It’s Saturday, everyone! I’ve been getting a few notes from you all asking about how I found and fixed up my apartment, and figured I’d use the bleak weather here in Brooklyn today as an excuse to finally sit and put together a little before and after of my space and maybe a few pointers on how I re-did a few things on a pretty strict budget.
So…. let’s start with the before. I moved to New York pretty quickly. I was offered my job in early May and started in mid June. A little over a month may seem like a decent span of time to get that sort of thing together, but leaving my old job, getting someone to sublet my old place, figuring out what to do with all my furniture (really, so much furniture… how did i accumulate so much furniture?) annnnnd finding a place to live in a city that I’d only been to once for three days on my job interview in just a few weeks was no cake walk.
I decided I’d leave pretty much everything I owned at home (thanks for letting me leave so much stuff in your basement, mom) and move here with two suitcases. Luckily I had a few friends in the city who all graciously offered me their homes until I could find one of my own. I jumped from couch to couch in Bushwick, on 110th, in Williamsburg, and Park Slope, none of which I could really afford to make my permanent landing spot, (but I wanted you so bad, Park Slope) so I decided to venture away from what my pre-conceived idea was of the “perfect” neighborhood and discovered Crown Heights.
While not “the” trendy neighborhood, it works for me and I was able to find a place that met the needs that were most important to me… safe, room for all my stuff (all that aforementioned furniture) and my apartment had no shortage of potential. I looked at so many apartments that were “newly remodeled with stainless-steel everything” but with that you also get $$$$$ and tiiiiny and I realized, you know what? who cares.
I’d looked at about 15 places, and none of them worked. They were either too expensive, too small (like, entire apartments for multiple people that were smaller than my college dorm room) or someone else was able to sign the lease and hand over the cash before I could get everything together (happened probably 12 of the 15 times.) Finally, on the 4th of july, I came out to crown heights to look at yet another “freshly remodeled” apartment, only to have the broker tell me that it had rented that morning while I was on my way over.
He must have seen the look of desperation and defeat on my face, because he told me had another place that he’d just gotten the call for, and while he hadn’t been over to see it yet, (so he couldn’t speak to what sort of shape it was in) he’d take me.
It was pretty bleak.
(Do you see that rainbow ceiling fan??? With all the caked-on dirt?)
Initially, I was like NOPE. N-O-P-E. Nope.
But, the clouds began to lift, and inevitably, other people came to look at the place while I was there, and in a mode of pure panic and fear of loosing yet ANOTHER place, I said “I’LL TAKE IT.” So, flash-forward through some pretty serious doubt, getting my roommate’s approval (who was finishing her master’s degree in spain and wouldn’t be moving in until September) and some really, really, reallllllllllly deep cleaning and paint, I moved in.