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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!