Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Beating Summer in the City Blues: Some Tips on Cooling Off, Texas Style

There's nothing quite like the sweltering trials and travails of a summer spent in the City. The buildings, city garbage, humidity and air pollution all conspire to give NYCers a constant heat-induced pain in the posterior.

Although I'm Texas born and bred, I've spent some time in the Big Apple during the worst of the hot weather, so I have a good indication of what it's like. But Texans experience heat on a more consistent and familiar level, and there are certain measures we take to keep us from going up in smoke from the summer blaze. Here are a few insider tips:

1. Drink some iced tea.

While a good beer, a bottle of water straight from the fridge, or chilled coffee are all great cool-off drinks, Texans usually gravitate toward iced tea. And with good reason--the combo of ice and the healthy and hydrating herbal drink make for the perfect heat beater. Consider other, more refreshing and rejuvenating varieties beyond black, like green or mint.

2. Cool it with the A/C use.

Using A/C is every Texan's most important survival skill, but as with any skill, it must be practiced carefully. CityHammer staff writer Mitch Mayer gave some great A/C tips previously, but here are a couple more things to try out. Consider purchasing some solid, quality plug in fans. While ceiling fans are great, they can only go so far. When you aren't spending time in your humble abode, shut off the A/C or put it on a higher setting. When you get home to sit and relax for a spell, place yourself strategically in front of said fans.

3. Take very hot showers as frequently as you can stand without wasting a bunch of water.

Sound counter intuitive? Although the first thing that you may want to do after sweating your butt off in your daily romp through NYC's labyrinthine streets is to take a cold shower, you'd just be shooting yourself in the foot. You'll get out to find that the temperature difference will put you back to square one. Take a hot shower, and the outside world will feel that much cooler once you're done.

4. Dress to decompress

Clothes are very important in keeping the summer heat in check. Although it may seem fairly self-evident, many forget this one very simple method to successfully stave off hot weather demons. Wear light colors, stick to airy cotton, and consider a good pair of versatile and not too beachy flip flops that you can wear outside the work environment.

These are just a few tried and true methods that we Texans have evolved to adapt to our less-than-perfect climate. Despite the cultural differences, there may just be something to learn from your friendly neighbors from the South.

This guest post is contributed by Jessica Cortez, who writes on the topics of online degree programs. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: cortez.jessi23@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


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Wednesday, March 3, 2010


3 Home Improvement Tasks Where You Need a Handyman

There was a time when DIY was a rage because it was the in thing to be able to remodel your home yourself – you not only saved yourself some money, you also had your DIY stories (both the good and the not-so-good experiences) to use as ice-breakers at a party. Today however, if you’re going to DIY, it’s more because you’re trying to save every penny you can because the economy is not really back to normal. However, you must remember that your endeavour to save money could end up boomeranging on you and you may have to spend much more trying to repair and redo botched up jobs.

I’m not questioning your DIY abilities; it’s just that there are some jobs that are just not advisable without a handyman, unless you’re a regular DIY guy who has home improvement experience under his/her belt. So before you put on your comfy overalls and pull out the stepladder, check out these home improvement/remodelling tasks that require you to call a handyman:

· Plumbing: It’s not really a dangerous job, but unless you’re familiar with your home’s plumbing network and have done plumbing jobs before, it’s best not to tackle this one on your own. You may have access to DIY information on how to unclog drains, replace your toilets, faucets, sinks, showerheads and basins in your bathroom, drain your home’s plumbing system, increase/decrease pressure to your pipes, repair leaky faucets and toilet flushes, and perform a hundred other plumbing tasks, but that is certainly no reason to be foolhardy and attempt to do these tasks yourself. You may end up flooding your home and ruining your possessions in the process if you’re not sure of what you’re doing, so call a handyman and get the job done easily and efficiently.

· Electricity: Now this a dangerous task because you could end up electrocuting yourself or other people if you’re careless. It’s easy to change a bulb, but when it comes to more complicated tasks like replacing plugs and cords, understanding service panels, testing and replacing switches, troubleshooting fuses, and bending and connecting conduits, you’re better off calling in qualified personnel to do the job.

