December 9, 2003

Greenpoint Apartment - Redux

POST #    626

The stairs to the bedroom, which will be known as the "den of love" (okay, maybe not).

The stairs from the basement to the main floor. Me climbing the stairs, dad making cameo in blue jacket.

This summer, I thought I found an apartment in Greenpoint to live in, but that deal fell through for reasons which I won't go into. Yesterday, I went to go see another apartment in the same building. Unlike the last apartment, this one is a one bedroom. The bedroom is about 9' x 14', living room about 12' x 14', and the basement is about 300 square feet. It's a pretty substantial apartment, about 900 square feet, and you can't beat the price, which I won't mention here either. The apartment needs some work, but the parents have seen it and they like it. I love the tri-level aspect of the apartment and think that it would be a great place to live. Now to make an offer, design, and renovate.

Anybody have renovation tips or advice?

Posted by tien mao in NYC at 2:37 PM



wow. great square footage. stairs are always good...breaks the place up.

Posted by: corie at December 9, 2003 2:59 PM

maybe you'll finally get some exercise with all those stairs! heh

where is the kitchen/bathroom located? off the living room?

Posted by: rachelleb at December 9, 2003 3:03 PM

what do you need/want done to the place?

Posted by: dan at December 9, 2003 3:38 PM

i forgot to say that the stairs remind me of when i lived on barrow street.

the kitchen is towards the back of the first floor and to the right. the bathroom on the first floor is btwn the stairs to the bedroom and the kitchen. there is another bathroom in the basement that i think is going to be a shower only bathroom.

right now, there is a wall in the living room that formed an extra bedroom that is coming down. pretty much everything else needs to be redone. from the kitchen to the floors. the stairs are in good condition, so i don't really need to change those.

Posted by: tien at December 9, 2003 4:16 PM

is the basement going to be finished? or basementy?

Posted by: rachelleb at December 9, 2003 4:42 PM

ooh, sorry. the upstairs will have the dining area (ie one table), a desk - my "study area" if you will. it might have a small tv. i plan to have the basement serve as the living room.

Posted by: tien at December 9, 2003 4:52 PM

for those interested, here is the floorplan.

Posted by: tien at December 9, 2003 5:18 PM

hang on, the living room is 12 x 14, and it was divided in two? Good thing I don't live in nyc.

if the shower is in the basement, why not make that the den of love/bedroom? then the top floor can be the hangout/tv room. or don't, either way.

when you say redone, are you talking new kitchen cabinets, appliances, hardwood floors (new or refinish?), etc? good thing you have a place to stay while that all happens.

Posted by: dan at December 9, 2003 5:22 PM

well, they made the living room an extra bedroom. there are showers in both bathrooms, so it will be 2 full instead of 1.5 bathrooms. if you look at the floorplan, you see that the existing bedroom is at the top of the step-up.

yeah, redone when i said it means new everything. cabinets, appliances, floors, bathroom fixtures, etc.

Posted by: tien at December 9, 2003 5:28 PM

looks like a cool place. i like stairs in city apts.

forward your mail back and forth a bunch of times. they send you little welcome packages with 10% off Home Depot coupons. You'll probably need a few.

Posted by: dan at December 9, 2003 5:46 PM

I say there's nothing like putting your own complete personal touches on a place to make it feel like your's. Complete redo might be worth it. Since (it sounds like) you are buying, you'd make much more back if you sold in the future on a much more cleaned up/fixed up place, so it's somewhat of a no lose situation.

Posted by: Joe at December 9, 2003 10:54 PM

dude - that's sweet. are you going to install an air hockey machine in your rec room? i LOVE air hockey.

are you going to hire contractors for all this work, i assume?

are you going to pick everything out yourself, or hire a designer? going to be making a lot of trips to home depot??

there's a new applicances store (high-end) that opened recently in my building. you should come by some time to check it out.

(i never thought i'd get excited about renovating or redecorating)

Posted by: jeannette at December 9, 2003 11:14 PM

yeah, i am buying and redoing pretty much the whole place. a clean slate. note: if slate is messed up and not that cool, it isn't my fault.

hmm, air hockey...not sure i'll have the $ to get that after the renovations. yes, there will be a contractor...a nice chinese contractor. excellent. i think my mom and i are going to pick the stuff out. the contractor knows a place to get some custom cabinets and marble cheap, which is a plus. i'm not sure i'm in the market for hadco appliances, but i might take a look. i do want stainless steel though.

Posted by: tien at December 9, 2003 11:50 PM

My suggestion would be to turn the basement into a "Michigan Den". Posters, pictures, flags, helmet lamps, rugs, banners, furniture, you name it! Naturally you would need to put on the wall one of those 6' x 8' Michigan Stadium murals, the one with the old dude with the turned up collar on his shirt that always freaked Jahan out!

Posted by: Justin at December 10, 2003 9:47 AM

justin, how did i know you would come up with an idea like that. i might get a poster though. we'll see.

if you look at the 2nd picture underneath the stairs, you can see that the previous occupant was somewhat crazy. he stuck all these newspapers on the wall. stuff about 9/11. crazy.

Posted by: tien at December 10, 2003 11:58 AM

newspaper collage might be interesting, actually. i guess not plastered all over the wall, but shown in a deliberate, contained way. that would require some artistic direction.

eleanor pointed me to this gal's website a while ago:
(check out the HOUSE links - nice redecorating job!)

so are you gonna make an offer for sure? what do you think your chances are of getting it? i don't want to get excited and then find out you're not moving in. ;)

please do keep in mind the air hockey table? :D

GE has some nice stainless steel appliances i've been seeing in new apts lately. you should check their stuff out.

