The Next Big Thing.

newelpost

When we closed on our house last summer, one of the big lingering questions in the back of my mind had to do with how much our decision was motivated by our total infatuation with the house itself versus how much we actually liked Kingston. At that point, we’d only spent a few short days in Kingston—we didn’t really know anybody here, and honestly we didn’t have a great sense of our neighborhood or the city as a whole. So we took a gamble: we felt like we had a good enough handle on the local real estate market that if it turned out we’d make a huge mistake, the purchase price of our house was low enough that even if all we did was go in and make a few improvements, we could probably unload it at a profit or at least break even. So we went for it and hoped for the best.

What we’ve found here, though, has surpassed all expectations or predictions. We quickly had more close friends here than we ever did in Brooklyn, and almost immediately felt like part of a community in a way I don’t think I ever have, anywhere. I love living in Kingston, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way about anywhere I’ve lived (yes, including NYC…maybe especially NYC). The Hudson Valley is so beautiful and full of such amazing history, and Kingston itself is so charming, has so much going on, and really feels like a place where things are happening. We live within easy walking distance to Uptown Kingston, and the number of new shops and restaurants and stuff that have opened even just in the time we’ve lived here is pretty heartening. There’s a certain energy here that feels very inclusive, and interesting, and exciting, and it’s just…good. We made the decision a while ago to try to really make a go of living up here full-time. We still have to commute into the city sometimes for work, but given that a lot of what we do can be done remotely, it’s manageable so far. We’ve sub-letted the apartment while we give this whole thing a shot…so it’s still there if it’s really just not working out, but I don’t think we’ll hold onto it much longer. I really want to be here to stay. It feels right.

SO. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about, well, all sorts of things. What I want to be doing. Where I want to be. How what I’m doing right now fits or doesn’t fit into that. How I have this really pretty amazing platform as a blogger and how that must be good for something other than chronicling the renovation of my own house. Blogging is a strange, funny thing. I’m so lucky to have readers, and people interested in what I’m doing. I’m also really lucky that I’ve been able to turn this blog into something that generates income, especially because—at least here—I get to combine so many things that I love to do and present it exactly how I want to. Not many people get to say that about something they get paid for.

Blogging has also provided a lot of opportunities, some of which I’ve taken advantage of and most of which I haven’t. In case you don’t read a lot of blogs or just aren’t quite sure how it all works, the long and short of it is that a lot of companies want to be part of blogger content, sort of in the same way they’ll buy a full-page ad in a magazine or something. A typical sponsorship transaction for me at least generally involves the exchange of free product (which I then use and feature in a blog post) and an advertising fee for featuring said product. I always disclose when a post is sponsored, I only work with companies/products that I truly like and use, and I try my best to be as transparent about all of it as possible. Ultimately, I want my sponsored content to be a good thing—alerting readers to products or companies that they might not know about but could make their lives better. Isn’t that the point? And of course sometimes I can even convince a company to do a giveaway to pass some of that swag on to someone else.

Especially since buying the house, though, one of the big questions I’ve had to face is how to balance my want/need to make money from my blog (and, by accepting products, ease our own renovation costs) with still being a real person and stuff. Because I get it: I read blogs too, and it’s hard to relate to a project when parts or all of it are being paid for by a company. Consequently, I say no much more often than I say yes, and—truth be told—when I do say yes, it can feel sort of selfish just funneling that money and those products into my own house.

So, like I said, it’s made me think a lot. Isn’t there a way that I can take this amazing platform, and these opportunities, and put it toward something that doesn’t just benefit…me? What if I could get involved in a whole different project—something where I could take advantage of what I can offer as a blogger but in a way that benefits the community in a broader sense?

So that’s where I stood. Thinking. Considering. Dreaming.

Houseexterior

And then this happened. And I’m very excited. Let me tell you all about it.

So here’s the story: this sweet little house is about a block down the street from my house. The block is filled mainly with fairly large Victorian-era houses (almost all multiple apartments now), but this house is much smaller (about 1300 square feet) and set really far back from the street. It literally took me about 9 months to even notice that there was a house here—the lot is only 23’ wide and the yard is so overgrown that you kind of have to be looking for it. Once I noticed it, though, I trekked through the yard and looked in the windows and read the big “CONDEMNED” sign on the door, and maybe that house grabbed hold of a little part of my heart. I sort of joked with Max that someday, I’d figure out how to fix it up if nobody got to it first.

theresahousehere

Then, a couple months after that, I was casually looking at real estate listings on Zillow because a friend of ours is looking for a house. And there was the little house down the street, up for sale in as-is condition. Asking price: $20,000. Now, yes, that’s a lot of money—but for a whole house? Stuff like that doesn’t really exist much in Kingston…even the stuff that needs a ton of work is usually around the $100,000 mark, if not more (we kind of got the deal of the century with our house…we paid a good deal less than that, but that’s not really the point).

ANYWAY, so I emailed the listing agent asking for more information. I had to know what was so super wrong with it that taking it on would just be way too stupid and expensive and insane.

