While we still have some projects to go and the backyard needs some serious work after two pigs ate the whole damn thing, I thought it was time to share how the entire house looks these days. To take it one step further (or backwards) I have gathered a “best of” collection of the stills the wife and I took along the way. It’s not every single pic, but damn close. Over 400 to be precise.
To not be a complete slacker about this I will note a few things for those of you who may care or would ask. A lot of the furniture we had, most of the modern pieces (like the walnut tractor bar-stools, Eames Chair, Womb Chair, Hang-It-All’s) are new which we got through the DWR warehouse in Secaucus minus one that I got on eBay which saved us a bundle. The two Swan Chair look-a-likes in the kitchen and dining room chairs are from Baxter & Liebchen in Dumbo.
As always, feel free to hit me up with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a fortnight or three since we moved in and it is safe to say that we are pretty settled now. At the end (does it really ever end?) of a process such as ours the immediate instinct was to rush into a bunch of small decisions like rugs, furniture, etc just to get it out of the way, start living in the house and not belabor setting it up. We found that to be a mistake as most of the quick (cheap) decisions we made didn’t last long. While we were not in need of myriad stuff there were a few items required to round out the new space and we didn’t allow ourselves anytime to take advantage of the borough which can obviously effect what you inevitably furnish with. After being subjected to Westchester during the renovation I think both the wife and I forgot about how much really is at your fingertips when you live in an amazing place like Brooklyn, both what you know exists and what surprises you encounter. Dino-Punch is the perfect example.
A month or so ago we finally made the trip over to Bushwick to give Roberta’s a try with another couple. After a pretty dope meal we all headed to the Pine Box just around the corner on Grattan for a drink and fell in love. As I am sure most would agree art is purely subjective and for the most part there is an immediate response to what you are beholding, regardless of the medium. As we sat down on a bench in the back we looked up and saw Dino-Punch. He was huge, menacing, a little violent but fun, playful, witty and charming at least in my humble opinion. I was taken back as my wife was even more smitten than I was initially and trust me when I say that Dino is quite a diversion from our usual tastes but the attraction was immediate, intoxicating and we were not intoxicated either. After sitting there admiring the craziness Mrs. TWC popped up, told me she wanted it and scurried off to get some info. It just happens that a good bloke by the name of Chris D’Acunto happened to be sitting there when the Mrs. asked the barkeep what the scoop with art was. The bartender pointed at Chris, the artist, who came over to give us the background on the piece and the rest of his work which was covering the walls at the Pine Box. After a brief but very pleasant conversation it was easy to tell that this guy had his shit together. I mean that in the most sincere way possible; he wasn’t full of himself whatsoever, had no pretentiousness, was genuine, didn’t seem to take himself or his art in that annoyingly-serious manner, seemed a bit nervous about hanging his work and was admirably humble as though this just happens to be what he loves to do, nothing more than that.
I gave him my business card on the way out, told him to email me so we can continue the conversation about Dino-Punch. He got back to me later that weekend, gave me a price and sent me a link to his website. It was painless reaching an agreement on a fair price for the piece and we planned to pick it up the following Monday. After showing up in Zip Car SUV we learned the hard way that a piece of this size needed a pick-up. Luckily it was nice out so we strapped the sucker to the roof with Chris’ assistance and took him home. After a comedy of errors we ended up hanging Dino here…
This is in the kitchen, double-height space along the narrow mezzanine walkway. Almost everyone that has met Dino has insisted that he live here, directly above the kitchen…
I have a feeling that we will end up making the switch as we continue to settle in but in the meantime we are just pleased to have him in our home.
Though we had moved-in and got the backyard looking spiffy the front facade still needed that stuff they call brownstone. It took a few weeks between rain delays and the fact that it can be a laborious process but in the end we are quite pleased with the way it turned out. There has obviously been much transformation since we bought the old gal but the brownstone made for one of the biggest aesthetic improvements overall, its hard to imagine the place with just the old scratch coat so lets take a trip down memory lane and see how far we have come, simply from the sidewalks point of view.
