So obviously this is also a "work in progress". Matt and I decided to have a build off, and go into our separate corners and build storage solutions. My project was an armoire for the bedroom and Matt's project was a bookcase/room divider for the living room/studio. Apparently we think we are on our own HGTV Show.
So as a friend at the skate shop said to us, our buildings "plumber" isn't a plumber but the super's homie. Unfortunately I have to agree, this dude is not a plumber.
After three failed attempts to fix one small leak we ended up with a hole in our bedroom wall, a poor plastering job, a broken nut attached to a pipe going uphill, and the possibility of our newly enameled bathroom tiles being broken
Eventually Matt ended up fixing all of the plumbing issues and I am just grateful that he is my skilled homie.
Bedroom wall being broken.
I didn't get pictures of his finished product, but lets just say it wasn't far from what you see above. He taped the edges, covered the wall with spackle and then told me that all I had to do was wipe down the wall with a damp cloth once it dried and re-paint. Because, "you know the rest of the wall is sort of bumpy and it will match." Seriously? You are advising me not to sand the wall, because the rest of the wall is a mess. So neglectful continuity is more important than properly fixing something. Ya, no.
Bathroom faucet used in kitchen sink. Do you think you can fit anything in this sink?
Matt fixing the leak.
New faucet, and leak free sink!
We have decided that if we ever have another plumbing issue, Matt will just fix it and if the people above us ever have a pluming issue, Matt will fix that as well. We don't want repeat problems and would rather not deal with the super's "plumber" again.
Before and after shots of the bathroom and kitchen lighting changes. Both rooms are still in progress, but I wanted to share some of the changes.
Kitchen before: notice the ugly cabinet, and previously mentioned tiles.
Horrible florescent lighting, in bathroom. Going into the bathroom made you feel like you were entering a psychiatric hospital horror film. The lights flickered, the door closed and you saw your reflection in the mirror, and waited for a deranged lunatic to appear behind you. Very creepy, I am pretty sure we aren't going for the horror film aesthetic .
It is far from complete and we are at odds on what color to paint the walls, but we did paint the ceiling gold. Notice the newly painted white cabinet as well. We are getting there.
Previous dark kitchen sink, along with terribly low faucet that didn't function well.
I know this is a taboo subject but I am just going to put it out there, I am freaking out about the possibility of "critters" in our apartment. While it is taboo most New Yorkers have had to deal with them at one time or another. I refuse to call them by name for fear that like Beetle Juice or Bloody Mary they will appear in our apartment. My friend M politely refers to them as water-bugs... she is from Georgia, of course she is polite. I refer to them as those "things" or occasionally I will drop the F- word if I actually see one. I guess a water - bug sounds a bit more appropriate than Palmetto Bug. I hate when people refer to them as Palmetto Bugs, as if they are pretty little flowery insects like a butterfly or something. Palmetto Bug... ehhh whatever.
I knew this would be a problem, living in a big building, but it momentarily slipped my mind. Before we never worried about these "things" we kept our apt clean, and luckily so did the two other couples in the building, so it was a non-issue. Now... we have lots of people, and trash shoots and children that leave trails of potato chips down the hall. Now, it's an issue. So we have devised a plan. Matt likes to say we are fortifying the apartment, like we are at war- and believe me, we are.
As I have mentioned this place has never been cared for, so there are cracks in the walls, holes above almost every doorway, and along most ceiling to wall joints. There was one hole in a closet that I swore we could charge rent for, or at least start saying we live in a two bedroom. Matt has been caulking and filling holes with foam, religiously almost every night. We have gone through over 20 tubes of caulk, and still counting.
I am hopeful that making our apartment a clean fortress will keep the critters at bay. I have also posted 2 baits in every closet, under the fridge, stove, and sink, as well as 6 in the trash shoot near our apartment.
