we pictured a cooktop (or range) with a hood centered on that wall to the right of the windows. The wall to the right with windows would also be cabinets with a sink under the window with bite marks (!). We also pictured a central island somehow around or incorporating the gluelam post. But where would the refrigerator go? The original plans placed the refrigerator approximately where the door to the deck is now. Obviously that has to change – John thought it might fit in the right hand corner next to the range, but we thought that would be cramped and awkward. Or, we could take out the windows by the deck door (we didn’t want to do that). In the next photos I placed a sheet of plywood up against the “wall” under the stairs to indicate that the refrigerator could be placed there, also creating a wall from the dining/living room viewpoint which would act as a room divider. Otherwise, you would be able to see directly into the kitchen from anywhere in the entire first floor – we weren’t sure we liked that look – what do you think???

I texted the photos to Bob and John, what a busy morning! LOTS to think about…. for now I was out the door! Tell us what you think!!

1 Comment

  1. Michelle

    I love that optical illusion! Also a fan of the fridge wall concept,

Leave a Reply