Glass doorframe headboard picture courtesy of eyewash
I need a bit of help. How do I know if something that I buy in Yafo is quality and not infested with termites. I am seriously worried about buying a chest of drawers that I found because of that.
Erm and one more thing, where can I find antique window frames like the ones in the headboard feature.
Thank you for your questions! I love getting letters from readers.
I’ll answer the termite question first:
I checked on the Termites Guide which states:
“Some kinds of termites can’t live in furniture (subterranean), but a specific kind of termite called the drywood termite actually builds colonies in furniture fairly frequently. Termites can fit a small colony into any furniture made of wood. You will be able to tell if there is a colony inside a piece of furniture in a couple of ways. First, the termites bore little tiny holes to get in and to dump excrement out of. They seal them up with what looks like mud, but it will not have the same color as the rest of the furniture. Second, you will periodically see little round pellets around the furniture, which are termite feces. They drop it out of the colony and then reseal the holes.”
– Basically look for dots that looked filled in the furniture.
If a piece of furniture is infested, you can either trash it (which may not be a big deal if it’s old or used) or have it treated. Treatment will require a pest control company. Usually they will drill a hole in it and pump in pesticides in liquid or foam form. It may not be worth it if the furniture is cheap. However, you CAN’T just let things be, because if you do, they will migrate from the furniture into your home in general. If you have already had the furniture inside, you should get your house inspected as well.”
The good news is – if you did buy something with termites in it you don’t have to worry much about your house, because unlike American houses – most Israeli homes are made out of block, not wood. They could, however, infest the rest of your wood furniture.
Another interesting tidbit I found, this time from Stephen Koelewyn on Termite Questions:
“I have been fortunate to work in Israel many years ago, I did hold an Israeli pest control licence as well, the general public in Israel would most certainly make claim that termites do not exist in Israel however the fact is quite different and makes for a good case study. Just north of the Israeli coastal town of Natanya is a village called Michmoret, this particular area has a higher known occurrence of termites than other areas in Israel, termites in this area have been increasing their numbers significantly as the construction boom continues to surrounding areas, as these termites reproductives fly the occurrence of termites is slowly but surly increasing to the towns and villages north, south and east of this village. From Hadera to Yavne the occurrence of termites appears to be steadily increasing.”
Now for the windowframe question:
You can find old wood window frames in Jaffa souk (Souk Ha Pishpishim) or in dumpsters around Tel Aviv when a building is being renovated. Or you can call contractors who work on renovations and ask nicely if they will save you some old windows when they come across them. Unfortunately, the closest Israel has to a reclamation yard or an old architectural detail warehouse is the souk in Jaffa.
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
Read more about Shira’s company Hunter & Bard at https://www.hunterandbard.com
Good information Shira.
When I owned my furniture store in Manhattan where I sold imported furniture from India and Morocco, termites were a very real occurance. We were able to purchase a treatment online which worked pretty well. This substance is a powerful chemical, so if you are looking for an organic solution I do not recommend that you use it.
LOVE your passion, dedication & of course, this site. Everything – down to the name – is refreshingly casual, yet dually creative / informative. In the elusive world where architects & interior designers reside, egos & simple words too often get entangled in lofty verbosity, rendering “design” as something unachievable for “average” people.
I’ve always found this humorously ironic, as most architects/designers give Charles & Ray Eames near demi-God props, both in design schools & then continue this iconic flattery by carrying it through in their everyday work.
Chances are that most “laymen” who’ve read even one article on modern design have heard of the dynamic-duo. Though, many don’t know the Eames’s fundamental beliefs. That, at the heart of their core design principals, was an “everyday, everybody” need to solve very practical & real problems – with better design. Charles not only designed, but also made very helpful medical items during WWII, after all.
That’s not a “glamorous” start, to be sure. It certainly seems a long way from where their reputations now lay – in the lexicon of modern design. This is the spirit in which my personal passion for design resides – practical problem-solving with often unexpected, spectacular results. I’m human & do find low budget projects most infuriating. However, each also always promises a breakthrough in alternative thought & forces me to REALLY think about how to implement truly creative design solutions.
