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Closing Our Doors (Sort Of)

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We have an announcement to make! This is all good, don’t worry. In the interest of growing our custom and location services, we will be cutting the hours at the brick and mortar shop in Crown Heights. It’s just too much of an ache in the posterior to sit there doing retail all day when we can be accomplishing so much more by expanding our work area to include the front of the shop.

This doesn’t mean we’ll never be open for business. Our new hours starting Monday, May 18th will be as follows:

Monday through Friday: By appointment only

Saturday and Sunday: 11-6

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: Open Saturday 11-6. Closed Sunday

It remains to be seen, but for the most part, we’ll probably be focusing more on the handmade and custom and have fewer tshotskes and vintage pieces. Buying and selling vintage has been fun, but it may not be worth holding onto as we get busier with other jobs.

So, stop by during the weekend or set up an appointment to come check us out!

Design Week in NYC

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May 8 through May 19 is Design Week! The 12-day NYCxDESIGN festival hosts events throughout the city celebrating people in the creative field, their creations and their clients. There are house tours, trade shows, open studios and more. It’s not one stop shopping. It’s sort of a design orgy throughout the city.

Reclaimed Home is excited to be a part of Bklyn Designs this weekend at the Franklin Expo Center. So excited (and behind schedule) that we are CLOSING THE STORE ON WEDNESDAY to get on track with our preparation. We’ll remain open on Thursday through Sunday.

So, here’s the cool thing about the Brooklyn events. There are bus loops between all three of the big venues. Don’t worry about transportation on Saturday or Sunday between the Brooklyn Museum, Franklin Expo and Industry City’s Wanted Design. It’s taken care of!

We still have some comp tickets left. If you swing by the shop to pick them up over the weekend, walk around the corner to the museum for the shuttle and Bob’s your uncle.

See you there!

Total Crown Heights Immersion

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Get your tickets now and save the May 16th date for The Total Crown Heights Immersion brought to you by Brooklyn Based and Brooklyn Brewery. For 25 bucks, you get to eat and drink in multiple establishments in the area including Berg’n, Butter and Scotch and Ital Shak.

Local shops will be participating with discounts. Let’s see, there’s this place called Reclaimed Home. They’re pretty good. 20% off an all purchases with your ticket that day! Owl and Thistle is offering 20% off on $20 and over purchases. Mountain has 30% off of five acupuncture sessions. Lots more. Check it out and get tickets here.

Bklyn Designs Comp Tickets

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IMG_2592Hey kids! We’ve received a packet of comp VIP tickets for Bklyn Designs 2015 to distribute among our clients. It’s not enough to leave out at the shop for just any old walk-in, so we’re saving them for folks who definitely intend on going. Is that you? Just pop into our shop or email and have us save it for you to pick up before May 8th. Each ticket is a $15 value and VIP allows you to enter in the morning before general public.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Anniversary Reclaimers!

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IMG_1422Two days late on this one, but April 12th was the one year anniversary of the Reclaimed Home brick and mortar shop! Yes, that’s around the same time the Reclaimed Home blog died. What can we say? It’s tough to keep up with blog posts when every free minute spent not shopping and creating is somehow taken up by bookkeeping. Biggest time and money sucker around…keeping up with those damn taxes!

Anyway, let’s look back on the year that was and how this thing will evolve.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

Keep inventory moving. Unique creations sit longer than as-is. All of those wonderful, colorful pieces that pop out on Pinterest? There aren’t all that many people in the world who are both daring enough to display them in their homes and who have the money to pay for the work involved. Inexpensive brown furniture sells better, at least with the local hipster Brooklyn crowd. Being able to price pieces under $250 is key to getting it out the door within days. If something is damaged, we now try to just paint those sections of it instead of the entire piece.

Services are where it’s at. For our first year, we concentrated on making the storefront work while taking on a few custom jobs here and there. Those jobs were gold! We were being hired to do what we’re good at and actually got paid for it! What a concept.

