Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

This old apartment

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When I was young, every weekend I’d sit down with my dad and brother and watch “This Old House” and “The New Yankee Workshop”.

Writing that out, it strikes me that I was perhaps a somewhat odd child.

Oh well.  In any case, I find myself thinking back to “This Old House” especially and wishing for a place to live where I could have a bit more control over my surroundings and rebuild or change the things that aren’t working for me.  While this place is lovely in the summer – it faces north with a balcony overhead and is the bottom floor, so it’s always naturally much cooler than outside – in the winter, it’s cold.

I want to take down the walls and reinsulate with heavy wool batting.  Take down the odd enclosed pipe that makes it almost impossible to hang heavy curtains over the window.  Tear up the carpet and put down radiant heating, or a wool underpad with a thicker, warmer carpet on top.  Install warm cork floors in the kitchen.

Of course, none of these ideas are really an option right now, at least not on the scale at which I’d like to do them.  So instead, I’m making do as best I can, and trying to figure out more ways to keep the apartment a bit warmer this year.

While I abhor plastic, last year I did buy shrink film for the windows, which was helpful.  I left most of it up on the windows that don’t open through the summer, so now all we need is more tape so we can reuse them.  We also plan on hanging some vintage wool blankets as curtains as soon as we figure out how to affix them to the wall.

I’ve also got my eyes open for wool rugs.  We’d rather not buy too much or clutter the place up, especially if we have to move, but a nice wool rug might help to keep things a bit warmer here, since the carpet is thin and the floor underneath is concrete.

Sometime this week, we’ll be asking the landlord to weatherstrip the doors.  If they won’t do it, we’ll do it ourselves, I imagine, and probably try to stuff some kind of insulation in there as well.  We also plan to caulk the windows, since they seem to be one of the biggest offenders, and seal up the outside doors somehow, since they leak like sieves.

Of course, there’s always the warm clothes and lots of blankets route (which I have another post in the works on), but we’d also like for our place to be tolerably comfortable on its own, or at least not as cold and draughty as it currently is.  I’m not a person who expects the same temperature year-round, which requires lots of heat in the summer and air conditioning in the winter.  But until I have a place of my own, I would like to make as many changes as is reasonable to make this place a bit nicer for passing winters on the couch.

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Written by Jenn

November 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

Posted in Home sweet home

Tagged with ,

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