Interiors & Renovation

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Here’s a shot of the salvaged parquet we are laying down in what will be our “Music Room”. (All that really means is that it’s where our upright piano and record collection will live, conveniently located between the living room and dining room.) We’re pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far but won’t really be able to tell until all the floors are sanded and refinished. Check it.
Laying Salvaged Parquet [Renovation Blog]

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When we mentioned on the Renovation Blog that we were going to be installing Toto toilets, one reader had a particularly negative reaction, going as far as calling them “the worst kind of hype-y junk.” Now we consider ourselves open-minded and we don’t profess to have any special knowledge about this most necessary of all plumbing fixtures, so we thought we’d appeal to our benevolent readership. Plus, Apartment Therapy had the Smallest Apartment contest and Curbed is running a contest to rename neighborhoods, so we figured we’d have our own contest of a sort: Pick Brownstoner’s Throne. That’s right. Help us figure out the best crapper in the land for our hard earned dollars and win [insert cheap laugh here] our everlasting gratitude.
Vintage Sink for Rental Bathroom [Renovation Blog]

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While this is a little off-topic, the creativity and DIY attitude of architect Olle Lundgren is pure Brownstoner goodness. Though we like nothing more than to spend our Saturday’s trolling salvage yards in search of that inexpensive yet perfect find, we are admittedly complete amateurs. Lundgren is a pro. The repurposed ferry boat that he and his wife now live on in San Francisco’s Mission Bay is also a good example of the kind of modern design we tend to like: Old bones with strong, clean modern elements like the glass garage door. And the wooden water tank that Lundgren turned into a pool at his weekend house is pure genius in our opinion. Do others share our enthusiasm?
Scavenger’s Guide to Galaxy [NY Times]

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We were out visiting our friends at Build It Green in Astoria (where we scored this vintage china sink for our rental bathroom) on Saturday when we noticed these two marble fireplaces that had just arrived. Given that they’d come from a Brooklyn brownstone, we thought they might appeal to our readers. (They’re not broken, just in pieces, we’re told.) They’re asking $1,000 apiece, which is a good deal less than you would pay at Olde Good Things or Demolition Depot. If interested, give Justin a call at 718-777-0132. We’d love to hear where they end up!
Homepage [Build It Green! NYC]
Vintage Sink for Rental [Renovation Blog]

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Come see how the second floor–which will be our main living/entertaining area until we win the lottery and can completely take over the parlor floor–is coming along today on the Renovation Blog. In related news, our shipment of salvaged wood flooring (red oak strips and some parquet) arrived from Olde Good Things yesterday so we can start on the floors next week.
Second Floor Views [Renovation Blog]

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The four large bedrooms on the top two floors of our house all originally had marble sinks built in. We removed one of them to make more room for the master bathroom, but we’re preserving the rest in non-working condition. They will make for nice dressing tables or desks, depending on the occupant. Unfortunately, however, the original wood cabinetry underneath the sinks did not survive the house’s former incarnation as an SRO. More on the sinks as well as a discussion on how we’re laying out the parlor floor on the Renovation Blog.
Bedroom Sinks [Renovation Blog]

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We were hoping that we were going to be able to get all our floors done without needing to buy any more wood, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. Although we did use new wood in the rental bedroom already, we are regretting that decision and want to find some salvaged old flooring for the rest of the job.

  • We need about 100 square feet of very thin wood to match the height of an existing parquet floor; 2-inch oak is preferable, but width is less important than thickness in this case.
  • Then we need about 300 square feet of other wood, thickness not so important. Our preference would probably again be for some old 2-inch oak but we’re not matching anything in this case so we could be open to a range of possibilities.

We know there are a bunch of sources on the Internet but are hoping we can drum up something local quickly. Any leads?

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When we tried to build the molding for a new archway on the second floor this week using the moldings from the removed closets, we came up a little short–about 20 feet to be exact. Now we’re going to have to scrounge around at some salvage joints to see if we can find some matching (or pretty close to it designs). Any suggestions of places to look or ways to fudge it short of a custom job?
Matching Moldings [Renovation Blog]