Blog Archive

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Home Renovation 101: Before

We didn't think buying a cabin in the woods was a big enough deal so we thought 
we would throw in renovating a house too! I mean, why not, right? We might be 
a little crazy, but at least we have the time... funny right. Who ever has the time 
to renovate a house? Between the cabin on the weekends and having a day job to pay 
for this cabin and renovation, when are we supposed to get anything done? 

Thankfully, Leif turned out to be quite handy in every department and has offered
to live in the house to get work done in time for my move in. Isn't he just the best?

I thought I would share the before photos. I am sure not everything we would like
to do will be done in time for my move in, however, it will definitely look drastically
different. I cannot wait to see the final results myself! 

Below is the back Sunroom. The woman who owned the house before had show
cats. Yes, you read that properly. So the room smells and will need complete
gutting. We are thinking a little shiplap or wainscoting. The existing concrete 
floor might stay and be painted or we could add some tiles. I am thinking a nice
sisal rug with some cozy furniture.  

Definitely some new shades and new door! Clearly, the sink will be removed as well 
as anything else hanging on the wall. 

The front door vestibule is small but adorable. The existing stain glass is still in
tact. We are looking at having it refurbished. A fresh coat of paint will be nice. 

The ugly brown tile was cracked in the corner and I decided to dig it up. Look at the
surprise we found below! Thankfully, it was completely intact and looks wonderful!

The Living Room needs the least work. Painting this room will do a lot for the space but,
can we talk about this wood trim! I am so excited to get my hands on this room. Not
to mention, those beautiful floors! New shades are a must! I am working on winning 
the battle to replace the ceiling fans but this one I might just lose. I do not know what 
it is with men and ceiling fans...

We are also switching out all of the existing light switches, electrical outlets and
plate covers to a more updated version. I'm thinking Lutron. I love the screwless
plates all of my clients have.  

The dining room. One word. Red. Oh my gosh. This will be the first room to get painted.
I am thinking a new chandelier, new furniture, and some curtains will liven this room up!

 My favorite feature in the dining room is the dutch door! It is beautiful! Eventually
we will have it refinished. It has some ware and tear from use. 

These floors. Drool. 

  The Kitchen needs some work. A new floor, new counter tops, new back splash,
the cabinets need to be painted, new cabinet hardware, new light fixtures and
eventually, some new appliances. 

Eventually new furniture is a must but that is not a priority at the moment. 
I would like to make sure it is livable before furniture. 

The stairs are beautiful. I love all of the wood trim and molding. The runner will
be replaced once all construction work is complete. I am working on finding 
something I love without breaking the bank. I have to keep reminding myself I
am not one of my clients. It definitely is doable, it might just take some time
for me to find something I love for an affordable price.  

The bathroom. Oh my goodness, the bathroom. The yellow tub. Everything
must go. And fast! Do not worry my friends, I have this baby already designed
and specified. We are in the process of getting bids. Yes, we are hiring an 
actual contractor for this project. Leif would like radiant heat in the floor
and bluetooth speakers in the ceiling. And I thought I was the one with 
expensive taste. 

The upstairs hallway is beautiful. I love the hardwood floors and wood trim and
molding. The doors are original and complete with the beautiful crystal door knobs.

There are two closets in the hallway. One is a linen closet and the other is a 
cedar closet. It smells amazing. 

The first bedroom on the right is the smaller of the two large bedrooms. However,
as it is in the back of the house, off of the street, we chose that as the Master. 
I also liked the window layout better as it works better with the furniture plan. Not
to mention my existing curtains will fit perfectly with the window layout. 

 Sadly, the bedroom interior side of all of the doors have been painted. Who
does that? It took only three days but these two doors are now stripped, sanded, 
stained and hanging back in the room more beautiful than ever! And, I did it all
myself! It sucked. I've passed on the task of stripping the other six doors to Leif.
I gave up, and pretty easily too. 

The safe on the wall? Who knows, but something will definitely cover it.  
For Christmas we are getting a new king size bed and mattress! I am so excited!

 The larger of the two bedrooms, is in the front of the house. We will be using this
as the new guest bedroom. My existing queen bed will be perfect for this room.

The third bedroom is small. It is the perfect size for a nursery one day. Or my closet.
I am leaning more towards the latter. This room needs very little work. A fresh paint
job and new light fixture is pretty much it. 

Finally, there is the third floor. The finished attic.  The walls and stairs will
get a brand new paint job. 

The entire space will need work. The existing carpet will stay for now. The
windows will need some paint and new shades. 

A nice bright color will help this room, which I am calling our movie room. 

