Sunday, May 11, 2008

et voila!

As some of you may know, we've recently moved from the 4th floor to the 3rd floor of our building. Alas, the move was not to a bigger apartment (the new place is exactly the same size, just flipped over) and most people wonder WTH we went through all the trouble of moving.

The picture above is a big part of why I wanted to move. In NYC most pre-war studio apartments are dark dark dark. Why? Because they were the maids' rooms! Think about it. Would you keep a nice sunny room for yourself or give it to the maid?

People like me don't have maids, and apartments like mine don't have sunlight. The 4th floor apartment had one window that looked across at another window. So we had to keep the curtains closed all the time. But on the 3rd floor the single window faces a brick wall, in other words...no curtain required! For someone like me, who can't live without plants, this was a major selling point.

After fitting the window frame with fluorescent grow lights on three sides, I hung two, 8-foot acrylic poles across the window and filled them with my Rhipsalis collection. (Ok, there's one Ceropegia in there. Can you spot it?!)


Next I went on line and found a template for making the window treatments. Bought the insulation board at the Depot, cut and glued (and glued and glued) the pieces, went fabric shoppping in the garmet district (that was fun!), hauled out the Singer sewing machine I got for my 14th birthday, et voila!

There's still a lot to do in the apartment: I haven't got a desk and we need bookcases. But now that the plants are in place, I can relax a little. When plants are in the house, all is right with the world.

6 Comments:

At May 12, 2008 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

Looks great! Reminds me of Mark's Rhipsalis window. Sounds like a lot of work though...

 
At May 12, 2008 at 2:49 PM , Blogger Ellen said...

I totally copied Mark's Rhipsalis window, but you're the only person who reads this blog who could have realized that! Of course he didn't have to do the light fixtures, but when I saw how great the Rhipsalis looked all together I knew I wanted to do the same thing!

 
At May 12, 2008 at 9:04 PM , Blogger molly said...

ohmygod! it looks amazing! i can't beeeelive you did all that! ah, what i wouldn't give to OWN the apt and make, make away! congrats.

 
At May 13, 2008 at 1:08 PM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

It looks incredible - I'm so glad I got to see it in person, and thank you so much for generously explaining how to steal all your excellent ideas! Very inspiring.

 
At May 21, 2008 at 8:38 PM , Anonymous Jim@jcharlier.com said...

Grow lights around a window - that's brilliant! I may have to try that. I did grow lights in my basement over a winter. All I learned was that they need light AND water. And I wasn't good about watering.

 
At May 21, 2008 at 9:32 PM , Blogger Ellen said...

Thanks Jim, I'm glad you like it! And P.S. the plants I chose for my window are all succulent and very drought tolerant. Some need once a week watering, others only once every two weeks I'm all for low maintenance gardening, indoors and out!

 

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