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The Wake Up

Maya Schindler

Artist, professor, professional thrifter
Brookhaven, NY

Maya Schindler is an accomplished fine artist, professor and vintage huntress. But her super power may actually be harnesser of light. She moved from New York to L.A. and back again, bringing with her a desire to beam as much sun and warmth into a house as humanly possible. 42 windows (I just counted, and my house only has 10) and an insane collection of vintage hardware and lighting later, Maya has redeemed her move back east with a home that glows. Here, a quick glimpse at her bedroom and living room before jumping into her simple and dramatic bathroom…

Tell us what led you to choosing an inexpensive colorful liner for your carefully crafted bathroom?
I came across your product online and the colored vinyl stuck with me. Our little house has 42 windows (and skylights) and one of my biggest passions is lighting up a space (I have a good size vintage lighting collection). When I planned our bathroom I knew we would have a skylight, and I loved the idea of being able to transform the space with light. I wanted to give the space a new “edge” when it came to the styling…adapting to tradition, but giving it a fresh look. Your pink shower curtain stopped me in my tracks!

Where did you find that incredible tub and did you do anything to it create that finish?
A close friend of mine with a great eye found it and saved it for us. It was a matter of transporting it here (which was a big deal). Then I had the option of refinishing the outside. I decided against it and sanded it down to the base paint color and sealed it. It was all visual planning formed in my head.. creating a balance in my space between old and brand new.

I love all of your vintage pieces like your sink, Italian storage unit, coat hanger, chair etc… what are your favorite vintage resources in the area?
Oh.. that’s top secret! No, not really. I look everywhere from Craigslist to yard sales and thrift stores. I think I can say that 80% of my house has been thrifted and probably always will be! 

Tell us about your choice of copper? Is this a good metal for the bathroom? How is it wearing?
Copper is a classic! Back home (in Israel) you could see copper pipe in the wash sinks in the old Kibbutz where I used to spend my summers as a kid. Everyone uses copper in their bathroom but it's usually hidden in the wall or hidden inside a fixture! I have some very favorite bath fixtures (faucets and such) but it was way beyond our price range. So I talked to my plumber early on and warned him that I wanted do this… he was totally into it!

Did you build your shower rod yourself?
I designed it but my contractor and plumber built it (and bent some stuff). I got all the parts though-- and was there every step of the way ( I think they got used to me by now..)

I noticed that you had similar plastic framed bathroom mirrors. What’s the story there? And tell me about the horseshoe crabs you have tucked into them?
These are the Ikea and HAY collaboration mirrors. I loved that they had a “pocket”. We live very, very close to the water (the great south bay of Long Island) and these horseshoe crabs are everywhere on the beach. They are such insane looking creatures! Every once in a while we find a baby one (already dead and dry) and the kids want to keep them-- so there are 2 in their bathroom, and 2 in ours. We say that it’s a portrait of our family :) We collect a lot of things on the beach. Our outdoor drip line from the roof is all tiled with shells that we keep collecting.

I’m obsessed with your toilet paper ring in the kid’s bathroom. Who makes that?
The wall mounting was a thrift find! I found 4 of them I think, and I just kept them for a rainy day. Then one day on one of my visits to the hardware store (so many visits) I found these reusable twist grips and became obsessed! It’s my go-to gift for people… and my kids play with these things all day long (they make swords and wands.. and “write” their names in it… trust me, you won’t leave it alone once you have one!

the personal stuff:

deodorant: natural? heavy-duty?
Both…. The natural is ok for some stuff. I use Native - Lavender and Rose
toilet paper: eco or the plush stuff?
We use the most eco and environmental and cesspool-friendly - that we can find.
Favorite toothbrush?
I’m old school when it comes to tooth brushes, so - as simple as it can get, and I always, always have a blue one.
toilet entertainment: phone, book, deep thoughts?
Deep thoughts, well, or those twisty things! And my kids (both of them!) sing in the bathroom… I love listening to them!
Candles, incense, Febreze, light a match?
Candles - the Wary Meyer ones!
What’s your shower view?
Well, it's Pink! And since your visit I am fantasizing about the new colors you told me you’re gonna roll out!
Bath or shower?
Shower during the week, baths on weekend! Or on a special occasion!
Anything from Israel that you can’t find here in the states?
This is going to sound crazy, but yes. Q- tips that are made out of wood and cotton and not plastic! (we found some at The Vermont Country Store)
Towel preference: terry? turkish?
Turkish for sure!
Favorite hand soap?
Soap vehicle? loofah? wash cloth? the pouf?
I use a Loofah, my husband thinks I am crazy, but I love it.
When you travel, what do you decant into 3 oz bottles and what do you just wing-ding while you’re away?
We usually wing-ding. One of my favorite things is to discover new products elsewhere!
Favorite bathroom of all time? Anything stand out from a hotel, friend’s house, movie etc…?
I have a few! I always wanted an old, old house but it seems to not have happened for me, but I love old style-bathrooms with deep baths--European style. But one of my good, good friends who lives down the street from us had the best bathroom on the planet! It used to be her office and they redid it into a bathroom, it's simple and elegant, and everything is beautiful.
And finally…
What was your last "Ah-Hah!" moment in the shower?
Hehe! I think well in the shower! Usually about my art and what to do next actually! Somehow the trickling water makes me think better, it's like train rides, my mind just wanders off, and then I do sometimes have really good epiphanies! Like your shower curtain!
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