Reglaze vintage “mid-century” tub; modernize and save while doing it!

       This mid-century “tub” was great but the color definitely dated!  What was the craze for pink all about, anyway?

This mid-century "tub" was great but the color definitely dated!

This was a recent project which required complete renovation of the bathrooms. While we took this hallway bathroom “to the studs”, we loved the vintage, mid-century ‘corner tub-shower’ fixture and so the decision was made to re-glaze it, saving it….and budget dollars!

Keep in mind, when you’re planning your bath remodel, it isn’t always necessary to “throw the bath out with the bath.”  And, not having to demolish the old (dispose of the heavy pieces) and either build in a custom glass shower or purchase a new tub,  there was a significant savings too!

The tub was re-glazed and “brand-new” in one day!  At a cost of about $300 we saved a ton of money (not having to demolish and remove and replace it)!

Hall tub glazed copy

And look how beautifully it fits in the brand new bathroom!

Finished bathroom

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Midcentury roof raising….the exterior renovation of our latest project!

We’ve come quite a long way and are in the home stretch:

BEFORE….A MODEST RANCH ON THE BEST STREET IN TOWN!

GreenRose Fine Homes will take this ordinary 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath ranch and make it a "midcentury modern" show stopper!

GreenRose Fine Homes took this ordinary ranch with its “ad on” dormer and has turned it into a midcentury modern “show stopper”!

ROOF RAISED, CLAD IN CEDAR WITH NEW ENTRANCE DOORS….

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NEW, DOUBLE GLASS FRONT ENTRY, WITH “STEPPING STONE” ENTRY AND FOUNTAIN…

New roof line, lies, entrance..

LEADING TO DOUBLE HEIGHT LIVING ROOM, NEW (2ND) MASTER SUITE & LOFT…

 

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It’s the talk of the neighborhood and is about to become the most exciting contemporary home in the hood!   And this is more than a face-lift….just wait until you see what we’ve done inside!  Stay tuned!

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Beginning Demolition on our “Mid-Century Modern” multi-level house! Phase 1 interior demolition…

Our newest rehab, in the upscale “Afterglow” neighborhood in Verona, NJ, will take a modest multi-level house, built in the 60’s and turn it into a spectacular “Mid-Century Modern”-type home with 2 master suites + 3 bedrooms along with 4.5 baths.

GreenRose Fine Homes will take this ordinary 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath ranch and make it a "midcentury modern" show stopper!

GreenRose Fine Homes will take this ordinary 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath ranch and make it a “Mid-century Modern” show stopper!

We recently began interior demolition; removing what had been the former dining room and kitchen, the ceiling of the front roof as well as the walls separating the entry living room from what will become the new, Great Room; complete with Kitchen, Dining, Room and Family Living Space.

Take a look at the outside first.  This is what the house looked like when we originally purchased it.  What was the front door will become a full-length window, mirroring the new, full-glass double-doors (where the front windows, under the skylights, once were).

Click here to see the  Architect’s rendering of the front of the new house as it will soon appear!  Just note that, since the initial rendering, the GreenRose Design Team has decided the front exterior of the house will be horizontal cedar planks (and not the stone facade as seen in the rendering).

The more traditional-style white garage door will be replaced with a contemporary-styled, frosted glass and brushed chrome metal door.  The entirety of the entrance brick will be replaced with a zen-like arrangement of blue stone set amid black pond stones & adorned with a water fountain/feature as well.

The front roof will be cut off and a new “mid-century” vaulted “A frame” roof will be built in its place with oversized, fixed-pane windows stretching across the peak.

The old entry and living room, dining and kitchen, with stairs to the 3 existing bedroom

The old entry and living room, dining and kitchen, with stairs to the 3 existing bedroom

Next, picture the dining room (to the left) and the old kitchen as gone.  In their place will be one of two master suites.  The old kitchen will become the new en-suite master bathroom & a large walk-in closet.  The ceiling above will be removed and raised up to accommodate the completely new loft space (to be built above the new master suite).  This new loft will be open to the living room below.  The ceiling to the living room, as it existed, will be removed and raised under the new, much higher “A” frame like roof line.

