Wait…it’s 2010?! Wow. I completely missed entering the future while we were busy cleaning and caulking and making trips to IKEA and painting. And painting. And painting. And painting.
Last night was my first night sleeping in the apartment—not really a cause for celebration, considering the present lack of a bed or shower curtain. I was up until 3:30 AM (yes, more caulking…and more painting), then curled up in a little ball on the floor to sleep for a few hours. The magical part of the experience was leaving for work at 8:40 AM, though! Normally at that time of the day we’re already an hour and forty minutes into our commute.
Anyway, the kitchen! It’s coming together, and definitely starting to look as I had envisioned it. (What was that about finishing the whole apartment in six days? Um. No.)
The SNODD knobs from IKEA are so cute I can barely stand it. They really make the kitchen. I love the cabinets, by the way. I was overjoyed to find an apartment with a kitchen that hadn’t been renovated in about 20 years, and with frameless doors. Solid wood with a maple veneer, too. Nice.
I love how perfectly the microwave fits in the VÄRDE shelving unit. If I have to have a microwave in my life at all, I need it to be below my line of sight. We still have to hang the shelves above the unit—that’s where I plant to keep all of our pantry-type goods in glass jars.
(Do you like how the entire food-related contents of our kitchen currently consist of two cans of coffee, a jar of raw sugar, and a hilariously over-sized pepper mill? Oh, and I think there’s an apple and a little carton of soy milk in the fridge. This says a lot about us.)
Uh-oh. You can see my grubby paint brushes! And the Chinese delivery menus on the fridge, the vacuum cleaner, paper towels, and caulk. (Yes, and my beloved Keep Cup!) Are you happy now? I didn’t have the energy to move them for the photo. The important thing to focus on is the black wall! It’s painted with Benjamin Moore ‘Soot’ (Aura Matte finish, for those of you who like to know these things). The white walls and trim are are Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ (Aura Matte and Satin Impervo, respectively).
We’re going to hang the Stendig calender on the black wall, right above our flip-down table for two (which I will be painting the same black as the wall).
One more thing! I need to sing the praises (again) of IKEA’s ENJE roller blinds. They are inexpensive, well-made, look great, and they really do filter light beautifully.
Hi Anna! I adore your blog! Is fantastic!!
Beijo* from Portugal
omg you are genius! It looks awesome already!!
YES! Illy brand coffee and raw sugar, our staples as well 😉
You really lucked out on the kitchen cabinets, in most apartments they are not flat and really ugly haha. Looking forward to seeing the progression!
Totally been stalking your blog waiting for the kitchen post 🙂 It looks wonderful!
It is looking so good! I can’t believe the difference already!
Wow! Looks great. Clean and sharp and bright. Love it. After living in a NYC apartment for a decade (ok, 2 decades ago) I know the joys of space (or the appearance of) and clean style. And I love me some IKEA: I’m off to there tomorrow, in fact…. drooling in anticipation.
Thats view from your window is phenomenal!
Things are looking great! I am excited to see your wall shelves hung with lots of goodies on them. But no pressure!
how much do i love your black wall? THIS much.
Amazing. I was envious before that you lived in such a cool house. In New York. and now you also have a super cool apartment. In Manhattan. Still living vicariously….
P.S. and “Snodd knobs” still makes me giggle. But they look awesome!
gawd it is gorgeous! how did you get your landlord to let you paint (black especially)?! email me with your cross streets- or you can reply here if you dont mind doing it. are we neighbors yet? xo
I love what I’m seeing so far and I would love to try roller blinds. I didn’t realize Ikea made those. Are they easy to hang???
Looks great. Are you painting the walls and the trim both Simply White? I am painting a duplex apartment I am renting, and inspired by you, all the trim is Simply White. I have to make a decision today whether to paint the walls the same color or slightly different (Moonlight White?). My new tenants want both trim and walls all white (artists who will use the walls to hang their art). I was thinking of just painting the walls the same color as the trim. Broke my leg and can’t even get into the apartment to see what it would look like so I have to make a decision re: color / finish without seeing it on the wall. Also, what finish are you using in different rooms (kitchen, bath, living room). Thanks so much
frannie: I have never asked a landlord permission to do anything! & I’ll email you. 🙂 We’re not staying at the apt at all yet, but soon…
Lindsey Lou: Yes, they’re completely easy to hang. It’s just two little brackets that attach with screws. The shades come with a nifty template so you know where to drill, too.
