03 September 2009

the condo project, part 1

This is not exactly breaking news, but the new blog looks so sad and empty so I wanted to put some pictures up. The condo project has lots of pictures.

In February of this year, Mark and I bought our first place, a two-bedroom, two-bath condo in a 1970s West LA building. While not a fixer by any means, it was the type of place that required a little imagination to see the potential. Fortunately, having spent the last two years with my eyes glued to HGTV and Domino (RIP), I am Ms. Potential Seer. The previous resident had done very little with it in his seven years there, but the elderly woman who owned it before him was OBSESSED with a horrid shade of pink we now know to be “dusty rose.”

How bad could it be, you ask? How many places could really be dusty rose? For starters: the guest bathroom wallpaper and paint, all of the light switch covers, the kitchen countertops, the grout in between the kitchen floor tiles (I am not joking), most of the apartment’s power outlets and light switches (not just the covers, but the actual outlets and switches, all hand-painted), and, in the coup-de-grace, the gas range exhaust pipe, which is fully enclosed in a cabinet (also hand-painted). Needless to say, the pink had to go.

Thanks to this little mortgage meltdown that you may have heard about, banks are requiring actual money down these days. So after our down payment, the cash left for renovations would not stretch to include complete bathroom and kitchen gutting. Those would have to wait. But we could cover the basics: taking down the popcorn and resurfacing the ceilings, fresh paint everywhere, and new bamboo floors in the living room, dining room and hall. We also needed some new furniture because: 1) our wonderful old Room Service couch would not fit in the new space, 2) we finally got a proper dining room, and 3) there is space for me to have my own desk, and my own vanity (both huge luxuries that I am so happy to have). The story of selecting the furniture is much longer, probably not that interesting, and still in progress. But suffice to say, we picked out the new furniture and some accessories, and now it’s feeling like home.

On to the aforementioned pictures!

Before/during/after of the living room:

At first, I really wanted a new, white mat for the photo on the right (a long exposure of gondolas in Venice bobbing in the water at night), but now I kinda dig that it’s not completely matchy-matchy. Photo on the left is the view up into the dome of the Reichstag in Berlin. Middle photo is light coming through a trellis from our honeymoon in Cabo. 

Before/during/after of the dining room:

More before/after photos to come. Stay tuned.

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