He described the house as a “total gut” but assured me that it had been cleared as structurally sound (hey, it’s a start!) AND, despite its condition, actually had a nearly-new roof on it. We set a date to walk through the house so I could evaluate the condition and see if it was worth looking into further.

kitchen

This post is already getting long, so it’s maybe not worth getting into the whole crazy process of buying this house, but it was basically sketchy from start to finish. I used the same real estate agent who sold us our house (Nan Potter—if you’re looking for a house in the area, she’s great!), and the same inspector, the same plumber consult on the plumbing—so I felt like I was in good hands, but it was totally weird. Turns out the “agent” wasn’t actually an agent, so the house was only posted on Zillow. No For Sale sign out front, not listed on MLS…my real estate agent had no idea the property even existed. All of that aside, the information about the roof and the structure appeared to be completely true (this was backed up the Kingston building inspector who condemned the house—turns out it was just because it was vacant and in such poor shape, and the city wanted to deter squatters and stuff, but structurally the house was fine), and the title search came up clean—no outstanding mortgage, leins, or back-taxes. All good things. So yeah—CLEARLY needs a ton of work, but nothing totally insane or prohibitive that would just make it totally stupid as an investment. They agreed to take $19,000 for it. So we closed. And it’s mine, kind of.

So, let’s talk about the financial stuff, since I’m sure by now you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “what the hell?”. This is not the kind of house that banks are really inclined to give loans for, so this all panned out pretty differently than my house. What I really needed to make this work was an investor who could see the potential in the house, had some money to put up, and had faith that the financial risk would pay off and that I could do it. “So Mom,” I asked, “want to go into business together?” As a reader and frequent commenter on my blog and pretty much my biggest advocate, best friend, and supporter in my life in general, it didn’t take much to convince her that I was capable of taking on a project of this scope. The financial side of things took a little more convincing and lots of back-and-forth, but she agreed that the whole thing seemed to make good financial sense, and with the help of a lawyer, we worked it all out.

So here it is:

  1. We decided to roll $10,000 of our remaining renovation budget and savings for this house into the new house. It’s a lot of money…so long, refinished floors. See ya later, sandblasted radiators. Adios, renovated bathrooms. Check ya later, side porch tear-off. And so on. I feel like we’ve gotten our house to the point where we can occupy a lot of time on the cheap stuff (skim-coating, painting, that kind of thing). The house is very livable, and with the addition of the dining room, the soon-to-be pantry, the soon-to-be library, soon-to-be entryway/hallway, a bedroom that just needs a skim-coat and a paint job, we’re in OK shape. The more expensive projects can wait.
  2. My mother, bless her, decided to buy a $10,000 equity share in the house. In simple terms, this means that she has 10K tied up in the property, and how that breaks down percentage-wise (so, what percentage of the property she owns and is entitled to when it sells) will be determined when the renovation is complete.
  3. Additionally, my mom is providing a high-interest loan (technically, 10-year, 7% fixed) to cover some of the renovation costs. So basically she’s making more money loaning the money to me than she would with it accruing interest in a bank account, and it gets to go toward something awesome in the meantime.
  4. Because I’m acting as general contractor and managing the entire project, we agreed that it was fair to account for my man-hours as a way to build my own equity in the property. Additionally, any sponsorship deals I can bring in as a result of the blog will also help build my equity (so if a company provides, say, a toilet, the price of that toilet factors into my equity share).

SO. That’s how that’s working.

One thing (out of a million) that makes this project very different than my own house is that, obviously, I’m not living in it or planning to live in it, meaning I have carrying costs to deal with, meaning I have to get this thing done. I’m aiming for about 8 months. We can all point and laugh later on if I totally blow that, but I think it can be done.

So what’s the plan with this place? Originally I was thinking it could be a rental property, providing a little bit of supplementary income every month, at least until the Kingston real estate market picks up a little. Really, though—I don’t really think I want to be a landlord, and I think I’d feel so much better about selling it to somebody who will love and appreciate it as much as I do. Which I guess would make me a novice flipper, but that word has such negative connotations that I’m very hesitant to use it. I bought this house because I love it, and because it’s on my own street and having vacant, condemned, falling-apart homes like this isn’t good for anybody in the community, and because I was worried that somebody else would buy it and just continue to pay the taxes and let it fall further into disrepair. And I felt like I could do it, because of all the stuff I talked about earlier, and moreover that I wanted to do to it and I think it’s a good thing. I’m going to put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, effort, and love into this place, and if that can be appreciated and maintained by some young cute family buying their first home or something like that, I’d be beyond thrilled.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, for starters, more content! I’ve pretty much accepted that I don’t think I’ll ever be capable of being the kind of blogger who posts everyday, but the pace of this project will hopefully be pretty fast and furious, and there’ll be a lot of ground to cover. I’ll also still be working on our own house (although the pace of that is probably going to have to slow down quite a bit for a while…), and sharing a freelance project every now and then…I guess it’ll basically be Manhattan Nest on steroids.

As I mentioned earlier, this will also (hopefully, god willing, because I am counting on it) mark something of an uptick in sponsored content here on the site. I know lots of people (rightfully, often) have reservations about sponsored content on blogs, and the only thing I can really say is that I will continue to be as transparent as possible, and I will continue to be selective about who I work with. I’m never going to agree to something just to make a quick buck. At the end of the day, I want Manhattan Nest to be entertaining, of course, but I also want it to be a high-quality, trustworthy resource, and I don’t want to do anything to compromise that. It’s not worth it.

I’ll come back in a couple of days to talk more about the house, show lots more pictures, talk about alllll the work it needs, etc., but I think it’s too much to get into all of that now! It’s going to be so great, though, and I’m so excited and happy to be able to do this. As always, I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It should be wild!

PS—Oh yeah, we need a name for this place! I keep calling it “the other house,” but let’s come up with something more catchy.


