Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Restoration

The Restoration I'm talking about has nothing to do with Cromwell, although there may be some similarities between Cromwell and The Man from San Antone.  Any similarities would be purely coincidental, however, because The Man is (1) proudly Irish Catholic and (2) committed to a debauched life style.  The restoration of The Man to his proper place in the firmament of the Triciasphere is just one indication that we're all in God's Heaven and all's nearly right with the world.

My one complaint is that the coop board over at the new place is slow, slow, slow to approve any fucking thing which perpetually fucks up my personal schedule.  The contractors say that the Restoration Project will take about three weeks - and we all know how these jobs always take longer than anyone predicts.  Jobs on  old homes often present a number of surprises, so who knows how long it will be before the day finally arrives when the movers bring my stuff back from storage.  I'm pretty sure Granny the 'Ho is safe up out in the warehouse somewhere in Queens, but it's a drag that the coop board has had all the papers they need for days and can't just sign off and be done.

It gives me great pleasure to know that one day, they'll all be dead and won't be able to slow anyone down anymore.  Meanwhile, I've been choosing paint colors.

Sadly, I liked none of those well enough to live with them in the dining room, so the search continues.  Here's the place where I sit when I'm looking at the walls:

Somebody left that bookcase in the apartment, and it's serving me well for the moment.  The square on the wall is mostly Benjamin Moore's Linen White and I may go ahead and have the main areas of the apartment painted that color.  I may use a color called Cappuccino Foam, but I haven't taken pictures since I started trying that color.  The smaller rectangle is called Sandy Feet, and generally I like it, and here's another comparison in the hall.

In some kinds of light, Sandy Feet seems to look a bit like dirty baby diapers and I figure there's no reason to go there - especially when I can go to the refrigerator and eat chocolate instead:

Color is a big deal, and I think there were some keepers in the last batch of samples.  I have to take more pictures so I can share that development, and the color is pretty much the only thing I'm changing except in the bathroom and kitchen.  The tile in the bathroom is kind of like a discolored collage of subway tiles collected over decades.  According the the contractor, those tiles are the first thing we have to address, in addition to removing the nasty-ass popcorn from Velvet's ceiling.  Those are the messiest jobs, so they have to be done first.

Velvet's ceiling - there are cove ceilings throughout most of the apartment.  We're totally saving them instead of dropping the ceilings and covering up the curve with drywall.

The bathroom ceiling is so fucked up there's no reason to save the curve in there.  We'll cut the corner and drop the ceiling in order to have a bigger budget for tile.  This is the nicest tile in the bathroom, so you can imagine that it's alarming in other places. If I can afford it, I'll go with marble subway tile.

We're leaving the bath tub alone for the moment, except that a machinist will have to figure out how to make the stopper work again.

Clearly, the guys will be installing new tile on the floor too. We may, or may not, be able to use something close to the original mosaic, but there are some variables that will determine if that's possible.  I forget what they are.  Some say that it's easier and cheaper to use 12" square tiles, so I may go with marble on both the floor and the wall.  The office manager at the contractor's says to visit this place and work it out:

The faucets have to be replaced on the sink to replicate the original design. I'm hoping to keep this vintage medicine cabinet, and I love the glass shelf.   I'll just have them install a light over the mirror so I can see to put on my make up, and they've got to make the door swing the other direction because as it is, the door bangs into the sink and you have to come in and close it before you can get to the light switch.

My room is going to be a color called Enamelware. It's by Martha Stewart and is marked with an E at the bottom of this photo:

It's not a whole heck of a lot different from the blue on the walls already, but the hint of aqua looks nicer with my own coloring - and if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you should paint your room a color that you would wear.  That's the issue with the Cappuccino Foam in the rest of the apartment - I'm not sure I would wear it because it's kind of Taupe-y and I just don't wear Taupe.  Mauve either.  All the moldings and trim will remain white white:

Living Room Ceiling
One of the French Doors between the LR and DR.  I thought I had  taken a picture of both of them, but I guess I didn't

All the doors have these old crystal knobs even the closets - which I adore
My Closet
Velvet's Closet
My bedroom door - that's a transom on top.  The bedroom doors and kitchen doors have transoms
Velvet's Transom
I think you can see the curve in the cove ceiling pretty well there over Velvet's door.  That scone in the hallway will be replaced.  The super says he's got the original sconces from 1916 somewhere in the basement.  I hope he can kind them.

We're keeping this curve in the kitchen too.  I'll probably put a couple of little stainless shelves over the stove, but for now, that's the only addition.

That's a pantry next to the stove, and then there's this amazing sink.  The fire escape gate has GOT to go,

 Nobody's touching this built in cabinet except to clean it up well enough for the doors to function properly.

There's a lot of work to do since for the most part, it's pretty much the same as when Hope died four years ago.  She was in her 90's when she died and had lived there since she was a little girl.  It was rugged up on Convent Avenue back in the 1980's when the city created the Housing Development Finance Corporation - which enabled tenants to form cooperatives to buy the buildings and bring them up to code.  Hope must have been frightened of the neighborhood then because there are burglar bars on the bedroom window.  They're going to have to go, too, because we all know how nothing can stand between me and my afternoon nap in a sunbeam

There's nothing like a nap in a sunbeam for restoring the soul - which is the more metaphysical part of this Restoration Project.  I've got to mix up some more of the Essence of Tricia that Gwen of Daughters of Isis distilled for me.  Last time I mixed it with tequila and Cointreau to make Tricia Margarita, but this time I think I'm going to mix up Tricia St. Germain.  I like the sound of it, first of all, and St. Germain is made from flowers, too.  Gwen is all about flower essences and human evolution - which was a theme in one of my favorite books, Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins.

