The Market

Vintage NYC apartment makeover movie makes us wish for simpler (cheaper) times

By BrickUnderground | April 1, 2015 - 12:45PM

One of the perks of surfing YouTube late at night is that you're so tired you'll pretty much click on anything, which is how we found this delightfully retro short made by a paint company about a 1950s couple “who have more love than money." They live in a one-bedroom walkup on the Lower East Side "where the rents are low, and the plumbing antiquated."  (How we got to this one from viewing old music videos is anyone's guess.)

All they had when they moved in were hand-me-downs, like "a pair of miserable old tables, a funny old chair from a secondhand shop, a record table from Jack's aunt, some wicker chairs (same source) and this old desk covered with many coats of paint." The apartment's layout was plain and straightforward, but they were determined to work with the space and make it their own, spending just $100 thrifting and refinishing furniture.

We'll forgive the lack of safety messages — it's unclear if Jack is making sure the room is well-ventilated when he applies paint remover to the desk, a process that, by the way, goes so smoothly we're both envious and skeptical — because the film is so amusing and actually helpful. The makeover of the apartment is inspiring and HGTV-worthy, for one. (But also, dissonant: Nearly 11 minutes in, you see the wife help her husband saw off a leg from a table while wearing a chic black dress.)

Our only complaint: More street scenes, please! By the by, that LES apartment would rent for around $2200 to $2400 a month these days, according to Streeteasy. And for the antique Chippendale chair they refinish? At least a few hundred dollars for the real thing, apiece, on Ebay.


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