Kathryn: Yes, the walls and trim in the apartment are both BM Simply White. The walls are Aura Matte, and the trim is Satin Impervo. The Aura paints are washable regardless of the finish, so you can use the matte in any room. They do make an Aura Matte “Bath & Spa” paint which contains a mlidewcide, but I don’t have any experience with it.
The walls in my house are BM Moonlight White (with Simply White trim), which is much warmer in tone. If your tenants are looking for a bright white for the purpose of displaying art, I recommend BM Decorator’s White.
I love those knobs! Adorable. The whole thing looks great; your matte black walls make me want to start over with a much more stripped down aesthetic (not that the 8-12″ moldings in my 1901 apartment lend themselves to minimalism!).
Question about the shades: I know some of the Ikea shades can be cut to length; do these seem like they could be? My windows are an in-between size.
Kate: You know my house and my apt (kitchen excepted) have 8-12″ moldings too, right? Both are late-1800s structures. I think pre-war details contrast so nicely with modernism, personally. Go for it!
As for the shades, yes, they are easy to cut. Check out my post (and the comments) from last year for details. 🙂
This post made my morning. It’s so fun seeing photos and reading about the progress on your apartment.
It’s looking great Anna!
What/where are you caulking and what kind of caulk are you using? (And is it paintable?) We have a few spots in our kitchen that need some care and using the putty stuff seems like it won’t do the trick.
Then again our handyman was all against us using caulk so I dropped it–but now that he hasn’t fixed what he said he would I am ready to rethink caulking on my own again.
What a cozy kitchen! The knobs are very cute. I have to say, I LOVE the huge tiles on the floor also!! Can’t wait to see it done!
What a joy to wake up to the progress pics after seeing the Twitter updates, Anna! (can’t believe I just wrote that tortuous sentence, btw). I too am interested in the “ask/don’t ask landlord” thing if you would feel comfortable posting a little more?
Wow. Great job! How do the puppies like the place?
Just the fact that you have a place in the city makes me pea green with envy! Your kitchen is coming along beautifully, I especially love your black wall…again totally jealous!
Are you going to just go home on the weekends then and stay here during the week? Like Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday night? You are going to love this lifestyle.
And by the way, do you mind posting how much square footage you have and how much you pay? This would be interesting I think to know.
Will you ever sublet it? To me? 🙂
Oh wow. It looks amazing! We have Enje blinds all over our old house. They really are perfect.
By the way, love the stand and how perfectly the microwave fits in there. I am the same way, it has to be out of my line of vision too which is why mine is on top of my fridge. 🙂
The new knobs look so cuuuute Anna! Your taste is absolutely impeccable!
Sorry you had to curl up in a ball on the floor – if we lived closer I’d give you my spare air mattress in a heartbeat!
Please, please, please…add a punch of color!
You mentioned in a previous post about a green door?!
I cannot believe how cute this kitchen looks already! I am jealous of the view as well.
I have been going a little crazy with the Entje blinds as well, inspired by you 🙂 I had to cut the first one to make it narrower, but all the others have taken seriously around 10 minutes to hang. They are so easy! And I haven’t found that combination of daytime privacy and light anywhere else.
I knew the upstate house did–you are much braver than I am, though (and I think you have higher ceilings and more sun!). I definitely keep filing photos of your spaces for future inspiration!
Duh, forgot to say thanks for the tip re. the shades. I wonder if a hacksaw would work; we’re low on power tools! Seems like it’s worth a try, though.
Julie: I’m not sure I would trust a handyman who doesn’t believe in caulking — it’s a pretty essential part of home construction and maintenance, especially if you want reduce drafts, water penetration, etc. What is it that you need to caulk? I use different kinds of caulk depending on the application, but for sealing gaps that will be painted (like at the bottom of baseboard moldings or around window frames, etc.), I like Red Devil Painter’s Caulk the best. It’s hard to find, though, so my back up is DAP Alex Acrylic Latex caulk. It takes some practice to get the hang of caulking well, but it’s addictive.
(Watch for my upcoming book, Caulk and Me: A Love Story.)
Can I ask you a quick question about the caulk. I have linoleum and because it’s an old house and the radiator, the linoleum has a little gap where it is supposed to meet with the wall. I guess it shrunk a bit because it used to fit nice under the molding. Can I use caulk to fill that little gap? The gap is a little bit less than a quarter of an inch. I really do not want to rip out the molding and buy a larger one to paint and install. Also, does the caulk dry white or clear. Thank you!
