02/05/13 11:00am

Kitchen and dining room view

Well, well, we have finally come to the end of my renovation journey. Was is easy? No. Did we have conflicts? Yes! But in the end it was certainly worth taking the journey! I would like to thank the all of the architects at the Leonard Colchamiro Architects & Planners firm who worked with me in creating my design. They brought great insight and were attentive to every need. Quncie, you are awesome! I would also like to thank DAF Contracting for helping to bring my design ideas to life. Jill, who is the office manager at DAF, was great with answering pressing concerns and pushing the project along. Jill, you are invaluable.

So let’s recap: Hubby and I wanted more space for two children and an elderly dog. We decided to stay in our lovely neighborhood and add a 500 square foot addition, which includes a bedroom, bathroom and two terraces. We totally gutted the existing floor, expanded the bathroom (and my closet!) and changed all finishes and fixtures. And finally, here is the finish product! See plenty more photos after the jump. (more…)

01/28/13 11:30am

The cabinet to the left will be a large pantry, and the cabinet to the right will house the washer and dryer. The fridge, stove and cabinets will go along the wall and an island will be in the center.

We are pushing right along with our 5th Ave reno. Adding an addition and renovating the entire existing floor has proven to be just as stressful and just as over-budget as all renovators say, but we continue to push forward knowing that the end result will be wonderful.

Now that the demo is done and sheetrock and plastering are complete, we must put my home back together again! This is by far my favorite part of the reno. This is where I am able to have a clear idea of how it will all look.  So where shall we start? Let’s start at the heart of the home, the kitchen! (more…)

01/07/13 11:30am

We are very close to finishing. Moving fast and furious, our contractors at DAF Contracting are getting us through the sheetrocking process upstairs, where we will have a living room, bedroom and bathroom. Also planned are double twin sliding glass doors on either side of the addition. Rooftop pavers will cover the old roof, making way for two delightful rooftop terraces facing north and south. (more…)

12/03/12 11:00am

Our renovation continues to move along quickly and well. The addition is going up, steel is being laid, and framing continues. We are adding a fourth bedroom, a second bathroom and living space in the 500-square-foot addition.  And while the addition is being built, the existing floor, after a massive demo, is getting a fresh new feel. The layout is pretty much the same except for a few changes: The bathroom is bigger since we combined the existing bathroom with one large closet and one smaller closet. The semi-partition that divided the kitchen and dining area will be replaced with a kitchen island, which will open up the space and make it feel larger. (more…)

11/26/12 11:00am

Kitchen pantry is framed and covered in sheetrock.

My family and I are renovating our apartment and adding an addition to the roof. We need more space and prefer construction over buying another property. Our awesome architect Quncie at Leonard Colchamiro Architects has guided us through the design and development as well as the construction plans. DAF Contracting is our highly recommended contractor who has finished demoing our apartment within a week. Now they have started building walls and framing. They manage the construction team quickly and efficiently. Jill, DAF’s office manager, answers or delivers any questions I may have. Jill is awesome! (more…)

11/05/12 11:30am

We have finally finalized all design plans; our architect Quncie Williams, from Leonard Colchamiro Architects, has drawn constructions documents and we are ready to bid our job and choose our contractors. When choosing a contractor, professionals say go with the middle bid; the bid that’s not too high and not too low. But I also believe you must also go with your gut. Choose a contractor who makes you feel the most comfortable and with whom you feel you can partner on this construction journey, because it is a journey of money, time and patience. (more…)

10/29/12 11:30am

My family and I are in the design phase of renovating our 1,300-square-foot apartment as well as adding 500 square feet of living space on top of our existing apartment. (We could not join the apartment below with our apartment since the tenant is rent controlled.)

Before being bitten by the renovation bug, we thought about buying another property. We scoured many spaces in Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and Bed Stuy, but after consulting a financial advisor we opted out and opted into renovating and adding valuable square footage to our Park Slope property. (more…)

10/22/12 11:30am

Hubby and I are now in the last stages of the design development phase with our architects Len and Quncie. As many of you know this phase is all about the dreams, the wish list, and the delusions of grandeur: bigger, brighter, better!

But after the delusions wear off, you begin to realize that perhaps, just maybe, you dreamed a bit too big! The existing space is 1,300 square feet. We need more space so we decided to build up, way up.  The 22-foot glass wall is beautiful, but I am starting to believe that the glass may overwhelm the existing space. “Maybe if we removed the glass railing you won’t feel as if there is glass everywhere,” Hubby suggests. (more…)

10/15/12 11:30am



When Hubby and I decided that we would become renovators, I was completely consumed with my self-appointed role as design director and architect of our project. Although I hold neither title, I have mentally designed countless homes and restaurants. I’m always entering a space and mentally removing walls, opening up kitchens and updating all fixtures and finishes. And now here I am with the fantastic opportunity to design a functional and fabulous home for my family. I was simply ecstatic as I purchased my architectural pencils and sketch pads. And with guidance from my television teachers, Mike Holmes, Genevieve Gorder, Sarah Richardson and the Novogratz, I set out to draw an apartment that would allow for lots of light, a larger family room and outdoor space for barbeques and summertime fun. (more…)

09/17/12 11:30am

Welcome to my 5th Avenue renovation in Park Slope. I am absolutely delighted to post my story on Brownstoner, not only because I am an avid “brownstoner” but because I thought that perhaps someone who is starting a renovation project may learn from my good and bad experiences. So where do we begin? I say let’s start from the beginning!

My hubby and I bought a three-story townhouse in Park Slope about ten years ago. We live on the top-floor apartment and rent out the other two apartments. After ten years, two kids and a 14-year-old Rottweiler, we both agreed that we may be outgrowing our three-bedroom, one-bath apartment. We wanted to live in a bigger space so that we all could stretch out a bit more and use the bathroom without lining up to do so. Seriously. The question then became: Move to a bigger space or build on top of our existing property? (more…)