· Flooring: While some forms of flooring are easy to redo or renovate, others require a professional touch. While linoleum floors and hardwood floors that are going to be carpeted are pretty much DIY choices, parquet and other complicated options require a handyman to be present. The professionals in the business prevent you from making a mess of things and having to redo your improvements from scratch and incurring additional costs in the process.
Even if you cannot afford the services of professionals for the above tasks, talk to qualified people before you DIY, or seek the help of friends and family members who have gone down the DIY road before and tasted success.

This guest post is contributed by Nicole Adams, she writes on the topic of construction management degrees . She welcomes your comments at her email id: nicole.adams83@gmail.com .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The Childproofing Challenge – Making the Kitchen Safe for Your Child

No sooner does your child start to move and crawl that you start worrying about the many dangers that await him at every corner. The fact is that you should worry about these aspects much before your child actually starts to crawl. In fact childproofing is something that you need to think about before the child comes home. This is mainly because of the fact that once the baby comes home, you are not likely to have the time to do anything but to mind the baby and catch up on the sleep that seems so difficult.

Those who are childproofing for the first time find it extremely difficult to do so because they have no idea of the kind of trouble that a child can get into. Start with the nursery and move outwards, attacking the kitchen in the end because that is one area that will need your complete attention.

Childproofing the Cooking Area
The cooking area is the main place where there is a lot of danger that lurks around. There are hot surfaces that can be touched, pans with hot liquid that can be toppled over, cabinets with sharp knives and forks that can be accessed, open drawers that can be shut on little fingers and appliances that can be switched on by mistake. For starters make sure that all drawers and low cabinets have childproofing latches so that they cannot be opened.

You may want to leave a cabinet that contains harmless plastic stuff open for the child to explore as you cook in the kitchen but make sure that it does not shut easily to avoid accidents. It is good childproofing practice to use the back burners to avoid the warm surfaces being touched. Pans and pots in the burners should be turned towards the back so that they cannot be pulled. Getting hold of burner knob covers is a good idea because then your stove cannot be switched on by mistake. Appliances should never be left with the plug in the switch. A small movement of the hand can get them started and cause problems later.

Childproofing the Cleaning Area
The cleaning area or the sink also needs to be taken care of. Make sure that the sink is kept clean and that the dishwashing liquid, floor cleaners are not stored under the sink. These should be transferred to another over the head shelf. The garbage can should also be secured. Either you should get a lock for the trash can itself or you should get a cabinet latch for the below the sink cabinet itself. Ensure that the chemicals that you use for cleaning are also not stored in this area.
Other than these areas, the refrigerator should also be secured since it tends to has containers with food that can spill over when the refrigerator is opened without taking adequate care. If you do not have one that can be locked, you can get childproofing latches for the same.

Finding childproofing products that fit and work in your home can be difficult. There are almost too many choices that many busy parents just keep putting it off. The professionals at www.childproofingtips.com know how important it is that you have the accurate resources and information you need and have provided it all in one place. Now parents just like you can child proof their homes like a pro!

Friday, January 29, 2010


New and Approved Cityhammer Coming Soon!

To all of our visitors and members. Sorry we haven't posted any new blogs in the month of January however we are working hard to get a new and approved cityhammer out. We will give you more information soon as we hope to be having all of the new improvements completed in the next couple of months. Stay tuned and we will see you soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Three New York Master Bathrooms

image from New York Magazine

NYMag.com gives us an inside look at three incredible master bathroom renovations in New York. Along with a photo of each, we get the skinny on each piece and material used to create these stunning rooms.

In the picture above, for example, here's a quick idea of what is being used to get this look:

The Wish List: Smyth had to convert a very eighties slick black marble bathroom into something that felt like an open loft. The design started, literally, from the ground up. “When we walked into Paris Ceramics, Stormy fell in love with these reclaimed limestone tiles,” he says. She felt similarly passionate about the Agape “Spoon” bathtub they found at Moss.

The Solution: In contrast to the rest of the apartment, which has more extreme, deep colors, Smyth kept the bathroom neutral and warm. The tub went in the center, in part because it’s a showpiece, but also because that angle lets Byorum admire the East River views while reclining.

