This blog will document the renovation of a small apartment in New York’s East Village, more specifically, Loisaida. I’m not a professional designer, but I know what I like. The apartment is in a “homestead” building, meaning it was torched and abandoned by the landlord in the 70’s like so many in the neighborhood and became city property. A group of families seized it to renovate it and live here. That was 30 years ago. Originally we were squatters; once we forced the City’s blessing, we became Homesteaders. It took us 12 years to finish rebuilding from the beams and the brick. I’m the mother of two who have grown up here. Not a lot of work has been done to the place for 20 years. It’s time to refresh.

8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, my name is John D’Isselt, i’m a writer from the Bronx. I’m a student at Mercy College and I’m quite interested in the history of Alphabet City and the Lower East Side and I believe your feed back would be quite helpful. Im actually a struggling creative writer, my first story is set in alphabet city, just to give you a little background on myself. i would be quite interested in discussing some of the past history of the neighborhood and some of what it is like to have lived there.

  2. I am writing to say a big THANK YOU to you for your stucco parts 1 and 2. Based on your advice, I went to the store and bought supplies to run tests. The results were nothing short of amazing. I don’t know if you are familiar with intonachino, an Italian style of plaster. I wanted to do my walls in this rustic style. The only supplies I could find were super expensive, out of my budget. I’ve been searching like crazy to find a way to do it myself. With your help, I’ve succeeded. I ran tests on small boards. I used the same three colors on each test. To imitate intonachino, I’ve come up with this: layer 1 – add quikrete tubesand. It’s a pain in the @$$ to work with, bit the results are perfect. For all other layers, the straight mix you teach is all you need. It looks EXACTLY like Italian intonachino. You’ve saved me so much money. My sincerest gratitude goes out to you.

    • Let me know how and I will send you pictures as I progress on my walls. I’d also like to send a gift as a show of gratitude.

      If you don’t mind, send me an address to send it. Thank you again.

      • Lisa, I would love it if you would send photos of your walls. You’ve already sent the gift of words. Your comment made my day. I’m so glad that the information was useful to you.

    • I’m so glad to read this! I don’t know this style of plaster but I’m going to definitely look it up. Please send photos and thanks for reading and following the blog.

  3. Like Lisa, I want to thank you for your recipes which I found over a year ago. I am in Paris where I have a very small old apartment. Paint is very expensive here, and the walls are of some odd combination of materials so that latex paint doesn’t stick for more than a year. So I played around with your recipes and made a variation, substituting powdered marble for the plaster of Paris … just because it is cheaper here and also very white, which is what I wanted. I’ve done 2 coats already and I love the results. I’m going to tear down the ceiling so will surely do more coats later but for now it’s perfect, and also fun. I also did the walls of our communal bathroom on this floor, a french tradition, and everyone has commented on how much better it looks than the old crumbly paint. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your information and I have loved reading about your home, family and seeing your work. The lavender-grey walls are gorgeous. If I get to a stage where photos show the walls I’ll send it to you, but for now they don’t really photograph more than as white walls.

    • Dear Deborah, Your note made my day. I’m so glad you got a good result with the recipe. Your home sounds so romantic. It would be great to see photos at some point. I will check out the marble powder you used. I am curious to see if it doesn’t dry as quickly as the plaster which is a challenge. I’m very glad you are a reader. Thank you very much.

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