I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for turquoise walls, new appliances and refinished floors...but who doesn't! This lovely home is a friend of mine from high school, artist Joseph Zvejnieks and his wife Maggie. They bought the home in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 2006 and decided to tackle each project one by one. They started in the kitchen and ended with the hallway and their creativeness really shines through in each room. 

The kitchen: In 2006 when they purchased the apartment the kitchen was in the worst shape and barely functional so they chose to renovate that first. 

"Our idea was to get all the appliances we wanted but still maximize the space. We decided to get an under-the-counter fridge and freezer in order to create a lot of counter space. For us, the trade-off of getting more counter space for the inconvenience of bending down a lot as most definitely paid off. For the stove and washer/dryer we opted for slightly smaller (24″ wide) models. We found a dishwasher that was only 18″ wide. This allowed us to get everything on one wall with minimal plumbing work. The microwave was really hard to find in a small width and so we purchased that a bit later.

So we only had appliances and crappy floor for a bit. We spent around around 3k for all the appliances and just lived with them for a bit. A few months later we bought the cabinets from Ikea at a cost of around 2k. For the next six months we just had plywood counter tops. We knew we wanted stone and after some searching settled on a stone called Positano in a honed finish. That cost around 1200 for the stone slab and another 1200 to have someone fabricate the pieces and install them."


I have to say, I absolutely love the way they kept the old charm throughout each room. It holds a certain charm that you just don't find in some new homes.


"In 2011 we finally got to the living room where the ceiling had to be ripped out completely because it was sagging about 6″ lower in the center. The same contractor that I used in the bathroom came and did that for me as well and put in the recessed lights. I then took back over, scraped the textured wall off from the picture rail up and skim coated the walls."


"The bedroom (2010-11) was next and not as expensive but labor intensive. The ceiling was textured, we decided to cover the ceiling with 3/8″ sheet rock to smooth it. I had to scrape all the textured wall off from the picture rail up. Once that was done, I skimmed coated the walls three times to get a smooth finish. We bought an Ikea closet system since there was no closet in the bedroom (1k), and we decided to carpet the floor with natural sisal from Arronson ($2400)."


Joe, what did you find to be the hardest, and what did you love the most about the renovation?

"To answer your question, the thing that was the hardest was living there the whole time. not having a bathroom for 2 weeks is difficult to say the least. 
The thing that I love the most is the character that was always there but got buried through years of neglect that we were able to bring back. The parts we couldn't bring back like the bathroom, we tried to keep a prewar feel to it. 
The character and original details were what we loved and to see the potential we saw in it come to fruition was really the best part." 

Thanks Joe and Maggie for letting me share your story. I love it so much and I wish you much happiness for years to come in your space! 

{Photos courtesy of Joe Zvejnieks}