Maxwell & Ursula's Light Rental Reno: Inspiration - #3

Maxwell & Ursula's Light Rental Reno: Inspiration - #3

Maxwell Ryan
Mar 18, 2013

Name: Maxwell & Ursula
Type of Project: Light renovation of a rental apt
Location: Soho, NYC
Type of building: Two bedroom apartment

This pic above is from this morning, and, yes, I have to move in this Friday. While the counter and shelving won't be in yet, everything else should be clean and painted so that Ursula and I can at least land and camp out comfortably while functionality returns. It is already AMAZING to me how much stripping the space down and upgrading all the lighting has already warmed it up and continued what is proving to be a really intense transformation. I want to share some new pics as well as inspiration below. 

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. See all of our Reno Diaries here.


OPEN SHELVING: I LOVE this kitchen from an old DWELL mag article. It's in San Francisco in the home of Sergio and Suzanne Feld and by Larissa Sands of Sands Architects

This kitchen, was designed by Alison Dehn Bloom of Dehn Bloom Design (Photo by John Merkl) and uses Lambertson Industries commercial steel shelving. It's a really nice bull-nose design and not expensive. I ordered my shelves last week and they'll be here next week. You can find them here.

I've always loved this open shelving in Jeanine's kitchen up in Boston. From her house tour in 2008, images like this stick in my brain until I have a chance to use them. 

This is another house tour and friend's house that I've carried in my memory since 2004. Josh and Adele did this Bklyn kitchen with IKEA and low grade Carrera marble and I always loved it. I remember Josh telling me that Carrera was not a big favorite for many people (due to it's maintenance needs) and that the low grade stuff was one of the most affordable materials you could find. 

The Reno This Morning



To do a budget version, I've ripped out the upper cabinets for metal restaurant shelving and will keep the lowers, topping them with the cheapest possible white marble. 



As you look out of the kitchen here, you can see that I've ripped back the opening to maximize the light and openness to the living area. This will also allow the countertop to run straight out, make a broad lip on the other side so it's a simpler shape, a much more generous pass through and a better place for Ursula to sit when I serve breakfast in the morning. 


This might not look like much, but by adding more track I've tripled the light in this part of the room. I love track lighting like this because it's cheap and allows you to beautifully fill a room with indirect light bouncing off of your walls. I bought all of this at Chinatown Electric. They were very helpful. :)



What you see here is a relatively simple and highly effective re-grouting of the whole bathroom. It took two days and makes it feel SO MUCH CLEANER and like new. This room was really depressing before. 


It's definitely stupid to redo all of your floors and install carpeting before doing all this demolition, but I had no idea that I was going to do this and needed to catch people when I could. The plan for the bedroom got more ambitious as I realized that demolition was cheaper than building and this room would be far more useful and attractive when I took out the "legacy" closets and put in one wall of nice shelving on the left. The carpet is all covered up, and it should come back to life fine in the end. 

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt