Month: September 2012

Garden Apartment

Yes, it took a lot longer than we thought. Yes, there were quite a few unforeseen issues, but finally, nine months after we bought our place, the garden apartment is finally ready to rent. Here is what it looks like:

We created an entry way with a place for shoes and coats.

For the bedroom, we added a set of French doors in place of the existing archway to give the space more definition (and some privacy). Best of all, the doors were free! In addition to the doors, we put the original summer cover back on the fireplace and also removed old paint splotches and varnish off the tiles. This is what the space used to look like:
The living room ended up like this:
The previous owners used this room as a dining room, since it’s right next to the kitchen. We made the space larger by removing the upper and lower cabinets in the kitchen next to the fridge. We added a small counter with shelving beneath and moved the large lower cabinet to the empty wall of the kitchen.
It used to look like this (photo from the real estate listing)
We removed the island, since having an island that was mostly occupied by a cook top, plus having a (tiny) separate oven that occupied a huge amount of wall space didn’t make any sense. By removing the island we created enough room to make it an eat-in kitchen. It now looks like this:
The previous owner didn’t tile under the island. You’d be shocked – SHOCKED! to learn that this tile pattern is no longer available. Pulling up the entire floor was cost-prohibitive because of the manner in which it was installed: leveling cement and wire mesh over the original hard wood, which basically turned the original wood floor into something that cannot be salvaged. So for now we ended up with the above patch…
Last but not least, we added shelving units to the laundry area to make the space less awkward. Because of where the existing plumbing was, the washer/dryer had to be in its current location.

Salvage lighting finds

Sometimes the things I stress most about our house may seem absurd when compared to the sheer volume of large project we have yet to tackle. But  it’s the little things that make all the difference. Sure, I can live with the shower of sadness – for the time being – because sometimes tackling a small project can make the larger picture not seem so daunting.

The lighting fixtures that came with the house are ugly. Not two ways about. UH-GLY! Here is a sampling of the ugly currently on display in our parlor floor. Yes, the brass ceiling fan does take the cake – we don’t use it so that we don’t get used to having a gentle breeze overhead. That monstrosity is going to Build It Green very very soon.

We have been shopping for more period appropriate fixtures for the house and needless to say, anything available in the New York area costs and arm and a leg. Since we have a limited supply of arms and legs we have been looking elsewhere for our salvage: hello midwest!

The fixtures are in raw condition – they need to be cleaned and re-wired, but we purchased all four for less than the cost of a nice non-Home Depot light. Now, onward to getting these guys up and working!