430 Comments

  1. I’m DELIGHTED by this! (And not that my request matters but I really hope you can avoid any Blue Apron sponsored posts because Jesus, I’m sick of seeing those on every single blog!). Can’t wait for a house tour of the new cottage. You’re my favorite blogger by far in Blogland!

    • Thank you, April! Tour coming up this week! (Blue Apron did kind of over-saturate the blog-o-sphere, didn’t they? The funniest part about it is that I ACTUALLY used Blue Apron as a regular customer for quite a while…our lives were just CRAZY busy and it was that or take-out. I really loved it! I SWEAR THIS IS NOT SPONSORED, haha)

    • Let’s add NatureBox to the list of “sick of seeing” sponsors… ;)

      This is very exciting Daniel, can’t wait to see what to do with this house! I really admire your energy and resourcefulness here.

    • urgh couldn’t agree more about blue apron & nature box.
      what a cock-up those sponsorship campaigns were!
      Jo

  2. None of us begrudge you (or should, at least) for making a living. C’est la vie. I’m so excited to see this new project, I’m sure it will be an adventure worth following. Good luck from Florida.

    • Agreed. People gotta make money if they are going to buy old houses and fix them up. Go for it. Love this cute little house and can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  3. You. Amaze. Me.

    Congrats!

    This is awesome. I appreciate your transparency with you advertising but hey, we all gotta get paid & live so I’ll never be someone shaming you for accepting sponsorships. What, you’re supposed to provide us with all this great content and advice for free?! As if!

    Keep on rockin’ Daniel!

  4. Totally looks like a “Kingston Cottage” to me! Good luck, so exciting! :)

  5. Can’t wait to see what you do with this new place! I’m glad you’re loving your community and investing in it this way, too. This sounds like an ambitious project, but I know you’re up for it and will do a great job. And it kind of seems like you can only improve on this house anyway – not a lot of ways to make it worse, so that should help your confidence. ;) Keep us posted!

    • I think I’d have to try pretty hard to make it worse! Thank you for your confidence—we’ll all find out together! Could be a total train wreck! :)

      • I go away from your blog without checking in for a few days and HOLY CRAP! This is exciting! So thrilled for you (and us, your readers!)!!

  6. You are uber brave to take on a second project Daniel! So proud if you! : )

  7. I am so happy this is happening and I can’t wait to see your work on this place! I think it is a brilliant scheme for turning your blog into your business.

  8. The picture of the gate and overgrown tree has gotta be the best “before” picture ever!

  9. Woohoo! So excited for you! I’m excited about the content, that you’re helping to beautify your neighborhood and I’m hoping to learn some things about fixing up a total gut job on a timeline. Congrats!

  10. You were not kidding about the platz!!!! This is beyond amazing and I really think you must be an all around cool dude. Best of luck with this project.

  11. SO EXCITING! I LOOOOVE your blog above all other blogs so this is super exciting. So exciting that I practically squealed as I read this post and then of course had to finally post for the first time ever!

    CONGRATS!

  12. I couldn’t be happier for you. And have always thought you did sponsored posts very transparently and thoughtfully. I can’t wait to see what you do here – always inspiree by your energy, style and problem-solving. Good luck and eeeee!!

  13. OH MY GOD BEST MONDAY EVER!!!! YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS!!! I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU DO!!!!

  14. I am SO excited by this! That house is adorable — and so completely hidden! The mystery house! Like, I can imagine a Nancy Drew mystery surrounding this house. I am really inspired by your willingness to take on another big reno — especially because you are motivated by love of the property and of your neighborhood.

  15. Awesome! I can’t wait to see how this works out! I think you have a good handle on continuing to disclose the sponsored content. I think most blog readers have realized we can’t get good content for free anymore. Best of luck!

  16. I think this is a fantastic way of putting sponsored content, and your need to make a living, to good use. Way to go!

  17. It’s DARLING. I can’t wait for floorplan and before pictures!

  18. wow, so excited for you! i appreciate the transparency on sponsored content – but it is what it is! Give yourself a break. You have to earn a living and blogging takes time & energy!!! Best of luck on the new house, I’m sure its going to be fab.

  19. Wow! what amazing news. I’ve been an avid follower of yours for years, and am SO impressed by your entreprenuerial attitude and willingness to take calculated risks. It’s been such a joy reading posts and seeing more sponsored posts without your sacrificing content. Yours is one blog that I do not mind sponsored content at all, and I think it’s because your candor and honesty shine through, always.

    I hope this new house means more frequent posts, although I know how time consuming it is to do the thing that you’re doing in the post AND have to put a post together. I’m so looking forward to reading more about this renovation. Also – what color are you going to paint the outside? If so, you could call it the Green/Yellow/Blue House.

    • This is Daniel we’re talking about. It’s going to be a white, black or grey house right?!? Team ALL BLACK! A huge congratulations to you and your business partner Momma! I would love to see guest posts from her perspective because her comments always slay me.

      As for the sponsored posts, you do it just right. As long as your witty commentary is there, I won’t care about an increase in quantity. Thanks for taking us all along on your wild ride.

      • Thanks, KatyKey! I can promise it won’t be all black! As much as I love a black house, this isn’t the one…maybe some black accents though, because duh. It’s me.

        I would love to get my mom in on the blog! Maybe if she comes up to help for a weekend or something she can chime in. I’d love to read that, haha!

    • Thank you, Steph—that’s so nice to hear and really means a lot! I’ll do my best to keep it up!

