3 years and counting..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This week marks the third anniversary of our house closing. To be honest, it feels so much longer than just three years. Thinking back to the state of the house in Jan 2007 - no heat or running water, frayed wires, a leaky roof, broken windows, cracked plaster, water damage, the works! - it seems like a lifetime ago. For those that haven't been here at the beginning, I think a look back is in order.

Dining Room Before2nd Floor Kitchen/Office BeforeGuest Bedroom Before
---------dining room ------------------my office---------------- guestroom---------------
Parlor Bathroom BeforeMaster Bath/Closets BeforeUpstairs_BathroomClawfoot
-------parlor bathroom---------------master bath------------guest bathroom---------
Parlor_HallenterParlor_PocketDoorthruMirrorParlor_BackRoomRight
-------------hallway------------------ living room------------------- kitchen----------------

Oh how far we've come...
DiningRoom4OfficeInProgressNov30GuestRoom4
---------dining room ------------------my office---------------- guestroom---------------
Parlor BathroomFinishedBath2nd floor Hall Bath
-------parlor bathroom---------------master bath------------guest bathroom---------DSC_0050.JPGDSC_0390KitchenatAngle
-------------hallway------------------ living room------------------- kitchen----------------

As much as renovating was rewarding, I must admit Im so happy to not have to deal with the contractors, the decisions, the bills, the dirt and the hassle everyday. Its nice to be able to focus on the smaller, less urgent projects on my own timetable.

Hope you enjoyed the little flashback. If you have any questions about the renovation that I haven't already answered, just ask.

If you are curious, you might want to check out some past Q&A posts: here , here , here , and here.

71 comments:

  1. What an amazing job you've done! I love so much about your rooms but especially the wood floors!

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  2. your house transformation is amazing, inspiring and intimidating all at the same time!!

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  3. GORGEOUS!!! This is my Husband's and I dream scenario for a house.

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  4. Congrats...such a beautiful transformation!

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  5. Seriously incredible! How did you do it? I mean, did you work on it before you moved in? Did you take out loans with the money you saved on buying a fixer upper? Did you live in one room while it was being done? Did you do one room at a time? (sorry for the multitude of questions I'm just really curious) Thanks!

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  6. Well done! Being one year into a home renovation I can empathize with the process. I look forward to focusing on the smaller projects...

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  7. jo - We saved money and sold our old house to pay for the purchase and renovation. (Waiting while our last house closed is what took most of the year - the renovation took about 4 months). We lived in our in laws house while the work was being done. We did it all at once over the 4 month period.

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  8. I still remember the day I found your blog. I was feeling real sorry for myself because the subfloor in my bathroom was rotted and had to be replaced. It felt like the end of the world - until I stumbled upon your blog and realized it could be much much worse. Ha! I think I've asked before but at what point did you move in? Was there a "WE FINALLY MOVED IN!" post?

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  9. My main question is how you decided to finance this all. How did you set your budget and did you stick to it? Did you sacrifice anything in the renovation? Do you intend to live here forever, or was resale a consideration at all?

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  10. I'm in awe of what you've been able to accomplish with the renovation. Your house is beautiful! Great vision.

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  11. This was a wonderful look back. You have done an amazing job. Be very proud.

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  12. You are so very talented! I love everything you have done with your house and have bookmarked some images for inspiration. Have fun enjoying your house!

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  13. What strikes me most are the beautiful floors. They are just stunning.
    ZoeB

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  14. J+K: We never did a big move in post b/c I didn't want to advertise the fact that we weren't living here all along. I live in a fairly safe area but I don't need to broadcast to the world when Im not home, you know?

    Katie: We set our budget based on our own knowledge and after consulting with various contractors. I think we were very realistic so we were able to stick to it. It helped that we were here every day making sure things were going well. We knew we were the only people that had our best interests first so we made sure to be there. I often think people underestimate what things will cost and then they are in trouble. We definitely had to sacrifice certain things in the reno but for the most part we got what we wanted. We never thought about resale - I plan on dying here (or coming close. You never know what is going to happen but that is the plan for now.

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  15. It is beautiful and must feel good to sit bak with a glass of wine and reap the rewards!

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  16. Just curious. Your house, even in the before photos looks quite grand. Do you know its history i.e who were the people who lived there when it was first built?. I'm not sure if its the same in the States but when we bought our house we could trace all the past owners and their occupations from the land deeds

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  17. ZoeB: Our house isn't that grand. It was built between 1901 and 1910 (the NYC hall of records burned down so exact dates aren't known) for upper middle class families. There are a lot of other homes in Brooklyn that are much more ornate and beautiful and huge and amazing that were built for the rich. My home was just a more low brow version for the middle class. I don't know anything about who lived here - I would love to know that but I don't think that is information is easily available.

