Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Heart Rittenhouse Square Pt 2

More reasons I love Rittenhouse Square:
Rouge at 10pm on a Thursday night
 Belgian Blocks
 Hipsters playing 4-square 
The Dorchester breezeway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Window Seats

I decided to paint these window sills black in both the bedroom and living room. It's the same black as all the doors. 

Here's a before.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I highly recommend Using their 3D online software, I designed the layout of the entry and bedroom wall closets to maximize their limited space. It was a lot of fun. Then, a design consultant reviewed my plans with me over the phone. (I thought that step was going to be all about the up-sell, but it wasn't.) Everything arrived in flat boxes. Andy installed them in a day and was impressed with the quality. All in, they cost about $1,500. But Realtor Mark said custom closet systems are compulsory for their impact when showing, ROI when selling.

Tip: Drawers are more than double the cost of shelves. Use bins instead - or just keep closet doors shut, I mean, you weren't raised in a barn.

 Entry closet
Bedroom closet

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square - where rainbows and moonbeams softly collide in a poof of stardust to make all your dreams come true.
In truth, it is one of my favorite places on earth. When I moved to Philadelphia for school, I could never have imagined living here one day.

The Building

This is the building - The Dorchester - on the southwest corner of Rittenhouse Square.

The condo is in the part of the building that looks like its between these two towers. (Currently, I'm living in the building on the right. It's a sh*@ hole.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trapper Keeper

I have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro, so why do I favor hard copies of contacts, receipts, photos, ideas and invoices? The project would come to a grinding halt if I lost this Trapper Keeper. I carry it everywhere. Next time, I'm going to see if I can keep organized completely electronically using only my phone. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Video of Day One

Here's a short video I took on the day we closed on the condo.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kitchen Removal Complete

I was under the delusion that I'd be able to work with the original kitchen cabinets, but Andy - who has in common with Jesus the skill of carpentry - said they weren't worth saving. Today the kitchen became an empty room. 

I had Andy make larger in all directions the pass-through between kitchen and main living area. 

The new cabinets and appliances are being delivered on July 13 (Mom's birthday!).   

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bathroom Progress

The new toilet was installed yesterday - a Toto Aquia elongated 2 piece dual flush. The  old sink was removed, the new medicine cabinet is in place, and the walls and ceilings are painted.

I've spend maybe 5 hours picking out the old caulking with a razor blade and scraping every wall and floor tile. I hope I don't regret my decision to keep the original tile and tub.

The before.

The Floor Plan

It's a sweet, 610sf efficient floor plan. When the sliding barn doors are open between the bedroom and living room, it's quite open. Sliding glass doors leading to a disproportionately large balcony add to the openness. The bedroom has a sliver of a view onto Rittenhouse Square. There are three closets and decent size kitchen.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The (non) Color Palette

I'll admit I'm color averse. This is the non-color palette: Sherwin Williams' Tricorn Black, Serious Grey and Whitetail. And I won't be adding "a pop of color" with the furnishings either.  Other things I won't be doing: "bringing the outside in," using the term "warm and inviting" or being featured HGTV's "Color Splash."

Clamshell Baseboards No More

 Old baseboards really date a place. These were white, three-inch clamshell with wood quarter round.
New baseboards look fresh and make a HUGE difference. These are three-inch with a sharp edge (no quarter round) painted the same color and finish as the walls. 

A Pair of Squatters

 A pair of table lamps were left in the apartment by the previous owner. They're mid-century and have probably been in that apartment for over 30 years so I'm honoring their squatters rights.

I spray painted them with a white laquer and picked up new barrel shades. I plan on putting one on each side of the bed.

Before and After at 30 Days

 Before date

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Refinished Hardwood Floors

First things first. I like the retro-look of oak parquet but not the honey color. I had them refinished first before tools and deliveries started filling up the space. At this point, I didn't think the ebony stain was dark enough so color was applied to the satin finish. I used American Hardwood Flooring upon the recommendation of my realtor. They were great in every way. The cost was $1,290.

The Project

Project: Condo renovation
Where: Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
Scope: 610 square feet of untouched and original 1970 builder-grade finishes
Budget: $25,000
Start date: May 16, 2012
Deadline: August 20, 2012

Watch for updates on my progress.