The bathroom above is in midtown east and was created by Michael Patrick Smith. For a list of NY bathroom designers, visit cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.


Friday, December 4, 2009


The Return Of Remodeling - Nesting Trend Means More Business for Home Improvement Companies

Home Improvement professionals were among the hardest hit people in this recession, but a new trend is starting to mean more business for this very group. That trend is called "Nesting" and its the opposite of the old Flipping trend.

From CNNMoney:

If flippers were the poster children of the real estate boom, then nesters are becoming the icons of the new housing market.

"We saw a nesting reaction after 9/11, but we're seeing a stronger nesting reaction now," said Bob Peterson, president of ABD Design/Build in Ft. Collins Colo. People who have the money are fixing up what they have."

A proportionally bigger share of the home construction dollar -- 20% more during the first three quarters of 2009 compared with the same period last year -- now goes to home improvements, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In October, remodeling spending increased 8.7% compared with September to an annualized rate of $114 billion.

For New York General Contractors and Interior Designers, this is a very good sign indeed.


Remodeling Activity on the Rise (CNNMoney)

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


New York's Best New Buildings of the Decade

This is really cool...

NY construction
and real estate blog Curbed just posted the ten best new buildings in NYC over the past decade, which is rapidly coming to a close.

Our fave is seen in the above picture. Its the New Museum down on the lower east side.

Visit Curbed to see 'em all.

The Best New Buildings of the Decade (Curbed)

Visit cityhammer.com for a list of New York Builders and Architects

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Friday, October 30, 2009


Home Improvement in Westchester NY

If you're in the Westchester County area, be sure to check out this weekend's 5th Annual Fall Westchester County Home Show in White Plains, NY.

Here are the details:

The 5th annual Fall Westchester County Home Show, Oct, 31-Nov. 1, offers over
150 displays of the very best home improvement companies in the Metro area,
attracting attendees from the suburbs to the city.The event is one of Jenks
Productions newest regional home shows. Located at the Westchester County Center
in prestigious White Plains, NY, this home show boasts an elite attendance from
one of the wealthiest enclaves in the metropolitan area. With New York City just
a stone's throw away, the home show offers a diverse array of products and
services, with a metro flair. Featuring local, state and national exhibitors,
who will present innovative and imaginative displays.

Ome interesting aspect of the show this year is the possibility to qualify for energy efficiency tax savings:

Earlier this year, the federal government passed the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the Economic Recovery Act) to help rebuild the
economy. Homeowners can now qualify for expanded tax credits on
energy-efficiency improvements with the deadline for applying extended through
the end of 2010.

In the meantime, visit cityhammer.com for a list of Westchester NY Remodeling Companies.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009


October Design Links for New Yorkers

Here's a trio of great design links for New York homeowners and renters alike to enjoy...

A work-from-home mom teams up with a designer to update her Gramercy Park digs. It doesn't start of pretty, but eventually, they get the job done.
Redecorating isn't always pretty (NYT)

There's nothing quite like a stainless-steel sink to grab the eye and really give your kitchen a bit of sparkle. Remodelista shows us ten drop-dead versions.
10 Easy Pieces - Stainless Sinks (Remodelista)

What is a Winter Palette? Think white furniture with wood floors and accents. Apartment Therapy has a great gallery up to show this concept off.
White Plus Wood - The Cozy Side of a Winter Palette (AT)

For professional help from a New York Interior Designer to get these looks, visit cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009


Window Treatment Tips for New Yorkers

Window Treatment by Tocar

You're going to be spending more time at home as he weather turns colder and the hours of sunlight begin to diminish, so why not consider a revamp of your window treatment situation?

Apartment Therapy has a great set of before and after shots from design firm Tocar...

From AT:

The treatments in the room pictured above are most effective.
What was once
divided with a center panel is now treated as one large window
opening with
drapes flanking each side. They're hung higher than before,
giving a real sense
of size and openness to the room. These treatments
practically create an
entirely new architectural detail all on their own.

Here's a list of some of the highest rated New York window treatment companies.

