How We Turned An Old Man’s Pied-à-terre Into My Own Apartment (BEFORE)

This Summer my parents had me embark on a wild goose chase sort of apartment hunt. You probably know my feelings on apartment hunting (see: Apartment Hunting on Craigslist; Dating or Apartment Hunting), so you can imagine this was a huge ordeal for me.

A few things that made it a bit easier, 1) the apartment would be an apartment we would buy and I would be able to live in (so goodbye moving every year once the lease is up!) and 2) our real estate agent was a charming Irish guy that I became pretty fond of.

The process was pretty easy. Our agent booked a full weekend (in mid Summer, might I add), where we ran around from East to West Village viewing apartments, taking notes, and reporting back to my parents who would do this process remotely. I was their eyes and ears on the ground and it was terrifying. Pretty sure after one day of our apartment viewing, I almost passed out (with Big Gay Ice Cream in hand), sweat drenched, on a bench in Tompkins Square Park. It was that exhausting.

After putting in a bid at two places in the East Village, and losing bids, we finally got asking price in a great co op in the West Village. The apartment was old and outdated though, but I had seen this before.

My parents have this hobby of taking old houses, and updating them. One of the houses I grew up in was built in 1926 and probably hadnt been touched decades before my dad left a sketchy note on the decrepit house, asking to buy it. He bought it and renovated it (twice), the same followed with an old house in Carmel, CA. Their next endeavor: NYC real estate.

The apartment view was the big draw. The kitchen was grossly outdated (and I mean gross), the bathroom was super outdated (Id rather not take a shower in 1970s), and the apartment space basically looked (and smelled) like no one had inhabited it in years, save for the wardrobe which featured all black everything.

The open house

Proof I did not fit the gay man looking for the apartment he will grow really old in bid. But I was wearing glasses, so I had that going for me. I did like, however, when people thought me and my agent were looking for an apartment together. Like not just together, but together. 

The bathroom.

During every renovation my parents have started, I have grown to always judge how bad / long it will take by how nasty the plumbing / fixtures are in the bathroom. In this bathroom, the rust was limited and the tile needed updating. Lets just say I wouldnt want to wash my face coming out of that sink, so obviously this was going to be a big project. Dont even get me started on the shower.

The kitchen. EEEK

Yes, that is linoleum. Those are wooden cabinets and that is a stove I would be frightened to light. Could I see myself baking cookies or cooking a Lazy Girl Recipe in this kitchen? NOT EVEN. This was terrifying… but not as terrifying as this…


This super obtrusive wall literally divided the apartment so you get this view when you first walk in. Real swell / stupid, right?

Needless to say, the apartment needed a decent renovation and a lot of TLC. After our bid was accepted, and we passed the co op board interview, we started the process. We would slap some new floors, paint, take out that wretched wall, put in some closets (CLOSETS IN NYC FTW!), gut the bathroom and kitchen, which would all hopefully attribute to getting rid of the musty smell of the entire apartment (it totally did, hello new house smell!). Holy hell its been a long, drawn out process, but Im happy to say as of this weekend, Im officially all moved into the new, renovated, Tabing designed apartment!

Stay tuned for the AFTER photos, coming soon!


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