Posted by: jeannette at December 10, 2003 2:00 PM

try and buy your appliances in jersey and have them delivered. no tax, at least for me. i like the frigidaire stainless steel stuff, but its all the same.

Posted by: dan at December 10, 2003 2:57 PM

jeannette - the newspaper collage in the apartment was interesting, but it was kind of ugly. i took a look at that site and i really like some of the paint colors and kind of wanted to do red, but my mom seems pretty determined to go with white or off white. why i listen to her? well, a lot of the money for the first place was from my parents.

yes, made an offer. we've agreed on a price. we just need to get the paperwork squared away.

dan - that's a good tip, where did you buy yours? i was thinking maybe even kenmore stuff. i mean, is there really a difference between the stuff in the middle? frigidare, kenmore, ge? i don't think i have the money for a subzero or hadco stuff.

Posted by: tien at December 10, 2003 4:19 PM

i bought mine from abc appliance in cherry hill. they don't have any stores in north jersey and they charge $250 to deliver to nyc (philly is $35). I'm sure there are some in north jersey that you could go to, as long as they aren't chains with locations in NY.

I hope you don't have subzero money. The midrange stuff is all the same, actually most of it is made by one company and packaged for each brand. Buy whatever you like the looks/features of.

Posted by: dan at December 10, 2003 5:12 PM

wow - i just looked at that site again, and that home decor work is pretty crazy, huh? i do love deep red walls. it looked great with those french pictures, didn't it? (you can always repaint some stuff at a later point if your mom freaks about weird colors - shh)

where are you going to get the appliances? another chinese contact with incredible prices, or the old home depot/sears type place?

i'm getting excited! if you need help with any painting or brainstorms or whatnot, let me know! :)

Posted by: jeannette at December 10, 2003 10:34 PM

i'll probably just get my appliances at an "american" place. i don't think i know any chinese appliance people. you never know though. maybe they read my site? probably not.

right now i'm looking at using marble for the kitchen counter, bathroom counters, and bathroom walls. it's pretty cheap, i believe. we also might go with bamboo flooring. which actually looks kind of nice.

thanks for the offer jeannette, i might have to put you to work.

Posted by: tien at December 11, 2003 7:26 AM

jeannette is a good wall painter. i , on the otherhand... not so great. of course, if you need help, i will be there to pass you your beer.

Posted by: rachelleb at December 11, 2003 7:58 AM

you think i'm a good painter, rachelle? aw. sanks! if i remember, you were pretty handy with the paint rollerbrush yourself! i enjoy helping (moving, painting, whatevs). however, my usefulness drops in proportion to the number of beers i consume, so i might have to save the booze until AFTER the paintjob.

is marble a good idea for countertops? (i have no idea) wear and tear, hot plates/pans being placed on it, etc. the stainless steel countertops we have are great. they do get a bit scratched, but otherwise, they are easy to clean (windex gets off grease). the slate countertop (i think that's what we have?) on the island is not great, however. it stains really easily (water, oil, etc.), although it holds up well under lots of abuse (holding mail, keys, etc.).

Posted by: jeannette at December 11, 2003 7:49 PM

jeannette - i remember feeling high from paint fumes.. which isnt good when you're up on a ladder.. so then i was like.. um.. how about if i do this part down here by the floor! it was either the paint fumes or that george michael cd that jess was playing that got to me.

Posted by: rachelleb at December 11, 2003 9:07 PM

jeannette - paintjob...ha! you're so dirty. okay, maybe that's me. marble? i think so. nay, i hope so. you have stainless steel countertops? can you describe your cabinets to me right quick? i think i want something similar maybe...

rachelle - george does that to me all the time too. no, not really.

i remember i was painting my old place on 36th st. with primer and doing the ceiling and the primer from the roller was going right into my mouth as it splattered off. not the most ideal situation. and it was really hot.

Posted by: tien at December 11, 2003 9:20 PM

tien, there's a photo of jeaneatte's kitchen on my site from the pre thanksgiving party (too lazy/sick to link right now)

Posted by: rachelleb at December 11, 2003 10:27 PM

rachelle, i took a look at the kitchen, but i need to see more details so i can show pictures of what i'm looking for. bah, i'm going to look at stuff this weekend, so it should be okay. thanks though.

Posted by: tien at December 12, 2003 12:35 AM

oo - sorry, i didn't see your request re: cabinet info. actually, we have a combo of cabinets and shelves. cabinets flank both sides of the shelves, and are also under the sink/island bit.

the cabinets aren't anything great - they're painted gray with simple silver pulls. the pantry cabinet on the left has a frosted plastic middle so you can see into it a little.

i would recommend against shelves, however. they collect a lot of dust and show off all your junk. better to get cabinets, into which you can shove your junk and close da doors.

if you buy very little food (as a packrat, i buy tons of foodstuffs that i keep around for forever and aren't so pretty to display), you can do the shelves/cabinets combo to show off funky food-related decorations (beautiful dishes, bottles, tins, whatever) on the shelves.

Posted by: jeannette at December 29, 2003 12:33 PM

not a problem. ha, like i have fancy stuff. i think i'm not going with shelves though.

Posted by: tien at December 30, 2003 1:42 AM

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