Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Armoires

When we made the move to our house here in Corozal, we decided to bring our bed but not the rest of the bedroom furniture. This place already had two dressers, which would serve us until we figured out what we wanted.

This is one of the dressers that came with the house. 

The overall design isn't really us. At all. Unfortunately, there aren't many other options available here in town. Sure, we could have gone to Orange Walk or Belize City to check out what was available, but we decided having something made here, right in our own town, was the way to go.

Once again, we got in touch with Kim Longsworth who owns Bessa Decor (check them out on the Web or their photos on Facebook). He's the contractor we used to build our kitchen cabinets, corner cupboard/pantry, and my trusty desk.

David and I decided two armoires would work best -- one for him, one for me. So with measuring tape in hand and computer at the ready, David got to work on the dimensions and design, the plans were submitted to Kim, and work got underway.

And today they were delivered.

This one is in our bedroom. I just love, love, love the woven wood doors. We actually saw this treatment on the cabinets at Dave and Dianna Rider's pool house (another Bessa Design job).

There's beaucoup storage. Matter of fact, after loading up his stuff, David still has a couple of empty shelves. I will do my best not to adopt them.

The other one we have is painted white and is in our spare room. This is where I'll be storing all my stuff. 

After emptying everything from the old bureau, plus putting things from the closet in here, even I still have two shelves available. 

Oh, and see that area to the right of the armoire? That is a quasi storage area for stuff like cases of beer, tonic, dog food, kitty litter box, and whatever else we have and don't know where to put. So to screen that off, we also had a pair of cafe doors made -- same woven design and painted white -- that David will install once I finish painting the room. Pictures to follow in a future post.

Storage's a wonderful thing.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beating the Heat...Hopefully

Have I mentioned that it gets really hot here? To give you some idea of what I mean, at about 9:30 this morning the temperature was pegged at 90 degrees. And for those of you reading this and still have snow on the ground, please, please, do not think of this as weather gloating. It's just the way it is here. And while we are enjoying some steady winds to take the edge off the heat, those winds won't last forever (not to mention the fact that all that wind is blowing very hot air). That's when you look at the weather forecast and cringe -- oh-so-slightly -- when you see that the "real feel" temperature will hit triple digits and you know full well that even your eyeballs will be sweating really, really soon.

Our house has a metal roof (down here it's called zinc, even though there's no zinc in it. Don't ask me why; it's Belize baby), and the house was designed with an air gap under the roof to help reduce heat build-up inside the house. Unfortunately, the vents are only on the sides and front of the house, so all that hot air would build up in the back. David solved part of that problem by installing a solar powered attic fan.

We're now taking additional steps to beat the heat, namely painting our roof with this:

We know of a few folks who have used it and inside temperatures came down anywhere from seven to ten degrees. Not too shabby! Granted, it's not the most inexpensive paint (about $370 BZD for a 4.75 gallons), but if it works, it's worth the investment. 

Because the back of the house gets the brunt of the sun, we decided to start there. Our friend, Graham, offered a few of his work crew to move the project along.

The first step was to sweep off any debris, then power wash. (Just as an aside, doesn't that sky look lovely?)

David and Javier

The painting got underway...

...while David and Graham supervised.

Over the course of a few days, two coats were applied. 

Once the final coat was dry, David noticed some areas that needed some touching up, so he's been taking care of those. Next step: painting the rest of the roof. We've also decided that at some point we'll paint the fascia a lovely tropical blue color. Will be sure to post our progress and whatever difference we notice in temperature with the new roof paint!