The Little Reveal

When we first started our renovations we pictured the big ta-da moment when everything would be done and we’d move into our perfectly designed, painted and furnished home like on Houzz or HGTV.

The reality is that we moved in when there was not even a kitchen and now that we have been here for over a year, there is still a punch list that needs to be completed and an endless list of ongoing projects not to mention the rental unit upstairs.

We thought we’d take advantage of our clean house to show all you faithful followers a few good before and afters with at least a little, ta-da!

Parlor facing south before.

parlor facing south



As for decorating we pretty much just have our old furniture because we can’t financially justify buying any new furniture until the house is completely don’t and we have a tenant paying rent.

Parlor facing north

Parlor facing north


parlor facing south

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Here we took out this door and partial wall to make the living area a bit larger since it is only a 16ft wide building.  We did not need the hallway behind the door because we were closing it off to separate the our unit from the apartment upstairs.  The building was a two family shared by the same family so they never officially block access between the two.

This awkward chair will be moved once we give it a design update some day.

This awkward chair will be moved once we give it a design update some day.

A little vision and a lot of patience (plus money) can go a long way.

Back facing north before the extension.

Back facing north before the extension (with the realtor).


My dream kitchen

We love that we were able to save the ceiling because they don’t make that pattern of tin anymore.  Ours is a modest kitchen compared to some “dream kitchens” but for NYC and for a small family, it is perfect.  We will write an update on the drawbacks to marble counter tops and white cabinets later.

The closet on the left was built out and is  now the powder room.

The closet on the left was built out and is now the powder room.


Some Finishing Touches on the Kitchen: backsplash, under-cabinet lighting, pot filler.

While waiting for the contractor to come back and finish (two months now) the deck off of the kitchen, we forged ahead to finish some smaller details that were not part of our original contract.

We hired a contractor to do a basic subway tile pattern back splash.  Why it was not in our original contract is yet another one of those details that got lost in the shuffle.  No loss because we were very unhappy with our contractor’s tile work in two bathrooms so we were more than willing to find someone else.  We don’t have many tips that result from this job other than the recommendation to use quality subway tiles.  Our tiler advised us to get Daltile or a comparable notched tile because they produce a nice thin grout line.  This is achieved with notched tiles because they are installed one right up against the other and the notch leaves space for the grout so you get even grout lines throughout.


Under-cabinet Lighting and Outlets

For our outlets we decided to use Legrand’s under cabinet lighting system.   This system is a bar that runs under the length of the upper cabinets and allow you to add or remove outlets whenever you want and offers other accessories like an iPad cradle, speakers, and under-mount cabinet lights.  This company also has really nice pop-out outlets that we were going to use on the island but in the end we did not use them because they did not fit in the space we needed them.

We liked this system because we weren’t tied to a specific place for outlets, we did not have to plan the tiles around the outlets and it looks cool.  The drawbacks are that it is not cheap and you can see the wires for your appliances.  This will give us the motivation to only plug things in when we need them.  We plan on adding a trim piece along the bottom of the cabinets to hide the lights.

undermount lights


Not much exciting to report here other than the fact that it is in.  Since we did not know when the plumber would be back we installed it ourselves.  Now we just have to make a lot of big pots of pasta or boil a lobster to make the expense of this item worth it.

pot filler