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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: Dunolly 2BR Reconfiguration

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. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Float Mount Frame Hack for Large Canvas Paintings

You know how some people have good parking karma — a spot always opens up for them just when they need it. Well, I have good artwork karma. I've been collecting art for most of my life and have had some unbelievably good large-scale canvases fall into my lap. Though I've acquired many large canvases for free, framing them can be costly, so I'm excited to share with you this easy DIY hack to create a simple float mount frame.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Barn Light for the Cottage Porch

Ashley Brooks Designs / Barn Lighting
I've been taking time off to spend with my folks at the cottage, but that doesn't mean we don't have a few projects up our sleeves. I've long been wanting to replace the rear porch light on the deck, and with Dad the electrician on premises, now seemed as good a time as any.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mood Board for a Black and White Bathroom

One of the first things I like to do when I'm designing a bathroom is bring all of the elements into Pixlr as layers and move them around without worrying a lot about distortion and proportion. It's fun, and it's often surprising what I discover. Take the black and white bath we're working on...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Factory Doors and Encaustic Tiles Make a Strong Statement in the Bath

The Bower Birds

I'm advising a friend on a design for a master shower in her new home, and so much has changed since I designed our own bathroom just three years ago, I can't wait to share some exciting finds. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Is IKEA Hacking Itself? Sneak Preview of the 2017 Catalog!

There’s lots for an inveterate hacker to love in the new 2017 IKEA Catalog. While images reflect a new urban-industrial vibe, with a muted color palette to match, what hasn't changed is the utilitarian design and affordable prices. There's a new herringbone wood countertop, Cadovius-inspired storage system and free-standing minimalist kitchen to name just a few.  (Photos via IKEA)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: 35-45 82nd Street 2BR

Hey, I'm back with another installment of Fixer Upper Friday. Seeing what I see in this home at 35-45 82nd Street in Jackson Heights is going to take a bit of imagination on your part. There's not a lot of history of past sales in the building on Streeteasy, so I don't have any "after" photos to show you of similar units on other floors, the way I like to do. But several things pique my Renov8or interest:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th at the Beach Cottage

First Time Mini Led the Parade (2008)
Happy Independence Day weekend, Ya'll! I've been taking a break from renovations and projects to enjoy the three B's — biking, beach and BBQ. We've had guests every weekend since summer began and the guest rooms are booking up fast for July and August. It's been great fun biking, kayaking, and beaching it by day and cooking, eating, and drinking as the evening cools. I've been taking lots of photos, especially when we're biking through Orient State Park, winding through Orient town, then down through the backroads of lavender farm, but I've had little time to post to the blog. So, prepare yourself... photobomb up ahead. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Old Orchard Cottage Circa 1925

When we bought the cottage in 2007, the former owners handed down a photo album with pictures of the cottage dating back to the year it was built in 1925. There have only been three families who owned it in all that time, including ourselves. Looking through this photo album is like stepping in a time machine — so much is the same and yet so different.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I *Heart* Mid-Century Telephones

So I'm super-excited to show off my new bedmate. Before you get the wrong idea, I'm talking my vintage mid-century telephone. That works. Like a charm. It takes calls, it dials out, and oh how it rings. I missed that old Ma Bell ringtone! The cat is still recovering under the bed.

Friday, June 3, 2016

To Decant or not to Decant?

Apartment Therapy
I *heart* organization. Systems that wrangle loose cables and cords, make it easy to see things at a glance, and save space give me emoji heart eyes. But I find the trend to decant everything crazy-making. This is my decant rant. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: Linden Court 2BR

A Zillow alert caught my eye this morning, because it's exactly the kind of home that I look for when I'm on the hunt for my next fixer upper. It's listed for $335,000, when most two-bedrooms of similar size in this neighborhood list for $450,000-$550,000, depending on the quality of the renovations. Given the price differential, this means the buyer of the fixer upper will have roughly $215,000 to work with to bring it up to market. That's more than ample to do what's needed: skim coat and paint the walls, refinish the floors, update the wiring, and gut renovate both the kitchen and bath. Built in 1919, the home retains some beautiful detail. Let's take a look.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

IKEA Viktigt Patio Inspiration Board

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Have you seen IKEA's Viktigt line? I haven't been this excited about an IKEA product launch since last year's 365+ glass and cork pitchers and carafes, which I bought in multiples for myself and even gave as gifts.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

5 Things to Look Out for When Buying a Recycled Kitchen

I got an email asking how I can tell a recycled kitchen will work for me. Good question! The cost savings will be completely negated if it ends up not working in your space. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you're shopping for a recycled kitchen, plus, a real-life example of a kitchen I've been considering — and how I discovered it won't work.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sketchup of My Open Concept Kitchen

Inspired by that recycled kitchen I've been stalking on Green Demolitions, I started to reimagine what our home will look like if I open the wall between the kitchen and living room. I mean really look like. Will the living room feel cramped? Can the dining table be relocated to what's now the entry foyer? Will it all flow? This is a job for Sketchup!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Recycled Kitchen Is Calling My Name!