Check out the pics and detailed descriptions at AT: Window Treatment Before and After.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009


Design Hunting with NY Mag's Wendy Goodman

Get on over to New York Magazine for their latest Design Hunting feature and the accompanying slideshow:

From NY Mag:
After taking some time off to work on her book about the
glamorous Gloria Vanderbilt, our design editor Wendy Goodman resumes her
tireless treks in search of great style. This week, she finds the collected
design books of the great Albert Hadley, has a $29 lunch — with wine, of course
— at the elegant La Grenouille, and eats a candelit Fashion Week dinner with
Simon Doonan and Anya Hindmarch.

The piece offers some great inspiration and design ideas for the home or apartment dweller who finds themselves in a decorating rut.

For a list of rated and reviewed NYC Interior Designers, visit cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009


The Hedge Fund Manager Versus the New York Moving Company

Even the wealthiest sometimes have trouble with their moves, apparently.

Cityfile picked up this story about a hedge fund manager now being pursued by the New York moving company he used for almost $100,000 in money they claim he still owes them from a recent move.

From Cityfile:
Hedge fund mogul Dan Loeb paid $45 million for one of the city's poshest apartments last year, a 10,000-square-foot penthouse at 15 Central Park West. His move-in, however, didn't go so smoothly, it seems. It's unclear what took place precisely, but the moving company that Loeb and his wife Margaret hired to help them settle in, Auer's Moving & Rigging, filed a lawsuit against the couple in Manhattan Supreme Court earlier this year claiming breach of contract. (Panorama on the Park LLC, which is also listed as a defendant, is the company Loeb set up to acquire the property.) The high-end moving company is demanding that Loeb cough up the $98,689.07 which it says it's owed. Last week, though, an attorney for the Loebs responded to the suit by filing a motion to dismiss.

The reason for the dispute is as yet unknown but given the high profile nature of the people involved, it seems as though we'll hear more soon.

For a list of New York Movers with ratings and reviews, visit cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory!

Full Story: Dan Loeb Makes His Move (Cityfile)

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


New York Interior Designers Celebrate Elle Decor

It was one of the biggest events of the year for New York interior designers and it all went down on Tuesday night at Bergdorf's.

From the New York Times:
Elle Décor, the unstuffy, vaguely urban interior design magazine, is 20 years old next month; the evening’s party was in honor of that birthday, a particularly important one given that during those two decades, its competitor House & Garden folded, was resurrected and folded again, and the ingénue-competitor Domino was shuttered last January. So the night was a bit of a victory lap: In a year of dismal numbers, Elle Décor had inched ahead of the shelter behemoth Architectural Digest (now the only decorating magazine in the Condé Nast stable) to hold the No. 1 spot in the shelter category. It was a heady feeling, Ms. Russell had said earlier.

Elle Decor has come along way and interior designers descended upon Manhattan to recognize the design mag and to meet Margaret Russell, author of the new Best Of coffee table book that shows off some of its best work.

Full Article:

The Design Universe Lines Up at Bergdorf's (NYT)

For a list of Manhattan Interior Designers:

Manhattan Interior Designers

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Interior Designers Inspired by Craigslist?

This story perfectly encapsulates the struggle going on between the design-conscious homeowner's unceasing desire for pleasant surroundings and the sorry state of his or her finances in 2009.

Not content with wallowing in self pity and hopelessness, designers are increasingly turning to internet resources where bargains are to be found for aesthetic elements and furnishings, according to the Baltimore Sun:

Interior designers nationwide are increasingly turning to unique, low-cost and unexpected sources -- including Craigslist, estate sales and Target Corp. -- to create high design on a dime and generate business as recession-weary homeowners scale back their decor ambitions. The result: less expensive and eco-friendly rooms that reflect their owners' personalities rather than cloning catalog or magazine pictures.

Call it creative survival.

Don't give up people. Where there's a will for fresh interior design, there's a way!

