The upstairs apartment kitchen in Rockaway House has a Mexican theme going on. I wanted to paint the existing cabinets turquoise. Knew I found the right color when I came across “Jamaica Bay”. The window looks out onto the bay.
Yeah, I know this is a lame post. I’m obsessing about the Boston marathon bombing manhunt just like you. Who cares about paint??
posted @ 5:54 am Comments (2)
Did you ever wonder what beach water might do to paint? Well, here it is. These cans were in the basement, slightly opened, during Hurricane Sandy. Throw in some freezing and thawing over winter and this is what you get. It’s art. I meant to do that!
Also learned yesterday that 12 year old paint crackle glaze doesn’t work. Luckily, I learned it on a test board, which is sooo not my style.
posted @ 5:16 am Comments (0)
posted @ 5:21 am Comments (0)
Not my hand. Came from Livestrong article.
Ah, ’twas only a week ago that a renovation deadline was mentioned. I’m not one to be superstitious but perhaps I jinxed myself. Oh, I’m going to be finished in May, dag nammit, but I’ll be crossing that finish line with one hand.
Last Wednesday I purchased the remainder of molding to be installed upstairs. Oddly enough, what seemed like only a few rooms cost nearly $700. All of my time consuming shopping at re-use stores went out the window in the interest of finishing quickly. So, Thursday I start painting all the pieces prior to installation. If I had only invested in a second sawhorse, you wouldn’t be reading this post, but because I had to keep moving the pieces from the sawhorse to the other room to dry, these long strips of molding took over the house.
So, I tripped on one.
I caught my fall with my hands, the way people often do. Only my left hand landed on a piece of corner trim. Had it landed on a flat surface like my right, I doubt I would’ve been hurt.
It was extremely painful but more than anything I was bummed about not being able to continue work. I put an Amy’s frozen veggie wrap (all I had in the house) on it and took 3 Advil, then waited about an hour. Nah, I really had to stop working. Couldn’t even change my clothes because I wouldn’t be able to tie my sneakers with one hand.
Yesterday I managed to do some work. I filled nail holes and caulked. I even lifted things with my good hand. I was feeling good that I could keep going. This morning I’m in pain from overdoing it but I think I’ll just suck it up and soldier on. I’m convinced that it’s just a swollen bruise and nothing is sprained or broken. I know because I’ve been there and done that too.
BTW, I’m right handed. Who needs the left anyway? It’s just a spare.
posted @ 6:29 am Comments (0)
So, MOMA, I hear you want to expand. How nice for you. No, really. That’s actually good news for New York. We do love a good art museum. Love it more when it’s a suggested admission and not some crazy, rip off price that’s too steep for actual working artists to afford, but I digress.
It seems a bit … oh, I dunno, ironic, that in order for you to expand, you want to tear down a 12 year old architectural work of art by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Do you think that only canvases and sculptures should be considered art? Does it not matter to you that these architects CREATED this building?
Excuse me, but how is this any different than taking a torch to a Warhol? Could you imagine the outrage if someone went and bulldozed a pile of Pollocks? You even have an architecture and design department in the museum, for fuck’s sake!
Do I love the building in question? Not really. I don’t have much appreciation for anything new. I’m all about the antique and vintage. But that doesn’t mean I want to see someone’s work being torn down. It’s not a cheap-ass brick Fedder’s building. It’s someone’s imagination being brought to life.
And I think you, MOMA, of all institutions, should not try to tear down anyone’s imagination.
posted @ 9:05 am Comments (0)
posted @ 5:54 am Comments (0)
Forget Spring. Summer is here. And with summer comes backyard barbeques and poolside entertaining. (If you have a pool, invite me.) Since this is a green blog, the use of disposable anything should not be promoted. However, some of these products are biodegradable or can take a good few uses before crapping out.
The VerTerra palm leaf plates above are made from fallen leaves. They are biodegradable and chemical free as well as microwave safe. The 6×6 plates as shown run about $152 for a 300 count. The company makes matching cutlery as well.
Wasara makes some beautiful products from bamboo and recycled paper. Love the cutlery! A party kit as shown would run $249 for service for 50 people.
Non-eco friendly plastics can look nice too. The 9″ wavy plate from EMI Yoshi costs 68 bucks for 120 plates over at Wasserstrom Restaurant Supplies.
As for the bargains, check out Amazing Savings and National Wholesale Liquidators first. Also, never forget your local dollar store! And of course, y’all know that Ikea and Target have fun outdoor dining option. Oh, and you can always buy inexpensive vintage wares at any second hand thrift shop. I know, I know. Then you have to wash it.
posted @ 5:48 am Comments (0)
A renovation that was supposed to take about two to three months turns into a nine month process when all is said and done. There were unforeseen circumstances along the way, like the worst storm ever to hit the Northeast and a car accident that kept me away from the house for a few weeks. Those things set me back about three months or so, but I have no one to blame but myself for the rest of it.
Apart from spending my budget on some of the wrong contractors up front and having to redo some of their work, the real stagnation started after Sandy. I was in no rush to spend all my money and time on a house that nobody would want to purchase at the price I need to charge. Now that Spring is in the air and Rockaway is getting ready for the summer season, it’s a mad dash to the finish line.
The two apartments are very close to being finished. Now comes the tedious task of finishing work, making sure every small detail is in place. I should say that “small details” mean touch up repainting every room, a kitchen countertop, painting cabinets, bathroom vanity and installing all light fixtures. More than a day’s work, but we’ve come so far.
The exterior needs some prettying up, as does the basement.
