Gathering, Planning - Juniper Home

Gathering, Planning


We had an appointment yesterday to take measurements at the brownstone. (Quick side note – someone commented that I shouldn’t be calling the house a brownstone because it’s technically a brick face, not stone. I always thought of ‘brownstone’ as a more general term, but I’m probably wrong there. Should I be calling it a townhouse? Rowhouse?)

We were there for about two hours, poking behind and under the bachelor’s grubby furniture and measuring every last nook and cranny. I left feeling both more excited and more stressed about our decision to move to this house. You know how when you see a space for the first time, it’s like there’s a fuzzy lens on your eyes? How it’s all rainbows and stars from your excitement about the potential? I totally fell victim to the fuzzy lens trap last time. And plus, we were sort of rushed with the first walk-through, so there wasn’t an opportunity to really inspect the house.

This walk-through yesterday was different though. I had my designer’s hat on and there was no allowing for giddiness or stars/rainbows. This time I got to really look at the place and the reality has set in of just how much cosmetic work it needs. The house was last renoed in the 70s and I’ll just leave it at that so your imagination can run wild. It’s just as bad as you are thinking. THEY TORE OUT THE MOULDINGS YOU GUYS. We have a serious project on our hands.

I think I’d like to refinish the orangey wood floors and the kitchen needs to be gutted. I would love for those both to happen as soon as possible, hopefully before we move in. The bathrooms all need help. Every single room and walkway, every last piece of trim and every door (including the front door) needs to be sanded, patched and painted.

But, I guess after walking through for the second time, I’m still feeling pretty great about the whole thing. The bottom line is we are really lucky to have found an affordable townhouse (with a backyard!) in an awesome Brooklyn Heights location, that’s in totally livable condition. It’s just not pretty yet. But we are also incredibly lucky to have a landlord who is thrilled to help us renovate and doesn’t care what we do. Her quote was, “I don’t need to hear about it unless you’re planning to move walls, cause we’ll need a permit for that.” It’s a dream come true for me, actually. I love doing this kind of work and am anxious to get my hands dirty again after two years of only light-weight DIY projects. We’d love to buy an older house of our own someday, so this will be good practice for the reno we hope to take on in a couple of years.

So while the reality of the thing is sinking in for me a little today, as I sit here with pages and pages of notes from the walk through, I’m still excited. I have some big decisions to make about how I will  manage my day, or at least my working hours, after the move. I’m wrapping up all my big projects, and it’s looking like client work can take a bit of a back seat to personal projects and blogging, and I couldn’t be happier about that. It feels like good timing.

What did you think?
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59 thoughts on “Gathering, Planning

  1. How exciting! I am looking forward to seeing your changes!

    My mother was telling me yesterday about a magazine article she read, and the designer suggested using a drop cloth as curtains. I told her I thought it was a great idea and my favorite design blogger had used a drop cloth for the back of black out shades. Well I am at my parents house for Fathers day this weekend and she shows me the magazine. Little did I know we were both talking about you! This is my long winded way of saying congrats on the bhg article!

  2. I think one of the best things that we did was buy our 1940s house that looked like it hadn't been updated since the 70s. You will have so much fun putting your own spin on this place and really seeing it come to life the way you want it to come to life – it is really rewarding to say the least. Enjoy it and looking forward to more updates.

  3. Best of luck to you.
    Sounds like an exciting project,sometimes it takes a bit of time to wrap your head around a project, then once you do it falls in to place quickly.
    Looking forward to seeing pictures along the way.

  4. Hi, I did the black walls flat, in fact they were the Benjamin Moore washable scrubbable so they did not get scuffed. I am still in love with them and because they are flat they do not show imperfections. Love seeing your photos! Keep updating!

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