Oh, do we hate shipping. Packaging shipments takes almost as much time as doing those taxes. And all those refunds we had to do online because people couldn’t read that furniture was local pickup only? You can’t imagine how many people assume a small company will ship $150 dresser for free when it’s written in bold caps that there is no shipping. Oh, pul-eeze.

Ok, so moving forward:

A storefront isn’t for us. Original business plan was for a bigger space. More large salvage pieces. More work space. We thought it would be great to have a storefront so people can come in and shop, but it’s actually been a hinderance (by lexi). The lease is up at the end of 2105 and we’ll try to find more of a raw warehouse space.

The new space will hopefully be a mixed use or commercial property that will be purchased, not rented. We’d like to be able to cut out some space for fellow artisans and industry folks. Since affordability is a factor, it may not be in Brooklyn. If Rockaway house doesn’t sell, we may be stuck renting.

A couple of upcoming events that we’re excited about:

May 8-10. We’re taking part in Bklyn Designs! We do believe that they will give us a certain amount of comp tickets, so look out for that!

May 16: We’ll be just one of the Crown Heights venues offering 20% for Brooklyn Immersion participants. This event is sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Based. Tickets are $25.

DIY Buying Your First Home

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I’ve covered Home Buying 101 before here, but it’s a spiel that never gets old. There’s always someone somewhere buying their first home without an agent who is in need of answers to some very important questions. The subject has come up for me once again since I put the Rockaway house on the market For Sale by Owner.

For Sale by Owner means that the house is not listed by a broker (even though, in my case, I do have a real estate license).  A prospective buyer is free to use a buyer’s agent and in most cases, the commission comes from the seller if they are agreeable to working with a broker (ask in advance!). Sounds great for the buyer, right? You’re getting representation at the seller’s expense. The problem is that the commission leaves less room for negotiation on the asking price, so at the end of the day, the buyer may be the one paying that fee after all. This may be more of a problem with FSBO’s who are going that route instead of through an agency because they can’t really afford the fee in a slow market. The MLS system does exist in NYC but once you look outside of those homes, a buyer’s agent may get the cold shoulder.

So, if you find a house on your own and don’t have an agent to guide you, what are the steps you need to take?

1. First and foremost are the financials. Talk to a bank or mortgage broker to see what you can afford. Then look within that price range. Don’t look at homes that are $100k over your budget expecting them to come down in price. Do what you can afford.

2. Consider all factors. Is the neighborhood improving? Does the house have rental income that will help pay your mortgage? Are interest rates about to go up? (Yes, hurry!). What are the taxes like? For instance, homes are way less expensive in NJ or Upstate but taxes are nuts and the commute costs more. Are you really getting a bargain?

3. Flip, renovations and as-is. Well, if you’re a reader of this blog, you know I lean heavily towards as-is. But that’s me. I like working on houses and I’ve done it enough times to know what’s in store. With renovated homes or flips, you don’t know what’s being covered up. If you know the specific developer of a place that’s holds your interest, please do yourself a favor and Google them for complaints and reviews.

4. Ok, so you’ve looked at a few houses and there’s one that you want. You are able to present your proof of mortgage or cash along with your offer. Otherwise, the seller should not take you seriously. (You hear that, first time sellers?) It’s 2015. You may make the offer via phone, text or email. There might be a game of ping pong back and forth until you and the seller agree on a price. Sadly, there might be a few other offers and you may have to come back to present “best and final” offer. It’s not always the person with the highest offer who wins the game. Cash trumps mortgage. A higher down payment may look better. A faster closing. Or maybe a delayed closing. It’s really up to the seller.

