On the Rail Trail

Some people spend the last few weeks of winter looking for the first red-breasted robin, or waiting for the purple crocuses to bloom. Home-renovation junkies like me, however, be like, “It’s going to be 54 tomorrow! Call the door guys! Have we lined up the mason? Where’s the ironwork dude?”

My poor husband. My poor contractor. My poor WALLET.

So yes, now that it’s truly, finally spring, Chez Garlough is back under the knife. 

First we replaced the exterior door leading out from our kitchen, which the door manufacturer built incorrectly when we switched this opening from a window to a doorway last fall.

 Door to nowhere. Moldings and hardware coming soon!

Door to nowhere. Moldings and hardware coming soon!

We had installed the one that was delivered simply because we had no choice, but only sort of tacked it into place knowing this guy was coming. This handsome fella is made of the right wood (mahogany), has the right style locks (full mortise), and it even swings the right way. Whew.

Now it’s time to build the balcony onto which this door will open. I’ve shared the general plans by our landscape designer, Andrea Nilsen, in this post, but finish materials have been TBD, so that’s where we are right now. We need to choose railing designs, fence material and color, what stone we want on the upper patio, and such, so that the crew can build it all in the next month or two.

Railings have proven to be a not-so-simple decision. Andrea suggested we take inspiration from the ornamental grates and railings in our neighborhood. She directed me to to her blog, where she had pics of various ironwork from the streets around ours.

 Credit: Andrea Nilsen

Credit: Andrea Nilsen

  Credit:   Andrea Nilsen

Credit: Andrea Nilsen

  Credit:   Andrea Nilsen

Credit: Andrea Nilsen

  Credit:   Andrea Nilsen

Credit: Andrea Nilsen

Additionally, I scouted the following designs on a walk in our ‘hood.

Iron stair railing designs
Decorative iron balcony railing

Aren’t those stars and arrows on point (ha)? 

Ultimately I suspect we’ll end up with something more like this, which has the same ornamental vibe but can be constructed more quickly and inexpensively.

  Source:   Paris Perfect

Source: Paris Perfect

Installing a custom forged iron design like the ones above, by contrast, will likely be heavy, slow, and expensive, and when it comes to attaching a balcony to the back of my house, those are my three least favorite words.

Now, to find a bistro set.... Any leads on the perfect Paris sidewalk-cafe style table and chairs?