All existing stairs will be removed and replaced with free-floating, single “I-beam” stringer stairs…which will run up to the existing 3 bedrooms, to the new loft, and then right down to the completely updated basement level.  The half wall “railing” that you see in this picture along the bedroom corridor, as well as all of the new stair (and loft) railings will be glass panels.  Further, the odd opening (seen in the right of the picture) will be completely blown open which, when coupled with the new free-floating stairs,  will allow full views through to the great room below; featuring a new, modern kitchen with large island, Dining area and Family Room!

The back and side wall, now with 4 six foot sliders, will be completely transformed with a combination of 8 & 12 foot sliders and fixed pane windows.

The rear and side wall of the Great Room, now with 4 six foot sliders, will be completely transformed with a combination of 8 & 12 foot sliders and fixed pane windows.

This room, which steps out to a wonderfully large deck and park-like views beyond, will be completely “opened up” to the level above it as well as to the outside by a combination of several 8 and 12 foot sliders as well as fixed pane windows, creating a virtual “wall of glass” featuring the view beyond to the enormous backyard and completely visible as one enters the home through the front double doors.

The built-ins are to be removed, except for the 3-paneled section (directly under the odd cut-out in the wall on the right).  New doors and facade to match the kitchen cabinets, a quartz counter top, and a bar sink will create the perfect sideboard to accompany the new dining area.

Stay tuned for more pictures soon!

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Staging Sells (a NYC condo)!

Most everyone has heard of “staging” a home or apartment when it is put on the market for sale.  The reason you’ve heard about it is because it really works!  An empty space leaves a lot to the imagination and many people say they just can’t figure out how the furniture would lay out in the space.  And an empty space often looks smaller than it actually is.  Here’s an example.

GreenRose Fine Homes just placed a NYC condo on the market.  Its a studio apartment in a prewar, doorman building in NYC with East River and UN views.  It also has a full kitchen and a working fireplace (things not always found in NYC studio apartments).  Even so, we decided to stage it to make it easy for a buyer to imagine themselves living there.

Here’s a “before” picture:

An empty space is forlorn and its difficult for a buyer to envision how to furnish the space.

An empty space is forlorn and its difficult for a buyer to envision how to furnish the space.

Since this project was in NYC and would have been logistically challenging for us to “truck-in” furniture, etc., we turned to our very good friend, Sid Pinkerton, who d/b/a  “MANHATTAN STAGING”  is one of the most successful and sought-after “stagers” in the NYC real estate market.  I sent Sid a floor plan so he could familiarize himself with the space and then he visited the apartment with us and to firm up his ideas.  Then, Sid graciously reviewed his suggestions on staging and we placed the order with the furniture rental company.  Sid, a man with amazing style & creative talent also has a wicked sense of humor and is a real professional to work with.  He suggested that, in order to save a lot on staging expenses, we should bring in all the art work and “home furnishing & accessories” ourselves  to complete the picture. We did so and our project was completed!

By staging the space we were able to create a comfortable living room space  and a (queen sized) bedroom space in the large main studio, plus an eat-in kitchen and an office space in the entry alcove.  Add the river views, the wood-burning fireplace in a prewar, doorman condo, and it was everything our buyer wanted for her perfect NYC home!

865 LR & riv vu

TO SEE ALL OF THE APARTMENT AND HOW WE STAGED IT….

Here’s a video clip link to the finished space: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcWhKwA6iQo&feature=youtu.be

P.S.  The property sold within one week at the full asking price!  You gotta know that the staging had a part to play in that success!

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It’s Spring at Macy’s Herald Square!

For those of us longing for Spring, especially those of us who’ve been through a long, cold Winter, Macy*s Annual Flower Show, at their flagship Herald Square NYC store, sure beats those Winter blues!