      If I say the paint color right now, that’d be no fun! :)

  20. So exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with the property.

    Add me to the voices who don’t begrudge you your sponsorships. You do a great job of clearly marking sponsored posts & hey, it’s your JOB! I’m happy to read, comment, click links, etc to help keep you going. In fact, I’d love to know how I as a reader can best support you. Should I comment? Click through on a sponsored link?

    • Aw, thank you Karen! You don’t have to do a thing! Of course sponsors want to see people involved (so commenting, entering giveaways, clicking links & generating traffic for them), but I’d never encourage anyone to do any of that unless they were really interested! Just the fact that you’re reading makes me happy. :)

  21. I love following your renovations and can’t wait to see this house get transformed. It’s adorable and I know you’ll only make it 150% more fantastic.

  22. Wow!!! I am so excited, reading you transform this cottage is going to be a whole lot of fun, but then I feel selfish…aren’t you still monoing?!! You gotta take care of yourself before you take care of number 10! Having your mom involve is so cool, she could guess post, she knows we are all fan of hers!! Anyway, take care but wouhouuuu…this is so exciting!!!

    • I’m totally still mono-ing! And trying to avoid relapsing!! It’s the dumbest timing ever…I GOTTA TEAR STUFF APART!

      I’ll try to take it easy(ish), though! :)

      • Daniel, you don’t know the meaning of easy. I can just see the headline “Darling of the blogging world found dead in Kingston cottage rubble” YIKES! You need to take a crash course in delegation. I fear for you, much as I am excited about this project.

      • Ha! I’m working on the whole delegation thing!! I’m definitely going to have to hire out more stuff for this one if I have a prayer of getting it done anytime soon, but I definitely plan to do a lot of the more detailed restoration stuff and finishing work myself.

  23. Congratulations! What an exciting step for you! Cheers!

  24. This is so exciting! I can see why you’d be very drawn to this house. Lots of charm!

  25. Wow! I’m shocked! I have mixed feelings about the whole thing:
    OMG more content!
    But slowing down on your house? Aww… I’m so invested! Don’t leave me hanging!
    But more of the best content on the interwebs? Yes!
    More sponsored content? I don’t care, as long as you continue presenting them the way you have in the past.
    Basically, I trust you as a blogger and I can’t wait to see more happening around here. You are amazing and I know you’ll put my fears to rest. Bring it on!

    • Thank you, Kari! I’ll try!! And I won’t leave you hanging on my house…still a gazillion things to do, and I’ll go nuts if we’re not making some progress!

  26. Bravo and congrats! This is so exciting! Will you become the Nicole Curtis of Kingston?? I would watch that HGTV show for SURE. Can’t wait to see the transformation!

  27. Gah!! So excited for you!! So excited about the gem you found! So excited about your mom being on your team! So excited to see you partner with new companies that other home owners like me should know about!

    I can’t wait! Awesome decision :)

  28. I’ve been reading for a few years (I live in NYC and am also in love with the Hudson Valley) with awe and jealousy of the projects you’ve been doing; I can’t wait to get out of the city and tackle a house like this. So excited and happy for you guys! Can’t wait to see the transformation!

  29. OMG!!!!! AWESOME!!!! Super exciting and I think it’s great to invest in your community and neighborhood. Maybe you can find some fun people to buy it and you can go back and enjoy cocktails with them in the living room YOU rebuilt :) Can’t wait to read about it.

  30. SO excited to see what you’re gonna do with this opportunity. You always seem to incorporate sponsored content really seamlessly and honestly I’m happy to see sponsored stuff because it hopefully means that you’re doing well and we’ll continue to have posts to read!

    Someday you should flip a house in Nashville so I can move in :)

    Good luck with everything!
    -Brooke

  31. Daniel, I am SO excited for you! I’ve been reading your blog for years (though I rarely comment) and now seems as good a time as any to thank you for all the info (and laughs) you’ve given us over the years. I just recently moved into a house from years of apartments, and when I needed to restore an old dresser or patch some drywall, I knew exactly where to look. You are truly inspiring, and your posts are so funny and heartwarming (I love how much you love your dogs/Max). I think this is a fantastic idea!

    (P.S. When I saw “The Next Big Thing” I thought, “Oh god, he’s leaving us too.” Several of my favorite blogs have gone dark over the last month and I was going to cry! So glad to find out it was the opposite!)

    • That’s such a kind comment, Kate—thank you!! I’m not going anywhere! I think if I ever do I’ll just title the post “I’M DONE WITH BLOGGING” to avoid the dramatic build-up. It’s too agonizing!

  32. First time commenting here because… I AM AT AWE. Like, the fact you’re renovating your own big house is amazing as it is. Now you have TWO? THIS IS MADNESS. I AM SO IN. I AM IN FOR LIFE.

  33. SO EXCITING!!!!!! Looks to me like it could be called the Tree House! Don’t worry about the sponsored content- I like the product recommendations, and people who complain about it should try to run a hugely popular blog themselves and see how that goes without some help. Bonne chance!

  34. Watching all those episodes of Rehab Addict finally rubbed off on you!

    I’m so excited for you! You have done an amazing job with your house, and I don’t say that lightly. I appreciate the fact that you’ve stayed “true” to your home and didn’t try to change it into something it’s not (say, a faux-lonial beach cottage). As far as the swag and sponsorship, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, as long as you are up front about it. Reno is expensive.

