Rey's Profile

Display Name: Rey
Member Since: 9/26/07

Latest Comments...

>So the clean, refined look marks the residents as the "professional" upper-middle-class (doctors, lawyers, architects, stockbrokers) rather than as people who inherited their silver along with their admission slot at Harvard. If your davenport has been in the family since the Taft administration, it just doesn't have that sleek DWR look.

I confess that whenever I see a place that is perfectly DWR or very C&B, I ask myself, "But didn't your great-grandparents leave you anything? Or did you really tick off grandma and she left all the good furniture to Cousin Ruth, instead?" *g* I mean, I have TOOLS that are 80 years old!

Of course, this means that I have to find a way for the portrait of my great-great-great-great-great grandmother, my great grandfather's first wife's rocking chair, and my grandmother's mid-century modern dining chairs to live in peace.... That doesn't work with Buatta's style, either. *g* It's working, though. I just can't go too "out there" in any one direction!


Apartment Therapy - New York Magazine's Design Revolutionaries: Mario Buatta
10/25/07 01:52 PM

Pretty but AWFUL for damaging books.


Apartment Therapy - Diagrid Shelving Reinterpreted as Make/Shift
10/4/07 08:51 PM

>generra hypercolor shirts.

It didn't occur to me when I bought one in middle school that it'd announce the shape of my bra to the whole world.

Oh, well. *g*


Apartment Therapy - Slinks: Shi Yuan's Heat-Sensitive Wallpapern. (slingks) Surreptitious web links to other good sites
10/4/07 08:49 PM

The fireplace might be a part of the original building, but fireplaces were quite new in the 14thc and would have been really unusual for a room meant for sleeping in.

And I totally agree about locking that woman up. Sheesh. It may have been one of those French houses where only the shell was left--I certainly hope so--but to put such a banal interior into such a gorgeous home is a crime, no matter what, and is grossly insensitive to the location.


Apartment Therapy - Slinks: Kate Hume Designs' Redesignn. (slingks) Surreptitious web links to other good sites
10/3/07 10:02 AM

BTW, installed correctly,wood floors have a small gap around the room to allow wood to shift a little as it gains and loses moisture throughout the year. So if you flooring guy installs it RIGHT, you'll have a gap. :-) You could install the floor first and put walls on top, but that's courting danger.

Even if you put down floors after wall framing but before sheetrock, unless the wood floor is really thick, you'd have a gap running around the edge that would be filthy and a haven for insects.

And, additionally again, if the ceiling is not PERFECTLY BUILT, the sheetrock won't line up at the bottom.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: Do I HAVE to Have Baseboards?
10/1/07 08:39 AM

You. Need. Baseboards. With a wood floor, you've gotta have them. I don't have any in some of my carpeted rooms in my modern house, and that's fine, but it's not going to ple with a wood floor.

In my house, the owners put down quarter round shoe molding instead of baseboards where they had to have something. It's less than 1" high and is very minimalist.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: Do I HAVE to Have Baseboards?
10/1/07 07:58 AM

The shadow's cast from another direction. It depends on how the place is oriented and what that window is to, I suppose.

The house seems awfully squatty to me. They're squeezing 3 stories in the same height other houses are doing 2, so unless the others have truly ginormous ceilings, the infill one is low. I'm also not seeing how the floor joists work with it.

Other than that, I couldn't stand to live there, but it's really cool.


Apartment Therapy - Slinks: Sliver Housen. (slingks) Surreptitious web links to other good sites
9/30/07 08:10 PM

Heh. I used to work for a company that was outsourcing stuff to China. Having known the conditions that the Chinese workers had to endure BEFORE they got the manufacturing jobs and having seen the huge improvement AFTERWARD, I think it's quite harmful to scream "DON'T SUPPORT SWEATSHOPS!" or whatever. The reason that they can pay $.50 an hour is because these folks are immigrating from the countryside where they could earn $.15 per hour and had no access to hot and cold running water. Remember: Most of the people who are coming to work in these factories are traveling hundreds of miles to do so. Because it's that much better!

