Palladian Floor Artistic Creations
Page 31
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Beauty is Created Within while Winter Winds Howl Outside
February 2nd, 2008
While the snow piles ever deeper outside the artists create ever more beauty inside. Chuck and Shane labored with portico tile floors while Kim meticulously added trim to every room on the first and second floors. Joe followed Kim from room to room, caulking, detailing and making the trim look perfect. Neil from Aakerstrom Floors spent several days installing a set of handcrafted hardwood stairs from the first to the second floor. Then Rich, Chuck and Shane installed marble balustrades on and around the stairs. In late March Chuck and Shane created a new Palladian floor in the foyer from granite and marble tile. Meanwhile I continued with my studies at MSU in Bozeman and started to pack my books and personal belongings in preparation for moving into my new home sometime in the spring.
Master Bedroom Trim
Fresh snow piles ever deeper as winter tightens its grip in the high Montana mountains.
Master Bedroom Trim Kim artfully adds crown molding to the Master Bedroom.

Design advice for our Fypon and Century ceiling, crown and wall trim came from the knowledgeable and helpful folks at Timeless Architectural. Visit them on the web at or call them at 800-665-4341.
Master Bath Sink Kim created a Palladian sink back splash modeled after a 15th century church floor in Venice.
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Tokyo Sauna
Joe's paint studio is transformed to a "Tokyo Sauna" during the cold winter months.
February 2nd, 2008
Professional artist, Joe Fay supplied Kim, Chuck and Shane with a steady supply of trim, balusters and newels throughout January and February. Painting is an exothermic process; it releases heat and water vapor as the paint dries. Consequently Joe's garage studio was transformed into a comfortable and warm Tokyo sauna during the long winter months.
After every interior door was precisely hung, it was then carefully removed and carried to Joe's studio. Joe carefully sanded each door, laid it on a pair of saw horses and then sprayed on a thick coat of Sherwin-Williams semi-gloss paint. The paint was allowed to dry and cure for a day or more. Then the door was flipped over and sprayed again. The end result was a beautiful, flaw free finish that is exceptionally durable and easy to wash.

Visit Joe Fay's art web site by clicking on the underlined text.
Door Stackers
Each door is carefully sanded, painted and then stacked to dry.
Newels and ballusters
Newel posts and individual balusters are painted, cured, wrapped and then stored outside on pallets.
February 17th, 2008
Jake Nelson and his crew from Arrowhead Electric plowed through the ever deepening snow to add a few more lights in the house and rough wire the greenhouse. Justin, Robyn and Pat added lights to the porticos and finished installing the rest of the house interior fixtures. Then, despite the bone chilling cold, they moved on to rough wire the unheated and open, greenhouse.
We used Insteon programmable switches which required a little different wiring pattern than what is traditionally used and what the crew at Arrowhead Electric was used to. Justin, Robyn and Pat studied the Insteon literature and wired every switch perfectly. The decentralized and fully programmable Insteon system looks promising and was economical to purchase. In six months or so I will follow up with a review.

Need electrical work done? E-mail Jake Nelson at Arrowhead Electric or call him at (406)333-4166

Our programmable lighting system was produced by Insteon and purchased from the helpful folks at HNA Automation. Visit them on the web at
Arrowhead Electric
Despite the finger numbing cold the crew from Arrowhead Electric wired the open greenhouse.
Seagull Light
A Seagull ceiling light adorns the first floor guest bedroom.

Most of our indoor and exterior lights came from Seagull Lighting. Visit them on the web at
Seagull Lantern Light
Seagull lantern lights hang from the South Portico coffered ceiling.
Gas Fireplace
Chuck and Shane skillfully framed the Master Bedroom gas fireplace with marble and beryl cut stone.
Emigrant Peak in Montana
Snow shrouded Paradise Valley and Emigrant Peak dominate the winter view from the Master Bath east window.
Stairs by Neil Aakerstrom
Custom crafted stairs lead to the second floor.
February 28th, 2008
Diamonds are a motif that is widely employed in Greek and Roman classical design. Most often they are used in tile floors but sometimes are present in garden beds or outdoor walkways. Neil incorporated the diamond shape into the basement workshop bench and the library floor. Then he skillfully integrated hardwood diamonds into both sets of stairs in the main entrance foyer. Soon after I shot this photo the stairs were carefully covered with paper and thick cardboard so they would not be damaged when the marble balusters and railings were installed.