Full Article:

Craigslist and eBay Become Interior Design Muses (BaltimoreSun)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009


September NYC Design Links

If you're like us, you're getting prepared (at least mentally) for the annual switching of the clothing, taking out the heavier fall and winter stuff whilst organizing and storing the summer stuff. Well if so, you're in luck, because the New York Times just went shopping with Ann Sullivan, a leading New York Closet Organizer, and in the article, she highlights exactly what you'll need to get your home organized and ready for the new season.
Shopping with Ann Sullivan (NYT)

When designing a New York City apartment, one of the most interesting aspects you can play with in terms of shape, color and texture, is the headboard behind your bed. HGTV posted a cool gallery of really out-there headboards for your viewing pleasure.
No Run Of The Mill Headboards Here (HGTV)

Now this is cool...solid wood flooring by Waldilla - with curves! If you're looking for an exciting new style of wood flooring in NY, you could do worse than this product, featured on Apartment Therapy today. This one will really elicit a great response upon your guests' noticing it.
Curved Wood Floor (AT)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


As Credit Dries Up, Homeowners Tackle Smaller Home Improvement Projects

Home Depot in Brooklyn (image by Jim in Times Square)

The New York Times wrote a piece this week about how homeowners, unable to run up credit or uncomfortable with beginning large scale renovations, are instead tackling the smaller projects that help them maintain their homes.

Here at cityhammer, we've heard just about the same type of story anecdotally, from both users of the site and from remodeling companies in the New York area.

From the New York Times:

In prerecession days, home improvement projects were usually grand, expensive overhauls of kitchens and bathrooms.

In this economy, home improvement projects consist of painting the walls and replacing the jiggly toilet handle.

It's nice that Wall Street seems to be turning around, but Main Street is still very much concerned about when the jobs may come back and this caution is manifesting itself in the types of home improvement projects that homeowners are choosing to initiate.

Another facet of this trend is the urge to do-it-yourself, as Home Depot and Lowes stock up their hardware and paint departments for those who want to save money by handling handyman tasks and painting projects on their own.

Lowe’s has added more staff to popular do-it-yourself departments, like paint and hardware. Home Depot also beefed up its paint department, adding new products like an all-in-one paint and primer, and a Rust-Oleum paint variety that promises to cover more surface area for the money.

Home improvement companies, however, are also offering specials, so before you bite off a project that may be more than you chew, be sure to visit cityhammer.com and consult a few of New York's top remodeling pro's.


Home Improvement Chains Adjust (NYT)

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Thursday, August 13, 2009


Design Links for New Yorkers

First up, get a load of the Chelsea, NYC office space of design team William Cummings and Bernt Heiberg in the most recent issue of New York Spaces. The pair decorate with clean lines and a flair for history. For more great pics of home and office, click here: (NY Spaces)

Here's the minimalist New York loft apartment of Melissa O'Rorke, seen on Remodelista. Speaking of Remodelista, their beta site is currently in preview, click here for the loft pics: (Remodelista)

How do you make an apartment feel less "dark and heavy"? The question comes in from Apartment Therapy, but is something that all New Yorkers can relate to as well (or most). For some answers, click here: (Apartment Therapy)

For NY Designers who can help you, visit New York's #1 Remodeling Directory, cityhammer.com:

NY Interior Designers

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009


A Quick Primer on New York Babyproofing

There's a lot of information out there to digest when embarking on a baby proofing project in New York. For that reason, today we bring you a quick primer on the subject. Enjoy these baby proofing and child proofing tips and please let us know if there are aspects of this subject that we have not covered.

New York Baby-Proofing Companies

Baby Proofing Your Home

Parents have the obligation to make the environment as safe and happy for baby as possible. Baby proofing is not a simple thing but you must do it before the baby can roll over or crawl. You can hire professional baby proofing people but it is also possible to do it yourself with a little ingenuity and by looking at the safety section of baby care stores. The internet is also another place to look for baby proofing items. Start by getting down ground level and seeing what the baby sees.

Around the House Safety

All rooms in a house should be safe enough for baby to play in. If you can’t child proof a room, enclose it with a child safety gate so baby can’t get in. Use doorknob covers to keep a room that has a door out of reach of baby’s hands. Remove all of the rubber stoppers off of the doorstops because they can be taken off and choked on. Place padding around tables and other sharp furniture so baby doesn’t hit its head on the corners of them. Purchase a playpen to put baby in when you can’t watch him at all times. Secure exterior doors by putting a doorknob cover on the inside of the door.


Child safety gates belong at the top and bottom of all stairs in your house. Use hardware-mounted chairs because pressure safety gates are insufficient to protect baby. The slats should be no further apart than about three inches so baby cannot get his head stuck in them.


