Monday, October 22, 2012

Living Room Renovation: And The Walls Come Crumblin' Down

Oh, what a difference a week makes... Since the renovation in my apartment living room began last Tuesday, I couldn't be more pleased with the progress my Brooklyn-Italian contractor Angelo Palumbo has made. By Friday, he completed installation of a spanking new ceiling, replacing the ever-curious ugly as sin bubble-tin overhang that I've lived with for the past 12 years...

Meanwhile, all the "decorative" trim around the walls was taken down, originally with the idea that everything would then be skimmed smooth.

But as with most old buildings, nothing is as simple as it seems. It turns out that the detailing was so embedded in the plaster that it literally started to crumble away as the moldings came out. New plan: Drywall over the plaster, which will not only make the walls brand new, but prevent future cracks as this 200+ year-old building continues to settle.
And Monday's coup of coups... As with all five(!) of the renovations I've endured, a good contractor is always helping the client consider ways to improve upon the original plan as surprises are uncovered (and believe me, cool cats, they always are). Today, Angelo suggested we chip away the plaster on the accent wall above the fireplace... and sure enough, it revealed beautiful original brick from 200+ years ago.

Of course, this is every NYC apartment owner's ultimate dream... brick, brick, brick! And once it's cleaned, scraped and varnished, this will become the ultimate focal point of the room. I am utterly thrilled. Who the hell needs a 60-inch plasma TV there? I'll just sit and stare and the wall 24/7. In addition, also to come: a spanking new fireplace with custom hearth... and for the first time, uh, a damper. Hopefully that will cut down on the winter breeze I've been living with every winter for a dozen years. All things in good time. *