October 14, 2015

Contruction Update and Parlor Floor Design Renderings

Now that demolition is complete the framing is going up!  Metal beams have been added to each of the ceiling beams since we took out a load bearing wall and the metal beams you see in the picture below are being used to frame out the rooms.

A lot of other stuff has been going on too that you can’t see like all new electrical wiring and plumbing.

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It’s still a little hard to imagine what it’s all going to look like so I am sharing some renderings our architects did.  The finishes will not look exactly like they do in the renderings but it gives you an idea of the general layout of the first floor.

This space….


Will be transformed into this space…




Cheers, Hayley

October 7, 2015

Kitchen Options

It’s Kitchen Wednesday! That’s not actually a thing but I thought I’d share some design renderings of different kitchen options our architects put together.  Punit and I have pretty much decided the finishes we like and its sort of a hybrid of the different options below.  Also we are going to have a tile backsplash instead of exposed brick.  But I am interested to hear what everyone think about the designs.  What do you prefer?  Anything you would consider?

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Cheers, Hayley

October 6, 2015

Floor Plans

I have added a page to show the floor plans.  Check it out here or below!  Once construction is complete this is what the layout for each floor will look like.  It took us months of going back and forth with our architects, Dylan and Javier, and seeing many iterations before we decided on these plans.

Parlor Floor Layout

Parlor Floor Layout

Second Floor Layout

Second Floor Layout

Garden Floor Layout

Garden Floor Layout

This is the original floor plan from when we bough the house.

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Cheers, Hayley

October 5, 2015

Construction is Underway

Sorry that it’s been a while since I provided an update on the house.  We were away on vacation for 2.5 weeks, so I have been absent from the blog.  We broke ground nearly 6 weeks ago at the very end of August and demolition is nearly complete.

Warning: the pictures below may cause anxiety, because the state of the house is causing me some anxiety!  Basically everything has been ripped out of each floor but I have to keep reminding myself that most of the original woodwork and details have gone to our contractors workshop where they will be stripped and made to look beautiful again.  Then all if it will be placed back into the house.  But, when you walk into the house and see almost nothing in the interior you can’t help but ask yourself, “Did we make the right choices?”, “Will it all come together and look as we imagine it?”  But I know it will!  And I trust our architects and contractor.

The good news is that when they took out all the walls and floors and fully inspected the bones of the house there were no majors issues.  So fingers crossed it stays that way.

Also our kitchen range has shipped from France.  It’s on a boat and gets here in December.

Below are a few photos showing the current state of the brownstone (minus the cellar)…

Note the giant dumpster outside of the house.  More than a few of those have been filled up.


Here is the parlor floor which will be our main living space.  The kitchen will go in that back left corner where you can see the exposed brick.


The second floor living space is just one big open space right now, and it is getting new floor boards and a whole new layout.



Finally, the garden level which will be a one bedroom rental unit is being opened up to rearrange the floor plan.


Cheers, Hayley

The Brownstoners House Tour

The Brownstoners of Bedford-Stuyvesant House Tour is back again this year on Saturday 10/17.  We went last year and it was awesome. Local brownstone homeowners open up their homes for the public to tour. Last year we saw about 7 homes. This year we will definitely go again!

Check out the details here.


Cheers, Hayley

August 19, 2015

The Cellar

I posted tours of each of the floors except the creepy cellar.  (Check out the parlor level, second level, and garden level.)  The cellar is below the garden floor.  It is actually finished with a drop ceiling and walls but it’s in pretty rough shape.  We plan to refinish it and put in a cement floor.  The washer and dryer will also go in the basement.  Here are some pics and you can see what I mean by creepy.  I had to edit these photos to lighten them up just so you could see something.

You enter through the hallway on the garden level…


Here is a shot of the cellar looking towards the back of the house.  There is a mold problem in the way back corner from a leak we will address.


Here is a shot looking towards the front of the house.


And yes that is an oil tank in the closet!  The house still has oil heat, which we will convert.


Cheers, Hayley

August 12, 2015

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

We have been in Bed-Stuy for almost a year now.  On moving day the very first thing we did once the moving trucks pulled away and all the boxes were inside was hunt for good coffee.  When we found a delicious, vintage coffee shop I knew everything was going to be ok.

Since last year some new places have popped up and and it feels like more places continue to open all the time.  These four places are my favorite coffee spots right now…

Georges-Andres is the coffee shop we went to on our first day in the neighborhood.  They have a vintage and french vibe and are also super kid friendly.  They have great coffee and espresso drinks as well as pastries.  They are on Halsey St. near the corner of Stuyvesant Ave.


Manny’s is kind of my go to because it is the closest to our apartment.  They have a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu as well good coffee and a large selection of pastries and sweets.  They are on Patchen Ave near the corner of Macon St.


Brunswick is a modern Australian cafe, particularly with a Melbourne vibe.  They have an awesome full food menu while brewing up Counter Culture coffee.  My favorite is a cappuccino and avocado toast, yum!  They are on Marcus Garvey Blvd near Decatur St.


Anchor is a small coffee shop which also serves a few pastries.  Their espresso drinks are served to perfection.  It is Punit’s favorite because they serve Parlor coffee.  They are on Throop Ave near the corner of Jefferson St.