    Cannot wait to see what you do with the new cottage :)

  35. I am a fan of your writing! You make the DIY thing so entertaining. Can’t wait to see what you can do for this cottage.

  36. I suggest the Hidden House, since that overgrown brush and the trees basically obscured this sweet cottage with potential from view. I can’t wait to read and see what you are able to do to restore this place and hope the future owners love it as much as you seem to already.

  37. to be honest, the way you do sponsored content is great, even though I live in another country, there have been several things I have hunted down to use on my own little renovation. product recommendations from someone I trust are essential when I dont really know what Im doing!

  38. Yay!!! Manhattan Nest on steroids! So pumped. (Accidental pun. Heh.)

  39. AHhh so excited about this news!! I love that it means more Manhattan Nest posts even if they are sponsored. Also, thank you for being open about the financials of the project – I trust bloggers so much more when they are upfront about how they afford renovations. And your Mom is the best, obviously. Can’t wait to see what you do!!!

  40. Fantastic! Can’t wait to see you put your energy into this project. The sponsorship deals will allow you to do more with it. You’ve earned the partnerships and it will be so interesting to see what you can do with your new partners. All the brambles out front remind me of the nest of the Bower Bird…How about Bower Cottage or just The Bower. Get going and collect the sparkly bits to feather this new nest.

  41. Daniel; I am thrilled for you. What a great idea (not sure how the money deal with your mother works however) and what fun!!! What a great idea. When you posted about the house of the actress (you did her bathroom?) I was so pleased you found work that you loved and had an income to overcome all of the financial hurdles your Kingston house threw at the two of you (because that sometimes worried me).
    I really hope this works out well for all of you. I’m sorry we will no longer really see the lovely apartment anymore (strange thought that) but someone probably is very happy with it. I am glad you found a town where you feel at home, happy and free. Have a wonderful day (wonder means miracle in Dutch).

    • P.S. In referal to the Gay gardens and Kingston I would call it The Kings Gardens.

  42. As already said by many above, this is very exciting and I can’t wait to see more pictures of the house and watch it transform over time.

    I’d call is The Sunburst for that architectural detail over the front door…which looks like a sunburst. =)

  43. Oh, you businessman, you!!! This is fantastic news, I’m so thrilled for you (and Max) to move your career forward in this exciting way. I think the best part is that you have developed a readership that trusts you implicitly. Even if you have a bunch of sponsored stuff, because of the trust you have developed, to us it is just MORE FABULOUS CONTENT. I can’t wait to see what you do with this house, and I hope it gets sponsored out the whazoo! Personally, I find that companies that target bloggers are also focused on their customers in a really personal way, hence the desire for a personal connection through blog land. So, this is just a WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN for all of us! Yay!

    I think that Mekko and Linus might like the house for their own, btw.

  44. Omg! So exciting! This sounds like an amazing project and I can’t wait to see what you do with the new place.

  45. So exciting! For a second I thought you were leaving blogging and that woulda made me hella sad. Fun! What about “Project Nest” – using a little bit of the ‘ol blog name?

  46. HIDDEN GEM. Best of luck to you!

  47. Oh Daniel, aren’t you just the greatest, there’s not even a competition anymore.

    I think you should name the house Villa Villekulla after the p(a)lace where Pippi Longstocking lives.
    I just immediately came to think of it when I saw the second picture (being born and raised with Pippi of course)
    I know you have a certain fondness for Sweden, and aren’t you also slowly turning into Pippi? Taking on anything you like and handling it like the strongest girl in the world?
    Her taste in interiors might be more like your “before” pictures, but the resemblance is still there.
    And then just lots of animals and friends and crazy andventures…? Tooo muuuch truuuuth.

    Looking forward to seeing more from you and your new house!
    Love from Sweden!

  48. I am thrilled for both you and your new acquisition!! Your neighbors must adore you. REALLY looking forward to this and continued rehab of your 1st house.
    YAY!!!!!!!!

  49. I read Manhattan nest for years, because I love your writing style, your humor, and I love renovations. I am thrilled we’ll be getting more of that, and a sponsored post now and then, talking about something you really loved using sounds reasonable and not offensive. You would probably mention how good a product is with or without the company paying you (because you wouldn’t recommend something bad, we know it even without you saying it), so why shouldn’t they pay you if you are giving them free advertising?
    Kingston cottage sounds lovely. I also made up a word: cotagette. Like, small cottage. It would be like a little house’s personal name.

  50. I live further up the Hudson in a town that is slowly transforming, like Kingston. I am so impressed and thankful for your commitment to your community. Also, thank you for your openness and honesty about blog content and sponsorship. I feel like so many blogs are trying to pull the wool over our eyes instead of engaging readers about how blogging for a living works. You and your blog really stands out in that regard. I think you should really embrace it and call the new house “Fodder Cottage” ;)

  51. This is SO exiting!

    I can’t wait to see this house as it is now, and what it’ll be once finished. This has the potential to be successful, and your work and carry through will serve you well here, I think anyway.

    Good luck, and can’t wait to read more about this house, and the progress(es) you make within it.

  52. I, like most of your other readers, am thrilled to see this new project of yours!
    I’ve always wondered how you managed to get everything done while renovating your house and making a living, so your transparency here is lovely and very refreshing.
    I hope you get all the sponsorships and make that house a lovely place for someone soon!

