Archive | July, 2013

Sconces!

21 Jul
Fourth floor hallway before

Fourth floor hallway before

Fourth floor sconce installed, not on

Fourth floor sconce installed, not on

One painted sconce

One painted sconce

Sconce illuminated

Sconce illuminated

Two painted sconces

Two painted sconces

Close up of sconce

Close up of sconce

Unpainted sconce

Unpainted sconce

I’m hoping that 2013 will mark not only “The Summer of Closets” but also “The Year of Hallways” over here.

Step one in hallway completion was to change the bare lightbulb fixtures for something a little more refined. I bought these sconces from ebay at least six years ago, intending at some point to install them on the 3rd and 4th floor hallways. Last week, I had them rewired to be pull-chain fixtures (rather than the kind operated by those newfangled wall switches) at Brightwood Hardware, a local full-service hardware place (the old fashioned kind, where they help you). Then I painted the fixtures while making a whopping $4.00 at our neighborhood wide tag sale today. Sigh. At least I got the painting done.

Today, I tried to install them myself using the old electrical tape to wrap the wires together method. I wasn’t sure I’d done a totally safe job, so I asked a friend to take a look. He told me that my workmanship wasn’t quite up to code and he fixed it all for me. It took FOREVER because we didn’t have all the screws and things needed, so we had to rustle up parts and he had to put in some plate thing to make the vintage fixtures fit in the outlet boxes. Whatever — now they’re up and they work and they’re safe and look like a Venetian palazzo (or Barney Miller’s station house).

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Summer of Closets Continues

7 Jul

One of the coolest (yet completely and utterly grossest) places in my house in the summer is the basement. Not, mind you, the ground floor of the house where the kitchen and monkey room are (though that floor is cool, too), but the actual basement. Dirt floor, spiders, dampness, old scythes and saws hung mysteriously on the walls, piles of bricks and dirt probably hiding centipedes — that basement.

As you, dear reader, can perhaps gather, this basement is not my favorite place to be. So I go there as little as possible. But I do have to go there to access my paint collection (for the other closets) and I also keep a broom and mop and vaccuum on the landing to the basement. After the plumbing collapse, this little landing got a lightbulb – yay — and also got trashed by the water and collapse (boo).

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So I figured it was the coolest closet-space I could work on today, and I finally had at it. Took an enormous bag of junk and rubble out, swept it right up, put back the stuff I actually use in a way I can reach it, and even hung one of my million and one fire extinguishers on the wall (and brought another one down to the basement).

I think I’ll try to make some sort of shelving unit on the studs to keep other cleaning stuff there and maybe hang some stuff on nails, but for now, it’s really handy and clean. It was very gross and dirty, but took all of 45 minutes — I love doing stuff I’ve been putting off forever. Three cheers for heat wave productivity!

Guest Sitting Room Closet + Future Kitchenette

6 Jul

Had an uncharacteristic burst of energy this morning — fueled by iced coffee and A.C. Produce‘s amazing Tiramisu. Sometime soon (or later than soon), this will become a little kitchenette space for my AirBnB guests. There’s a water hook-up in there, and I’m pretty sure there’s a drain under the floor, but it might be lead (yeah, really). I don’t think it would be a major undertaking to put a sink in there, but I’m leaning towards just moving the microwave and fridge in there and letting people get water from the bathroom. Guests stay for such a short time that going to get water down the hall doesn’t seem like a major imposition.

Water hook-up.

Water hook-up.

Shelf and hooks galore.

Shelf and hooks galore.

Drawer of built-in dresser.

Drawer of built-in dresser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's still some removing to do.

There’s still some removing to do.

Built-in and nice (real) linoleum on top.

Built-in and nice (real) linoleum on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the closet looks empty, I basically just dragged the contents into the sitting room and piled some up in the “box room” (attic-type space). The energy burst didn’t last all that long, but there’s always tomorrow. Gotta take it slow on these hot days.

Anyway, here are some views of the 1973 Springfield Daily News that was lining one of the drawers.

Does your toupee smell?

Does your toupee smell?

1973 Newspaper from drawer

1973 Newspaper from drawer

Cartoon about the Middle East during the 1973 gas crisis

Cartoon about the Middle East during the 1973 gas crisis

Finishing touches on the guest room closet

5 Jul

Popped over to Home Depot today and got some wooden hangers (stayed with an AirBnB host who had them and it was a nice touch that I’ve replicated), a threshold (that I need to screw down), a glass shade and pullchain for the light, and I tried to get a full length mirror but all of theirs were shoddy and scratched, so will scour CL for one and/or go to a glass store. So the guest room closet is done done done and looking fine.

Lampshade and pullchain. Touch of class.

Lampshade and pullchain. Touch of class.

 

 

 

 

 

Threshold sawed by moi.

Threshold sawed by moi.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a bit too hot to attempt the guest sitting room closet at the moment (on the top floor with no a/c, it’s like an oven up there when the sun shines), but maybe I’ll power up with iced coffee and start to tackle it tonight. Or in September. 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Summer of Closets has begun!

4 Jul

I’m on a limited budget this summer and am saving to try to get some storm windows installed this Fall, so I’ve decided that the interior work I can do this season is closets. There are six closets or closet-like spaces that need some attention and there’s no time like the present to do this budget-friendly work. So I started today (also because it’s a million degrees outside and it’s much nicer to be inside in the a/c than outside sweltering).

This was the guest room closet:

White walls and shelf

White walls and shelf

Cracked and junky walls

Cracked and junky walls

White walls, brown floor, Claudette is disgusted.

White walls, brown floor, Claudette is disgusted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was fine, but it was pretty low-end, and clearly a neglected guest room type closet. Well, I rent my guest room out on AirBnB, so I wanted it to be a little nicer for my guests. So in keeping with the low budget theme, I rounded up the leftover paint from the ceiling (which happened to be named Baby Turtle, of all things) and got to work, under the watchful eyes of Claudette.

 

Claudette inspecting closet

Claudette inspecting closet

Closet being painted.

Closet being painted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. I also took out a remnant of the dining room carpet and cut it to fit the floor. It looks really nice and it feels nice to walk on. The whole thing took about three hours, and it looks fantastic in there now. It’s a very nice closet, instead of an icky guest room closet.

Nicely painted, carpeted closet.

Nicely painted, carpeted closet.

Another view of the completed closet.

Another view of the completed closet.

Long view of completed closet with carpeted floor.

Long view of completed closet with carpeted floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up for this space — I need to get a threshold, a full-length mirror, some nice wooden hangers, a shade for the exposed bulb, and a fancier pull chain. And that will mean the guest bedroom will be 100% (or 150%) complete. And that will be the only room in the house that doesn’t contain some pending project that I never quite get around to doing. Janks! Well, provided I actually get the stuff listed above…

Next up in the world of closets is this monstrosity:

Guest sitting room closet

Guest sitting room closet

Guest sitting room closet close up of horror

Guest sitting room closet close up of horror