March 2019: March Full Steam Ahead!

Although spring will be here in just a few short days, there’s still a chill in the air and mud in the park. With our focus still indoors, what better time to tackle your home improvement list? For tips and tricks and 25 years-worth of home-renovating wisdom, read on!


The Story: Renovate to Your Heart’s Delight

The Jump Off

When you moved in, you called those bright pink tiles in your half-bath “retro” and decided to let it be. Fast forward four years and you’ve decided to stay for the long haul. But there’s no way you can fathom another moment living with that Pepto Bismol nightmare. It’s time to renovate.

The Process

Softer markets force owners to stay longer in their current homes which usually results in an increase in renovations. If you’re in that boat, keep in mind there are ways to update certain aspects of your home without breaking the bank. The hardest part is finding the right people do the job (big or small). Even a thoroughly vetted GC is only as good as his/her last job so make sure to set realistic (and flexible) expectations. There is one new service trying to turn home improvement into a well-oiled machine, so you might want to check them out to see if you can skip all the headaches.

And there’s always DIY. If you go that route, make sure to pay attention to common pitfalls like paint drips and crooked wallpaper and know how to fix these mistakes if they happen. And if you’re thinking of picking up a sledgehammer (or paying someone else to do it) make sure you get the DOB to sign off before you convert your galley kitchen into an open concept.

The Wrap Up

If you’ve decided to stay put for the next few years, now’s the time to make your current home work for you. Whether you’re a DIY person or prefer professional intervention, take the time to think what it is you need and do it right.


The Conversation Cheat Sheet

If you’re considering a renovation project, here’s our best tip: consult your local building material supplier. With years of experience and specialized knowledge, these folks are the experts! Shop around and see what works for you. As a treat for our readers, we’re sharing our list of favorites (tiles, countertops, windows, plumbing and hard wood suppliers) who have served us well over the last decade of Brooklyn projects. Email us to receive our list of recommendations!


The Gabriele Moment: A Renovation Tradition

I’ve always loved home renovations. When I got my first rental as a student, I tiled our entire bathroom with the help of my dad and it’s only blossomed from there. Luckily my husband and I both grew up in the German tradition of DIY craftsmanship, so between the two of us we can paint, wallpaper, tile, sand floors, and even do small plumbing and electrical repairs! Rather than putting a strain on our relationship (as long renovation projects can easily do) it’s brought us closer together. Granted, these days I prefer to let the experts take over, but we’re definitely passing down our DIY skills to our kids — Ryan is pretty good with a screwdriver already, and Keira loves trying her hand with a paintbrush. I love that the tradition continues with our kids, and hope these skills will serve them well in life!


Share The Joy

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