That being said, half our family is Chinese, and I get armloads of stuff from China meant for the domestic market every year. Yes, Chinese manufacturing standards are, on average, pretty much as low as the owners think they can get away with (with enough bribes for to the right people, of course.) Yes, we get a lot of crap shoveled off on the US. But just about anything that is sent to the US is a full order of magnitude higher quality in every way than the "top of the bottom" level of stuff produced for domestic consumption.

I have three words for why this is the case: "communism" and "shame culture". Franm shows how little she grasps Chinese culture with her statement "If Mattel had come forward sooner with its admission, perhaps things would have turned out differently for him." Uh. Yeah. Right. That would not have changed the shame that he experienced as a result of his bankruptcy--the fall in social status and the loss of face that resulted NOT from the fact that there was lead in the paint BUT from the fact that he was exposed as the source. What Mattel said about it was fairly irrelevant unless they reimbursed him because they omitted to mention that the paint shouldn't be poisoning kids. If he were still financially ruined, that would have resulted in a huge amount of lost face. She's muddling Western culture and motivations with Eastern ones, and they just aren't compatible. If he had been deliberately buying stuff with lead paint, he still would have acted in the exact same way.

BTW, Mattel? They aren't stupid. They've probably got a lot of Chinese companies running scared, and they needed to say something to reassure them. Such a public statement could avert the feeling that all Chinese companies were shamed through this debacle and would encourage others to go into business with Mattel to replace the suppliers they've lost. Their statement is, essentially, meaningless outside of its business/political context.

But I can tell you RIGHT NOW what globalization means to China. When my DH moved to the US in 1985, his mother's life savings amounted to $20 in US currency. He'd never had hot running water. He'd never seen an entire two-liter bottle of Coke and couldn't imagine anyone being so rich as to be able to buy so much at once. When he was born, *everyone* in my MIL's family saved up their ration tickets so that she could eat an entire apple a day because she was nursing to keep the baby strong. And, yes, it too *everyone's* tickets to make sure she got one a day, and that meant calling in favors of distant relatives, too. Very, very few people had refrigerators. Even fewer had heat that wasn't provided by electric blankets or a brazier. And my MIL's family had been very rich before Mao and both they and my FIL's family were very well educated, so they were still better off than average. The sheer level of scarcity can hardly be comprehended by an American of that age.

Today, all the relatives in China have DVD players and microwaves. Many have cars. DH's Gugu (father's sister) is able to retire to the US on her teaching pension--something unthinkable 20 years before.

It would be extremely difficult to find a Chinese person who thinks that things were better in China when it was much less permeable to Japan and the West. Chances are, the only people you find would be crotchety old fogies who protest that "kids used to be respectful in the old days!" (which translates to "they used to be the slaves of their parents for life and we could beat our daughters-in-law with impunity").

So before getting all wound up about the "costs" of globalization in those poor exploited countries, think for one moment what it REALLY means. Yeah, the average factory worker's life in any developing nation isn't as good as that of someone in the US in the same job. But what would those people's lives be like if those "horrible" jobs didn't exist? There are a huge number of very good economic reasons why it'd be the kiss of death to start paying everyone working for a US company several times the going wage, from inflation to driving out foreign businesses. It isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction, and I'm tired of people ignoring that.


Apartment Therapy - Blogging MSNBC: Mattel Apologizes to China Over Recalls
9/30/07 07:59 PM

Thanks, everybody!


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/27/07 04:09 PM

There's no place for a pocket door--it would stick out into the adjoining rooms! I'm actually stealing hall space and a 38"x70" section of the adjoining room to add the tub, so it's not going to get more crowded. You can't tell there, but the room is actually 7' deep, so there isn't a problem with door swing, anyway.

Bruised--You're quite right. My previous remodels were deliberately "quiet" and very understated, but I don't want to throw away tons of money and have it look like crap because I went ooooo-see-the-pretty-coooooolors or jumped at the nearest trend.

I think I've decided on pebbles for the floor and possibly the shower surround, but I may end up going with 4x4" white tiles for the walls. I haven't yet decided.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/27/07 09:47 AM

C&B, absolutely. Just about every house I visit of 20 or 30-somethings seems to be furnished out of a C&B catalog--it's more furniture than place setting, though.