5. They’ve accepted your offer! Ok, so here’s where I tell you that I have a friend who has spent thousands on various home inspections because she got accepted offers on places that weren’t right for her. That’s WITH an agent! One place needed more work than she thought. One place was listed even though the owner wasn’t really prepared to sell. Oh gosh, there’s more. So many that I forgot, but I’m pleased to announce that she is in contract now! Anyway, this is my way of telling you don’t spend the money on the inspection until you KNOW you want the place. But if you are sure…hurry up and get the inspection!

6. Oops, maybe this next one should’ve been step 4. The attorney! Make sure it’s someone who does real estate. Not a divorce lawyer or an ambulance chaser or an entertainment lawyer. Someone who knows the game. They will come into play after the inspection when it’s time to go into contract, but you want to know you have them on your team beforehand. Don’t go searching the yellow pages for a lawyer once you walk out of inspection.

7. It’s not really the attorney’s job to do pre-contract negotiations. It’s their job to make sure everything is carried out as agreed upon. However, if you don’t have an agent and think you suck at negotiating and wish to be represented, by all means, you can pay your attorney to do this for you. The inspection is very important. Read it carefully. Ask questions. The seller should be agreeable to fix certain items as long as the price agreed upon wasn’t as-is condition. And by certain, I don’t mean everything. Stick to hazardous conditions and important issues. Don’t make a fuss if there’s a cracked switch plate.

8. Have your down payment ready because you’re gonna need it once you sign contracts. This is your last chance to pull out without repercussions. Make sure you want that house before you sign!

9. Now it’s up the lawyers and the banks. You’re still not home free with the mortgage until you get the commitment letter. The bank needs to do an appraisal and FYI, it doesn’t always work out as planned. That may or may not be a reason to negotiate again or walk away or just come up with the extra down payment if the bank isn’t going for it. It happens. Then there’s a title search. It’s all about the pins and needles for about 2-3 months. Just do your part and supply everything that’s asked of you from your lawyer and bank.

10. The day before closing you’ll have to get your insurance and utilities lined up (start working on that beforehand!) and have your checks ready.

11. Keys at closing. The house is yours. And then the fun begins…..

Free Doggy Fitness Class Saturday!

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Go Fetch Run has been going and running all winter long. Through rain and sleet and snow and…well, when temperatures dipped below 20 degrees, the class was called off. Hubby and I braved it out with very few other suckers willing to endure the frigid torture. Now that Spring is in the air, the pooch-in-tow workout will be much more pleasant!

Instructor/owner Angi is offering a free class this Saturday morning to get people going again. We’ve been meeting at Grand Army Plaza because it’s been snow free, but we may actually get to run around in the park this time!

Go Fetch Run involves interval workout with your dog. Boot campy circuit training in the great (or sometimes not so great) outdoors. We’ll be there with our two misbehaved mutts. Please join us! RSVP here.

Rockaway Beach Home for Sale!

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It’s time. The Rockaway house has been rented out to awesome tenants for over a year and a half now. Although I was going to wait until their leases are up (in July) to put the house on the market, an interested party got the ball rolling. That deal may or may not go through but now the tenants and I are itching to know what the future holds, so why put it off?

The Rockaway Beach 2 family home was purchased as an investment property in the summer of 2012. The intention was to renovate and flip. Then along came Hurricane Sandy before the renovation was complete. The house survived with minimal damage but the Rockaway real estate market did not. Now it’s been over two years and still not much is on the market, but that means more buyers for moi. It also means appraisal may be tough without any comps.

So, you wanna buy it? I’ll be showing mainly on Saturday afternoons. Check out the house page and get in touch for an appointment!

For sale by owner (a licensed real estate agent).  Asking $425k and not terribly negotiable.

**Oh, and I should warn you that the house does not look as pristine as it does in the 2 year old photos! It’s very lived-in now!

Just a taste of what we did to the house below. Lots more on Flickr before and after.

Downstairs Living Room

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During Demolition

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After

What we did:

Removal of carpeting, 2 layers of linoleum and 2 layers of wallpaper.
Skimcoat and paint.
Repair of original molding.
Salvage original floors.

