Saturday, September 14, 2013

Again, with that ridiculous space

We should probably be incredibly grateful for all the builders who build houses and leave big, empty spaces on either side of all those fireplaces. Because that space makes people crazy, and Jim gets to fix it by adding useful shelves and whatnot. Here's a really nice set he did for some lovely friends of ours:

So purty.

This photograph is beautiful for two reasons: First, of course, because it features these gorgeous shelves Jim built and stained to exactly match the existing fireplace. Second, because one of our lovely friends who lives here is a genius photographer who takes all my favorite pictures ever in life. So this looks like the real deal because it is.

Here are pictures Jim took of the project in process. (Jim is not a photographer, y'all.)

Before. No. This will never do.

During. And now we're getting somewhere.

Jim has done this to fireplace spaces before, and he will probably do it again, because people just keep on building fireplaces and leaving these spaces around them. Here's another post about that ridiculous space around fireplaces, just in case the topic is of special interest to you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Repeat performer

Jim gets invited back a lot. He builds a thing, and then people want him to build another thing. And the next thing you know, he has tricked out the whole dang house. Which brings us to this elegant master bathroom vanity:

I can see you, Jim Fortune.

This is a beautiful thing Jim built for some terrific people who had already had him build them several other things.

Then, since they were totally redesigning their master bathroom anyway, they decided their master closet could use some of Jim's attention. It wasn't much of a closet, really. Kind of crammed into a hallway, with some slidey, annoying doors and a very low ceiling.

So Jim built them this in its place:

Man, I love a good closet.

This is a spectacularly useful and pretty closet. It goes ALL THE WAY UP, which fulfills one of the most important principles of Jim's Law: Use all available space.

I have never seen a closet this pretty in real life before.

The other principle of Jim's Law on display here is: Trim all the things. Jim is a master at crown molding and baseboarding and all things detail and finish-oriented.

I honestly do not think there is anything left in this house for Jim to renovate. These people have pretty much singlehandedly paid for our kid's braces. Thanks, y'all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Accessible and beautiful

Jim met the nicest people, and they needed him to build them so many things. Desks and tables and cabinets, oh my. These very nice people had just retired to a very nice, brand new condo where they were decorating everything from scratch in their elegant, minimal style. Jim can totally build that.

But they also needed everything Jim built to be accessible from a wheelchair. Jim had never built that. But could he?

"Sure," he said.

So Jim took his engineer brain and his woodworker hands and he figured it all out. My favorite thing he built for these very nice people is this secretary built into a nook (or is it a cranny?) in their foyer.

I mean, gah that is just pretty. But what's very cool about it is something you cannot immediately see. That desk part folds up so the furniture is tucked neatly away when it's not in use. And then, when its owner pulls that desk part down, everything behind it slides forward so that it's easily accessible.

Because Jim can build that.

Here it is all closed up.

Here it is all opened up. You can see the hardware Jim found that makes
the whole back part slide forward when the desk is opened.

Other beautiful things he built for these very nice folks included a very groovy custom entertainment center.

Again, some of the coolest details are not immediately visible. Like the nifty storage ottomans he made for underneath:

You have to like these people. They seriously
know how to use a storage ottoman.

And the big hinge he found for the back of the TV so it can swing around without parting ways with the wall:

And the neat side panels he built so the view would be pleasant from every angle:

He thinks about these things. He's smart like that. He also built them some desks. Hers:

And his:

Actually, Jim built them so many things that he kind of lived with them for about a year. They all had a fine time, and now these very nice people have a really beautiful condo full of gorgeous, functional Fortune furniture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Little things

Sometimes a small change is all it takes to make a big difference. Here, for example, is an astoundingly boring mantel. It is just a board sitting on bricks:

Really, does this even qualify as a mantel? Probably not. Let's just call it a board. Because that's what it is. So Jim Fortune took down this board and built something beautiful to go in its place. Like so:

Yes, this will be an actual mantel when it's done. No more boards. Here's another picture of it close up, so you can see all the detail work:

He also had to build slots into the back of this pretty thing to fit over the brick supports where the old board was resting. That was not a problem. Jim can totally do that kind of thing. Here's the finished product:

Yep, now it is a mantel.

Not a huge thing. But so much better.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Signs of affection

Jim Fortune expresses his love for his family through action. He builds us stuff and he fixes our bikes and our cars and he plans trips for us and he makes sure things get done and people get taken places and everything is operating optimally.

This is a phenomenon I think of as engineer love. Do not wait for engineers to tell you they love you and would do anything for you and feel lucky every day to be part of your life. Just watch them work and interpret as appropriate.

All that to say, Jim Fortune built this for me:

Yeah, I know. Wow. 

This gorgeous thing is the very first thing you see when you come through the front door of Jim Fortune's house. It is a monument to engineer love. It has file storage on the bottom so I do not have to schlep upstairs every time I want to file a receipt. It has drawers to store our old CDs so we do not have to part with them even though we really don't need them anymore:

It has dovetail joints and inset doors and self-closing drawer slides and it is made to look like a built-in but it can be removed so that if we ever leave it can go with us. Because, yeah, this is MINE.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Babies have a lot of stuff

Our delightful friends had the delightful experience of having twins a couple of years ago -- a gorgeous little duo: one boy and one girl, one dark and one fair. They are the sweetest little set you ever saw.

Because our friends needed places to put the many things that accompany the arrival of two babies, Jim Fortune made them the prettiest set of matching shelves and cabinets, built into the walls around their bedroom window.

On the left.

On the right.

I have mentioned before how much Jim Fortune loves symmetry. This project made him quite happy.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Man with a mission

This post is about yet another amazing entertainment center Jim built for a very nice family so they could stop watching TV like this:

When Jim Fortune sees this, a little part of him dies. So he and these nice folks (whom he'd worked for before) decided to fix it. If you look, you will see that there was a door behind that TV. So this project involved some door closing-up and wall-installing, too.

He came home and told me about it, and he was practically giddy. It was cute.

Anyway, here are some pictures of what replaced the teetering TV in front of the unused door:

This is seriously pretty. I have visited it in person. It is gorgeous. It should have been a supermodel.

Here are some pictures Jim took to show the cool details:

Yes friends, Jim Fortune is making the world a better place for TVs, one living room at a time.