Babies can easily put wet fingers and metallic objects in the holes of outlets so keep them covered with switch plates with sliders on them or use large plastic plugs to block the outlet holes. Tape down all electrical cords that might strangle baby.

Nursery Safety

Keep the crib far from cords on blinds, lamps or curtains. Keep the crib free of blankets, pillows or stuffed animals that can carry a suffocation risk. Keep all heavy and/or tall furniture bolted to the wall so that it cannot be pulled down on baby. Keep baby lotions, medications or ointments out of the reach of baby.

Window Safety

Toddlers, especially, can open up windows so you should put in protective devices that keep windows from opening more than four inches in height. Screens do not protect toddlers from falling out so you cannot count on them. Get rid of any blind cords or curtain cords that can easily strangle a child.

Kitchen Safety

Babies often play when you’re cooking. You need to put latches on all drawers and cabinet covers so that the baby cannot get into these items. Keep cleaning products, toxic chemicals and pesticides up and out of the way. Use a refrigerator safety latch so baby cannot get into the refrigerator and use stove knob covers so baby cannot turn on the stove or oven.


Use a special toilet lock so that baby cannot drown in the toilet water. In the tub, use non-slip runners so nobody slips in the bathtub when it is wet.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Can New Yorkers Survive Without AC?

There's an article in the New York Times that even just 18 months ago would have been considered ludicrous. It's about whether or not air conditioning is just luxury that people could learn to do without.

TO many Americans, abstaining from air-conditioning is a masochistic folly akin to refusing Novocain or renouncing the dishwasher.

Yet as this particular summer finally heats up, even citizens who believe that climate control is a God-given right may be questioning whether it has become a luxury they can no longer afford. They are probably also wondering how they can survive without it.

The fact that we're at the point where we're asking this question out loud represents a major regression for our society, and no, it doesn't make us feel better that the Allies won WWII without AC, which the writer unhelpfully points out.

If you have no choice, I suppose you copuld survive a summer in NYC without AC, but if it's between chilled air and, say, taking taxis everywhere, you may want to start walking!

Here's a list of New York Air Conditioning Companies who can help you install, maintain or repair an ac system or unit.

And here are some Tips on Air Conditioning in New York from cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.

Full Article:

The Unchilled Life (NYT)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Major Long Island Contractor Scam Busted: NY Post

This is big news and every homeowner on Long Island needs to be aware of how many unlicensed contractors are out there, just lining up to take money and not fulfill the work contracted.

From the New York Post:

Nearly four dozen unlicensed Long Island contractors were more skilled at pulling in thousands of dollars for jobs -- than actually doing the work, officials said today.

Nassau DA Kathleen Rice announced the results of a 5-week investigation, including the running of a "Sting House" to lure a dozen unlicensed contractors in and capture them on video.

The way many of the scams worked, homeowners were told to fork over cash in advance, and in some cases, demolition work had begun. Shortly after, the contracting company would stop showing up, leaving the customer with a partially destroyed home and no idea what to do next.

cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory urges Long Island homeowners in need of renovations to heed the words of Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice:

"When you hire an unlicensed contractor, you're rolling the dice."

For a list of qualified home improvement pro's and general contractors on Long Island with licensing information available, click the links below:

Nassau County General Contractors

Suffolk County General Contractors

Full Article:

Contractors on LI Scam Busted (NYP)

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Green Building Materials for New York General Contractors

Photo from PSFK

So The Green Depot just opened a store on the Bowery in Manhattan to showcase the best and most functional green building products and materials to New York General Contractors and homeowners.

The Green Depot is based in Brooklyn, NY and is already well established as a nationwide supplier of eco-friendly materials for construction and renovation. The Daily News just gave their new store a write-up this week:

Located at 222 Bowery between Prince and Spring Sts., the 3,500-square-foot
store contains hundreds of premium products, including a host of private label
and exclusive product lines. Addressing a growing need for affordable,
accessible, "green" products, the Bowery store marks the premiere of the
company`s proprietary product labeling system, developed to help consumers
navigate the changing landscape of green products through the use of a simple
icon system. The icon system is designed to clarify how and why a product can
claim it is "green", based upon five simple categories: air quality,
conservation, local, energy and responsibility.

