9 Month Cure: The Clean Slate

Time Remaining: 60 days

To those naysayers who thought it would never happen, behold the carnage! While we're still two months out from day 0, we're in the thick of it. In scarcely a day and a half, 2/3 of our micro luxury suite has been stripped away by the hard work of three strong Russians who are also super nice.

While this is happening, SK is working out on Long Island, and next week I'll be staying right across the street with a friend as the floors and tiling get done.

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The big slowdown is the fact that we're putting in new wood floors and the wood has to sit for up to five days in the apartment before you can stain or seal it. It needs to acclimatize.

While wiping away all this old karma in our apartment is causing undue joy in ourselves, our landlady - who was born in the building - has had a hard time of it. Getting rid of old things is completely counter-intuitive to her and we've had many conversations about how why we're taking things out and what we're going to do with them. We had to remove the huge old sink, and we have agreed to store it for her until she needs it one day. Anthony Riccio, our contractor, has been a tremendous help in all of this because, being Italian like my landlandy, he *knows* her. He has been great in speaking with her and assuaging her anxiety and she seems to trust him more than she might trust a shifty Irish like myself. But she needn't be worried. We're improving her building and it is going to look like a million bucks when we're done. AND we're going to save all the old bits for her.

If this saga interests you at all, you may like also hearing that our building had termites about 6-7 years ago and another problem we have with our floor is that it has been eaten up and is gone in some places. It looks like we're going to have to take the floor out in those spots and put down plywood to patch it. At least the termites are gone now.

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Oh, and the floor. Vincent Devaney has chosen 5 1/2 inch planks of unfinished larch which we will then stain a dark coffee brown. It should look terrrific and tone down those big grain marks.

Once we get through next week we're home free.

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The Home Cure

Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.