  53. This place looks amazing! Where I’m from most people take on heavy renovations when buying their first house (or second for that matter) because no-on can afford to build or buy brand new… so you’ve got my Belgian genes really excited about this project! And if it means more posts Hoorray!
    Concerning the sponsored posts, as has already been said, we’ve all got to make a living. Some of us have office jobs (me) and some of us blog (you). What I really appreciate is that non of the sponsored posts I’ve read on MH come across as fake, which I guess is what matters most to us readers. So thanks for your honesty Daniel.

  54. Congratulations, Daniel! I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months now, but I think your design aesthetic is very well-suited to the properties you’re attracted to, and the workmanship (yours and the professionals you hire) on your projects is admirable. For what it’s worth, I would happily purchase a home you renovated if I lived anywhere nearby. I think this is a terrific business move on your part, and you’re going to be very successful.

    Blogging is a weird thing. As the industry has matured, I’ve watched a lot of talented people run out of steam, often because they were afraid to abandon the focus that initially made them successful, even though it no longer excited them, or because their efforts to monetize resulted in a lot of inauthentic content. Here, I also think you’re in a better position than most–as this blog has moved from first apartment to first shared apartment to first house and now to investment property, you’ve continued to learn and grow and be excited about the content you’re sharing. That goes a long way. I also think that sponsorships in service of renovating a home you don’t plan to live in gives you the opportunity to try products you might not have chosen for your forever home but which are perfectly good alternatives.

    • Thank you, Coco! I think that’s a very insightful comment—it’s definitely too bad when bloggers I like decide to stop, but the reasons always seem very understandable…there’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to do something creative and entertaining and all that if you yourself aren’t personally compelled by it anymore. And yes! There are lots of companies that I’d love to work with that just aren’t great fits for my own house (or it’s just that issue of not wanting the whole house to be full of blog swag, even if I like it), but could be great here. It’ll be fun to see how it pans out!

  55. I am so excited for you! I cannot wait to see how fast this goes and where it goes; I can definitely see the beauty in this house – I’m so glad you were able to pick it up!

  56. I am soooooo excited! I mean, creepy level excited! Also, as far as sponsorships go, add me to the list of people who don’t care! In fact, when I see one I think “good for him! He’s making money I know will equate to more beautiful/inspiring/jaw dropping “after” photos!” :) This is my favorite blog!

  57. This is so exciting!!!! I cannot wait to see more of this house and what you do to transform it!! I’m also excited that you’re living in Kingston full-time and figuring things out in a way that ultimately benefits us as readers (more projects, more content!). Basically, I feel like I won the lottery because you are going to be posting more:)

  58. Love reading your blog, more is better. :)

  59. I’m thrilled for you (and jealous of the project!). The difference between your sponsored content and most others is that it always makes sense; you’re not just throwing something together about Blue Apron/Nature Box/Target Room Essentials/etc the same week as literally every other blog. I say, if you can get some free toilets, go for it!

    I can’t wait to watch you work your magic on this darling little cottage. You certainly can’t beat the commute! Xo

  60. You are brave. And a fab blogger. Such well written posts.
    Name for the new house :”Nest egg” : ))

  61. I was on the edge of my seat reading this on my phone during my commute this morning and when I saw the picture I audibly said a four letter word starting with the letter “F” – one letter out of jealousy, one out of shock (because of all of other projects you could be doing in your house), another for Max (for being so supportive) and finally because I wish I could be your friend and help on the weekends (and by help I mean watch and learn). Congrats on pursuing your passion and on being a homeowner x2!

    As far as a name goes…Dandelion Cottage

    Adam

  62. GO. FOR. IT.

  63. First of all – YEAH (let’s hear it for moms that support their sons – especially since I am one LOL).
    The new project house looks beyond awesome.

  64. That’s fantastic! The hidden house looks so charming! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

  65. Daniel…God bless your Mom…and if I was your Mom I’d do the exact same thing because I can’t imagine someone who I’d have more faith in. This is exactly what you should be doing…in exactly the right place…I’m sure the houses on either side of “the forest” will be so happy someone is finally dealing with that eyesore.
    As for the name….something related to Kingston I think…how about Roundout…names after the artistic center of town….
    and the sponsership doesn’t bother me one bit…great way for you to have help with the work..and for us to see products in action…..GOOD LUCK KIDDO.

  66. Oh dang! Congrats on the new business! I certainly don’t mind more sponsored content, especially when it means more posts in general! That’s why we keep coming back, after all. Do what you need to do!

    “The Nest House”?

    • Oh. Or the Secret Garden. Another film/book reference, and, well, just look at that photo of the hidden house!

  67. Congratulations on the house, really looking forward to your posts. Don’t ever think they are too long, they are a great length with great info.
    Now for a name for that house… Leaf House? Covered House? Jungle house? 20K house?
    Best of luck!

  68. Manhattan Nest Egg!
    Mothers are the best. What a great project, looking forward to reading all about it.

  69. This is amazing! So proud of you for taking this leap into flipping. I can’t wait to follow along!

  70. Victoria. Name the project Victoria. Or name it Project Victoria.
    Or name it after the street the house is on!
    If you use either one, at least give me a shout out. I’m always so eager to see your next blog entry in my feedly.com account!

    Enjoy!

    • Yep! It is an old lady, but with such girly feature, I would totaly call this house Victoria. Great idea Eric!

  71. Super excited for your big adventure! Love your blog and writing style; can’t wait to follow you on this exciting project!