The Trash shoot next to our apartment is a gross mess, I poured bleach on the floors and sprayed the walls, then lined the walls with boric acid, I only wished I photographed myself for this display of neighborly insanity. Imagine: yellow rubber gloves up to my elbows, my rain boots, leggings, a long sleeve shirt (tight) and a head scarf. I was as covered as I possibly could have been. Luckily only one neighbor saw me, and I can only imagine what she thinks. Whatever, I feel better knowing that little room is cleaner than it was before.
Or at least painfully scald us. The shower has a mind of its own, and it keeps putting out scalding water. We realize that this is because we now live in a building and when someone flushes we get hot water, but we have always lived in small brownstones with maybe one or 2 more apartments, we have never experienced this type of painful shower experience or people who are constantly using the toilet.
I love a long hot shower. I know it isn't very "green" of me but, it's like a mini spa appointment. I relax, daydream, exfoliate, daydream some more ect. Apparently this is now over. I guess mother nature, like all mothers just has a way of making you stop doing something that isn't good for you.
The temperature does not stay even- one minute its a blissful shower experience, the next, you are jumping away, yelping, and checking that your skin is still on your body. It's awful. We are looking into these devices that bring the water to a dribble to avoid burns, but then most of our showers will be in spurts of water. We had better showers in the Serengetti when a pot of water was boiled and put in a perforated bag- they may have been short showers but at least the temperatures stayed consistent.
I think I am going to go the way of Winston Churchill and just take baths. That sounds pretty luxurious and spa like.
Matt cut his hand, pretty badly tonight. I actually thought it would require stitches but we made an agreement to wrap it up and if it didn't bleed too badly after an hour we wouldn't go to the ER. Matt is the type of person that never goes to the doctor for anything so, I would've had a hard time convincing him to go to the emergency room at 10pm. Also, we realized that we have no idea were the nearest ER is, the one in our old hood was walking distance so we decided that if we had to go we would go to St. Vincent's, but that means a long subway ride and well... lets just say we were both happy that it stopped bleeding after about 15 minutes.
The most ironic part is he cut himself while washing the dishes. All of the work he has done in the apartment that may have caused injury went smoothly but he washes the dishes and nearly cuts his thumb off. Ehhh... guess he doesn't know his own strength.
The bathroom is horrendous. The tub is freakin' flakin', the tile is yellow and pink - its bad. I know I will eventually show before and after pics as this is a work in progress, but I had to show the progress thus far. The yellow tiles are original and quite lovely but it seems that over the years whenever there was a plumbing issue, they replaced the yellow tiles with Pepto Bismol pink tiles. Oh and the previous tenant (well like 3 tenants ago) painted the tiles red- so the grout looks like old nail polish... ewwww. Why would you do that?!?!?
We have decided to re-enamal all of the tiles and the tub, now we have a beautiful white tub and white tiles. The ceiling is next - more to follow.
Old nasty tiles, and flaky ceiling, makes for an old gross floor.
Need I say more?
The fix is in... filling cracks first.
The first coat of white paint, then we enamel (in white of course).
I was looking through old pics and came across photos of the old apt. I loved that apartment, some of you may think it is too small but it was perfect for us- we had a studio in the other room (not shown) which transformed into the perfect party space, our desks made great dj stations and the studio became a dance floor. I am sure we will make the new apartment just as nice, and one night it will also turn into a dance party. But... I miss this place.
At least I still get to wake up to these two cuties....
Matt & Sophie Bear
De La Espada bed, Tord Boontj lamp, antique asian bedside tables, photo by Matthew Schenning
Yes that wall was painted gold and I loved it! The bunny was my graduation gift from Matt, the work above the bunny was a gift, it is an Amy Cutler print (she is awesome!) and lives in our new hood so thats a plus.
Art collection, surf boards, lighting by Kartell, HM chair, we made the coffee table (years ago)
cleaning.... its amazing what a difference it makes. Unfortunately this apartment hadn't been cleaned in a while so we had to bring out the big dogs, the green cleaning agents were no match for this place.