BUILDING AND BLOGGING: Jaqui Lividini’s blog, “Diary of a Mad Renovator,” relaunched last week on her web site, diaryofamadrenovator.com, with a new look, new logo and a new project in the works: her apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Previously, Lividini blogged on Traditionalhome.com.
The revamped blog shares what it takes to tackle a city renovation and explains some of the similarities and differences of working in an urban environment versus the scenic seaside in Connecticut, where Lividini has a 2,000-square-foot beachfront home.
“Both ran over schedule and over budget, but seriously, your main residence is always going to be a more difficult project,” said Lividini, chief executive officer of Lividini & Co. and former Saks Fifth Avenue executive. “With the beach house you can close the door and drive away, and try to forget about the heartache. Not true with a city apartment that is your permanent dwelling.
“The other big difference is in dealing with the building structure. In the city that is just not a problem. It’s the condo or co-op association’s responsibility. At the beach, it’s 1,000 percent on you and that can be overwhelming, especially if you have structural issues, like raising the house nine feet.”
Lividini was forced to elevate her home, following two hurricanes and new city zoning requirements, leading to a total redo. There was a silver lining. “As we were renovating the cottage, I was experimenting with social media,” Lividini said. “As a result, most of the decor was sourced and chosen by my Facebook friends. It was such a fun and modern way to approach the project.”
Jaqui Lividini’s Upper East Side apartment.