What kind of stuff will you find at the store?

* Hundreds of premium products, including high-quality, appealing private
label lines developed via local manufacturing partnerships, in categories such
as cleaning, baby, and zero-VOC paint.

* Exclusive artist series featuring limited editions of inspired
sustainable design solutions developed by talented home designers.

* A resource and design center where trained Green Depot staff work with
customers to find green building materials that are cost-efficient and easily
adaptable into their construction or renovation projects.

* The first and only zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint bar in New
York City.

* A baby section that empowers new mothers with the basic tools and
knowledge to design and build a healthy environment for their children.

* A "Found" section, where the most innovative new green products are
displayed for purchase, along with select vintage and salvaged items.

This sounds really cool, we'll be checking the store out asap.

Find General Contractors in Manhattan

Full Story:

The Green Depot (Daily News)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Organizing Clutter in New York

Closet by cityhammer.com member Creative Space Management of NJ

Tina Traster's excellent Burb Appeal column in the New York Post continues this week with the transplanted New Yorker giving us an idea of how she keeps her family's new home in Rockland County, a restored 1800's farmhouse, clutter-free and organized.

I designed the bathrooms with pedestal sinks rather than vanities (everyone knows vanities are the black hole for hotel soaps and cosmetic samples). The Mission-style furniture I chose evokes spare, clean lines. For the windows, I opted for simple blinds rather than curtains. The crawl-space basement, which is mildew paradise, is not even an option for storage.

Everything has its place. The remote controls live in drawers. My house keys dwell in a ceramic bowl. My husband has a small rattan box for his bits and pieces.

When someone in my family asks, "Where are my hiking shoes?" the refrain is the same: "They are where they always are." Meaning, at the bottom of the closet in the laundry room where they are supposed to be.

Getting organized in New York, Rockland County, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Brooklyn or Queens doesn't have to be a guessing game. Just bring in a NY Closet Company and within days of the job's completion, you'll feel relieved of the need to figure out where to put your stuff.

For a list of some of the top-rated NY area closet designers, visit cityhammer.com: NY Closet Designer

Read the rest of the column here: Burb Appeal: Clutter Be Gone (NYP)

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Design Finds Under 100 Bucks at AD

The Cabin House birdhouse by Louisville Stoneware ($85)

In times like these, adding to or changing the decor of your apartment can seem like a trifling task for many, as the national unemployment rate creeps above 10%.

Top-Rated NY Decorator Companies

But for design freaks, this is exactly the moment when you should be thinking about making some adjustments to your surroundings to shake off the dust of yesterday and move forward. New design and decor items do not necessarily have to cost a fortune but can go a long way toward making your home feel livened up and different, yet somehow the same.

Architectural Digest did the heavy lifting for us and found a bunch of cool design items that cost under 100 bucks, collected in a slide show gallery over at their website.

Here's the gallery: AD Design Finds Under $100


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


NYC Apartment Architecture for Him and Her

Image from Fred Conrad/ NYT

We love this quote from an article in today's New York Times Home & Garden section:

“Architecture is a negotiation between a husband and wife,” said Makram el Kadi, who designed the loft.

The story is about a couple, the Greene's, who both have very different aesthetics (She's Zen, he's Victorian) but were able to design the perfect living situation by being creative with rolling walls, cabinetry and closets. Despite the fact that Jeffrey Greene has a collection of about 200 musical instruments, they were able to work with a New York designers to create a perfect living space that accommodates both of their tastes and sensibilities in the SoHo loft they live in.

One design decision reflects a compromise of sorts: the music room can be enlarged or compressed as needed. The rear wall of the room is hung on a track system and can roll farther back in the bedroom to open up the loft for a party of 100, or, if Mr. Greene wants, an area for performances.

The full article is worth checking out, especially if you and a spouse or roomate are sharing a space in New York but not necessarily the same taste in decor.

Also, don't miss the attached slide show, with 12 great photos of the space by Fred Conrad.

