Lisa (Montreal)'s Profile

Display Name: Lisa (Montreal)
Member Since: 1/31/08

Latest Comments...

As a landlord, I'm very reasonable about cosmetic changes as long as they're reversible. I told my current tenant she could paint any color she wanted, and she could install built-ins as long as she took them down when she left. (It's no big deal to spackle the walls if I'm repainting anyway, and I always repaint between rentals.) A previous tenant had wanted to refinish the floors a different tone. Fine.

But if you ask me to install a dishwasher, the answer is no. What renters might not know is that the landlord might also have restrictions about what can and can't be done. Before I bought into my co-op building, someone had installed a faulty dishwasher that leaked into the apartment below, causing major damage (over $50,000). I had to sign a paper saying that if I chose to install a dishwasher, it would have to be approved by the board first, and that I personally -- and not the co-op's insurance -- would be liable for any damage it caused. So if you install a dishwasher without telling me, your security deposit doesn't even begin to cover the potential damages. (And I won't even get into problems like removing legally mandated child-proof window guards to "improve" a view.)

Also, at least in NYC, buildings often have strict rules about getting permission for construction/renos and only doing the work during certain hours. This is because neighbors don't want to hear noise. The fines can be hefty -- like $1,000 a day -- because they're INTENDED to be so onerous that no one will be tempted to ignore the rules.

Radical Renters: When Renters Make Big Changes
7/22/14 09:53 AM

If this doesn't win, I'll be surprised. FANTASTIC design in a really, really small space.

Tiffany & Allan's Ship Captain's Studio Small Cool Contest
6/9/14 09:27 PM

@skaterjo -- Having grown up in that era, I recognize that lamp. It's not faux Tiffany -- it's macrame. Again, totally on trend today.

Meet the Original Brooklyn Hipsters Dinanda Nooney Photo Collection at NYPL
2/8/14 10:49 AM

What's especially impressive is that the Before was just okay enough that you might have figured, "Heck, I'll just live with it." Really good initiative, and a lovely job.

Before & After: Lisa's Brooklyn Kitchen
Makeover on a Budget

12/9/13 10:27 PM

The irony is that the "repair" makes the sofa way more chic.

Before & After: From Scribbles to a Clever Surprise
11/22/13 09:13 AM

Everything goes with navy.

Paint Ideas for Room with Navy Sofa? Good Questions
11/19/13 03:48 PM

The problem is the proportions of the chairs versus the table. No amount of paint or refinishing is going to fix that.

How Should I Refinish These Vintage Dining Chairs? Good Questions
11/13/13 05:52 PM

I think we're in an equally homogeneous era right now. When I go into people's homes, 9 out of 10 times, everything is Ikea, West Elm, DWR, or Target. It's as if everyone only has 4 stores in the entire world to choose from.

Color by Decade: The 50s Color Therapy
11/13/13 05:42 PM

I am usually a paint-hater, but this is great. The original chair was a twee fauxtique. Now it looks very Addams Family glam.

Before & After: Linda's Heirloom Chair
11/13/13 05:28 PM

I like the dining table being near the window. Too many people block that area with a TV set. Nicely done.

Before & After: From Blank Slate to Simply Stunning
11/7/13 05:23 PM

Hilarious! Also fun to see the horrified reaction of people who otherwise have no problem painting hand-crafted antique furniture with glossy spraypaint.

Before & After: This Chair Will Scare Your Socks Off
11/1/13 11:28 AM

Noguchi paper lamps - or more affordable Noguchi-inspired lamps -- could look great. They're very sculptural and give off a surprising amount of light.

Is It Possible to Find a Lighting Solution for This Room? Good Questions
11/1/13 11:24 AM

@sally305: The Keep Calm posters aren't word art like "Live, Laugh, Love." They really spoke to a lot of New Yorkers who were there on 9/11 (as I was). In the immediate aftermath, every day seemed to be a risk. For a long time, the "Missing - worked on the 103rd floor" posters were still plastered on bulletin boards - no one had the heart to take them down. Every time you got dressed, you asked yourself, "What if I have to run in these shoes or walk miles to get home if transportation is out?" My kid's nursery school even buddied up parents who worked uptown and downtown, and in case of emergency, the parent in the unaffected area was supposed to pick up both kids in case the other never made it home.

In that context, the Keep Calm and Carry On poster was brilliant and inspirational. Then a bunch of design fans saw it in the homes of New Yorkers and thought, "Oh, cool new trend." They never got the point. They're the ones who made it stupid.

Interior Design 101: 5 Rookie Mistakes You'll Never Make Again
10/26/13 04:24 PM

Check out the Roman and Williams portfolio website -- they do lots of projects with wood.

Best Paint Colors for Room in Log House? Good Questions
10/5/13 09:38 PM

Both rooms have the same problem -- there's no seating opposite the sofa. All you can do in that room is watch TV.

Living Room Design Duel: Which Layout Do You Prefer?
10/5/13 09:31 PM

We have an Ikea kitchen that was installed before we moved in (about 10 years ago.) It's okay, but the hinges aren't great -- we've had to replace a bunch of them, and the cabinet doors get 'crooked,' despite having been professionally installed. But it holds up pretty well.

My only real complaint is that you can't paint Ikea laminate. I hate the yellow-y veneer, but I know that if I try to sand and paint I'm risking disaster. I always envy people with old solid-wood cabinets that they can sand and paint.

IKEA Kitchen Cabinets: Pros, Cons
& Real Life Owner Reviews
Reader Intelligence Report

10/5/13 09:28 PM

Ironically, the problem is the attempt to modernize it -- the beige paint, the marble vanity (with the purple inset sink - blech!), the sleek sink faucet are what make it hideous. When you have something that vintage and distinct, you have to embrace it.

I'd second the suggestion of palm wallpaper, and swap out the vanity for something more vintage looking. It could be fabulous with the right attitude.

How Can I Make this Purple & Green Bathroom More Tolerable? Good Questions
9/14/13 10:41 AM

You could try the British thing of simply changing the cushion covers. I personally really like the look of cushions not matching the frame.

On Patience & Waiting for the Perfect Piece
9/14/13 10:24 AM

Timeless classic. But you don't have to pay $1,000. I see them on Craigslist all the time for about $50 a chair. I'd personally always rather have antique/vintage than a reproduction.

Are French Round-Back Chairs Timeless Classics? Good Questions
8/20/13 11:41 PM

All the 70s stuff from my teenage room that became embarrassingly out of date -- and is now sold as reproductions in the MoMA design store and DWR.

Outbox Regrets: Have You Ever Gotten Rid of Something and then Regretted It?
8/17/13 09:49 PM