  72. I hope you’re able to keep the catalpa tree in the front yard!

    • I really wish that tree was nice, but it’s in a TERRIBLE spot and has been really horrendously “trimmed” over the years and looks sort of diseased. I think it’s gotta go, but I’ll plant another tree in a more sensible location. These just seem to sprout up everywhere around here…my guess is that this one just went unchecked and all of a sudden it was 20 feet tall!

  73. WHOA. Congrats, Daniel! Can’t wait to follow your progress.

  74. Ah!!! so excited :D good for you

  75. SO. EXCITED.

    For the record, I’ve never really minded sponsored posts as long as it’s actually a legit post–like, I don’t just want to see an ad for a thing, but seeing something in action that’s been provided for free or as a paid review has never bothered me. Sure, the rest of us don’t ~~get that opportunity~~, but the rest of us don’t also have the pressure to constantly produce content for a blog and thus we don’t have to shell out as much money in general for supplies (not to mention the actual costs of a website). In fact, I think people who bitch about sponsored posts in general are being more obnoxious than the post itself could ever be. Whoop.

    As far as the name goes, what’s wrong with just “the little house?” Or “la petite maison” if you want to get super classy with it.

  76. This is really exciting. It’s almost like getting two blogs in one. I can’t wait to see the transformation of the secret cottage!
    I totally understand that sponsored posts are the new normal in blog land, but they still kind of make me sad. I hit rock bottom when one day not long ago, 4 blogs had sponsored posts from Blue Apron! Oh.Hell.No. But, since I can appreciate how a sponsored post will help get this sweet cottage back up on its feet, I’m cool with it.
    Thanks for letting us come along for the ride. Your writing is spot-on hilarious and your DIY skills are inspiring.

    • Thank you for being cool with it! And wow—4 blogs?? Same day? That’s such a mess…whoever facilitated that whole thing was, er, not doing their job very well! Sponsored posts definitely make me sad too a lot of the time, but I try to do things a little differently over here…my guess is that those bloggers are working through an ad network that basically acts as a middle-man, bringing the bloggers these sponsored post opportunities, when they should be posted, etc, and taking some $ off the top, but I don’t do that. All of my sponsored content is a result of me talking directly to companies that I like and am interested in working with…it’s way less efficient (and, I’m sure, less profitable), but I can’t really imagine doing it another way! I’m too much of a jerk, haha.

  77. What an amazing project! And as someone who’s considering a move from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley sometime in the next year or two, I’m really, really happy to hear that you’re so happy there. I’d be a pig in shit out in the country where I couldn’t see other people, but my husband would be miserable, so we’ll be looking for somewhere that has a little more going on. Kingston was already on our list of places to consider, and this post has it moving to the top of the list.

    • Oh yay! I think Kingston is a good middle-ground, or one of the towns within very close proximity might be the kind of thing you’re looking for! Definitely spend some time up here and get a feel for things! Glad to hear you’re considering it! :)

  78. Great project Daniel.

    Do you intend to renovate the house as is, or do you plan to increase the square footage?

    Fascinating to see how far you can stretch your resources … And what you prioritise along the way.

    Way more exciting than completing your current home to an obsessive level of finish (not a criticism, just an observation that many people don’t know when to stop,).

    • Thanks, Anne! The house is going to stay the same size, but some things about the interior layout will change. It’s going to sort of toe the line between renovation and restoration…more renovation than my house (there’s just less to restore here), but still trying to stay in keeping with the age and feel of the house.

      I love the idea of my home being completed to an obsessive level of finish, haha! We are SO, SO incredibly far from that…you have NOTHING to worry about!!

  79. Mazel Tov! I think I’d call that new house “Ramona”.

  80. What a lovely little house. I can’t wait to see what beauty and charm you’ll put into it.

  81. I think you should call it the Unicorn because it’s hard to believe that shit is real!!
    Such potential, all for $20K – can’t wait to see what you do with it!!

  82. Take that Monday!! This is the best news I’ve heard in a while :)

  83. Wow – that is so awesome! Congrats on the new project! And like a few others, I, too, am soo relieved that you aren’t leaving us for greener (aka, non-blogging) pastures. You provide seemingly never-ending inspiration and you’re hilarious to boot. I can’t wait to see the transformation!

  84. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND TO READ/STALK YOUR BLOG THAT I HAVE TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS! Congrats! You got this! (Fist bump, high five, etc etc.). :)

  85. Congrats! It’s a lovely house and I can’t wait to see you work your magic on it…
    I know the paint colour will probably change but the name “Green Cottage” seems suitable… I imagine a pretty green garden in the front! Also you could name the house after your mom, since she is your sponsor in this renovation and more importantly in life :)

  86. Hi Daniel,
    Would it be too obvious to call it the Kingston Nest?
    Lovin’ your blog!
    Kathy

    • I second Kingston Nest! It fits in with your blog name now and If this becomes a regular thing it can be Kingston Nest house 1, Kingston Nest house 2, etc. The whole project can be Project Kingston Nest. If you go to other neighborhoods it can be called Project Brooklyn Nest, Project “…” Nest, etc.

  87. Wow! Great news! I’ve felt your sponsored post topics really fit well into your blog, never been bothered about them. Hope your new house attracts companies who’re equally ecxited about making it a gem! Your amazing content deserves a compensation – I’ve learned tons and really enjoyed following the journey.