For china, it's white plates with plain platinum bands. DARN IT. That's what I registered for--back when it wasn't nearly so popular. But the plain china is so FLEXIBLE that I can't regret it even if I am just like everybody else.

BTW, one of my grandmas had the green Corelle. The other had the blue. My parents? The yellow! They're being manufactured again. *g*

I've had a number of different dishes, and I've really come to appreciate Corelle. It's tougher than the heavier earthenware, and it stores better. It also bounces more often than breaks when you drop it. I drop a lot of things, so I appreciate that. Once I finish breaking my current set of Pfaltzgraff (unfortunately NOT the cheapest stuff), I may go to plain white Corelle. Then again, Fiestaware is calling me, too...


Apartment Therapy - What is Our Generation's Corelle Spring Blossom?
9/27/07 09:37 AM

If they're standard, they'll be at 6'8", right? I guess that only gives you four inches to play with after 3" trim. In that case, I'd skip the crown molding, but I'd *still* use the picture rail and make that a strong line to follow with white paint above. I'm sure it'd work still. I'm not saying that it'll be a convincing 9' ceiling. *g* The best you can hope for is probably a Is-this-a-little-low? feel. I bet you can make it feel like 7'8", at least, possibly 7'10".

The trick *stops* working nearly so well once the line gets around tall-person eye level. It'd probably still work if you put up regular crown molding and worked the picture rail around the window and door frames as long as it stayed about 6'4" or so, but it's most effective above the door level.

Too many lateral lines on furniture actually end up making everything feel heavy and low, so although mostly low furniture will help, if EVERYTHING is low, it'll feel like the ceiling is squishing it. (Also been there, done that.)

BTW, my bowling alley was 29' long, 12' wide, and 8' high. I got it to feel much less long and narrow and much, much higher.

I think a mural, being so close to your face, would end up being counter productive. It'd be too near for it too fool the eye.

You could always put mirrors on the ceiling. Gold-veined 1x1' mirror tiles. Yeah, THAT'd be classy.

(And yes, I am kidding!)


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Deal With My Low Ceilings?
9/26/07 08:00 PM

>I would NOT apply any sort of crown molding, as such a treatment would only serve to emphasize how short the walls are.

Have you done it? I have. Guess what? It works. Like I said, it convinces tall guys and real estate agents, too. My contractor was amazed when he came back and saw it. He thought the room must have had high ceilings that he'd somehow forgotten about and was actually trying to figure out how it was possible with the floor above when I told him it was just a trick.

The key is to paint picture rail and up *all the same color* and the bit below another color. People's eyes tell them that the color change must indicate the start of the ceiling or "extra height".

It was more effective than I'd hoped. I was hoping for an apparent raise of 6". I got an apparent raise of more than a foot.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Deal With My Low Ceilings?
9/26/07 02:37 PM

I'd put them right flush up against the edge of the trim. Put the curtain rods as high as you can without hitting the picture rail.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Deal With My Low Ceilings?
9/26/07 02:18 PM

I honestly don't know how much of the tile is going to survive. It'll be a good six months, at least, until I'm elbow-deep in this remodel. Most probably will, since it looks like I can pop them off by hand. *crosses eyes* I'll try to save what I can, though--I'll post on an open thread with what I've got, okay?

The walls weren't floated out--no horribly thick mud bed to deal with. It was built in 1965. The floor was put on directly to the slab with, I think, just a very thin layer of thinset. The wall tile appears to be--I kid you not--GLUED to the gypsum. Goodness knows how it's held up for 40 years, but there you go.

This is going to be my 5th bathroom remodel. :-) I have a rule that I only want to remodel a given bathroom ONCE ever, but I guess no rule about how many bathrooms total I'll remodel. I've done a lot of the work in the past and probably will with this one, too, since the slab is beautifully level. My guess on this bathroom was five days of plumbing work, and a plumber who wanted to do T&M estimated 3-5 days, so I'm guessing that I'm getting pretty good at estimating time and costs. (I'm not going to go with him, though. Among other things, he uses CPVC for waterlines in remodels, and I much prefer PEX. Also, I seem to know more about a couple of the other plumbing issues I want resolved, which doesn't give me much confidence here.)

