part of the
@tlas 'Scenic Interiors' series
text by TerboTed photos
by Olivier Laude interior by ShaG.
so this is all about what our house looks like.
if you really want, you can see the quicktimeVRs of
our Kitchen (slow
and slower) or Sewing
Room (slow and slower).
The story goes, we needed a new place to live.
Lizard and myself. We had been living on Haight Street in San Francisco
and all our roommates were tweakers and that totally sucked cause we don't
do amphetamines. We walked all over town, and after calling like thirty
places, we finally found one 4 days before we had to move. The place was
trashed, a rental flat, South of Market, located near where I was working
at the time. Rent is only $750 for the place, that's totally cool.
All the other places we looked at were all nicely remodeled and that always
puts us off, cause we're into creating our own space... We'd always ask
'Can we pull out this new beige carpet?' and whoever was showing us the
place would look at us like they would kill us. So we hate carpeting. And
we never would paint a place all white, so boring.
So this flat we're in, like I said, was totally trashed. I think that if
you were homeless you would rather have slept outside. It had sat unoccupied
for about 90 days, an eternity in this town. We didn't even have to pay
a security deposit. The last inhabitants had been these teens who had kicked
holes in the walls, covered it with graffiti and so on. It was partially
furnished with urine stained furniture; it had been carpeted with recycled
barroom carpet that was nailed to the floor with roofing nails; every door
in the place had been kicked in, the front door, back door, bedroom doors,
bathroom doors, etc. The place hadn't been painted in over twenty years
and every surface was sticky to the touch, greasy gritty gross.
our coffee pot
Our landlady gave us the keys even before we gave her any cash, and we immediately
set about cleaning it and preparing for a rush paint job. Scrubbing and
sanding. Tore out the carpet (someone had carpeted over dried puke in one
of the rooms). Removed the furnishings. We used four gallons of plaster
on the walls (and its a small place). I removed all these telephone and
electrical outlets that went absolutely nowhere, hadn't been used in decades.
We removed all of the bedroom doors, and opened these beautiful sliding
doors which had been nailed shut. Rented a sander and smoothed the softwood
floors for painting. One room, which became the sewing room, was covered
with staples, we called it the staple room, there must have been 400 staples
in the walls. Nails were sticking out all over the place, remnants of long
gone curtains or pictures. The landlady's son fixed the broken windows.
We reattached bits of door molding that were falling off. Put new locks
on the doors. This all happened in the first day and a half... we still
had to paint, pack and move in two and a half days...
We went to the paint store. There's a store near here that stores all of
their 'dump stock' in the back, the mis-tints or customer rejects, and this
stuff is usually lurid, odd and totally cheap. Picked out the craziest colors.
We did have them mix us some blue deck paint which we used for the floors,
and a couple of other cool colors just for fun. We painted the whole place,
including the floors (but not the kitchen-more on that later) in one long
session that lasted 24 hours, ending at 10am. We had all these gallons of
weird colors, we'd look at a room and decide green? purple? orange? blue
and red? yellow trim? and then just do it, mostly randomly. We only had
time for one coat of paint, it had to be clean.
Then we moved in.
the hot water heater in our kitchen
The kitchen was too much of a task for the short time we had. This would
take another two weeks for us to complete. The floor in there had all of
these layers of delaminating linoleum tiles, a huge burn in the center,
and rotting wood all around the sink, which leaked out of numerous different
locations with the ferocity of a small brook. The gas stove, a beautiful
vintage piece, was deeply deeply crusted with ancient black rotten scunge
and was totally unfunctional. After using a chisel on one of the burners
for a couple of minutes we finally got it lit. Lizard installed and re-tiled
an entirely new sink, she's so cool. She also found these self-stick checkered
black and white floor tiles for only 50 cents a piece, and after we patched
the floor up really well she tiled it. The refrigerator was blocking the
doorway to the dining room, so we moved it into the pantry. The walls behind
the stove were damaged by burn marks. Lizard covered that area with aluminum
sheeting (thats the background to this page).
Lizard does most of the decorating. She made, or, as she puts it 'rigged'
all of the curtains. The ones in the kitchen are made from an old paisley
velvet dress. Our bed has a beautiful mosquito-net and purple sequined canopy
hung from driftwood with hand-coiled copper rings. She also has made most
of our tables, shelves and some other furnishings.
Our house is full of toys. Some of the more obvious ones are from our
trip to Japan this year. We love to buy silly things at the neighborhood
flea market. Most of the artwork on the walls are prints of my computer
work, which Lizard has framed in all sorts of unique and ingeneous ways.
We have some bizarre paper mache sculptures we have made, the most prominent
who's hanging from the ceiling in the hall, Aphid's about 4 feet tall and
7 feet wide. One of my favorites is our technicolor day-glo-in-the-dark
kitchen table, which was painted by three friends and myself in one epic
acid trip on the fourth of july, 1990.
me on the phone in the orange chair
We both work at home. We shifted rooms around a couple of times to get it
where we are now. We have a bedroom, a sewing room and living room/computer
room. Lizard makes custom clothing; the sewing room has her two sewing machines
and all of her fabric, notions and other materials. The living room is where
our computer, tv, stereo and all of my electronic music gear live. Our one
telephone is on the wall between the sewing and living rooms, separated
by the always open sliding doors.
Anyway, we've lived here about a year and a half and we want to move, its
getting boring. We're having our first child in March (a planned homebirth),
we want more space and are getting tired of our neighborhood. Let us know
of any cool rental homes in need of some repair... we won't even stay there
long-- I think we go crazy if we can't reinvent our surroundings.
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a quicktimeVR fantasy by TerboTed
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