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Step into the store and be transfixed by the beauty of nature and its Spring flora displayed by the talented Macy*s display people!

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It’s beautiful!  It’s calming!  It brings a smile to your face!  And its free!  Just walk over and enjoy!

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It’s a breath of Spring!  Just when you need it most!  

Enjoy!

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When facing serious house repairs….it might be time to sell!


If you own a house that needs major repairs…it might be time to sell!

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When a home has moved past the category of needing minor repairs and you decide it’s better to sell, it might difficult to actually sell!

Most buyers in today’s market are looking for homes which are ready to move in to…homes that don’t require work!

If you try to sell it (yourself or through a real estate broker), you are almost always required to make “FULL DISCLOSURE” of all of the known issues.  When a house has major issues, it is going to take a hit on the price.  Otherwise you will have to make the expensive repairs required to remove the issues as no buyer will want to jump in to a ‘money pit.’  So you’ll be putting money IN…just to get a higher sales price!  Plus the time and aggravation factor involved in repairs and renovations is to be considered!

cracked wall

In these circumstances, contacting a company that purchases homes ‘as is’ is your best bet. Companies like ours do not have complex procedures: We inspect your home, make a fair cash offer considering the “issues”, and buy the house. We take on the repairs and other difficulties.

When your home has gone beyond needing repairs contact us and we’ll buy it – as-is.

Here are a few guidelines to consider:

Having multiple issues. Most homes that have been maintained properly, might see one major issue a year. If you find yourself with more than one issue that could be classified as ‘major,’ it’s time to consider selling fast.

More than one issue can lead to interconnected issues. Under normal circumstances, a major issue is an isolated thing – like a roof leak. But that issue, if its been left unprepared can lead to a dangerous mold infestation and perhaps  rotted floor beams underneath,  in danger of collapse!  In cases like these – you’re looking at repairs that could cost more than than you can afford or more than you want to spend.  Time to call us!

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Ceiling Leak

 

 

Regardless of your circumstance we are always willing to help!  Give us a call today 973-337-5011!

cash for house

 

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Winter Weight! Snow & ice can disfigure your plants, trees & bushes!

Anyone who lives in the northern states knows about snow and ice!  But while we clean off our walks and driveways, we often forget about our plantings!

One reminder….don’t forget to knock off the heavy snow and ice from your precious (and often expensive) landscaping!

Our area of northern NJ got about 6 inches of snow last night, but now its changed to rain….making the snow much heavier.  Then, with tonight’s single digit temperatures coming, it is all turning to ice.  So before your landscaping branches break off under the weight of it all….get out there and avoid disaster!

Snow & ice can overwhelm and break your bushes & trees

Snow & ice can overwhelm and break your bushes & trees

So get out there with a broom…..or better yet…..make it a game your kid(s) can play for you……and gently tap the branches and the snow will fall off….leaving the plants safe from broken branches and disfiguring loss.

Here's the same rhododendron after a brief couple of taps!

Here’s the same rhododendron after a brief couple of taps!

So don’t forget your plantings!  A little extra effort can save you money and besides….who can’t use a little more exercise, right!?

Different plants have different flexibilities….the woody plants like rhode’s and other tree branches will be the first to break….while other more flexible evergreens, like these can withstand more weight….but, like everything and everyone….we all have our breaking point!

Even these should be helped out with a friendly tap or two

These tall evergreens have a bit more flexibility.

 

 

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Stained Glass….. adds practical charm & value to rehabs!

Entry Stairs

Those who’ve been following our rehabs know that when we are working with an older, more vintage home, we often place (or replace) a stained glass window where it once was…or where we think it adds to the ambiance of the home.

The stained glass for the stairwell landing is in. Isn't it beautiful?

