Radiator + Window.

Picking up where we left off in 218, we have the charming specimen that is the window wall. This is what it looked like shortly after move-in, when my roommate’s bed was still in the big room. We have a small, strange appendage to our room that measures about 5′ x 8′, so he later moved his bed in there (by choice! we were accused of a lot of roommate abuse during the tours for admitted students last weekend based on that cozy lil bedroom). I don’t have a single good picture of the radiator and the window, so you’ll just have to put it together:

Before the scaffolding, before the makeover

This picture doesn’t really accurately get across just how nasty that color really is. It’s like a greyish-purpleish-brownish gone wrong. The camera didn’t even understand it.

Eventually, something had to be done about this mess. Seriously, why couldn’t we just have had one of those beautiful, charming Victorian scroll-y ones?

Like this.

Photo from the lovely DoorSixteen.

Christmas was the perfect occasion, I thought, to make the radiator a little less vile.

Christmas, 2009

But you can only really keep Christmas wrapping paper on a radiator for so many weeks. Plus, especially when half the colored lights went out, the ornaments came down, and the snowflakes melted, this didn’t really address the problem of the naked windows. Though you’ll notice those blinds are gone. I’m a nevernude.

Winter, 2010

So one night Eva and I got real, real crafty and made this fireplace out of construction paper and double-stick tape. I freehanded the logs myself (no formal training!). Unfortunately, it just wasn’t build to last, so realistically it was only up a few weeks. It was lovably tacky (puns!) while it lasted, but God had other plans.

I’m a big believer in picking at paint endlessly if it’s chipping, even if it involves extended vacuuming sessions afterwards. Which is why I ended up repainting my closet door after the first couple weeks after move-in. I just couldn’t stop picking that damn paint.  TRY to tell me that’s not satisfying, I dare you.

So I had a can of white paint. And a really ugly radiator.

Winter/Spring, 2010

And here it all sits today. I’m SO glad I painted it– I did a good job, so I’m not anticipating any weird charges from the maintenance staff. The lanterns, curtains, and rod were all bought on the cheap from IKEA. The rod is actually a shower curtain tension rod, which works beautifully for this since I don’t currently own a drill (first big purchase once I move, don’t worry). So while I wish the rod was black and I hadn’t iron-on-hemmed the curtains too short, this is as good as I could justify making this all look while staying within a tight budget and recognizing my time here is very limited. I’m also hoping I can reuse the curtains (or just the fabric) and the lights somehow in the new place. See, I think about the future and stuff.

But it’s worlds better, right? Scroll back to the top if you don’t see it.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 4.16.10
    ialeks said:

    i really love the fireplace one, it looks amazing. very creative.

  2. 4.19.10
    Cristina said:

    Good luck with the maintenance when you move out! Maybe they won’t even notice. But my dorm once charged me $50 for not taking out the trash when I moved out…
    Great job making the most of it!

  3. 4.22.10
    MissT said:

    You have a gift. Thrilled to see it in action.

  4. 7.26.10
    Brianne said:

    Wow! You really did do a great job painting that radiator!