Closeting the Arguments (NYT)

Greene's Loft Slide Show


Monday, June 15, 2009


Crate & Barrel Giving it Away

Sales abound as we head into the summer, and picking up small touches for decoration can certainly make life easier on your wallet. The big chain stores are giving it away right now, here are a few quick examples:

Pottery Barn needs to move outdoor and patio furniture and they need to move it now. Check out their 20% sale here: Pottery Barn Sale

Is there anything better than a 50% off sale? Crate & Barrel has tons of select items right now that are half off, check it our here: Crate & Barrel Sale

And if you're a Crate & Barrel fan but your taste skews more toward modern design, check out their sister store, CB2, which is also running a 50% select items sale. We like the Warehouse Sconces (above), currently selling for $49.95, down from about $70. See all sale items here: CB2 Sale

The New York CB2 Store is located in SoHo at:

451 broadway
(between canal and grand)
new york, NY 10013

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Bored With Your Home Decor? Add Something Unexpected This Summer

Leif.designpark’s Tone Chairs on New York Spaces' Statements

Dear cityhammer blog,
I find myself slipping into the usual summer doldrums completely bored with my apartment. I already have fairly new furnigture and I certainly can't afford a remodel of the whole place. What can I do to add a little excitement to my home?
Allie on W 12th Street

Hey Allie,
Never fear, sometimes a drastic remodel is ill-advised, whether you can afford it or not. Some of our decorators believe that by bringing in a new piece of interesting furniture or some great accessories, you can transform your living space overnight.

Color Forms Gallery (NYT Mag)

New York Spaces magazine also does a pretty good job of keeping an updated online gallery of objects and home accessories on their site.

Statements (New York Spaces)

If you're still stumped, don't be shy about reaching out to a New York Interior Decorator on cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.

Good luck!


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009


New York Dishwasher Help and Repair

Dishwashers are expensive, so attempting to repair one is usually your best bet, especially if the unit is less than 7 years old. There are plumbing components to dishwashers as well as electrical aspects, so hiring a qualified dishwasher repairman in New York is very important.

Our fave column of the week, The Fix from the New York Times, discusses common issues with dishwashers this week. The discussion is centered around a question for homeowners as old as time itself: "Why isn't my dishwasher washing dishes?"

Some of the answers to this basic question may surprise you. For example, did you know that pre-washing dishes can actually do more harm than good?

According to Mike Edwards, a senior dishwasher design engineer at BSH Home Appliances in New Bern, N.C.: “Dishwasher detergent aggressively goes after food,” Mr. Edwards said, “and if you don’t have food soil in the unit, it attacks the glasses, and they get cloudy,” a process known as etching that can cause permanent damage.

Other tips include not using the pots and pans cycle and the reason for using proper amount of detergent.

Find Appliance Repair in New York on cityhammer.com, New York's #1 Remodeling Directory.

Read the rest of the article on the New York Times: The Fix - Dishwashers

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


NY Mag: Spring Design 2009

Design by Commonwealth (Photo from NYMag)

We just finished processing New York Magazine's annual design issue and, like every year, it is filled with interesting and cutting edge edge work from some of the best NYC interior designers working today.

Featured in the spread are the apartments of artists, fashion designers other New Yorkers who both live and work in their space here in New York. Our favorite was the Brooklyn's Future Perfect owner David Alhadeff for it's sheer madness in color choice.

The whole issue is worth a look for both casual decor browsers and interior design professionals.

Check it out here: Spring 2009 Design (NYMAG)

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Monday, May 11, 2009


BHG's Tips for Hidden Bathroom Storage Ideas

Better Homes and Gardens has a fully-loaded site in terms of tips and galleries to inspire you for pretty much any home improvement of redesign project you could think of.

There is a special feature on the site today that highlights hidden storage ideas for your bathroom that's definitely worth a look, and many of the ideas are remarkably simple and relatively inexpensive to pull off.

The feature show you how to carve out a tiled niche in the shower, add turntables to the inside of cabinets, add gliding drawers or a vanity iron board and disguise medicine chests.

New York is filled with great bathroom remodeling pro's who can help you get that extra storage advantage in the bathroom. For a list of these service providers in your town or borough, click here.

To check out BHG's bathroom storage feature, visit BHG.com.

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