Don't you think a nice size section will be perfect for up here? I'm thinking a large
square ottoman, comfy pillows and throws would be perfect accents! Not to mention
a nice projector and screen! I could hang out here!

 There is a nice size closet in the attic as well. There is also a full basement
where there is another full bathroom and laundry room. There is a nice size 
space at the bottom of the stairs which I am going to make into a mud room
with plenty of storage for shoes, boots, jackets and the rest of our crap. 

Oh, I forgot the two car garage and yard. Did I mention we have six months?
Wish us luck! I can't wait to share the final results! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Goodbye Friends: Emma and Sara

The end of last year brought many good things along with a few sad things. 
Two of my very dear and best friends, for the past 10 years, moved away. 
Within a week of each other! 

Emma went first. As it wasn't easy, it was the easier of the two. I had a whole 
year to plan for Emma's move. Plus, she might only be gone for a year or two. 
Emma requested to move to India for a year or two for work. As sad as I was
to see her leave, I am so excited for her adventures and to visit! Not to mention
her husband went too!

A big group of friends said goodbye on a Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg.
The dogs even came! There was no way Oliver was going to let Auntie Em
leave without saying goodbye!

Then there is Sara... who decided to randomly interview at a company in Florida. 
Of course she got the job almost a week later and then moved within one month. 
ONE MONTH! One of those weeks within that month she was in Mexico scuba 
diving. That left me three weeks with my best friend! 

I could not comprehend the magnitude of what was actually happening. I tried.
I knew it would not hit until she left. So I decided to do something about it. I
went everywhere she did. I had breakfast with her every morning. Or at least I
ate and she watched. We hung out every evening. I even went to scuba classes,
where she helps teach, with her just to hang out. 

Finally, the dreadful day came. Her going away party. Right down the street
in Brooklyn from our apartment. Did I mention we live in the same apartment
building, in the same apartment, two floors apart. We also have matching dogs.
Sara and I spent the entire day together, helping her pack, cleaning her apartment,
taking her shades and curtains down, patching the holes in her walls, and running
errands for the party. We brought enough snacks for the whole bar. Everyone came.
It was a fun night until it had to end. It felt completely normal and then she was

Both Emma and Sara have been back to NYC since leaving. Within a week apart
from each other, just like they left. It was great to spend time with both of them.
I miss them. But, I know we will see each other again soon. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cabin in the Catskills

We are home owners!! Or should I say cabin owners? We closed on our very own
cabin in the woods and we couldn't be more excited! Isn't she cute.

We cabin hunted for nine months! Every single weekend we were in the car for hours driving
to the Poconos, Catskills, Hamptons, and somewhere in New Jersey. It was exhausting but 
definitely worth it! 

After what felt like a year of excruciating back and forth contact with accountants, lawyers,
and real estate agents, we finally closed! We were lucky to get the cabin fully furnished.
This included all of the outdoor furniture as well!

We have a pond on the property which has been properly named "Lucky Pond."

We even have a hot tub and outdoor shower! 

The interior is slowly starting to feel like home. Eventually we will slowly replace some of
the existing furniture but, for now, everything is perfect.

My Mom bought us this awesome vintage like clock and cutting board during her visit.

Lucky and Oliver love the screened in porch. The perfect place for a wet dog that
just went swimming in the pond.

The existing drapery is made from old fashioned ski poles. 

For Christmas last year I got this beautiful extra large wood cutting board. 

All of the cabinetry, the counter top, oven and stove are all original to the house. 

Aunt Debby gave us this wonderful set of dishes which look beautiful in ourglass cabinet! 
Of course we had to bring our Vesco Ridge Vineyard mugs and wine glasses!

Eventually we will paint the bathroom and bedrooms, but for now, it is in
such wonderful condition. 

This little buck was the perfect addition to add just that extra cabin feel! The
dog bed helps too! 

Our bedroom needs a little work. We will eventually paint. Since this photo was taken
we have have changed the window treatments. Art will slowly be added. 

Our Guest Bedroom is very sweet. Again, we will paint and add some art. 

I can't wait to spend the holidays in our little cabin in the woods! The dogs are pretty
excited too. 

Did I mention it has been snowing up there for weeks now? All of the ski mounts are open.
We actually have already been skiing! We are 15 minutes from the nearest mountain. 

Down the road from our house, on our quiet little street, we have a few train heads. This one
you have to cross this adorable bridge to start. Oliver and I ventured up the hill for a little
hike one weekend. 

It was absolutely beautiful!

Owning a house is a lot of work! I knew it would be but, wow! There is something new to
do or take care of every weekend. Not to mention, we are renovating our house in the city
at the same time. I'm not sure how smart that was but I think everything will be ok! 
More to come from our cabin in the woods!