Rusty: Brooklyn Co-op (last updated 12/23)

Kersten & Tai: Salt Lake City Condo (last updated 01/31)

Sarah & Joe: San Francisco House (last updated 12/12)

Chris: Denver Bungalow (last updated 01/9)

Sasha: Amsterdam Loft (last updated 12/26)


Sol: Milan, Italy

Rusty - November 6, 2007

13 Votes | Average: 3.92 out of 513 Votes | Average: 3.92 out of 513 Votes | Average: 3.92 out of 513 Votes | Average: 3.92 out of 513 Votes | Average: 3.92 out of 5 (13 votes, average: 3.92 out of 5)
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LOCATION: Milan, Italy
SIZE/TYPE: Apartment

These are the pictures of my former home. I bought it 6 years ago, and with a small budget I turned it around. Very old people used to live there and it was almost abandoned, since no renovations had been done in years. I sold the house last year. (more…)

Chip & Katie: Brooklyn, NY

Rusty - November 5, 2007

40 Votes | Average: 4.88 out of 540 Votes | Average: 4.88 out of 540 Votes | Average: 4.88 out of 540 Votes | Average: 4.88 out of 540 Votes | Average: 4.88 out of 5 (40 votes, average: 4.88 out of 5)
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NAME: Chip & Katie
LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York
SIZE/TYPE: Apartment, 1918 co-op

We bought the apartment in the fall of 2005. It had originally been a one-bedroom, but had been shoddily converted into a two-bedroom. The kitchen had been moved to the foyer, and only had two cupboards, a sink cabinet, a stove, and a small refrigerator. It all looked very hodge-podge. We were expecting our second child, so our goal was to maximize as much of the 700 square feet as possible and make the apartment tight and clean. We were drastic. Many of the pictures show the original details of the apartment. Rest assured, the pictures make the apartment look much more charming than it actually was. I¹ve included a few detailed “before” pictures that show up-close the poor the condition of the apartment. As I’ve looked back at these pictures, I’ve asked myself many times if we could have preserved more of the original details. But each time I look back and think about the condition and existing layout of the apartment when we bought it, I feel we made the right decision. (more…)

Kit S: Toledo, OH

Rusty - October 10, 2007

33 Votes | Average: 3.76 out of 533 Votes | Average: 3.76 out of 533 Votes | Average: 3.76 out of 533 Votes | Average: 3.76 out of 533 Votes | Average: 3.76 out of 5 (33 votes, average: 3.76 out of 5)
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NAME: Kit S.
LOCATION: Toledo, Ohio
SIZE/TYPE: Kitchen, 1929 house

The house was built in 1929 and is typical of the era, tiny cramped rooms and really poor plumbing. I bought the house in 2004 with the intention of overhauling the place bit by bit, however 6 months after I moved in that eighty-year-old plumbing gave out and I literally ended up with a waterfall from the 2nd floor bathroom, through the kitchen, and into the basement. Needless to say the timetable for kitchen renovations moved up a bit. (more…)

Submit Your Renovations

Rusty - October 9, 2007

If you’ve renovated your home we’d love to see it. If only your bathroom has been done, we still wanna peek. If your kitchen, garage or basement is new, send us those pics!

A couple notes: (more…)

Russ & Robin: Brooklyn, NY

Rusty - September 28, 2007

39 Votes | Average: 3.51 out of 539 Votes | Average: 3.51 out of 539 Votes | Average: 3.51 out of 539 Votes | Average: 3.51 out of 539 Votes | Average: 3.51 out of 5 (39 votes, average: 3.51 out of 5)
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NAME: Russ & Robin
LOCATION: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
SIZE/TYPE: 750 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 1940 condo

When we closed on this apartment we knew we wanted to do a modern, yet warm renovation. It had the generic feel of so many New York apartments with its high-gloss wood floor, 50 layers of paint (cream being the top) and the single $5.99 standard overhead light fixture. Fine for some people, not quite enough for us. Robin and I had a small collection of warm, organic-shaped furniture pieces which would serve as a contrast to our planned dark floors and white walls. More after the jump. (more…)