Jo: I actually have a draft started for a post about that exact topic! I just haven’t had the time to complete it. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂
Mary-Ellen: The pups haven’t been there yet! It’s not really dog-safe yet since there’s paint and debris all over the place. They’ll be happier waiting for a sofa to move in first, anyway!!
Holly: I’ll email you the details (I owe you several emails anyway, I know!!) — I don’t want to get into that stuff on the blog. 🙂
Annette: There will be plenty of color once the everyday items of life (dishes, food packaging, fruits and veggies, etc.) get moved into place. I’m not really a “punch of color” kind of person — I’m not saying I need everything to be duo-chromatic, I just prefer to let things happen a little more organically.
Kate: A hacksaw will definitely work!! Just make sure you use very sharp shears (and a steady hand) to cut the fabric.
Love the black wall! And the knobs really look awesome! A real transformation! Nice job!
This is already an incredible transformation!
I’ve seen those knobs at IKEA a thousand times and never would imagine how cute they could be. It all looks amazing – such a nice home away from home!
Mary-Ellen: YAY, more caulk talk! Yes, you can definitely fill that gap with caulk. Caulk is flexible, so as long as it’s touching both surfaces, it will expand and contract along with the floor. Caulk comes in dozens of colors (clear, white, black, biscuit, blue, etc.), so you can pick whatever will blend in the best with your floor. I probably wouldn’t use clear, just because it won’t actually hide the gap. Clean the area well (maybe use a little rubbing alcohol for good measure, too), and when it’s totally dry, you’re ready to caulk. If I’m working in an area that won’t be painted, I like to mask off the caulk-line with painter’s tape (like this) just to keep things nice and neat. Just make sure to pull the tape off right afterward, or else it’ll be permanently caulked to your floor. 😉
Oh, and I would use a latex acrylic caulk for this application, since it’s not in the bathtub or anything. Much easier to work with than silicone. 🙂
Thank you so much, Ana. I so appreciate it.
Love the work you have done on the apartment, you guys are a great team well done! It’s amazing the difference knobs can make to the look of kitchen units. Thanks for all the Ikea tips, I live in Dublin and we just got an Ikea here last summer, it is only 15 minutes drive away from me! Anyway I LOVE your blog, and I wish you all the best in your new apartment. I lived in New York 10 years ago, and I miss it very much. Although I was there last January to celebrate Barac Obama’s historic inauguration. Also I voted for you on the apartment therapy competition! Ruth in Dublin.
Wow, looking amazing already Anna. Just a few simple changes and it’s D16’d already! Loving that black wall. And those mighty cute little SNODD knobs.
that’s amazing. we have a house in maryland and your NY kitchen is STILL bigger than ours!
that is a sweet sweet space. looking good!
Enje’s rule and black is the shit.
Love those cabinets.
I impulse purchased the same pepper mill – it took me a day to work out how to get the peppercorns in and it’s awkward as heck to grind but I love how it looks with my Moma Satellite Bowl!
Not only have you made the kitchen look good, you’ve also made it more functional. Again, lovely work.
Looks great! We actually painted the outside of our house this past summer with BM “soot”, Aura, matte finish. (www.chezerbey.com/exterior)
I’ve been considering using the interior version in one room…is it really as black as it looks in the photo? We found it to be more of a deep blue-gray (depending on how the light hits it) when we painted our exterior.
Loving what you have achieved already. Been hanging out for pics for days. Made my morning.
Your kitchen looks great! I love the black wall and the snodd knobs. I’ve been looking for attractive and low cost knobs for a while that would work in my kitchen and I think those might be it!
Congrats on the new apartment!
Very exciting! Looks wonderful.
Seriously, when I’m stuck and can’t decide on something, I ask WWAD.
What would Anna do?
oh, I forgot to ask, is the dish rack ikea as well?
wow, it looks amazing! but i have to admit that i am totally surprised by your earlier response to a comment that you have never asked a landlord for permission to do anything! i suppose that makes me a rather timid renter. 🙂 are you planning on painting things back the way it was before if you ever move out, or just crossing that bridge when it comes?