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So if you are like me and “need coffee in an I.V.” (to quote the great Lorelai Gilmore), these places all take their coffee pretty seriously.

Cheers, Hayley

Anyone have another favorite place in Bed-Stuy I should check out?

August 4, 2015

“Before” Garden Level Tour

Happy Monday!  I have already posted pictures of both the parlor level and the second level, so today is the garden level.  This is the floor which is level with the street and you can enter the garden level through a door under the front stoop.  We are going to make this level a garden rental which is very common.  However the previous owners were using this as their main living space with a living room, kitchen, and the only working bathroom.  When the brownstone was built over 100 years ago this would have been the dining room and kitchen and the layout today is still basically the same.

After entering from the outside you turn left and enter into the main living space which was once the dining room.


The original fireplace and built in sidebar/bar are still there and we will restore them to their original glory!



If you turn around towards the back this area is where we will install a kitchen.  The closet to the back left will also be used as part of the kitchen space to make the room even larger.  (Dog not included in the rental, although you may bring your own dog).


Heading towards the back part of the house we enter into what is now a kitchen but will become a bedroom.


Turn to the right and there is a door that leads to the hallway which leads outside to the garden.

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Down the creepy hallway to a storage shed that was an add on probably in the 1970’s.


Keep walking out of the storage shed and you are in the garden.


Here is another shot of the garden looking at the back of the house…


A deck will be added to the parlor floor allowing the main part of the house access to the garden as well as the garden rental.  With some landscaping and a new fence this will be the perfect urban oasis!  Maybe a pool?

Cheers, Hayley

August 1, 2015

“Before” Second Level Tour

Yesterday I posted pictures of the parlor level, so today is a tour of the second level.  This is the level just above the parlor floor.  This floor will have our master bedroom and bath, a guest room, a small office, and a full guest bath.  The rooms are not in the greatest shape right now with lots of different floor materials going on and an out of service bathroom.  The layout is going to change a lot when we renovate the second floor.

This is the staircase at the main entrance of the house.  Let’s head up the stairs to the second floor…


As you go up the stairs there is a skylight.  We will replace it because it is in poor condition.  We actually have three skylights total on the second floor.  The other skylights will each fall over a bathroom when the renovation is complete.


At the top of the staircase are two doors.  They lead to two bedrooms at the back of the house.


The room on the right side is very small.  We took up some of the flooring to see if the original wood was there. Sadly no 🙁


The room to the left is bigger and has an old fireplace although the mantle and metal work have been stripped.  We will repurpose the fireplace fixtures from the parlor floor in the kitchen up here.


We will take down the wall separating these two rooms at the back of the house and this will become our master suite.   Also note another type of non-original flooring.


Here is a shot from the hallway looking towards the back two rooms.  The door on the left is currently the only bathroom upstairs.


The bathroom is outdated and doesn’t even work.  I am sharing just the one photo and sparing you all the nastiness, you get the idea.

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At the front of the house on the second floor is the original master bedroom with a sitting area.  We will make this a guest room and office.  The carpet of course will go and we will lay the same walnut flooring throughout the second floor.


Everyone freaks out when we tell them we are removing this lattice woodwork piece.  But I promise we are going to repurpose it in a cool way!  I know it’s original and everything, but at the same time this is 2015 and we have to make the layout work for a modern household.  It makes more sense to have a guest room and office/small bedroom, and the house will then technically be three bedroom instead of two.  All the other original woodwork upstairs is staying like the window trim, shutters, staircase, etc, etc!


Cheer, Hayley

Check out the parlor level and the garden level tour.

July 31, 2015

“Before” Parlor Level Tour

We start construction on Monday so I wanted to post some of the “before” photos in order to track the progress!

Today I am sharing some pictures of the Parlor Floor, the main floor of the brownstone which you enter when you come up the front steps.  This will be our main living space.  The floor currently does not have a kitchen because traditionally brownstones had the kitchen on the garden level which is the ground floor.  The parlor floor consisted of just that, a front parlor and a back parlor.  The cooking and dining was done downstairs.  We will be adding a kitchen and as a result creating a more open floor plan.

Here is the front of the house. Walk up the stairs and enter through the front door…


As you enter into the foyer the main staircase is directly in front of you.  You can look straight back through the hallway to a bay window at the back of the house.


If you turn to the left you enter into the parlor which will be our living room.  The wood carved mirror is in great condition!  We will keep that but the purple walls will have to go.


Here you are standing in the parlor looking out the front window.  You can’t see it pictured here but the original wood shutters which fold out are still on the windows.

parlos front windows

Turn around towards the back of the house and there is faux wall the previous owners installed in order to create a closet.  This will come down to open up the space

parlor to kitchen

Walk straight ahead through the faux wall and you will enter the back parlor which will become our kitchen.  The double windows will be converted to doors which will lead out to a deck.


There is a wall to the right that divides this space from the very small room with the bay window.  This wall will come down and the wood pocket doors will be repurposed upstairs.

kitchen wall removed

When the wall comes down the kitchen will feel very open and we will use the bay window to create a breakfast nook.

bay widow

We will also be adding a powder room at the back of the staircase.

Happy Friday!

Cheers, Hayley

Also check out the tour of  the second level  and the garden level.