Notice I didn’t mention a specific May deadline date. I’m hoping for the first week. Actually, between you and I, I’d like to see it done by the end of this month but I’m also trying to be realistic.
The house will be for sale or rent. I’m resigned to the fact that I will probably have to rent it for a year or two before Rockaway really bounces back. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to sell as that was my original intention, but the price I need to ask and where the market is at now are two different places.
But it’s all good. Either way, I’m going to take the summer off. A much needed break from the physical and toxic work called renovation. I’ll probably take that spare time to work on my Bed Stuy house. D’oh!
PS: About the photo above. It looks like a “before” shot, but believe it or not, that’s a progress shot. The floor is tiled. The cabinets are installed but not painted. The dishwasher and radiator are hooked up. It’s come a long way from the partially gutted room it was.
posted @ 8:16 am Comments (0)
New York City. A town where living quarters are as tight as those jeans from high school that you never threw away. You would think small appliances would be easy to buy, no? Not really.
It was only recently that I came across the Summit counter depth fridge. Yes, there are plenty of narrow refrigerators, but, ah, this one is tall as well, so it actually fits more than a day’s worth of groceries. At 79.5″, it’s got an extra foot on most of the others.
I had my hands on one at Build it Green. $275. I paid and said I’d pick it up in a few days as I couldn’t fit it in my van at the time. Should’ve just shoved it in there. Got a call from them to say it had actually been sold to someone else prior to moi and they neglected to put the “Sold” sticker on it. $275.
So, I kept looking. Oh, I should mention that they sell for over $1000 new, which is why I was only looking at second hand. Over a thou was not in my budget for a modest 2 family in Rockaway.
Anyway, tried to get a few others on Craigslist, priced $375 and up. They were gone before I even emailed. Finally, I got my hands on the older, discontinued ConServ. Summit took over for ConServ some years ago. Ok, so I paid $450 for an old model. I did not wait nor try to bargain them down. They said they had 20 more people who wanted it and after shopping around, I believe them.
The Scandinavian appliance is designed by Bang & Olufsen artist David Lewis and it’s since it’s so extremely energy efficient, I figure that this old gal will be about as efficient as a brand new cheap-ass fridge.
Apart from Summit, there are some other tall and slim fridges out there. Fagor and Liebherr make similar models, priced close to or over $2000 new.
posted @ 6:30 am Comments (2)
The same pink bathroom that sold me on this house was the very thing I had to say goodbye to during demolition. I vowed that I would keep that bathroom pink by any means necessary and I’m keeping my promise.
As you can see from the photo, the tub has been saved. It was touch and go for awhile because I wanted to move the shower body over to the far side of the toilet, getting rid of a wall that blocked the window. That means the drain is on the opposite end of the faucet. Since one side of the tub is against the wall, there was no turning the tub around. I started to search for right side (or is it left side?) pink tubs but then I said “Fek it. So the drain is on the wrong side.” That cast iron is too heavy.
The only pink floor tiles I found were pink and white and since I wanted a pink and black bathroom, I decided to pick up these Home Depot black and white mosaics which will make the pink pop. BTW, Weisman’s Home Outlets carries retro pink and white floor tiles as well as 4×4 wall tiles.
I cleaned Build it Green out of their pink 4×4 vintage wall tiles. Got about 300+ tiles and still have about 250+ more to go. Astoria and Gowanus tiles have slight color variations so I’ma gonna have to mix and match. Now I can’t buy new pink or black to match because of the thickness.
The pink toilet that was salvaged from this bathroom will be installed once the grout is applied.
Looking for a vintage dresser today to act as the sink vanity. This bathroom will be screaming 1950′s when I’m done. A far cry from the Victorian bathroom downstairs. The one that has been too messy to take pics because it’s actually in use.
posted @ 7:07 am Comments (0)
Shore Soup has been feeding hurricane Sandy victims in Rockaway since the perfect storm hit the area. Now they want to take it a step further and open up a pay-what-you-can restaurant. It will be mobile until they can get enough funds for brick and mortar. Good idea? Check out the video.
posted @ 5:23 am Comments (0)
Can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind to do a house in “Flintstones” style. But “The Simpsons“? Never considered the house to be anything special…until seeing it in real life. Now I totally want a cartoon house!
posted @ 5:54 am Comments (1)
Listen to some great Indie rock tunes while helping Queens Sandy survivors. Bands from Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Broad Channel and Rockaway Beach put together a compilation album to benefit those who are still struggling in the hard hit areas. Check it out and/or purchase on CD Baby.
posted @ 6:01 am Comments (0)
Why didn’t I stencil that clawfoot tub I put in the bathroom? It’s not too late. Love these!
posted @ 6:22 am Comments (0)
Before there were Ikeas and Targets in NYC, National Wholesale Liquidators was the place to go for inexpensive home goods. Right there on Broadway just a touch north of Soho (“Noho” my ass) was a three level megastore of savings.
NWL still exists in three boroughs and out in the suburbs. Hey, it’s the type of place where a car comes in handy to schlep all that merch anyway.
Although not quite as stylish as Ikea, it’s a great place to hit if decorating on a budget. They carry a decent selection of table linens, bath accessories, curtains, rugs and bedding. They also stock kitchenware and small appliances as well as large furniture.
Don’t need home goods? The New Jersey store even has a full supermarket and wine shop.
posted @ 7:31 am Comments (5)
Energy efficiency begins with your windows. Signature Contractors will help you find a qualified window technician to lighten your house but not your wallet.