May I come over if I bring some home made cookies? Great work Anna and Evan!
so impressive! you’re making me feel VERY guilty for being in our house for 6 months and not accomplishing anything! but this is the year! i hope you don’t mind if i borrow some of your design finesse. fingers crossed i can pull it off!
thanks for sharing your work in progress door16…
it all looks great – the black wall does a wonder for your room…great job
This looks absolutely amazing! I’m so impressed by how quickly you can get so much done! Incredible! Do most places in New York allow you to paint? I can’t paint any of the eggshell coloured walls in my apartment and it’s a tough colour to work with!
Oh, I forgot to ask, how much privacy do the ENJE blinds provide at night? I’m thinking about them for my living and dining rooms.
susab: I know, right? I actually think there’s more kitchen storage space in this tiny apartment than in our house. I kind of wish the kitchen were smaller, actually — it’s like a quarter of the size of the apartment, and that just seems so unecessary! (I probably shouldn’t complain. I know.)
Lauren: HOLY MACKEREL, YOUR HOUSE IS GORGEOUS. And yes, the wall color is just as you describe it — almost a deep, deep charcoal with a bluish tint to it when the light hits it. Not quite black, but still black. I love it!
Maria: Clearly, Anna would sleep on the bare floor and wake up with a stiff neck and greasy hair the next morning…and then spend the entire day in the office feeling like death. 😛 (And no, the dish rack isn’t from IKEA. It’s Simple Human — we have the smaller version in our house, and it’s very compact/simple.)
jennifer: I guess we’ll probably paint the black wall white, but other than that — no. I see no purpose in returning the apartment to its previous state (dirty rotten-mayonnaise yellow with chipped/dirty/hair-filled trim, a filthy kitchen with broken knobs on the cabinets and exposed sharp screw tips, a filthy bathroom, and dirty closets with paint spilled all over the floor — I think the next tenant would rather have it this way!).
Jorge: Homemade cookies sound GREAT! Come on over!
Ashley: I’ll write a post about the painting thing soon — I have some loud opinions on the matter. 😉
Kara: You can definitely see through the ENJE blinds at night. Not clearly, but probably more than you want if you’re looking for real privacy. The apartment is on the 6th floor and there are no buildings across the street, so it’s not a big deal for me. I do want to put the same blinds in my living room at my house, though, and I will probably pair them with frosted window film on the lower pane of glass for extra privacy since we’re right at sidewalk level.
love it. i heart ikea too!
Lookin’ good! And thanks for the specifics on paint colors & finishes… you know you will get asked if it’s not in the post!
I was waiting to see how your knobs look and I love them. I have the Attest knobs and I am thinking about switching it up again because of how well this looks. I am also highly considering getting a Varde as well. Is there a line between copying and being inspired?
Is that Washington Heights near the A? I lived there for years and did whatever the hell I wanted with my apartment, the landlord didn’t care.
Thank you for the dish rack info.
I’ve been known to go to work go to work feeling like death with funny paint flecked hair and a sore back myself.
Still you inspire. Thanks for sharing.
Can’t wait to hear those loud opinions painting. The whole not being able to paint thing is just silly.
Lovely work, as always! I was introduced to the Enje blind through your first post about them… but now every visit to the Ikea website is a heartbreaker, since their largest width is 4-5 inches smaller than my windows. If 63″ is good enough for Tupplur, why not the much prettier and sheer Enje? In any case, thanks for all the inspiration!
Alicia: Go for it! Heaven knows I take (steal) plenty of “inspiration” from all over the place. 🙂
N: Wow, you’re good! That’s exactly where this is, and yeah — I guess I tend to live in ‘hoods where landlords don’t care about this kind of thing.
angeli.ca TELL ME ABOUT IT. I really wanted to cover the double window in the main living space with a single ENJE, but the largest is a few inches too small! The TUPPLER shade are gross, sadly, so I’ll be using two side-by-side smaller ENJEs. I refuse to go custom and spend $$$. Sigh.
I’m digging the black wall! Bold choice!
Anna, I love your blog! I follow it religiously.
A quick question on caulk…do you use a special kind for the bathroom? The caulk in my bathroom had black specks so I removed it all and grouted it instead. However, I feel like it really needs caulk…is there a special kind? Help!
b/t/w I LOVE the black wall.
I am loving your clean design and the gorgeous light coming into your kitchen! The cabinets are perfect w/those knobs (I’m all about the knobs as jewelry in the kitchen!).
Can’t wait to see your calendar wall completed.