This vintage glass was installed (in an earlier rehab) to replace a jalousie window on a stairway which was not original to that house

This next shot shows a Glen Ridge Dining Room “before” in another previous GreenRose Fine Homes renovation.  If you look closely you can see the outline of what had been the location of a (typically) stained glass window, long covered over in a previous renovation.

Look closely and you can see the outline of the original horizontal window to the left of the double-hung one.

Look closely towards the top of the far wall between the two double hung windows and you can see the outline of the original horizontal window, which had been covered over.

We tore out the dry-wall and indeed found an original window frame.  Alas, since the original window was gone, we inserted a replacement to bring back some period charm to the dining room.

The antique stained glass added charm and value to this historic house.

The antique stained glass added charm and value to this historic house.

Similarly in our most recent renovation of a historic house in Glen Ridge, NJ, we decided to install stained glass not only to improve the ambiance, but also for a more practical reason as well.

Previously it had been a large single pane of glass, at the landing overlooking the backs of several neighbor’s garages, so when you came up (or down) the long stairway you looked out on a view that really wasn’t great.

Here you see the window before we replaced it with stained glass (unfortunately it is a bit over exposed so you can’t see the ‘not so nice’ view).

 

 

stairs down to foyer B4 copy

This was the view coming down the stairs to the first floor in the original house

With stained glass in mind (and window measurement in hand) we headed to our favorite stained glass restorer down at the Jersey Shore.  Remember we had to find something which if not an exact fit….was close.

Eureka!  There was in fact an original (late 1800’s) stained glass piece in the shop and the owner/artisan assured us he could “build out” the original glass with new glass to a frame size that would fit exactly in the existing window space.

Once it was ready, we painted out the interior of the original window frame with several coats of semi gloss white….and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the existing pane of glass, before sealing in the new stained glass (inside the original single pane of glass).  This way the original clear pane acts as a permanent storm window, not only energy efficient but also protecting the stained glass from the outside.

Voila!

Here is the finished window and setting!

Here you see the new stained glass window fully inserted.

Here you see the new stained glass window fully inserted.

Since we put in all new windows throughout the house, we replaced the clear see-through side lites with frosted glass, again with the not so nice view in mind!

Stairs to Stained Glass

Here’s a shot from the front door, showing how nicely the “new” stained glass is now the focal point of the room!  It brings in wonderful soft colors, is practical and adds value to the home.

Entry Stairs

One fun note….when we held the “Open House” for brokers, the original listing broker walked in and gushed at how happy she was that we “kept the stained glass”.   That made us very, very happy indeed!

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Use less “green” & get more greenery! Still time to plant perennials, bushes & trees and SAVE MONEY!

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We’re about to begin renovation on a flip house we picked up at the Jersey Shore town of Asbury Park and, since it should be coming on the market around February, it would be far too cold at that time to plant anything prior to marketing the home.  So, in our continual efforts to always “plan ahead,” while we still had a window of time to get things planted, we went shopping.   It took a few visits to several different venders, but we got everything we needed to landscape the front of the new house.

Although many folks are now thinking they’re gardening work is completed for the season, the Fall is an excellent time to plant AND score big on plant discounts (most vendors offer sizable “end of the season” discounts!).  Thus, any perennial plants and trees that are still “on the shelves” at your local nursery or big box store garden centers can usually be swept up for a pennies on the dollar.  Typically you can get 50-75% off or more from the regular retail prices!

The trick is to get them NOW and get them in the ground fast before the frost comes.  Then, once the plants are in the ground, even if the air temperature is around freezing, underground will not yet have frozen and the roots will continue to grow for a period of time until the freezing weather is consistent.  Then root growth stops for the Winter.

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Once you’ve gotten your plants into the ground and filled in the surrounding soil…..make sure you really tamp down that soil firmly (carefully placing your foot under the branches of your new plant and circle around the trunk…..don’t be afraid to press down with your body weight) to avoid leaving any air pockets which could subsequently freeze the tender roots.  Then, generously mulch in the plants, which will give them a further insulation to make it through the winter freezes… making them snug in place for the Winter!

