House Tour: Tom's Sequel to his Prequel

House Tour: Tom's Sequel to his Prequel

Jill Slater
Jan 16, 2008

Name: Tom

Location: East Village

Size: 650 Sqft. 2-bdrm, owned

Years lived in: 1 year


Tom's place has come a long way since we house-toured it last July. The bricks glisten, the floor shines....

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...thanks in great part to Tom's efforts. He took great pains to bring it to its current state. After doing all the demolition himself, he hand scrubbed and patched each exposed brick--opting for elbow grease rather than toxic cleaners. "Exposing the arches [above each window] was critical," said Tom. He also exposed the hardware that sustains the exterior fire escape! He then put in a bare bones kitchen, and had a carpenter build a newly configured staircase.

The staircase's location and Tom's preference for a downstairs bathroom helped to determine how the rest of the apartment would be laid out. The bulk of the work took about 4 months. Tom's overarching goal is simplicity--revealing and celebrating the infrastructure and functionality of the space. It remains a work in progress. Tom wants to live in his apartment for a while, until he can discern the best solution for his individual needs. He is full of patience; he knows what he likes. I have great faith that, with time, Tom's space will evoke a richness, clarity, and sense of history that epitomizes home.

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Style: Scandinavian Zen
Favorite Element: Everything
Biggest Challenge: Making a small space not feel small
What Friends Say: "Nice"
Biggest Embarrassment: Some of the impacts on neighbors during construction, like brick dust raining down
Proudest DIY: Stripping it down to create space and expose elements I like
Biggest Indulgence: Deciding to basically gut and start over
Best Advice: Plan on everything taking a lot of time
Dream Source: My imagination

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