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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Recycled Kitchens That Are Worth It — Just for the Appliances


Since the day I first set eyes on our home, I've been casually stalking recycled kitchens. Today I came across one that would be worth it for the appliances alone. And the fact that I can turn it down has made me realize that I've finally come to a decision about our kitchen. And the decision is to go big — as in walls are about to come tumbling down.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cottage Style: How Shake Shingles Weather Over Time (PHOTOS)



We've achieved a big renovation milestone this year — the summer cottage is now completely reshingled, from top to bottom. Replacing the old vinyl siding with cedar shakes was an eye-popping improvement, but an expensive undertaking. So we broke the project into phases — cottage front (the original 1932 building), garden shed, cottage roof, rear (1990s addition). The upside of phasing is being able to pay for it as you go. The downside is, the cedar shakes change color as they weather, so with them coming on at different stages, we're going to have a multi-color house for a few years. I thought I'd share some photos for those considering a similar project:


This is how the rear addition looked before the cedar shakes. Still cute, but missing that cottage style.


Here's the shed we had built three years ago. The shakes here are still weathering. The grayest areas are where the most moisture permeates the cedar. Eventually the whole shed will be that darkest gray. We're estimating another two years, given what we've seen with the front of the cottage, which was shingled first — about six years ago.


Here's what the front of the cottage looked like when the shingles were new. If you're using white cedar, as we are, they start out this golden tan, then weather to light gray, then dark gray, until eventually the whole cottage is uniformly gray. 


This is a shot after the roof was shingled. The roof was old and starting to sag. When we priced it out, asphalt was of course the most inexpensive option. We briefly considered a long-wearing metal roof. But we're a sucker for vintage cottage charm, so we went for the cedar shakes.


And here's how the cottage front looks today. The shakes have made a world of difference, and we're okay living with a multicolored house until they all turn gray. We're happy that we went with white cedar, which weathers gray, rather than red cedar, which weathers a dark brown. This summer, we'll be choosing a paint color for the trim and I'm leaning toward a blue/gray that I saw on a house in Orient town. The Benjamin Moore paint picker tells me it's Niagra Falls.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fixer Upper Friday: Turn This 2BR/1BA in the Fillmore to a 2BR/2BA With Open Kitchen

via Streeteasy

Hey, I'm back with more Fixer Upper spotting. So, I don't often cover a home that's been advertised without photos, but 83-10 35th Avenue, 2G caught my eye because it's so undervalued for the area. Is this home in estate condition? Very likely. Do the co-op financials bear an indepth look? Certainly. But considering that another 2BR/1BA this size in this building sold for $685k just three months back and that this one is asking $489k, I'd say it bears a look-see. There's about $200k of instant equity on the line that some lucky buyer could pour into their reno and end up with a home designed to their own personal specs. The floorplan of the G line is available on Streeteasy:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why Galley Kitchens Are So Common in Pre-War Homes

via The Victoria & Albert Museum
It's been three years since we moved into our mid-century home in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of New York City. Though I've touched about every square inch of our place, I have yet to pull the trigger on a kitchen remodel, as I grapple with a decision to leave the galley kitchen footprint intact or bring down walls for an open concept kitchen.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

IKEA Hack: Desk for Two + Järsta Wall Cabinets

 

It's been awhile since my IKEA home office for two hack and though I've put the finishing touches on the desk for two, I'm not quite finished with the room. I've been exploring wall cabinets. I had some time last week between appointments in the IKEA area, so I popped in and as often happens I found the inspiration I was waiting for. I think you're going to *love* it!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Recycled Luxury Zen Bathroom for Less Than $2,500


While stalking a recycled kitchen on Green Demolitions this week, I came across some great deals in the bath section. Two never-used Lefroy Brooks deep soaking tubs for under $1,000 — and one is the lovely Zen Tub. (The wooden feet alone retail for more.) Then I saw that the tub would pair really well with an Alape floating vanity, marked down to $950. This got me falling down a designer rabbit hole. Could we kit out a whole dreamy Zen bathroom for under $3k just shopping markdowns at reuse stores? Why, yes, we can! Even less!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: Dunolly 2BR Reconfiguration

StreetEasy
Hey, I'm back with another installment of Fixer Upper Friday. Today I'm looking at a 2 BR at 34-21 78th Street, 2J, in Jackson Heights that caught my eye. The home, which just hit the market asking $450k, is located in the Dunolly Gardens, a massive six-building co-op that actually takes up an entire city block. Other 1100 sq ft 2BRs in the building, like this one in the E line, have been selling for as high as $615k, thanks to a coveted second bath. Looking at our floor plan, a clever reconfiguration has the potential to not only open up the kitchen but also add a second bathroom, creating a valuable master suite. Let's take a look!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: Roosevelt Terrace 2 BR

Typical terrace at Roosevelt Terrace via RedFin
Hey, I'm back with another installment of Fixer Upper Friday, scouting a 2 BR at 35-31 85th Street, 4h, in Jackson Heights. This home is located in a four-building co-op down the block from where we live, so I get to see quite a bit of it and I can tell you that the outdoor spaces are sweet. I'm going to breeze right over the photos in the ad on StreetEasy and instead show you this of a neighboring home in the same co-op that gives a better taste of how great this home could be. Can't you just see yourself sipping a latte or glass of wine here? Righty-ho, then — let's jump right into the floor plan, where the potential to open the kitchen into something spectacular is pure Renov8or gold.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Modern Chair for the Bedroom (Update)


The bedroom makeover has dragged on, while I search for the right mid-century style bedroom chairs and rug. But I'm one step closer this week. The rug I'd been stalking at West Elm was just reduced half price, so I snapped it up. The Margo Selby Zig-Zag Stripe Kilim Rug ($299) makes a big color statement and that's going to help decide the chair. Possibilities include a surprising newcomer — a lounge chair ($250) from the new Target + Dwell collaboration. What do you think? Does it beat out gorgeous red Blu Dot chair (that's 4x the cost)? I'd love to hear opinions!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Folding Clothes Into Origami


If anyone had foretold I'd be folding my sweaters, jeans, and, yes, even undies into origami in a quest for a more organized home, I'd not have believed it. Yet, here I am. Remember last year's breakout book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? It prompted a slew of riveting "clutter" photos all across the web and spawned the hashtag #KonMari — now a verb, as in "I KonMari'd my closets." But does it really work? I put it to the test.