Treasures and Tribulations

If you are lucky, your new-old row house will have some treasures in it–in the form of original details from a bygone era.  Unfortunately, some of those eras will include the 60’s and 70’s and it will be more of a tribulation to get rid of those particular details.

Treasure – pocket doors

Tribulation – 1950’s addition

This 7×7 extension contains 2 bathrooms. It appears there were no bathrooms inside the home before it’s construction in the 50′s.

Treasure – art deco tin ceiling in kitchen

Tribulation – layers of linoleum

What looks like wood floor here is really the third layer of linoleum.  All that chipped paint is probably filled with lead.  Let’s hope there is a treasure under all that.

Treasure – upstairs fireplace

None of the three fireplaces are currently working and they all look to be originally coal burning. The plan is to convert them all to wood burning.

Treasure – original wooden shutters

Some initial photos

Front of Building

This is the front of the house. The front facade is painted brick with some detailing. Generally it’s in good shape. At least good enough to last a few years before needing any renovations.

Here’s the back of the building shot from the very end of the back yard.

Back Yard Shot From Roof

Here is the back yard shot from the roof.


The current kitchen is pretty basic. What looks like subway tile on the walls is actually paneling.

In Contract!

After 12 years of living in Brooklyn and coveting other people’s brownstones, we have finally taken the plunge (thanks to FHA) and made an offer on a one hundred year old two family brownstone in South Park Slope.

So here we are about to embark on the adventure of home renovation.  The best analogy to describe how we feel is that it’s like riding a rollercoaster:  exhilaration and nausea at the same time.

We have heard all the horror stories from other home owners—it is like when you are thinking of having a baby— they say:  you won’t get any sleep, you won’t have any money, you won’t have any more time to yourself, it will test your relationship.   But just like with kids, they all say it was worth it in the end.

We intend to document the process every step of the way.  Mainly for ourselves but also for others, because who doesn’t like a good renovation blog?  And as my mom used to say, “you have to learn from other people’s mistakes because you don’t have time to make them all yourself.”  So we will pay the man and jump on the renovation ride.

Let’s see who will toss their cookies first.