Saturday, March 31, 2012

CL acquisition - Glass Shower Door Hinges

Big morning.  
At 10am I picked up the toilet from the design-build firm uptown.  
Maybe I didn't mention, when I went up to see the toilet (still in boxes, new seat and all), the seller showed me a stack of boxes of Lightolier recessed light fixtures with trim pieces.  They were all brand new and sealed and he was pricing them to give them away.  Since V and I decided a couple weeks ago when we met with the electrician that we will go ahead and install some recessed lighting over the kitchen counter, I bought five of these light fixtures with trim for less than the price of one would cost new.  So I picked those up along with the toilet.  Hooray again for cheap materials on CL.  
Then, I drove out to Westchester to the home of the seller of that shower enclosure from a post or two ago.  It was a fancy home on a mcmansion strewn cul de sac.  Kind of an awful oversized spec-house area.  Just awful.
Turns out the seller had measured wrong and the glass is 3/8", not 1/2".  But that is fine since 3/8" is the standard.  Still, I had decided that the price was too high since all I wanted was the door and not the rest of the enclosure.  After walking through the house and looking at all the awful furniture that she wanted to sell me ("Everything red goes! We're changing the color scheme."), I finally convinced her that I only wanted the shower door and I offered a third of what she had originally asked since it isn't 1/2" and I didn't want the other pieces -- I wasn't just playing her.  I wouldn't have bought it at all if she hadn't come down to my price.  
I spent an hour in her driveway building a wooden frame and support structure to carry it standing on one edge in the back of my car.  
So, now here is the question: the door is set up to be hinged with pivoting hinges on the top and bottom, not a swinging hinge on the back edge.  The bottom hinge is still attached to the door (luckily since it is over $150 new to replace), but sadly the top hinge is missing.  Here's some pix.  Now I have to find the exact right hinge to fit into the space on the door already cut out for that express purpose.

This is the bottom edge of the bottom hinge.

This is the notch/cutout in the top corner of the door where the top hinge clamps on.  Hopefully the replacement hinge won't be too expensive.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

cl score / elongated toilets?

[3/29/12 UPDATE: It is ours!]
Seems like the best source for new low-priced plumbing fixtures and lighting and the like is design/build firms that have bought the stuff for jobs and then ended up not using it. 
I found this Waterworks toilet on CL a few weeks ago.  I emailed the seller a few times to ask the price and never heard back.  Then, today, the guy emails me back and says CHEAP! COME GET IT!  It will cost less than the cheapest generic at Home Depot.  So I called him back and we make arrangements for me to pick up and pay and then he starts telling me about the basement they have full of plumbing, construction, lighting and related materials and basically he is just trying to make a few bucks before he gives it away or throws it away.  I told him about BIG NYC and I said I'd hook him up with the folks up there who will certainly come get anything new and useful that he has. 
Anyway, I guess I don't really know the diff between a normal toilet and an "elongated" toilet except that most reviews on the web say they take the same amount of space but the elongated toilet is "more comfortable".  Sounds okay to me. 

I like the look of it.  Kind of old school lines. Mostly, I like that the top lid is flat and has a little lip around it so that anything that gets set on it won't roll off onto the floor. How often do I set stuff on top of a toilet lid? Only when doing repairs in a tenant's bathroom - but on those occasions, there is nothing more irritating than my screwdrivers or whatever rolling off the toilet lid or toilet seat onto the floor. And!! it would be a lovely place for a houseplant.  Right?!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

design idea: Glass Shower Enclosure and Chickens!!

I followed up with a CL seller today about a glass shower enclosure she listed on CL cheap - it appears to be 1/2" thick frameless glass door and walls with hinges and hardware CHEAP!  Assuming it is what she says it is, even if we only use the door, it is an incredible deal (basically, it seems like she needs someone to take it away).  

It appears to be four good pieces of half inch tempered glass.  And I don't even think we would need to replace any of the four pieces of glass to increase the shower size since we could just build out a little wall on either side - plus, the short side which, in this photo, sits on the tub edge, would just sit on a little wall at the end of the vanity/sink counter.  so this probably works pretty well.  But again, even if we use nothing but the door and just install it into a framed and tiled shower, it is a giveaway.

So, anyway, I spoke to the seller by phone and asked her to send me a few clearer pix of the shower enclosure and hardware, but somehow she got it in her head that I want to see pictures of everything else she is selling (which seems to be everything in her house).  Which brings me to the following...

What does it say about me that my first thought upon seeing these chickens was AWESOME!!! I didn't even hesitate to wonder why? or What would it be like to live with taxidermied poultry? or any of the other perfectly reasonable things that might go through a person's mind seeing four stuffed roosters.  Not me.  I just went from zero to AWESOME!!!

Maybe a little more reasonably, I like this chair she is getting rid of.  I always wanted a leather club with an ottoman.  Nowhere to store it though so I'm not going to dally with it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

design ideas - bathroom sconce lights

We keep saying we like "industrial", but so far we haven't agreed on an industrial decor item for the house.  Maybe the bathroom sconces over/beside the master bath sink/mirror would be a place to start.
So, what do you think of these as ideas:

















Monday, March 19, 2012

CL Score - Crystal Chandelier

A "grand beast"?  Not by a long shot.  It was, however, a large number of crystals in a nice assortment of traditional shapes and good sizes with a solid brass frame and several concentric tiers (see the first pic below).  My best guess is that over 90% of the crystals are present and accounted for.
When the seller agreed to let it go for half of what she was originally asking it was too good a deal to pass up.  I snipped the wires right there in her sitting room and packed it all with newspaper and brought it home on the subway.  It is hard to photograph without a light behind it and they definitely need a good washing, but you get the idea.
I think I have enough crystals now to assemble a pretty good chandelier.  But, given all the other stuff going on, I am going to store them for the time being until we're closer to ready to needing a chandelier.

 Here are all the crystals - not included in this photo are the 6 arm assemblies at the ends of which the six exterior bulbs are mounted (comprised of cut glass S-shaped arms, 4 inch wide cups or bobeches and 3 inch tall bobeches or flowers)

And here's a helpful glossary of chandelier parts:

Design Idea meet CL Listing: Crystal Chandelier

There is a crystal chandelier on CL right now which the seller is describing as "a grand old beast of a chandelier".  As an expert in all things beastly, I intend to judge the beast-like qualities of this chandelier myself.  It isn't expensive, but she isn't giving it away either.  So, if it is missing a lot of crystals or if the frame is unattractive, then I will have no problem passing it up.  The last thing I need is another new project trying to find just the right crystals to match whatever is missing from this beast. 
This is the best the seller could do with photos - she claims it is too big and fragile to try to stand it up to photograph it or measure it. Using the seller's hands for scale, this is either a pretty big chandelier or a pretty tiny seller.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

CL SCORE!!! Clawfoot Tub, Sink & More!

My friend Lou and I drove way out to the Hampton's last night to check out that claw foot tub I found on CL (see two posts ago). We didn't even get on the road until 7pm so we knew it was going to be a long night. 

I didn't really know what to expect. I had asked the seller earlier in the day when we spoke by phone whether the tub and hardware was already disconnected and she said it wasn't. I then asked her if there were separate shutoff valves for the tub and she said she was sure there were - but based on the blurry photos she sent me, I suspected she might be wrong. So, notwithstanding her assurances, I packed my tool bag and threw in my rotary pipe cutter and a couple hacksaws. 

We reached the seller's house at 9pm. The tub looked fantastic and we set to work detaching the plumbing. As expected, there was no shutoff valve either in the bathroom or in the basement immediately below the tub. For lack of a better solution, I told the seller that we would need to cut the pipes in order to remove the tub filler hardware - because I wasn't going to waste a two hour drive out there and leave with just the tub. Sort of surprisingly, she said "fine." I asked if she had a plumber she could rely on and explained that cutting the feed to the tub would require us to first turn off the house water and that she would need to leave it off until the plumber came to cap the cut pipes (keep in mind that it is now Friday night at 9:30). She said "fine" and called her plumber - I spoke to him and he said he would come at 6:30am the next morning and cap the pipes. So that's what we did! We used the rotary pipe cutter and cut the copper about five inches below the floor line in the basement just above the junction with the main hot and cold water lines where a lazy plumber long ago decided not to bother installing shutoff valves. Anyway, it took much longer than expected to uninstall the thing and then we had to muscle it out through the narrow bathroom door and down a hall and then down a brick staircase with a tight turn to get to my car in the driveway. 