Plants in place

At our new project, we’ve completely landscaped the front of the house.  This way, once we begin marketing the house in the late Winter/early Spring, these will be planted and we’ll simply pop in some early season pansies and other late Winter flowers!

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Happy Planting!!!

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Templating Counter Tops – Why templates are always the way to go!

What exactly is templating a counter?  Its a critical step in any kitchen, bath, bar  or other renovation which includes installing a granite, marble, soapstone, quartz or other custom material counter top.   Renovating any room in a house is always a process with distinct steps which get you from start….to finish.   These counters are cut from enormous slabs of stone or quartz, shipped straight from the quarry where they were mined…or the factory where the quartz was created.   It is critically important when a “stone fabricator” is creating custom stone counters, that the “templater” first comes to the site and creates exact templates for every counter.  That is the first step in creating the beautiful counter top that every home owner wants once they’ve made the decision that stone, marble or quartz is what they want adorning their cabinets!

Some pictures from a recent kitchen renovation done by GreenRose Design, of Glen Ridge, NJ,  illustrate some of the steps in the process.

In this picture you see the template being created for an eventual quartz counter top on a kitchen island.  The strips of wood are similar to balsa wood, but a little more sturdy.  Still…easily cut, the person making the template starts by using a strip along the “front” edge, which he then clamps in place with (the red) clamps you see in this picture. He uses a hot glue gun to glue the wood strips in the exact position required to create an exact template which is sturdy enough to get back to the factory and be used as the cutting guide for the fabricator.

Island Template 1From the front edge, which will have about a 1.5 inch overhang….he first clamps the wood strip exactly where the counter will eventually sit. Those clamps insure that the strip won’t move as he works.  Then, cutting strips to size and gluing them in place, he works back towards the other side of the “island” , which will have an overhang for seating.  The part of the island closest to the bottom of the picture will also have an overhang for seating and that’s why the two long strips hang way over the edge of the base cabinet.

Here  you see the completed template for the quartz counter to be built.  You can see the over hang on the two sides of the island

Here you see the completed template for the quartz counter to be built. You can see the over hang on the two sides of the island.

You can see the template for the island counter (above).  This way, the exact dimensions and shape of the counter will be perfectly fitted to the base cabinets and kitchen layout, exactly as the home owner wants it!  This particular counter will have a 3 inch rounded radius at each of the 3 corners where there is an overhang corner and a one inch radius at the one corner (top left) where there is no overhang.

This next picture shows the template created for the counter to run along one of the kitchen walls…

Kitchen sink template

 

This counter (above) will be one long counter which sits over two dishwashers, flanking a large kitchen sink.

You may be thinking….why go to all that trouble?  Why not just measure the base cabinets and give the dimensions you want to the fabricator?   The answer lies in the fact that there is no situation in which everything is perfectly square….it’s virtually impossible.  The finished counter will be enormously heavy and must be perfectly cut to exactly fit the space for which it is intended.  To attempt to create a stone or quartz counter WITHOUT a template is just asking for trouble. And by having the stone fabricator send their template person, if there is any mistake….its theirs!  But you rarely see that happen!

In this next picture, you see the template being created for a corner counter.  Here is a perfect example of why you MUST TEMPLATE before cutting the stone!   As you can see, because the wall along the right side is curved in two places along the run, the man creating the pattern has already used two pieces of wood (it will require 3 to completely trace the bow in this particular wall).  Without tempting, the counter would never be cut perfectly and then never sit fully flush against the wall!

corner cabinet

 

Below you can see the finished template, which required 3 strips of “balsa” to capture the profile of the house’s imperfect wall!

Corner counter finished`

 

Now, the templates for the four counters in this kitchen are off to the stone fabricator where they will guide the quartz cutters to create the perfect counters.  Stay tuned and we’ll soon show you how that turns out!

 

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