Need some wood floors designed, installed, repaired or upgraded? e-mail Neil Aakerstrom or call him at (406)222-6343.
Stairs by Neil Aakerstrom Neil Aakerstrom of Aakerstrom Wood floors handcrafted our stairs from red oak, walnut, ash and a tropical red wood. Lunch Room The future dining room and parlor make a cozy lunch room for the artists and professionals toiling throughout the winter.
Throughout the house building process I constantly shifted my focus from the big picture to the details. The details, like the choice of door and cabinet knobs, sounds mundane and is easy to overlook. However, the big picture is a successful compilation of all the details. If you get the details right, everything else should work out fine I reasoned.
Rich suggested that I visit the Emtek web site and research their door knobs. He used them for his house and was pleased with their precise action, clean appearance and exceptional durability. Emtek uses a lost wax bronze casting process which provides a good gripping texture while preserving fine details. After choosing Emtek handles for all of my doors I discovered that they were versatile too. It was easy to switch a door handle set from right to left hand and vice versa. Emtek door knob sets were easy to assemble and maintain too. Plus I was able to get matching knobs for the kitchen cabinets and dressing room folding doors. We purchased all of our Emtek knobs from Joe Tapley at Suwanee Decorative Hardware. Call Joe at 866-366-4066 x224 or visit their web site at

Learn more about Emtek by visiting their web site at
Emtek Tuscany Knob
Emtek Tuscany door handle - proudly made in the USA!
Emtek Tuscany Emtek Tuscany handles, latches and a dead bolt adorn the greenhouse, north and south portico double entry doors. Greenhouse Drifting piles of snow encircle and threaten to bury the greenhouse.
Marble Ballusters
A freshly painted batch of marble balusters await installation.
March 17th, 2008
The foyer, the room that guests will see first after ascending the grand staircase from the driveway, was designed to make visitors feel welcome and appreciated. The foyer is a moderate sized room with nine foot (3 meter) ceilings like the rest of the house. Higher ceilings would make the room more cavernous and the individual visitor might feel less significant. The twin sets of wooden stairs add warmth while the marble railings channel guests into the kitchen and parlor while adding a sense of timeless durability and ancient history. A closet for coats and boots sits at the end of the foyer next to a warm kitchen and parlor where visitors may indulge in sweets, a cup of tea or coffee and hopefully captivating conversation.

The marble balusters and railing came from the knowledgeable and helpful folks at Timeless Architectural. Visit them on the web at or call them at 800-665-4341.
A newel is connected to the bottom rail for the second floor hallway.
Stair Handrail
Individual balusters are pinned to each stair tread and tied together with a marble handrail.
In 1565 Andrea Palladio was commissioned by the Benedictine Monks to build a church on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. While the entire church is beautiful I thought that the three dimensional, Escher like tile floors were exceptional and could be used in my new house. I collaborated with Bill Taylor of Taylor Tile in April 2007. He laid the original Palladian foyer floor but we choose to tear it up in December. Fortunately Rich was amenable to building a new one. In March Chuck and Shane started to lay marble and granite tiles over a new layer of orange backing. It was a difficult and time consuming task. Every tile was precisely measured and cut. The grout lines were perfectly consistent at 1/8 of an inch and straight as an arrow. The three dimensional effect is not obvious until you view it from a distance. Thus the sensation of walking across this floor is one of security and steadfastness marked by appreciation for the beauty of the individual tiles and interlocking pattern. As with the overall design of the foyer, the floor is designed to make guests feel welcome, appreciated and part of the movement of history that stretches back centuries.

Our tiles came from the friendly and exceptionally helpful folks at South Cypress Floors. Visit them on the web at or call them at 800-891-2623.
Palladian Marble Floor
A new Palladian marble floor is meticulously created by Chuck and Shane.
Original Palladian Floor An original Palladian floor built in 1565 in the San Giorgio Maggiore cathedral in Venice, Italy.
Photo from M. Kaminski, Art and Architecture: Venice. Page 359, published by Barnes and Noble, 2005
New Palladian Floor Our growing Palladian floor as seen from the stairs to the second floor.
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Page 30
Winter in Montana

Tim's Life
Main Table of Contents

Branford Bike
Fire Story
Table of Contents

Page 32
Spring Teases and Beckons