View from the front door. Kitchen on the left and bedrooms on the right.
Name: Maxwell & Ursula
Type of Project: Light renovation of a rental apt
Location: Soho, NYC
Type of building: Two bedroom apartment
In the past year I've moved more than in all the previous decades in my life, and right now I'm in the process of moving to a new apartment where I will gain a second bedroom for my daughter who is growing quickly. This is the plain jane before, but I want it to highlight our new Renovation Diary program where we're helping people to improve their homes directly and they are sharing all their hard work with you.
The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. Go to Renovation Diary Archive page.
This rental apartment is a hand-me-down from a friend. It is spacious with a decent rent, but really run down (you can't totally tell from the pics!). The kitchen, bathroom and interior bedroom are particularly depressing. The landlord gave me one month of free rent to put money and time into fixing it up, which is allowing me to see how much I can do and flex my design muscles. Over the next few weeks you're going to see how a little bit is going to go a long way, and the big thing I want to do it fix and clean up all the old, run down elements to give it back some of the energy that it has lost over time.
Here is my design checklist for optimal health on a rental budget:
• Refinish and stain the floor
• Lay new wood floor over kitchen tile
• Add more track light fixtures along ceilings in living room, kitchen and bedroom
• Remove old upper cabinets and install commercial stainless shelving
• Replace stove and hood (landlord paying for that)
• Replace countertops with affordable carrera marble
• Install new carpeting in the two bedrooms
• Regrout bathroom tile
I am trying hard to get this done in the next three weeks, but it's challenging to move quickly here in NYC as two contractors have already told me that they're too busy. I'm afraid this is a small job that may not be very attractive AND the contractors in the NYC area are all working full tilt due to Storm Sandy reconstruction this past fall.
I'm very much hoping to get it done and be in before the middle of March. Wish me good luck.
Meanwhile, check out these three Reno Diary projects that are moving along and consider submitting your own. These are the gallery views of their projects so far, check them out and click through so you can go right into the midst of their projects.
• Seth and Allison's Kitchen Reno in Ventura, California
• Andi's Kitchen Reno in San Francisco, California
• Claire and Jeffrey's Kitchen Reno in Minneapolis, Minnesota