Since the day I set eyes on our home – when renovations were just a gleam in my iPad – I've been casually stalking recycled kitchens. Today I came across one that could make me pull the trigger on this renovation.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Affordable Midcentury Chairs for the Bedroom

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Iconic furniture designer Mies van der Rohe once said: “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” His Barcelona chair has certainly withstood the test of time, ubiquitous as it is in interior design today. Beautifully spare, it's also surprisingly comfortable.

I'm on the hunt for a pair of chairs for our bedroom that complement the mood and color scheme of the recent makeover, but are also inviting and comfortable to sit in. I'm struck by how very expensive the good ones are, which I suppose is testament to the design challenge a choice chair represents.

Here are some that catch my eye; tell me what you think?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dyeing Mystery Bleach Spots Out of Towels

Has this ever happened to you? You spring for the luxury towels, only to have them pop out of the dryer one day with orange bleach spots — when you don't even use bleach. What was causing this? And could I salvage the towels? Rit dye worked on the chair. Here's what happened when I tried it on the towels.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

CB2 Slice Hack: Floating Nightstands

After months of searching fruitlessly for mid-century floating nightstands that we like, I decided to wall-mount two Slice cabinets from CB2 at nightstand height. The install was more challenging than it should have been, due to our plaster-masonry walls, but it all worked out. Here's a step by step of how we did it — including the embarrassing number of holes that I put in our walls trying to find a stud that isn't there.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bedroom Reveal

The bedroom remodel is finished! Well... almost. I installed the floating nightstands today. And what a difference it made. Here's a reminder of how the bedroom looked before we started.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hanging Heavy Things on Masonry-Plaster Walls

I used toggle bolts to hang these floating shelves
Before we became homeowners, we lived in many rentals in New York City. Lucky for me, none of our landlords ever stipulated in the lease that we couldn't hang things on the walls or paint the walls bright colors, the way you hear many landlords do. (Imagine me with my crafty hands bound to my sides with duck tape. LOL.) Still, I was always cautious about hanging things. Over time, I learned all the tricks for hanging things on drywall. Sadly, all those methods are the absolute wrong approach for plaster walls and could damage the plaster or, worse, whole shelves could come tumbling down. I had to start from scratch to learn what works best for plaster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bedroom Makeover Update

So, remember when I said weekend project, wall-mounted nightstands? That was a few weeks ago. We hit a roadbump with the merchant CB2. They have a service, where you can order online, then pick up next day from a local store. So, eager to get started, I chose that option. A few hours later I got a call from the store saying they were on backorder in all NYC stores. When I asked why the website shows they have three available, the guy said, "We do, but only one is in good condition." I guess that meant the others were in crushed boxes or something. So, we have to wait for the backorders afterall. In the meantime, I've been making some progress on the bedding.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Upcoming Projects — Including One for This Weekend

Hey, Ya'll. We have a busy weekend coming up! Hot on the heels of finishing up the installation of the curtains in the bay window yesterday, I'll be installing the floating nightstands.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Troubleshooting IKEA Kvartal Curtain Rods Install

ikea kvartal on bay window

There are FOUR things you must know before installing the IKEA Kvartal on any window, including a bay window — miss any one of these and you'll be running out to a hardware store or back to IKEA for spare parts.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Installing Ikea Kvartal Rail System on a Bay Window

Ikea Kvartal

I'm ready to kick off our master bedroom makeover — starting with curtains for the bay window. Have you priced curtain rods for bay windows? Yowza! That's one reason we'll be going with Ikea. I've used their rail system in the past and I recall it being a tricky install. But, what the hay. I'm game!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Reveal: New Design Using Blogger's "Picture Window"

So, you're accustomed to seeing me present big reveals of rooms and projects, but today's reveal is a new design for Renov8or.

When I moved Renov8or to Blogger, I used an off-the-shelf template called "Picture Window". It had the advantage of being very easy for a novice to jump in with. All I wanted to do was write and share photos, so it was fine for me. Over time, however, I've been feeling its limitations. Slowly but surely, I've been learning how to hack the Picture Window template.