Truthfully, very few big-budget project work affords this because it’s too easy to get dangerously caught up in a near endless plethora of at-the-ready-solutions. Helping show clients’ big bucks aren’t needed to achieve intelligent, beautiful results is just so much more rewarding – to me – at day’s end. Call it what you may, but I thrive in a “Necessity is the mother of invention” design mentality. It should not be surprising then, that it’s from here you arrived at the subject of this entry.
After a lively evening on the town – decked out in 4″ heels & a rather constricting dress – I found myself standing on a Soho street corner trying to hail what was, at the time, any elusive NYC yellow cab. After figuring I was not in a good taxi-grabbing location, I decided to walk further south on Broadway – toward the (at that late hour) ghost town financial district.
As I rounded a corner, I ran smack-dab into these very doors. They quite literally took my breath away & I knew instantly I HAD to have them. At the time, I’d no project in mind, nor did I have an immediate clever idea for what they’d be used, but the “old school principal” geek in me just COULD NOT see them end their 100+ year long life buried in a dump, or melted down for scrap-metal. In what can best be described as a takeover tour-de-force, I immediately sprang into commando rescue mode.
Except, my romantic notions were nearly squashed when an attempt to lift just one door left me standing in the same spot – I’d barely managed to budge the thing. Being 5″11 & fairly fit, I’d never found a street find I couldn’t “handle”. This was a first. Being 5″11 & fairly fit, I’d never found a street find I couldn’t “handle” – including any manner of props: sofas, other doors / windows, refrigerator coolers – even trees & large sculptural items.
After mustering what now seems like near super-human strength, I managed to place each door against a street sign & retreated to a post in a nearby bank entryway to keep a carefully guarded eye on my booty. After catching my breath & massaging my aching arms, I had to fend off more than a few passers-by who tried to take the doors. Rationale was certainly not my guiding force, as I had absolutely NO idea how I was going to get these 300lb turn-of-the-century steel, wood & glass French doors home.
It’s important to mention at this juncture where I actually call home. I have a fabulous 3500sf warehouse loft, just not in Soho. Rather, on the northern tip of Staten Island. For those unaware of NYC’s borough challenges, Staten Island is THE MOST difficult commuter borough because getting there from Manhattan requires crossing the NY harbor via ferry. The next step is a ten-minute walk (or a two-minute taxi) & then a three floor walk-up to arrive home. Under normal circumstances, this can prove nerve-racking. But, with this particular booty, a complete, “How the HELL am I going to do this?” began to heavily weigh in.
Admittedly, after 30 minutes, I still had zero idea how to achieve this rescue. Readers who’ve never lived in NYC might find it difficult to fully grasp the multitude of challenges this situation afforded. You see, NYC taxi drivers will rarely not do anything for a fare. BUT, there are two things most absolutely won’t do: 1) Pick up anyone with a lot of packages, boxes, or an otherwise multitude of bulky items, and, 2) Drive to an outer borough – ESPECIALLY Staten Island.
Not only would I have to try and hail a taxi with the standard bait and switch trick – i.e., hiding the doors – while appearing to be just a single girl hailing a cab. But, after actually getting a taxi to stop, the next hurdle was convincing them to drive to Staten Island. If I could bribe one, I’d then have to actually sit in the taxi for a nano-second – as they can’t deny a fare once you’re already in their cab – which is why they generally try & ask where you’re going through an open window, before you enter. Then, I’d have to get out & expose the booty “reveal” -AND- hope they’d help me lift the doors.
