3rd Street Renovation Blog
In one week, we ripped out what is going to take us a year to rebuild. We can now see our house in all of its glory (as well as discovering some of the structural issues that will need to be resolved in the coming months.) We were not expecting the extent of the demo. While we understood what we were doing on paper, its a whole different thing when you walk into your house without floors or ceilings. It was simultaneously very exciting and terrifying. Unfortunately there aren’t as many original details as we would have hoped for and there is definitely some more work than we had planned for but overall we are still feeling good about things and are excited to start rebuilding.
So we, in some respects, are at the most fun/creative moment in the project – all of the planning. Not yet hampered too much by budget (as we are still waiting on the contractor to come back with numbers based on our designs) and without the realities of opening up walls only to discover thousands of dollars of work in structural restoration, we can feel free to dream.
As I mentioned in the previous post, our goal is to bring this house back to its original proportion and layout with a few minor adjustments. First, we will have dining room on the garden level. Previously I believe that the dining would have been on the 2nd floor. Second, we are opening up and adding a support arch to the 3rd floor master suite and family rooms thus making two large rooms where there would have previously been two smaller rooms next to two larger rooms.
In the kitchen, we envision a large, modern kitchen with a country feel. The side wall, shown below, will be all cabinetry and will have a breakfast table in front of it.
Along the other side wall will be the main kitchen wall with the stove and refrigerator.
Downstairs will also be a closet and half bath – as shown below.
The second floor will feature a library and a living room. In the library we will build the bookshelves out from the wall to frame the windows and put in window seats to look out onto the garden.
Our bedroom will be in what used to be a smaller room and will now have a support arch over it.
We are hoping to begin construction in August. We can’t wait to begin!
Welcome to the beginning of what will hopefully be a year-long, pain-free Park Slope Brownstone renovation. We are so excited to share it with all of you!
It all started about a year ago. We simply stopped loving Manhattan. It was too crowded, too noisy, too dirty, and we wanted out. There was, however, one catch, our jobs that we loved and our families, whom we loved even more, were all in Manhattan. We are born and bred in the city, we couldn’t take it away from our kids. Plus, our oldest daughter was already way too far gone to move anywhere else. One day, out in the country, she saw cows and exclaimed, “Black-and-white cookies!” and she demanded sushi as her lunch of choice. This kid couldn’t live in the country. So we started to search and quickly fell in love with Brooklyn. We loved the community, the space, the air, truly we were smitten with the entire package. A few trips to Prospect Park (with some side stops at Butter Lane Cupcakes) and our kids were in too. Now to find the house!
We were very lucky to fall in with an amazing Brooklyn townhouse realtor with Douglas Elliman, who was very patient with us and spent numerous hours with us trying to find us the perfect house and teach us a bit about the various neighborhoods as well. Our requirements seemed straightforward – a townhouse, outdoor space, fireplaces, a gorgeous kitchen, and ideally located very close to a large park. In our budget, however, it quickly became apparent that we were going to have to rethink or give up some of our list. We were convinced that we couldn’t renovate. Our daughter is starting school in Brooklyn in the fall; how could we? We looked at a few gut projects but moved on. After three months of looking, however, one house, ideally located, and requiring a full renovation, had captured our fancy. We just couldn’t get it out of our heads. It had such potential. When we called our amazing architects only to discover that they lived a few houses down, it seemed like the gods were telling us that we needed to get this house. So we took the leap.
We closed a month ago and so far things are going swimmingly. We have amazing plans, complete with fireplaces, amazing kitchen, and outdoor space. So far we have planned all the floor spaces, are completing the elevations of the walls, and have done the lighting plans. Our plans are submitted to DOB and we are waiting on a response.
The basic plan is to return the house to its former one-family glory. We are going to put a large kitchen and dining room on the garden level, a library and living room on the parlor floor, a master suite and family room on the third floor and finally the kids lair on top. We are hoping to keep all of the original details that we can (there are still some although not a huge number) and return the house to a lot of its original proportions.
Check out a bunch of photos of the house in its “before” state after the jump…