05 March, 2009

Art Deco Lights for the Pantry and the Front Entryway, and a New To Do List for the Tenant Unit

I swear, these are the last ones... Honest.

Well, unless you're going to get all technical on me and count this one, too.

The top pair of starry lights came from a deco-era theatre in Chicago that was torn down. They will light the pantry of each unit at The Box House. At present, there is just a bare bulb in each.

The bottom light, which I mentioned a few days ago that I was drooling over, is going to go in the tenants' unit. The current tenants are closing on their house in May, so we're looking to rent the unit out starting June 1st. It looks like we'll be able to get some work done on the unit before the next set of tenants move in. Our short list includes:

  • Rewiring the light in the stairwell outside their unit
  • Rewiring the dining room and living room
  • Replacing the light in the entryway
  • Replacing the light in the dining room
  • Replacing the light in the pantry
  • Adding a fan light in the living room
  • Painting (using Venetian Plaster) the dining room, entryway, and living room. I think we're going to use a seafoam in the dining room, a pale aqua in the living room, and a creamy color in the entryway
  • Adding push button switches to some of the rooms
  • Stripping the sconce lights in two of the bedrooms of the layers of white paint

We've been asked why we're putting such effort into a rental unit. I guess there are a couple of reasons.

For one, The Box House is a two-flat that we live in. It's our home as well as an investment property. We'd like to upgrade and restore both units along the same lines. A nicer unit will attract good tenants, ones we hope will have a similar appreciation for vintage detail. Sharing a two-flat with another family is quite different than living in an apartment building. It's a more intimate relationship, because you always run into them on the stairway or in the laundry room. We want to attract a tenant who appreciates the building in the same way that we do. It takes some effort to find such people, but this will be our fifth go-around as landlords (twice for the condo, once for Mom's house, and this will be our second time at The Box House) and we (think we) have a good sense of who will make a good tenant.

Second, improving, upgrading, and restoring the unit upstairs will only add value to our home.

And finally, when the other properties sell, when the basement here is finished into a "third unit," and when we find ourselves in between occupancies, Ted and I may move to the upstairs unit. It was the original plan, before everything got modified. So the changes we make I'll eventually get to appreciate on a day to day basis--even if it's four or five years down the road.


Anonymous said...

Our short list includes

That's a SHORT list?! I tip my hat to you.

Since you appreciate vintage lights and details, may I suggest you have a meal at Gulliver's? It's a pizza/everything restaurant at Howard and California, and it's chock full of chandeliers, vases, statues and wall decorations from mansions. It's magnificent, and the deep dish ain't bad either. ;-)

When the original owner passed away a couple years ago, the new owner inventoried and sold some of the fixtures. I can't imagine how many he used to have, because there's hardly an inch of bare space on the walls OR ceilings. Even the outdoor patio is jam-packed. It's lovely.

Joanne said...

We love Gulliver's! It's just down the road from us at 2727 W. Howard. It has an over-the-top collection of antique light fixtures and architectural salvage that's a delight to dine amongst. I found this photo on flick, which gives an idea: Gulliver's.

We were told that most of the fixtures are for sale; we just had to ask for the inventory list.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the light fixtures. And I want to go to Gulliver's!!


Joanne said...

Sandy, I'll be sure to take you when you come for a visit!