I'm going to be putting hardiboard up even on the non-shower walls. I know I'm really silly, BUT there's something about adhering tile to a paper backing that I can't wrap my mind around.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/26/07 02:15 PM

I know this one! *waves hand*

Put up thick, simple crown molding with a picture rail another 6" below the edge of the crown molding. Paint the picture rail, the space on the wall between the rail and the crown molding, and the crown molding white, along with the ceiling. Paint the walls another color.

I did this to an 8' ceiling, and I can't tell you the number of people who walked it and looked around, puzzled, and said, "I didn't know you had an extra-high ceiling in here." This includes a guy who was 6'4"--he swore that the ceiling was at least 9'. I had to stop the realtor from listing the ceilings as "raised."

You should start your window dressings JUST below the edge of the picture rail and extend them to the ground for a strong vertical line. I'm not normally a fan of curtains, but in this case, they'd help a lot.

A darker floor would help, but I'd be very tempted to go with something with lateral movement across the short side, like wood or laminate.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Deal With My Low Ceilings?
9/26/07 12:42 PM

Oh and the loft remodel is really cool! I like the floor. :-)


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/26/07 11:04 AM

>Honestly, I think that in 50's bathrooms it's really the colors that stood out.

Yup. And the colors were usually yellow, green, pink, or blue. That's my problem! :-) I just can't do that.

But since the place is 50's *modern*, I'm thinking maybe I can go with the 50s and forget the bathroom. Like maybe I could cue off wall treatments like this:

http://www.plan59.com/decor/decor023.htm

with a wall tile like this:

http://www.porcelanosa-usa.com/productdetails.asp?proddet=1126&srcfrom=Catalog&pageid=6

And perhaps this for the floor:

BRP-3010 on http://www.auc-tile.com/catalog/pennyround.html

This will give it more of a retro-y feel, with the blend of 40s and mid-century modern that's in the rest of the place.

I don't know, though. I'm just not quite feeling it.

The rest of the place will soon have wood floors, so I don't want to do wood-look tile on the floors--on the walls, though, might be cool.


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/26/07 11:02 AM

I'm trying to stay away from subway tiles. Those are really 20 years too early, and they're so trendy right now that I have a feeling that in another decade they'll be out again. There's no way I'm going to be redoing this thing again...

I really, really want to stay more 1940s-60s than 1900s-20s!


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/26/07 09:53 AM

Well, it's got to go for several reasons.

1) The tank on the toilet cracked. How? I have no clue! It's not like anyone lifted the lid up, but there you go. So the green toilet's got to go since it constantly drip-drip-drips water on the floor when it's on now.

2) Several tiles are cracked and damaged, and more are coming off the wall. I have a box of extra tiles from the previous owner, but none are from this room. :-P

3) I am dreadfully afraid there is a water leak behind the wall on the left, and getting back there means demoing the wall.

4) It's not a full bath. This serves two bedrooms, and there's not even a shower. There's also no storage with the sink, as cool as it is--no place to put ANYTHING, no drawers, nothing. (I've got two more sinks just like it--a smurf-blue one and a white one without the console part. The white one is staying--it's in a powder room that's staying a powder room. I do think the sinks are totally awesome. This one just ain't working.) It's not the main bathroom, but three people already use that, and considering that we've got guests for a minimum of 2 months of the year ALREADY, it's pretty painful.

5) The green has gotten oppressive over time. It seemed charming and funky at first, but as the months wore on...it's just so GREEN.

I really liked most of the way the bathrooms here looked initially--aside from the smurf-blue one, yikes--but this just isn't working for me right now. I thought about replacing it with something substantially similar--4x4" tile in a better shade of green, for example--but I'm just not feeling it. This sounds crazy, but I won't be able to get a tub, toilet, and sink to match (because of space issues, the sink has to be extra narrow), and that kind of ruins the charm for me! *g* And, plus, I've gotten pretty sick of it being so very, very GREEN.

I promise to salvage the sink when everything goes, though!


Apartment Therapy - Good Questions: How Should I Renovate My Bathroom?
9/26/07 09:17 AM