Travis & Sara: Westchester, NY

Rusty - September 25, 2007

42 Votes | Average: 3.69 out of 542 Votes | Average: 3.69 out of 542 Votes | Average: 3.69 out of 542 Votes | Average: 3.69 out of 542 Votes | Average: 3.69 out of 5 (42 votes, average: 3.69 out of 5)
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NAME: Travis & Sara
LOCATION: Westchester, NY
SIZE/TYPE: 2000 sq. ft. 3 bedroom, 1913 house

Travis and I decided to buy a major “fixer-upper” in Westchester County, New York, when we decided our 850 square feet in Brooklyn could not accommodate a third child. The house we bought was appealing for several reasons: 1. It needed a complete overhaul, and the low price ensured we could renovate to our picky specifications. 2. We liked the open floor plan; the stair case at the back is unusual for colonial homes and was a good use of the space. 3. All homes with children should have a place that can be used as a “race track”… where the kids can run around and around in circles, thoroughly annoying anyone in the kitchen or living room. (more…)

Tom & Alysha: Brooklyn, NY

Rusty - September 10, 2007

42 Votes | Average: 4.5 out of 542 Votes | Average: 4.5 out of 542 Votes | Average: 4.5 out of 542 Votes | Average: 4.5 out of 542 Votes | Average: 4.5 out of 5 (42 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
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NAME: Tom & Alysha
LOCATION: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
SIZE/TYPE: 550 sq. ft. 1-bedroom, 1910 co-op

The renovating of this apartment is the least interesting/entertaining part of the story of this apartment of ours. The getting in was the heartbreaker. But to sum up, I was way too pregnant, we had been homeless (living out of our suitcases on various friend’s couches) for the previous 10 months and this place was a dump. Years-worth of grime from chain smoking that was evidently never, ever cleaned. I understand that the dirt floors in Guatemala are kept cleaner than this place. (more…)

Rusty & Sara: Brooklyn, NY

Rusty - September 2, 2007

35 Votes | Average: 4.54 out of 535 Votes | Average: 4.54 out of 535 Votes | Average: 4.54 out of 535 Votes | Average: 4.54 out of 535 Votes | Average: 4.54 out of 5 (35 votes, average: 4.54 out of 5)
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NAME: Rusty & Sara
LOCATION: Park Slope, Brooklyn
SIZE/TYPE: 650 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 1920 co-op

This is our current apartment in Brooklyn. We bought it so we could have more space (and yes, 650 square feet is more space). It’s probably not fair that the only ‘before’ pictures I have are ones when the previous owner still lived there. That’s why there’s so much stuff all over the place. It’s also unfair that the ‘befores’ are taken at night (with no sunlight coming in) and the ‘afters’ were taken during the day. I also regret not taking ‘during’ pictures because for a month the place was a wreck. Next time I guess. (more…)

Welcome to Renovation Voyeur

Rusty - August 1, 2007

Welcome voyeurs!

This site is for those of us who enjoy peeking into the homes of strangers and love seeing before and after pics of their physical transformations. We watch the shows “Flip This House” not because we need to learn something, but because they need to. When looking for a home, the words “needs work” are music to our ears. They call this stuff renovation porn and we can understand why.

Please peruse the site and enjoy the different renovations with their accompanying stories. Also, check out the photo archive of architectural details (found in the sidebar).

Another feature that we hope will benefit the reader is the ranking system (the stars at the top of each post). Just click on the star (1-5) that you think the renovation deserves. This is a quick way to get a sense for what people think of each renovation.

We’d love for you to submit your own renovations so that everyone can see what you’ve done. For more information on how to submit go to our submission page.

We hope you enjoy the site and please let me know of any improvements you’d like to see. You can contact me at

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