It went as follows, from essential to I-read-too-much-Domino-and-I-simply-want-this.
- 1+ bedrooms. This time around, I was getting a fucking bedroom door.
- Somewhere in our favorite parts of Brooklyn: Fort Greene, Clinton/Cobble Hills, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, Greenpoint. We were willing to look elsewhere if things got tight, but we knew our budget was reasonable for a not-shitty one bed.
- Stunningly bright for the plants.
- Washer/dryer. You might be surprised this wasn't at the top, but we've subsisted QUITE well on a service that picks up, does the laundry, and drops it off. Yes it's absurd and bougie, but it saves tens of hours every year. Some people have their cleaning ladies. I have my laundry boy.
- High-ass ceilings because the last place felt a little too cozy most of the time.
- Outdoor space for grilling.
The above exists, of course. Usually starting around $4500/month and skyrocketing from there.
So we did the usual heinous NYC apartment-hunting slog: constant StreetEasy alerts, shitty brokers, despairing about what we'd have to give up. We saw one beautiful place on the top floor of a Fort Greene brownstone. It had a deliciously odd layout, and a skylight and teeny bed-sized bedroom. But since it was early on in the search and there was no garden or washer/dryer (despite being at the top of our budget), we decided to let it go and cross our fingers something else would come up.
Husband was scouring Craigslist one night in a last-ditch attempt at something phenomenal. And he found it: a two (two??) bedroom with backyard access, w/d in the basement, in a Cobble Hill brownstone.
It was an older listing, but he emailed the broker just to see. It turns out someone else had made an offer and flaked, so the broker agreed to let us see it without making any promises. She did warn us ahead of time that we'd have to charm the owner for even a chance in hell. (Spoiler: it worked.)
SO! Here she is, in all her before glory, starting with the living room money shots. Oh yeah baby:
Oh look a handy video!
I forgot to capture the wall behind me, but it has two doors that we won't use: one to the hallway, and one to a housekeeper's room. Then turning back to the left, there's a dining room nook—OH HERRO POCKET DOORS—that connects the rest of the apartment.
Dining room, looking back (pocket door photo bomb).
With husband for scale.
Heading toward the front door (left), bathroom (sliding door ahead on the left), kitchen (straight ahead), and two bedrooms (ahead on the right)
The second bedroom is a small, pretty dark little room. It'll make a great office when we get allll the shit straightened up. Haha did I say office? I meant sewing room/homebrew cave/storage space.
Past the second bedroom.
Looking into our bedroom.
And into the awesome kitchen. It looks narrow, but we easily fit a butcher block against the right wall.
The one sad part is the bathroom. I do love a good tub (not to mention plain white tile—I will literally never understand why contractors don't just use cheap-ass, classic, stunning subway tile), but it's fine. Sigh. I'm not over it.
On the other hand...
A backyard! A literal physical, soil-filled yard! That we're fully invited to use, up to and including planting.
With the owner upstairs, the place is in near-perfect condition—a huge bonus, coming from A Situation where the deadbeat landlord literally bolted a huge sheet of metal onto the original wood floor rather than pay a professional to fix a quarter-sized hole. I have so many stories, guys.
Plus plus plus—mantle! Perfectly suited bookcases and a wardrobe from the previous tenants! POCKET DOORS. I mean.
Here was the immediate to do list:
- Paint the sunny rooms blinding white and the dark ones a cozy gray/black. And we got a good start already. For the first time in my life, I paid someone to paint because I knew moving, then spending days on a ladder hurting my neck and trying to avoid dripping on my shit, was a situation I'd throw nearly any amount of money at to avoid. We even had the bookcases painted, so now everything looks a little more cohesive and sunny as FUCK. We'll decide on the rest later.
- Cinderella the shit out of all our belongings. Our cobbled-together assortment of furniture is pretty raggedy, and I'm over a lot of the art. Plus, a not-so-humblebrag: the new place has more space, soooo ergo we need more stuff. I want to make sure the new stuff is lovely and lasting—check out my shopping list.
So here we are. It's actually HARD to leave in the mornings, because I just want to lay around and look at things. Stay tuned for an update eventually...