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.
LIVING ROOM AFTER
We cleaned the brick (lots of nasty cat hair), painted the walls white (allowing other elements to act as our color), installed recessed lights and bamboo floors. The old floors were okay but had a 2-3mm space between each board, were way off level (about 6 inches from one width to the other) and creaked like crazy. We tried to level the floor as much as we could but there’s only so much you can do when your front door is on the sunken side.
There was wasted space in the bedroom wall (after having to increase the walls thickness for the pocket door) so we figured we may as well use it for storage (something this apartment lacks). Now we just need to arrange the stuff on it to look nice.
This closet was the cause of perhaps the most stress in the renovation. We ultimately decided on Ikea because it was cheaper and more storage-friendly than what our contractor could do. But the doors we did custom (Canal Plastics) and aren’t too happy with them. They look okay but the function isn’t so good. Plus they warp a bit. Oh well.
One of those unforseen issues that you don’t think about beforehand is when building an island how do you attach Ikea cabinets to the floor? Especially a floor that is not level. Well, it looks fine as long as you don’t remove our kickplate.
We like the Ikea white melamine cabinets. We also like the price of them. We also like the fact that I can install them myself very easily and not pay a contractor to do it. We switched the location of the sink and stove, a move we’re extremely happy about. I ordered the white dishwasher thinking it was one which could have a custom panel. I was wrong so now we’re stuck with a not-as-white-as-the-cabinets dishwasher. Oh well. We love our 24″ bottom-freezer counter-depth fridge though.
Lesson we had to learn the hard way: remember that the sink height is not the same as the counter height if your sink sits above the counter. I know, obvious. But when there are a million other decisions some get lost. But all is well now. Plus, you can’t see it but the floor is a nice satin slate that feels silky smooth on the feet.