In case you hadn’t already realized, this process takes an incredible amount of time & as everyone is well aware, in NYC, time is money. I’d have to try this several times before finding a “taker”. Since I was fully committed, this wasn’t a big deal. However, what did turn out to be a big deal was getting these massive doors to somehow fit in a car. I was so overcome with the logistical challenges that I hadn’t even considered they might not fit.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to find a taker – the later it gets, the more likely a driver is to finish his shift with an assignment like this. I managed to convince a game cabbie to take me & he was really actually very excited about the challenge. We talked several plans for potential door fitting scenarios & explored ALL of them – trying to jam these monstrosities in any way we thought might work – none of which did. People from the street even got into the act, offering suggestions / assistance. Sadly, we had to acquesce that the doors were never going to fit in a standard vehicle & bid one-another a farewell. Back at square one.
Then, after another 45 minutes of self-brainstorming – and fiending off several johns hoping for hooker – a van suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The driver, who must have seen this woman in high heels & a very inappropriately short dress madly struggling with the doors, pulled up to the curb, rolled down his window & said, “Jew need a help?” “Yes! Yes, I DO!!” “Where jew go?” Hiding any potentially obvious facial expression reservations, I replied, “Staten Island.” To wit – and without hesitation – he said, “No problemo! I will have to run an errand first & come back. Can you wait? I promise, I come back.” “Absolutely, I’ll camp here overnight if that’s what it takes.”
We negotiated an extremely fair price & off he disappeared into the night. I had not one thought he mightn’t return, but after an hour or so (it was 2:30am by this time), I wholly admit to having some panicky second-thoughts. No sooner did the reservations arise than did my friend with the van arrive. After lifting the doors together, we were soon on our way. It turned out my “door savior” was an Ecuadorian named Mario. This is only relevant because my most recent long-term relationship with an Ecuadorian named Mario had recently ended & I found this rather uncanny. My two Marios were about the same age too! More importantly, both brought me great luck.
Growing up, my Granny always said, “Where there’s a will, there most certainly is a way.” With some maturity underfoot, I’ve learned she was absolutelyy right. Now THAT’S a headboard with a story! My advice to anyone i.s.o. salvaged items is to spring into action immediately – don’t allow yourself to get bogged-down with logic – you know, the “huhs?! & what-if’s” – worry later. Second-guessing never offers solutions.
Keep your eyes ever peeled. Train yourself to pay close attention when you see homes/buildings/apartments & ask ANY available worker within sight for information. I won’t lie, being female does help in these particular situations. Sorry boys. Know the areas where great architecture resides & more importantly, their rubbish collection schedules. Make a habit of walking through these areas in the early evenings, the night before collection, when people are most likely to put things out.
Familiarize yourself with local thrift stores & learn which ones get “the best” donations. The key’s in the frequency of visits. It does take time, so start a manageable routine – one you can realistically stick with. Really make an effort to get to know store workers – they will be able to give you scoops – and really good deals on unmarked items. Pay attention each spring – not only to great roadside castaways – but, also to local/regional yard, garage, jumble & estate sales. I’ve lived from one end of planet earth to the other & have spent 30 years fine-tuning this winning formula. Give it a go. Trust me, if you dedicate yourself to it, you’ll find success. Imagine the stories you’ll collect! Happy hunting…
WOW – Fantastic! Thank you!!!
The story of the doors in the top picture in case readers were wondering about the above comment!
In Israel there aren’t many thrift shops – almost none, and the few out there are typically quite expensive. Everyone here has a family member to donate the good stuff to, otherwise they just leave it out on the street on moving day. Driving around Tel Aviv in the beginning of the month in the summer on the other hand is always a good adventure for dumpster diving!
I was looking at some drawers and they had tiny little holes, and after reading this I now know why.
In the end I bought some gorgeous pine drawers that need A LOT of work, but they are the perfect size, hieght and shape.
When I finish my work on them I’ll send some pictures.
And about the window frames I’m going to have to wait for… the drawers were 250 + delivery and then paint and thinner and sandpaper etc.
Actually, 250 NIS for drawers is a great price! Did you find them in the souk?
The windows you could probably find for free if you dumpster dive around TLV.
(Your site is great, BTW)
I did find them in the Souk. They need new runners, priming, painting, handles and feet pads. Hopefully they’ll be ready by Wednesday so I can finally sleep in my newly decorated bedroom!
Oh and thanks for the compliment!