A Year In Review

2019 was a big one for us. We successfully (mostly) completed a major renovation in less than a year. And we’ve shared the experience through our blog every week! This is our 52nd post of 2019. So we thought we would look back at what’s happened.

After cost, timing of a renovation is the most popular question that we get. Everyone is on a timeline: Baby coming, lease expiring, temporary living arrangements, or what is sometimes the worst – living there during the renovation! Getting a sense of the timing and having the right expectations is important. We bought our place in late October 2018. We started the design and approval process in mid November 2018 and we got approvals done in early January 2019. Demo officially started January 22nd. Then after a lot of work we moved into the space in late August. So construction took about 8 months, with a couple of months of design and architecture work.

We’re spending the week with family and reflecting on the year. So we thought it would be a good time to share a year in review! 

Biggest Surprise: How beautiful the original wood was hiding under all those layers of paint. We knew we wanted to remove the thick layer of paint, but thought we would need to repaint it. To our surprise it was in great condition and we decided to leave it natural.

Best Moment: Uncovering old pocket doors that were buried in the walls! It reminded us of the history of our place and all of the lives that lived here before us. 

Worst Moment: The worst moment for us happened in the week after we closed on the place. Someone stole one of the 2 original iron newel posts from the front stoop! We were so upset to see part of the history of the place go, but it did strengthen our resolve to save everything we can…and the post will be replaced! 

Biggest Lesson Learned: There are a few little things in our place we would have done differently. Most of it stems back to rushing the design phase. We were in so much of a hurry to file with the city, get approvals, and start demo, that we should have giving more though to room sizes and lighting design. Nothing major but things we would do different in retrospect. 

A Surprise Design Moment: Our #diy Green vintage door. The color, the design, the vintage chicken wire glass.. We love it!

Barry’s Favorite Design Feature: The open kitchen and large island! We know some people prefer a closed kitchen, but for us the entertainment value of an open kitchen works well. We almost thought we were going too big with our island when we were designing, but it’s perfect! 

Jordan’s Favorite Design Feature: The lighting! We worked so hard on the right light fixtures (Stickbulb, Noguchi, Barnlight, Schoolhouse, and some vintage fixtures from Etsy) and making sure each one fit the space. We have a mix of the “old & new” theme throughout the space and we think the lighting is an instrumental part in our design theme. 

Now we are excited to turn our major renovation project into more DIY smaller projects. There’s enough work to be done in our Brownstone that we hope you will enjoy in 2020. 

We will see you in 2020!

From our stoop to wherever you are, we hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Jordan & Barry

aka The Brownstone Boys