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Friday, December 15, 2017

Fixer Upper Friday: 2BR Convertible to 3BR for $525k in The Plymouth in Jackson Heights

Via StreetEasy
This week I profile a Fixer Upper extraordinaire. This home at 35-20 82nd Street, #41, has an unusually flexible floor plan that could allow an owner to add both a third bedroom and a second bath. As 3BR/2BA homes in this Jackson Heights neighborhood are going for upwards of $850k, there's about $300k of instant equity on the line for some lucky buyer, and that could fund a pretty swell renovation. Let's take a look.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My Visit to the Semihandmade Showroom in NYC

Having decided to go with statuary marble for the backsplash, the rest of the kitchen design fell quickly into place. To keep this renovation budget in line, I hope to make IKEA cabinets work for me. As I really dislike IKEA cabinet doors, this will require sourcing custom doors to fit IKEA cabinets. First up: A visit to Semihandmade in NYC.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Classic White Shaker + Marble Kitchen

I met today with the good folks at Semihandmade. This company makes door fronts that fit IKEA cabinets — they even drill holes for the hinges. So brilliant! Now I can go with affordable IKEA cabinet boxes, with their cleverly designed interior fittings that I love, but I have a better option when it comes to the door fronts. I can even get real wood shaker fronts, so I'm not locked into ultra modern slab fronts if I want to use IKEA. After seeing the Semihandmade doors, I think I've made my decision.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Table DIY Place Cards Craft

Happy Thanksgiving! This will be a quick post. As American's across the land are basting turkeys and bringing out the good china, I thought I'd share a quick place cards craft. All you need is some fall foliage and gold spray paint. Ready? Let's get to it.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Oh Yes, IKEA Can Do Upscale Modern Kitchens!

via Houzz
I paid a visit to IKEA on a rare day off, hoping I'd have better luck grabbing the attention of one of the kitchen staff on a weekday than a weekend. I didn't realize I was visiting right smack in the middle of IKEA's thrice-annual Kitchen Sale. Even for a weekday morning the place was mobbed with frenzied folks hoping to start a kitchen in time to lock in the 15% off. Waiting for my name to be called, I had ample time to walk through all the model kitchens and take note of things, such as the scale of the kitchen islands and smart cabinet organizers. There are things I definitely want, like the under-sink recyclables pullout and the drawer within a drawer silverware pullouts, which will allow me to do all deep drawers and no doors. It wasn't until I got to the doors, that the IKEA cabinet line gave me pause.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Two Open Kitchen Designs Using IKEA Cabinets

Now that I've weighed the pros and cons of the galley kitchen, considered knocking down walls for an open concept kitchen, and grappled with the budget, I'm starting to think about cabinetry options. Cabinets can eat up 50% of the budget, so I'm looking to bring those costs down. First stop, IKEA.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Calculating the Budget for My Dream Kitchen Renovation

Now that I've decided to open up walls, it's time to grapple with the budget for this renovation. When I renovated my Brooklyn kitchen back in 2006, I'd just sold my previous home and rolled over the equity into the new place. I was feeling flush, so I'm embarrassed now to say that I didn't set a budget. Rookie mistake!

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 made me realize that I've 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. 

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!