Then we went back in and the seller and her husband said they were getting rid of the sink too - a lovely Kohler pedestal sink in perfect condition with a great Waterworks 3 hole, wide-spread faucet - so I said "okay." We agreed on a good price and Lou and I pulled it out and loaded it up.  

Anyway, to make a long story short, I took everything in the bathroom except the toilet (which I only left because Lou thought it too creepy - and I think he was a little sick of this exercise).  So, I got a nice medicine shelf, a towel rack/bar, a fancy toilet paper holder and a pair of wall-mount drinking glass holders, all in antiquey nickel-plated brass - great looking stuff. 
It was worth it. V and I took it up to the house this morning. All these photos were shot today - I was too focussed on getting it out last night to remember to take any pix.

Here is the tub. Notice the elevated "slipper back".  It really is lovely - the finish is virtually perfect.  In this picture, the legs are off and it is just resting on the lugs where the feet attach.   
And here are the feet.  They seem to be gold-finish over chromed cast iron.  These things are seriously heavy-weight and nice looking. 
This is the tub overflow drain cover (with a metal stopper plug holder on a chain) which is integrated with the overflow drain and main drain pipe -- all in a brushed nickel finish.
And this is unusual and unexpected object is a piece that sits immediately below the tub drain - this is what the drain hole cover screws into.  I also acts as a sort of more attractive sleeve for the drain pipe going into the floor and a flange to cover the hole in the floor.  AND, as we discovered, it can support the weight of the tub if the legs are loose (as they were in this instance).  Obviously, this thing could use a good cleaning.
This is the tub filler.  It sits on top of a pair of heavy, solid brass 24 inch high legs (called floor unions) which screw into the floor to secure the tub filler in place (I forgot to take a picture of the floor unions).  This thing is great looking.  It is an older Waterworks unit and it is in great shape - although the finish shows a lot of rubbing - which is fine since I wouldn't want a high polish piece.  The sprayer is the best - looks like an old telephone handset and cradle.

And here is the sink sitting on the floor of our place waiting for its special day to come.  (Note that I removed the drain plunger from the faucet or transport so it isn't pictured here).

And, finally, here are the two shelves I picked up.

This is the best - this is the shelf that sits across the top of the bathtub and holds your soap and duckie and cocktail and book.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Design Idea - Goats!!

"That is a really cute goat.  I want one." (V, just now.)  Happily, since it is the first Pashmina goat ever to be cloned by Kashmiri scientists, there is no reason they can't whip up another for her just like it.

Craigslist - Clawfoot Tub - Potential Victory Snatched from the Rotting Carcass of Disappointment

Well, with a little searching, I found another clawfoot tub- purportedly from Waterworks - on CraigsList.  I'm still stinging from the bait and deny that the guy pulled on me earlier today, but this one might be a better choice - it is certainly more luxurious looking.  This one is out on Long Island -- way way way out on Long Island - Hamptonsey far!  This design is called a "slipper" tub.  V says it reminds her of The Death of Marat.  (Sorry the pix are lousy - this is what the seller could send me from her cellphone - nice lady though and she promises not to change her mind about selling it to me).
I called the Waterworks showroom in mid-town and a very nice woman there said to forward her the photos.  She confirmed that it is NOT a waterworks tub but she thinks it is probably a bargain nevertheless - on the basis of the tub-filler, she said to definitely buy it if it is a good price.  She confirmed the quality of the tub-filler and that it is Waterworks product.  So - I guess I need to find someone to help me load it into the car on Friday night or Saturday morning.  Urgh!!


Well, one certainly hopes it doesn't go this way - but this is about how I felt after the guy snatched back his tub earlier today!