{Home} All the Way Up

My old apartment had a small shower stall, so I bought a hanging caddy for over the shower head.  I had more toiletries than it held, so some bottles were placed on the shower floor.  But my new bathroom has a tub!  Also, the shower head is mounted higher, making access to the bottles difficult.  Corner shower shelf to the rescue!

I measured the distance from the tub to the ceiling, and it came to 86″.  A hardware store around the corner from me was going out of business, and everything was half-off!  This white shower shelf seemed perfect, was $13, and fits ceilings up to 96″.

corner shower caddy white zenna home tension

The assembly was very easy, and I couldn’t wait to put it in place…only to find that it was a few inches too short!  It comes with an extra short piece, but when that piece was added on, it was impossible to get the shower caddy in place (the internal spring is very strong!).

The instructions say for $6 and a call to their 800-number, I could get another short piece delivered right to my door.  Simple enough, and still less than the cost of other shelves I’ve seen.  Plus, I couldn’t return the shelf since it was purchased during their “going out of business” sale.

Two days later, the extra piece had arrived.  Two short pieces in place of one of the long pieces was exactly what I needed!

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Now the shower shelf goes all the way up to the ceiling!

PS. Obnoxious post title courtesy of this song.

{House} A Change of Plans

I enjoy browsing Craigslist ads, but when I was living in an apartment, it was only window shopping.  I’d been in my new home for less than a week when I saw a light fixture I couldn’t pass up for $100.

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It’s in great condition, and the sellers even gave me an extra box of light bulbs!  I knew it would make an impact in the dining area, I just needed to find a ladder and some courage to tackle my first electrical project.

The ladder was easy enough; a quick text to my super and I had a one to borrow.  Turning off the breaker was also simple: turned the light on, and found the breaker that turned it off.  But–spoiler alert–installing the light was a whole other issue.

The current fixture is a simple three-bulb flush mount with a frosted glass shade.

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There were two nuts and a metal plate holding the glass shade to the center thread, which didn’t even need a wrench to unscrew.  Thankfully there weren’t any dead bugs hiding in the shade!

I got a good chuckle when I saw the random assortment of light bulbs hiding behind the glass shade!

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I unscrewed the bulbs, and as I did, something came out of one of the sockets, hit me in the chest, and then fell onto the floor.  It scared me, but I let it go.  It wasn’t a bug, and I was in too deep to stop my expedition now.  I chalked it up to being an old piece of metal and pressed on.

After the bulbs were out, I removed the rest of the center thread.  There was another bolt (that was also connected to the center tread) holding the fixture to the ceiling that needed a wrench to be loosened.  I scored the paint where the fixture met the ceiling so that it would come loose from the ceiling easily.

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The fixture still hung close to the ceiling, so I pulled gently to take a peek a the wires and box, and that’s when I got an unexpected surprise!

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It’s extremely old!  Old wires, old plaster, old electrical box.  Old, old, old!  Even if I could have figured out which wires are which, the box doesn’t have a crossbar for the new fixture to screw in to.  I’m also missing electrical tape and should probably use wire caps anyway.  I think this will be a project for the super or an electrician.

Since the new fixture wasn’t going to be installed that day, I had to put the old one back together…

Back in when the bolt and the center tread to hold the fixture to the ceiling.  Then came the light bulbs.  As I was installing the second bulb, I noticed that the socket seemed loose.  Upon closer inspection, I realized it was missing a screw to hold the socket in place–the mysterious metal piece that attacked me!

I got down on my hands and knees and started looking for the tiny screw with an iPhone flashlight.  I found it hiding under my dining table (it’s the tiny speck to the right of the table leg in the picture below).

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It took some finesse, needle-nose pliers, and a small screwdriver to get it into place, but I was able to secure the socket.

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Once the light bulbs were in, the glass shade, metal plate, and two bolts were the last pieces to put the light back together.  I turned the breaker back on, and the light worked!  A small victory in this learning experience.

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And for now, my fancy new light will continue to sit in a corner, waiting for the day when it can finally be installed.

{Home} A Step in the Right Direction

The kitchen sink cabinet is much larger than the sink cabinet in my last apartment.  During the move and unpacking, it kind of became a catchall for random kitchen stuff, which would promptly fall out anytime the cabinet was opened.

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I knew I needed some sort of shelves and drawers to make it a little more organized and useful.  Enter this cabinet organizer from Target.

img_7241When it arrived I couldn’t wait to put it together!  There were some basic instructions, but it wasn’t any harder to assemble than Ikea furniture.

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Then it was time to put it into the cabinet and make things slightly more organized.

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Martha Stewart would probably still scoff at it, but I’ll take any small victory I can get!

{House} Can You Hear Me Now?

My building’s front door intercom uses the landline phone system.  Which means I need a landline phone (just a phone, not the actual landline service).  I browsed eBay for an old looking phone and knew Pottery Barn would have just what I’d like.  For less than $15, I got an old-fashioned phone with modern push buttons.

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There are actually two phone jacks in my apartment: one over the dining table and another next to my bed.  The dining room jack wasn’t working, so I tried my hand at fixing it.  The old jack had been painted over a few times and looked in rough shape.

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After scraping off some of the paint, I was able to get inside it to remove it from the wall (the two dark screws in the picture below).

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I ordered this one from Amazon and had it in hand a few days later (Lowe’s and Home Depot didn’t have the model and color I wanted in stock).  The new one is much nicer looking!

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Then it was just a matter of connecting the red wire to the red spot, and the green wire to the green spot.  A few screws from the plate into the previous holes in the wall, popped on the cover, and it was done!

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Then I just had to plug in and hang up my new phone!

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I asked the doorman one night to ring me to see if it was working, and it still didn’t work. 😦 I’m not sure where the issue is, but I’ll be keeping this on the list of things to fix another day…

{Home} One Man’s Trash…

It’s a thing in New York to take something left on the side of the street if it interests you.  There have been a few times where something has caught my eye, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually acted on it.

I was out shopping and thru all the discarded Christmas trees, I saw someone had thrown out two large fake trees (and a few other smaller fake plants).  I’d been looking for a fake plant for awhile, having sworn off live plants when I moved to New York, but they’re kind of expensive!

(This is where there’d be a picture of the trees among the trash bags and other stuff, but I didn’t take a picture of that–sorry!)

Initially, I kept walking to finish my shopping, but also because literally taking someone’s trash on a very public street is weird and awkward!  With some support from my brother (via text), I decided to head back and take a second look.

There were two similar tall trees, and I tried to quickly choose which one I thought was better while a man on the next stoop watched.  Then I just grabbed one and started walking!

Of course, if it’s not captured in a Snapchat selfie, it didn’t happen 😉

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For the final act of my craziness, I carried the plant 15 blocks to my apartment on a very windy night.  The doorman laughed at me when I came in: “It’s bigger than you!”

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A few sprays of Lysol to clean it up, and it was ready to move in.  I’ll probably continue to play with the leaves to spread them out a bit (they have wires in them, so they’re easily malleable), but I’m already loving how much warmth it brings to an otherwise awkward and empty corner.

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One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure!  (And there are free things in New York!)