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  18. Lovely! What a great sense of accomplishment!

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  19. Amazing! I really love the floors throughout your home, they're gorgeous.

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  20. just absolutely lovely!!

    oh...btw...i think i saw you at the williamsburg savings bank (brooklyn flea) last weekend. i was taking pictures and you were also taking pics...were you holding a camera in your hands down near your waist and kind of pointing it upwards toward the ceiling?

    blessings,
    danielle
    www.thevintagedragonfly.typepad.com

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  21. Congrats!!! you should have it professionally photographed... if you do contact Mike Butler in Miami... he is the best!!!

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  22. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Happy Anniversary Stephanie...I remember the day I found you !!! You had painted a bathroom brown and didn't like it LOL

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us !!!

    All the best to you and Mr L....

    Kathy :)

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  23. Janice12:52 PM

    I am insanely in love with your house, and thank you for sharing it with us throughout this whole process. Every time I see the floors I am blown away. Thank goodness they weren't ripped out at some point. Although it's not the trend, I also have high gloss finish on my floors and, in my opinion, it's really the only way to go.

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  24. pheeew. That was a knock me over with a feather kinda flashback!

    Stunning...all in 3 years!

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing your house with us; the transformation is astounding, and inspiring as I work on my own fixer upper. If mine ends up even half as nice as yours I'll consider it a huge success!

    What about your house made you decide that it was the one? I remember being so discouraged when house hunting; how did you see past all the work that would need to be done?

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  26. Are there any rooms that you haven't shown us yet? BTW - love your patience. I can't imagine the process it must be to tackle such a project!

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  27. Wow, congratulations!! Thanks for bringing us along;)

    Best,
    Jaime

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  28. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Oh,how I Love your Home! It is GORGEOUS!!! I love before/after's. I've been reading a long time, and I love your blog!

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  29. How seriously incredible!! You totally rocked that house! Such an inspiration! :)

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  30. Wow I never realized what the renovating in your title entailed! You made some very great decisions- your home is gorgeous!

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  31. 1 year and counting (I think?)....since I found your blog and was inspired to create my own 8 months later! Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration!

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  32. I just sent this post to everyone I know! I am so blown away by the before and afters here- you have done some seriously amazing work!!

    It is my dream to buy a place in Boston that looks like your before house and then take it to something like what you have now. I know it is hard work but it is oh so rewarding in the end. If it ever happens for me you better believe I'm going to be emailing you daily for advice, hope you dont mind haha :)

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  33. I love your color choices, especially the guest bathroom. Did you do any posts about color choice?

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  34. You know I live my life vicariously through you, East Coast versus West, Brooklyn limestone versus 1960s ranch, traveling the world versus spending the weekends in summer managing rustic rental cabins. Thanks for giving us glimpses into your life.

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  35. OMG....such a beautiful place! I love everything about it! Yes, please share the name of the color in the guest bathroom. I would love to do our master bath in that color.

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  36. Such a stunning job, the house must love you!
    Janell

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  37. Danielle: How funny that you saw me. Im sure I was quite easy to identify taking photos everywhere. haha

    Mary: I had no problem deciding I liked this house. It was very 'easy' for me to see how much potential it was. Now actually deciding to make such a commitment took me a while to comes to term with but I had no problem knowing what I liked if that makes sense.

    Brand New and Beautiful: I think you've seen most of it. I haven't really shown the basement because that is my husband man's cave and he has done nothing with it. And I dont show the garden floor rental b/c that isn't my space to make public.

    Keely: There are probably 100 posts about color on the blog but these were the ones were I went over the colors I picked for the walls:
    http://www.brooklynlimestone.com/search?q=the+power+of+paint

    Reagan: The paint in the guest bathroom is called Beach Glass. I don't really love it the paint I had left over.

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  38. And what a lovely job you have done!

    Every room in your house is beautiful - and all are completed consistently to a high standard.

    I wish you so many happy memories in the house.

    -
    Agatha x

    thehouseonbloghill.blogspot.com

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  39. Mrs. L-

    The amount of work and progress that's been made in three years is astounding. I hope that you and the mister are very proud of yourselves.
    I can't wait to see all of your future projects!

    Cheers!

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  40. Happy Anniversary and congratulations. I give you so much credit on having the vision to see just how beautiful a home it would be. I adore everything you've done here.

    Now sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy.

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  41. Quite honestly, this is one of the most beautiful restorations I have ever seen. Your vision for the entire project was unbelievable. Congratulations!

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  42. It's amazing how far you have come. Your renovation is inspirational and gorgeous!

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  43. Wow! A very beautiful and thoughtful renovation. We are past year four at our house, so this is very inspiring.

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  44. Amazing! We are wanting to buy a older home within the next 5 years so I am going to look back over your posts to see exactly what you went through.