Upstairs Kitchen

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Before8936169736_327e8dbf5c_zAfter

What we did:

Painted plywood cabinets.
Removal of drop ceiling tiles, linoleum and wallpaper.
Sheetrock ceiling, skimcoat room.
Install ceramic tile with border.
Mexican tile backsplash.
Reclaimed wood counter.
Paint antique light fixture.

Pink Bathroom

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After

What we did:

Remove closet on right.
Remove wall between tub and toilet.
Retile with 4×4 pink and black tiles.
Install new mosaic tile floor.
Create sink vanity out of cabinet.

We’re Changing Our Store Hours!

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Who’s idea was it to open a vintage shop at 9am? Nobody comes in before 10am. Nobody! So, that’s why as of March 18th, we’re going 10-6 Wednesday through Sunday. And…if it’s busy at 6pm any day of the week once this awful weather is over (Will it ever be?), we won’t be kicking anybody out.

Just wanted to let y’all know.

Bklyn Designs 2015!

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So, you know the old saying “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.”? Well, guess who got into Bklyn Designs this year?!

The event, which takes place annually, will be held at Brooklyn Expo Center on May 8th-10th, with Friday being open to trade and press only. Tickets go on sale to the public on March 15th.

Reclaimed Home is squeezing into a 5×10 booth because we’re too cheap to spend more. That means we’ll be showing the tiniest of furniture along with tabletop, samples and portfolios. The good thing about this is that we’ve been looking for ways to highlight our services rather than just sell vintage furniture, so hopefully this will be our chance to do to so.

Gluten Free EatUP Turns One!

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GFEUAnniversaryEmailWebMark your calendars! Our buddies at Levine’s General are having a gluten free anniversary on March 1st at Freddy’s Bar and Back Room.

Come check out the awesome vendors so they can continue to spread their gluten free love!

·      Levine’s General Store Savory Yum Pieempanadas, Grilled KimCheese on  bread from

       The Gluten Free Bakery of Chatham NY, Kickin’Mac-n-Cheese made with imported Italian pasta from our Pasta Sponsor Taste Up Foods.

·      Kimcheelicious Tangy small batch vegan kimchi – almost as good as a Korean grandma’s.

·      Gone Pie All matter of vegan baked goods, chocolate treats…and, you guessed it, pie!

·      Krumville Bakeshop Focaccia, amaretti cookies and classic baked goods from this Italian influenced baker.

·      Polvilho Bakery Crunch into a taste of Brazil with YuPuffs, artisanal, baked and naturally gluten-free snacks. Addictive!

·      Smart Snack Bites Decadent confections and truffles with Indian spiced influences.

·      This Pie is Nuts Individual squares of Certified Paleo and vegan pie with luxurious fillings, key lime to chocolate mousse.

·      Sans Bakery Donuts and ginger cookies to weep for and other baked goods from this trailblazing bakery.

·      Cali Girl Bakes New on the scene, this Harlem based baking company is crafting classic treats like biscotti, lemon pound cake, cookies and more.

·      Brooklyn Porridge Co. Now in its second year, this pop-up is branching out with granola and other new on the go snacks.

·      Kulushkat Stepping out from their Brooklyn restaurant to serve up their kosher, and gluten-free Israeli salads and cuisine.

 

Workshop: Mixed Media Collage and Image Transfer

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We are pleased as punch to announce our first workshop! Mixed Media Collage and Image Transfer will be run by Emilia DeVitis on Thursday, March 26th.

We’re testing the waters with a 90 minute single workshop instead of ongoing classes. Let’s see how this goes and then we’ll start offering more in depth training.

Here’s what’s in store…

The event starts at 6:30 pm with some wine and schmoozing. Class will begin at 7 pm and probably end around 8ish.

