{House} Roll with It

I believe my apartment’s bathroom is original, which means it’s from the late forties. This also means some things don’t work in the modern age, such as the built-in toilet paper roll holder. Today’s rolls are larger than they were, and brand new rolls are squished in so tight that they can’t move.

I needed a toilet paper roll extender! I swear I had looked for them in stores and online when I first moved in, but couldn’t find any. It came up in conversation with some friends the other day that I needed one and couldn’t find it. A few days later, I had a weird housewarming gift.

It was quite easy to install (remove the old one, put TP on the new one, and replace).

It’s still not perfect, but much better than before! It only has to last a few years, because (spoiler alert) the bathroom will be redone at some point in the near future.

{House} Silver Screen

Like most NYC apartments, mine does not have central air conditioning. However, unlike many New Yorkers, I don’t “need” AC, so I’ve yet to use a window unit. But there was already a window unit in my kitchen when I moved in.

I was content to leave it and figured it would be removed when I redo the kitchen. But then a friend was looking for another unit for his apartment, so I volunteered mine.

There were a few metal bars and screws to take off before the unit would come free from the window.

And that’s how the window sat for a few weeks. But the more windows that are open, the more air circulation in the apartment. I wanted to get one of the original screens, but I couldn’t find the company or it was too expensive to have one custom made. Instead, I got one of these expandable screens for $20 just as the store was closing.

It took a few minutes to position it properly in the window, but it fits perfectly!

Now I get extra air and no bugs. A win-win in my book!

{House} Caulk Blocking

After the incident, I asked the super for suggestions to prevent a reoccurrence. He suggested filling all the holes and gaps in the bathroom. I asked about using caulk, and he said that should work. So off to Lowe’s I went!

I got the fancy caulk gun that has a built in cut hole and spike (technical terms), and assembled them together.

There weren’t many places in the bathroom that I felt that a large bug could sneak through, but I started in this corner where a wall tile had fallen.

Globs of caulk later (and with the help of a few fingers), I felt confident that this corner has been plugged.

I then turned my attention to the built-in laundry hamper.

It seemed like there were some gaps between it and the wall, so it got a border of caulk.

I got carried away with my new-found power, and caulked a little section of the shower.

Not the prettiest job (and the old caulk should really be removed), but an improvement.

Now just have to hope it keeps the creepy crawlies away!

PS. Thanks to my friend for the post title!

{House} When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I don’t like bugs in my apartment. Not sure if anyone does, but it seems to freak me out more than it affects other people. Plus, I have the added difficulty that I refuse to kill bugs, which means I have to implement a “catch and release” program.

So it was very unfortunate when I was going to the bathroom late last night, and I saw a waterbug (commonly mistaken for a large roach, but a big gross bug is still a big gross bug in my book). I thought I could trap it in the bathroom, but a few minutes later I saw it wandering out into the middle of my living room. No way, Jose!

It took two attempts, but I was able to trap it under a plastic cup, with a half full (I’m optimistic) water bottle on top to weigh the cup down so it wouldn’t move.

The worst part is that the building’s exterminator comes into my apartment once a month to spray to prevent things like this from happening!

I texted the super about it this morning. Luckily, he’s nice and likes me, and he took care of it!

{House} The Deed is Finally Done

After a weekend and a night of painting the entryway, dining area, and dressing room, the last room to paint was the living room.  (The kitchen and bathroom will be painted after they’re remodeled.)  I picked Benjamin Moore Silver Satin in the eggshell finish.

It became an interesting challenge, as there isn’t enough space in my apartment to move the furniture farther than a few feet away from the living room walls.

I draped a plastic drop cloth over the important pieces, and used another on the floor as I went around the room.  I thought this room would be quick because there aren’t any doors, but cutting in took almost four hours!

Rolling was faster, but still took over an hour.

The second coat took just as long, and it was difficult to see where I had painted, since the color was so light, and the living room is dark (no overhead light, and a window that’s north-facing with a building 10 feet away).

It’s a very subtle color!  I think the biggest change was going to a flatter finish from the semi-gloss that was there before.

One of my favorite things though is that depending on the light, it almost looks the same as the much darker color in the dining area!  In the picture below, the living room is on the left and the dining area is on the right.

Right now I’m just so excited that there’s no more painting to be done!  Well, except for the base and crown mouldings, but those seem like small potatoes compared to all the walls I’ve painted in the last few weeks.