    Michelle

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  45. What an amazing transformation you've carried out - just brilliant.

    Congratulations on the journey so far, and all good things for the next lovely 3!!

    jules

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  46. Thanks for the look back, I am amazed at the transformation.

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  47. So amazing to be able to see the potential and bring it out in this gorgeous home. It has been fun following along your blog and watching the change. You guys have done an amazing job. Every time I get frustrated by my work in project home I should remind myself it could be worse! I love old homes though - so much charm.

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  48. aaaaammmmaazzzing! Great job! Your hard work paid off.

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  49. Mrs. L...you did such a beautiful job. It looks to me like in your before pictures that the wood floors were there, just needed a good cleaning. They are beautiful. You should be very proud of yourselves.
    Blessings...

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  50. Wow. It's come so far!

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  51. What you did is brave, and wonderful, and a total inspiration for blogland and beyond. You guys should be really proud of yourselves, it's just amazing!

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  52. That is incredible. You have a beautiful home, and I know you must enjoy it so much!

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  53. Such a wonderful project! I, myself love to re-do, I have never done anything as a whole house but would love too. My house is still a baby (only 58 years old) but when I saw it and the potential it had I had to talk my husband into buying it. The dust of re doing wood floors ( the plastic did not do a good job of keeping it from going every where) darn near killed my husband, ripping up carpeting that I hated and running my hands over every square inch of flooring to make sure that the staples and tack strips were gone, painting every inch of this house, etc, I have a little idea of what you went through. Did I love doing it? YES! Your before and afters are amazing, talk about re-purposing! lol Great job, love your blog.

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  54. Congratulations! What a transformation. You should be very proud of what you have created.

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  55. You have done a truly amazing job on your house! It is beautiful!

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  56. Renae - Most of the floors were there but they needed a lot more work than just a cleaning. There was a lot of warping and water damage and missing pieces. Also these old floors are much thinner than todays hardwoods so even after replacing and restoring, you have to be very careful about refinishing so you don't ruin them.

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  57. *gasp*


    This is just gorgeous. You must LOVE waking up in the morning!

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  58. I remmeber finding your blog a few years ago and thinking WOW, what a lovely house and I was in love with your kitchen. You have done such a wonderful job with your house, gorgeous! Thanks for your inspirational posts that gave me a push to start on our kitchen reno!
    Kristin

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  59. Happy housiversary Mrs.L! Your house obviously went to the right owner. Good on you for seeing the beauty beneath and the vision to bring it to life.

    And I am so jealous that you are in the stage of decorating/celebrating/enjoying your home. I'm enjoying your entertaining and craft posts just as much as your craft ones. Wishing you many more happy years in your home!

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  60. W-O-W is what we think!
    I know the 3 years probably seemed an eternity, but I'm amazed that it took ONLY 3 years.
    Absolutely beautiful.

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  61. I love your house, but more than anything I love your paint colors. I live in the South and we don't have brownstones. I have a French Country inspired suburban track home. Your paint choices are something I could incorporate. Good job!

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  62. Wow! Amazing transformation - you guys have done a ton of work and should be very proud of it!

    www.Thelittlebrownhouse.us

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  63. Such an AMAZING transformation. You are sooo lucky to be able to renovate & live in a brownstone. That has been a dream of mine..even though I dont think i want to deal with anymore home renovation...done that, it can be exhausting. But your results are rewarding... all the best!
    Jen Ramos
    'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'
    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

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  64. Unbelievable! What a fantastic job you have done. I love every room and that doesn't happen often to me. Brava!!!
    Paula Grace ~

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  65. why in the world did you change anything? it looked so fabulous before?!

    *wink wink*

    you did an amazing job. really.

    kelly

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  66. love the transformation ... we too are going on 3 plus years renovating our entire little house except we are living in it! ... it is encouraging to see that there is a light at the end of the demolition tunnel ... your renovations and decorating is fabulous and has given me lots of ideas for when i actually get to the point of being able to really decorate

    cheers ~n

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  67. Ohhh my! I am sooo HAPPY I found your blog! I am your most LOYAL follower a week running! I live in Texas but was born to live in NYC and live in a brownstone. Ha....I visit as often as possible! Thanks for sharing your renovations...which might I add....is AMAZING! Love your color pallette and decor!

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  68. Your home is probably the most beautiful homes I've ever laid my eyes on!! You are one talented guy!!!

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  69. Fantastic. The kitchen and guest room make my heart go pitter patter.

    Bathrooms - amazingly simple, elegant, wonderful. I too used the marble basket weave on the floor and it really is a showstopper. It's a relatively small splurge that gives the rooms a high end look.

    WELL DONE!!

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  70. I've been lurking for a long time, but wanted to say WOW.
    A great retrospective here.

    Bra-VO.

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