It is looking great and I love your blog so much! I also have a caulk like question…since you have a home and now an apartment with older hardwood floors, what do you use to fill in gaps that sometimes form between the floorboards? I own a 1940s apartment near the water in Santa Monica, CA and the floors tend to expand and contract with the heat/cold and moisture. We had a floor guy put in wood filler a couple of years ago, when he refinished the floors, but that started crumbing and coming out quickly, especially under the constant pitter-patter of dog claws. Is there caulk for wood floors that would stay put?
Your kitchen is progressing beautifully!
Your apartment is remarkable for its original detail and kitchen. I have never seen kitchen floor tile like that or modern solid wood cupboards in a rental.
How did you find this place? Is it a coop where the owner used to live, and now they are renting it out?
MJP: Grout and caulk serve very different purposes, and you really don’t want to use grout in area where two planes meet (like at a corner where tiles meet, or where the tub meets the wall tile, etc.). Grout is rigid and it will crack and allow water to enter, whereas caulk is flexible and will maintain a seal even as other material expand and contract. So yes, you will need to dig out all of the grout you put in, get the area very clean and dry, and use caulk instead. Here’s a good article at This Old House which discusses the different types of caulk you can consider for the job. I personally would recommend a siliconized acrylic — just make sure that whatever you buy is made to use in bathrooms. 🙂
Katherine: I’ve never lived in a house with gaps in the floorboards that warranted filling (on the east coast, houses built after 1850 typically have a plank subfloor under the T&G floor, anyway), but I have read about this method before! I don’t think wood filler is recommended because (as you’ve seen) it will just crack and fall out, and caulk probably won’t look very good.
mopar: No, this is a low-grade, super-cheap apartment in a large building operated by a management company. No-frills, very poor “renovations”. The floor is just 12×12 cheapo Home Depot-type tiles, contractor grade. They probably cost $1/SF or less — they’re really nothing fancy, but at least they’re white. (I hate the huge scale of them, though — I’m not a fan of large tiles in small rooms.) The cabinets are old, probably pushing 20 years. Again, no-frills. Cheap stuff from before the era of particleboard.
I think the photo probably makes it look like something is isn’t. This is pretty standard fare for cheap pre-war apartments in NYC.
Just wait til you see the bathroom. :
You have done it again! I wouldn’t have looked twice at those Snodd knobs in the shop but they look fantastic.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the advice. I did what you are apparently never supposed to do…adding grout to the space between the tub and tiles!
Anna, it looks fantastic! I’m loving following the progress and seeing how you are making decisions. You teach so much! Thank you!
Could you post a big entry about apartment hunting/living in NYC? I’m a suburban girl (all my life!) who commuted two hours to NYC and want to do exactly what your doing. I had no idea you could paint a rented apartment. I’m obviously glued to your blog looking for all sorts of tips and hints on how you are pulling this off. I don’t even know where the cheap apartments are! Help a suburbanite out?
Gah, your apartment is looking better than my house! No fair.
Looks great! Congratulations to your appartment!
Your kitchen looks fantastic! So light and airy. I love the white tiles on the floor. Did you place those or were they there? I don’t think I ever rented an apartment with pretty tile. Such a fun adventure you are on!
love it! anna, this is a housekeeping question. how did you clean the ceramic tile in your kitchen? it looks gleaming new! did you have to clean the grout? the cabinets look new as well. did you use murphy’s oil or something? you are very meticulous and the wonderful outcome shows it! thanks for blogging. we all really enjoy it!
I am starting to think about what I want to do in my kitchen… have to do a 100% remodel… can’t wait to get started!!!
Love how your kitchen is coming along. Thanks for sharing the black wall paint color- I aspire to have a black wall one day!
Your kitchen looks fantastic. Great style.
[…] I really love the idea of supplanting the kitchen counters with a shelving/counter unit. I have an idea of how I could do this but I’m going to have to be really clever. (REALLY CLEVER – the kitchen is barely big enough as it is.) But we have one closet (!!!) in the entire apartment. No pantry. I need something to store food! @ door sixteen […]
[…] IKEA that looked bad in the kitchen when I tried them on for size in there. Anna used them over at Door Sixteen in her kitchen and I got jealous. Wow, I’m a creepy shelter blog […]
Just in case you want to update your calendar before they sell out.
Stendig Calendar 2011
excellent! by the way, do you have any extra snodd knobs (red/white). ikea does not sell them anymore and they cannot be found anymore in finland. i’m missing six (6) knobs for my kitchen that is being renovated
No, sorry, I used black & white knobs and didn’t buy extras.