There's something very cool about putting a few drops of the essence of your youthful, old self  under your tongue to kick your more mature, new self into high gear.  Gwen made the Essence of Tricia out of some dirt I collected from the yard of the house where I lived in Houston.  Since we moved into that house just after the incident with my Uncle Jenifer, who we could call an incestuous pedophile, but lately all that stuff seems so far in the past that it barely intrudes anymore - except of course when somebody like Notta Goodman activates my abuse alarms.  It comes in handy to have an abuse alarm, however, so I'm thankful to have one. 

A couple of years ago, the Preacher from the Mountains said that it felt to him like I was surrounded by body guards.  At the time, it occurred to me that he was sensing spirit guides and guardian angels - which most people dismiss as fantasy but I look at as aspects of the energetic Self.  Who knows what's Real anyway?  We're all energetic beings swimming through an energetic universe, and I'm feeling amazingly energized.


Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Looks like a great place: high ceilings, decent woodwork, crazftsmanship and quality materials used everywhere. I really like how it looks!

October 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a ball you're going to have making that your own! Now ask me about putting essences into the paint and painting with love and protection and prosperity and good health! NYC loves my Feng Shui essences to paint with! :-)

October 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wonderful! That's my kinda place.

October 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

OMG - you can put essence into the paint?! That's brilliant.

Jennifer and Woody - I'm glad you like it. I'm looking forward to documenting and sharing the Restoration Project

And Woody - Thanks especially for recommending Jitterbug Perfume.

October 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous dissed said...

It's going to look beautiful. The moldings, the ceiling, the SINK. Love the sink. Also love that the former owner spent her life there; she must have loved it.

October 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Looks like you've got yourself a project Trish. I've renovated so many of these old things it makes me shudder to think about it but the finished product is always worth the effort.
I too loved Jitterbug Perfume, and most anything else by Robbins as well (have you read Villa Incognito?)

October 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

HI TRISH - I love your new place, especially those french doors and crystal door knobs. Looks like we are both into projects and so forth. Wow.
Love you girl

October 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger VV said...

I just love your place! There is so much character and charm. Is there glass in those transoms that has been painted over? I grew up in an apartment like that and the transoms had glass in them to let sunlight in from the other rooms. I love the aqua color too.

October 6, 2012 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger rraine said...

when in doubt, go light, go soft. can't fail

October 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous sewa mobil jakarta said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

October 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

I like the details too, especially the glass doorknobs.

I have to remember this bit of wisdom" if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you should paint your room a color that you would wear for the future.

October 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Cali said...

I really love that soft wisteria color in the first group. Violet is the first chakra color, very relaxing-- especially when the room is lavender scented.

A little painting tip: if the paint smell bothers you stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, the cheap imitation stuff is ok for this. Even though most paints are low VOC these days, it's still a little paint-y smelling. Remember, all the walls in each room don't have to be the same color. Sometimes an accent wall with a deeper shade of the same or a contrasting color is really interesting, and looks amazing next to the white moldings.

I was once hired to paint a rather large room a medium-deep shade of pink with white gloss trim. They had some really beautiful fluted moldings. I'll never forget how gorgeous it was when I removed the masking tape!

I just have to ask what the removable drainboard is made of. Is it enameled metal or maybe melamine? And where does it go if you need both sinks? That wood worktable in the kitchen still gives me the heebie jeebies. Please, pretty please, have it covered in something nonporous!

October 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Mary Kathryn said...

Love the colors! Good wisdom about painting some rooms a color you look good wearing ;) I recently changed my livingroom from the Benjamin Moore Hot Lips to a very pale whitish green: very restful and serene, and changed the scale of the furniture: smaller. I needed that magenta for about 3 years and wow we have some fab pix, you 'n me! I like to come home now to a sort of minimalist serenity thang. Been in Marfa for a month now where everything is so sage and desert and windy, lovin' it. xo mk

October 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your place looks beautiful. I love all of the details. If I lived near by I would offer to help scrub those tiles and whiten the grout.

October 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

MK - I'm pretty sure I learned about paint colors from you :) Hope the Marfa lights are shining brightly

Susan - no need for scrubbing. The whole thing is going to be marble very soon. Marble subway tiles with 1" hexagon marble mosaic floor. Not sure what color I'll paint those walls, though - could be Frost, which was one of the ones on the dining room wall.

Cali - I'm probably going to get a counter top that is made from recycled glass that's white with lapiz colored flecks throughout. The drainboard is enamel over something. It can go under the sink if I need to use both sinks, but mostly I'll need the counter space (if I ever really cook, which I don't)

dissed, the minute I saw the sink I knew I had to have that apartment.

Mr C, I haven't read that one yet. Actually Jitterbug Perfume is the only thing of his I've read so far. I'll put Villa Incognito on my list for the used book store. Thanks

Gail, we are indeed.

VV, there is glass in those transoms, and in the kitchen door too. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

rraine, my little bro said pretty much the same thing.

Libs, it's good to finally have a place of my very own. It will be good to finally move in so I can get back to making the rounds of everybody's blogs and start getting caught up.

October 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM  

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