Materials will be supplied but you’re encouraged to bring your own inkjet prints for transfers and/or any kind of thin image for collage. **Please keep in mind that transfers will be mirror image, so you must print any writing backwards!**  We’ll supply your “blank canvas” in the form of recycled wood and tiles, but if you have something in mind, please bring it along. Also, bring an apron or wear your messy clothes.

Hope to see you there! Our space is small, so this workshop is limited to about 10 people. Book now! Only 45 bucks.

Furniture Transformations

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We were chatting the other day about all the furniture that has come through our shop and realized that we never did before and after shots. So, here you go!

The headboard bench (above) is still available for sale, which puzzles us to no end. Everybody loves it, but nobody has taken it home yet. Seems to be a space issue with Brooklyn apartments. Angel the Carpenter made it out of a headboard and shipping pallet.

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This copper lined tub was in the store the day it opened. It took lots of scrubbing and some paint and stain to get it to look beautiful. It left us for New Jersey. stool

Ah, the little stool. The wood was solid but damaged, so we stenciled a nice design to freshen it up. Took longer than we thought to sell, but it did indeed find a loving home.mcmdresser

The mid century dresser was in pretty bad shape when we found it. A couple of drawers were busted, the veneer was chipping. Lots of work went into this one. It went to New Jersey. micky

Still have the Warhol Mickey Mouse mid century coffee table. We find that very colorful furniture sits longer than neutral. We also find that square coffee tables don’t sell as well as rectangular. Bad combo. Lots of work went into this resin covered collage and now the price is down to $110 to move it along. decodresser

Another Angel design. This dresser was the feature in our shop on Grand Opening day! Everybody loved this dresser, but it had to find the right person to buy it. It went to a woman in Manhattan after a few months in the store. desk

This desk was put online in as-is condition for a decent price. After a couple of weeks, we fixed it up and stenciled parts of it. Then it sold within a few days to a woman in Park Slope. trunk

We love to do trunks. It’s a straightforward restoration and they always sell quickly. The ebony stained trunk didn’t even last a full day before a couple from, I believe, Williamsburg (?) claimed it. We are all about ebony stain these days. We’ve also done several trunks with the usual golden and red oak stain.

Dontcha Like Us?

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You’re wonderful. Do you think we’re wonderful too? Well, it’s time to brag about us on The Internets.

It has come to our attention that reviews matter. It’s great that our Etsy and Ebay customers have our back, but we need The Google and The Yelp. Especially The Google because that’s what keeps us on the map. The Google Map. The one we only appeared on this week because we figured out that we have to work at it.

What’s in it for you? You’ll be performing a mitzvah! Because you’re a nice person. And you are wonderful.

Also, we’ll be your best friend. Just go to our Google page and click “Write a review”. Please. Pretty please and thank you.

Ikea Hack Catwalk

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We finally did it! We installed a few shelves where the kitties can look over us like the aristoCATS that they are. This isn’t the elaborate system we would’ve liked, but it only took a couple of hours to do, so it is something that takes no thought and just about anyone with a drill and level can handle.

You’ve seen those whole-room cat jungles with stairs and all? Well, my husband comes from a family who believes that life is nothing without a struggle (Yes, Irish) and this apparently applies to cats as well. He installed the shelves in the hallway right near the ceiling without steps to get to it, so they have to work for it if they want to perch up there. I wasn’t around for the installation. I would’ve made it lower, especially since we’ll need to clean it every now and then.

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The cats must “enter the system” through the human stairs. There’s a shelf on the outside, which they quite like. From there, they can either jump across to that larger shelf or walk along the thin shelving on the wall (See it about the door?). Either way, the sprinkler system is in the way, but they can also jump from there.

Ideal? No. Temporary? Knowing us, it’s probably going to be a few years until we do it the way we (I) want….with multiple steps and shelves going around the entire room. I would’ve liked to have used reclaimed materials, but the great thing about Ikea is that no thought or extra work needs to go into it. We didn’t have to paint or seal any wood. Nor did we have to think about brackets. Bada bing bada boom, it was done.

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