entryway progress

It’s slow going to fix up your house unless you’ve got a fat purse and a lot of time. Sometimes I feel like I’m buried in the bureaucracy of life admin. Sign an online petition and your email inbox mushrooms with doomsday scenarios. Buy something online and you are attacked daily by 20% off coupons. We now have digital clutter to clear and speak with robots on the phone.

We recently put another dent in the slow moving entryway project. What happens to me is that when we make an improvement, I exhale and exclaim “it looks great”. And so we live with the partially finished project while absorbed in work to put food on the table and tend to our family and friendships.  After the blue venetian plaster work and the teardrop chandeliers went up, I was happy opening the front door and walking into my house for awhile.

Then the novelty of the last phase wore off and so it was time for the next. The doors leading to the girl’s room and the bathroom were filmsy hollow doors. I never liked them. I like the feeling of opening and closing a solid wood door. I shopped around for wooden doors and they were too extravagant for my purse. In New York City, we have a great resource. Build it Green! NYC is a recycling project, a place where contractors can donate excess stuff from construction/renovation projects and others can buy it. I snapped up the two paneled wooden doors for 60 bucks! Then we got molding to frame the new doors with. That was always the vision, a posh entryway with elegant molding. As my friend Linda says “molding brings the eye up and up and up”. It gives the illusion of higher ceilings, a welcome thing in a narrow hallway.

carpenters installing doors and molding

carpenters installing doors and molding

heavy paneled wooden recycled door and molding on my blue venetian plaster walls

heavy paneled wooden recycled door and molding on my blue venetian plaster walls

What’s next? Molding along the juncture of the plaster wall and the ceiling and a good looking and useful spot for hanging up coats and setting down boots now that winter is almost upon us.

the twin teardrop chandeliers

The work on the entryway is slow going, but it’s going. Back in the winter, I purchased two teardrop chandeliers from PB Teen that were on sale. When I finally got around to putting the first one up in the spring, we discovered that it was defective. I was so disappointed when I checked the website and saw they were no more. The lamp was tinkered with and deemed okay as long as the bulb wasn’t changed. So I stuck a bulb in there that would last for 30 years and hoped for the best. A week went by and then it died for real. Since so much time had passed, I never thought the store would give me a refund so I settled into the idea that the hallway would only have one light. But I didn’t like it. The lighting placement looked lopsided and there was a very ugly glob of plaster in the ceiling at the other end that I’d made worse by gouging at it with a knife thinking there was a box for a light fixture there.

One day I decided to do a web search for “teardrop chandelier” to see if I could find something similar that would look good with the existing light. And the first thing that popped up was the same chandelier from PB Teen! It was back! I called them and told them the story. To my surprise and delight, they said they would send me a replacement chandelier right away even though it was months since I’d bought it. Old school customer service.

PB Teen Teardrop Chandeliers

The electrician that has installed and fixed all of the light fixtures in the apartment is a woman named Deb Lee. I really like the fact that she is a woman electrician. In my mind there are two jobs that clearly fall under the responsibility of the man of the house:

1. Dealing with all potential electrocution scenarios.
2. The removal of dead vermin.

So I’m in awe of Deb.

Deb Lee at work

When the new chandelier arrived, Deb came to install it along with her colleague Eric. She told me that it would look so much better to run the cabling inside the ceiling instead of just hiding the wires with a wiremold. Eric was there to plaster away the holes. He even covered the glob that was such an eyesore. Good craftspeople who are skilled and care about what they do are hard to find – I am lucky. More to come…

Eric hard at work