The backyard was a project all unto itself and one of the few places we were able to do a lot of work ourselves.
My sledgehammer, Mr. Smashy, didn’t get me very far
After waking up to a pallet of gorgeous sod outside our front door one morning that a good friend of the family (who just happens to be a Head Greenskeeper) helped us acquire and trekking it through the house roll by roll the backyard is complete, at least for now
I will admit upfront that my wife did 90% of the work here. I certainly carried my fair share of heavy objects but in regards to packing, organizing and coordinating all credit goes to my better half, aka my best friend.
The move began almost immediately after getting off a 6 hour flight from visiting the in-laws and other fam in Oregon. We started bringing boxes over to Huntington from my parents basement in Westchester, where we had spent the past 18 months, at 7pm on that Sunday night. On Monday my wife met Dumbo Movers at our lovely storage facility on Gold Street to manage what was the lion’s share of the move. We continued to stay with my folks Monday thru Thursday then on Friday spent our first night in the house after burgers and fries at Dubuque and a Strokes show at MSG. It was a near perfect evening to be welcomed back to NYC.
Saturday morning we rented a U-Haul, drove back to Westchester and retrieved the remainder of our possessions and our four legged house-mates with help from my folks and a couple friends.
On Monday I was sick as a dog and had a feeling it was more than your average cold. Turned out to be bronchitis, strep and a sinus infection. Lovely. On top of that the countertops were being installed that week which took what was a super clean house post-move and put a layer of dust on absolutely everything. On top of that our animal friends were super uncomfortable in the new space, if I was not right by their side they were wandering the garden floor whining and squealing. On top of that the backyard was still a mess so anytime we let them out back they came in a dirty/muddy mess.
I’d love to say that week one in the house was amazing but it was a bit of a disaster. That being said at the time of this missive we are in much better shape all around. Our outstanding GC felt bad about the dust and paid for a cleaning crew to take care of everything top to bottom, our pets are settled and more comfortable now and I am well on the mends. I am sure I was supposed to stay home that week to help our girls adjust and make plans for the backyard, had I not been that sick I would have surely been in the office. Everything happens for a reason.
It’s the final walk thru if you will, the meeting where all the details are scrutinized and needed alterations are noted. It is also when the house fully reveals itself. All floors are exposed, most of the house is super clean and just about move-in ready. It was almost hard to believe that the house once looked like this and now is the home you see below.
Brendan, the brains behind the design, sitting on the ledge above the kitchen
As seen from Brendan’s perspective above; Charlie the Foreman and Eran the GC
Janelle, project manager who does her best to keep Brendan in line
The kitchen from the parlor floor mezzanine, countertops still to be installed
Front parlor as seen from the office across the bridge
Office as seen from the front parlor across the bridge
We went back to the house after dinner, we had not seen the inside of the house at night since the lights had been installed
Also known as blinds, shades, curtains or simply stuff you put in your windows so others can’t see your junk. Old fashioned television commercials sucked me in so the Mrs and I headed eastbound on the LIE to the mecca of window treatments, Blinds To Go. The choices were plentiful, the help was helpful and the price was right. Not every window in the house got treated but those that did received Synergy energy efficient white shades. We were thinking of going with a more bold color but then our architect laughed so we went with white.
A major upgrade from the pictures of me holding the fixtures up so my wife could get a sense of the finished product.
The kitchen is the last major piece of the house to take shape. Once the millwork arrived the gang was pretty quick to get the appliances in. Still a decent amount of work to be done but so far so delicious.
the back of the island is walnut to match the bookcases
can’t go wrong with a wolf
While the storage side, broom closet and all, is in fine order there was some work to be done on the washer/dryer side. The soffit ended up being bigger than originally anticipated so some last minute creativity was needed. After an attempt at simply creating one big shelf up top a slight revision has made all the difference in the world. I never thought I would put so much thought into, let alone write a missive about millwork around an washer and dryer.
with the border much higher than the stacked units we needed a fix
a shortened divider and top shelf felt forced and awkward
much better, not to mention that the gc switched which side the dryer door opened from improving the overall functionality 100%