  88. Oh. This is going to be SO. FUN. Thanks for inviting us.

  89. It’s like a dollhouse, there just to be played with!

    Because I only accept the super rare sponsored post, (maybe one every other year) I’ve often joked about having a secret blog that is nothing but sponsored posts and paid links. (My blog about finding alternatives to buying new, so it would be hypocritical to shill for corporate America.) I do get daily offers for advertising and endorsement, so I joke that I’ve invented the only successful, yet barely profitable blog.

    I look forward to seeing you get your hands on the new house, with or without sponsored toilets and plungers.

    “This post is sponsored by The Plunger Hut!”

    Congratulations!

  90. Congrats! Hope you have a fun & successful time with it! It seems to suits you! ;)
    I think that house needs a gangsta name! lol (doesn’t it look a little gangsta? just me? ok) like the first-letters-of the street-D? King-D. Or Haus D.

  91. I have only been reading for a month but I have quickly gotten myself obsessed with your blog as I often dream of renovating one of the many Victorian homes that are falling to pieces in town. My husband does not share this dream, so I just read of others ventures – I am thrilled to get to see the new little jewel come together!
    I know it would be somewhat…ok, maybe really trite but I like the idea of the new house being some type of baby bird name. Hatchling, nestling, fledgling, gosling or cygnet come to mind.

  92. Well this just made my morning!

    Re: renting out the house. We own a home out of state and wanted to sell but the market just wasn’t good so we were forced to rent it out. So far it turns out to be a much better situation with the potential for a lot more profit than had we sold it even in a perfect market. For 10% a month we have a company manage everything we just get a check in the mail. So the moral of the story is – renting can be a a lot simpler than you’d first think.

    My name suggestion for the new place – The Hidden House.

    • That’s good to hear, Alicia! I guess I just hear SO many tenant horror stories, and it would break my heart to put all this work into this house and end up with tenants who didn’t treat her right. I’m not totally opposed to the idea, I just think it’ll have to depend on how the financial stuff breaks down when I’m closer to the end, and what I need to get out of the house…whether I just need to cash out and recoup my costs or it would be smarter to have to slow trickle of monthly income (it wouldn’t be very much after carrying costs) and wait for the property to appreciate a little more. Anyway…I guess I’ll have to figure it out!

  93. this is amazing. i’m shocked but so excited for you!!! i definitely think “the cottage” is the perfect name for it (as referenced by another commenter). LOVE that you will post more often.

    and for what it’s worth….if you can afford it financially, you should DEFINITELY rent it!!! better investment in the long run, and if you’re going to be a landlord, living minutes away its about the most ideal situation. just my two cents!!

    xx

  94. YAY! I’m so happy to hear you’re taking on a new project and you will have more content! Can’t wait for the pictures :)

  95. Hooray for your mom! She rocks.

    I think the name should include “Nest” in it. What about “Hidden Nest”, since it was hidden from you (and others) for so long? This makes me think of the P.D. Eastman book “The Best Nest” now, I love that book. Which is kind of sweet, actually, because the birds keep looking for a bigger, better nest before finally realizing that small, and comfortable makes the best kind of home.

    Looks like you are finding that in your new neighborhood. Best of luck on this new adventure.

  96. I am SO SO excited to see how this starts to take shape ! I’ve been following the renovation of your house for as long as you’ve had it and am super confident in your ability to turn this thing to solid gold.

    p.s. I have a secret plan about showing your blog to my boyfriend and making him realise that we NEED to do this as well..

  97. Don’t just think of that adorable cottage as being just for young families. I could totally see myself there, if I didn’t live in SD. As a widow of 60+, it’s the right size. Enough yard to garden in, not too much to care for. I look forward to watching your process!

  98. Great news about the new house! I love that your mom invested and that’s she’s your #1 supporter (this is very sweet to see as a mother to a young son). I really appreciate that you shared the financial details of the deal. Lot’s of us want to buy/renovate/flip/rent old houses but don’t always have a good sense on how to fund the project or structural the purchase. It’s super helpful to see how other people are doing it!

    • Thanks, Cathy! I wish this was a lot more helpful in that regard, since I totally understand that “the Bank of Mom” is not exactly a reasonable possibility for most people. There are other ways of doing this stuff, though…FHA loans, banks (depending on the house), maybe even online lending sources (I don’t know a lot about this, but they exist?), and local programs. There are a couple of programs in place in my county, too, that provide housing loans for lower-income people who may not qualify at a bank, and also provide grants you can apply for to cover the costs of various improvement projects on homes that need a lot of work (I think they set the limit at 25K per year if you get a grant, which is a lot of $!)…there’s a lot of stuff out there if you look for it, and it definitely doesn’t have to be because Mom is OK deciding to act as a small-scale bank.

  99. Exciting news! I’m looking forward to the “more content” part for sure. I must admit my main takeaway from this post, though, is that your mom is your best friend. I have four boys, so I cling to things like this. I’m going to aim for being best friends with at least one of them when they grow up. I should try to figure out which one will be the most fun now and work on that one…..

  100. So excited and happy for you; looking forward to following you in this new adventure.

  101. Awesome! Can’t wait to see the great transformations.
    JoAnne
    PS – your Mom sounds amazing!

  102. Whoa! I am so excited about this!!!! I have a dream of finding and fixing up houses in my city… not for huge profit, but to help improve housing in my city. The contractors who do buy cheap and fix up around here are so uninspired and it gives me serious sadface.

    I think it’s great that you found & grabbed onto this opportunity! I have no doubt you’ll make this place amazing and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. :)

  103. When I log into Bloglovin’ and see a new Manhattan Nest post, my heart quite literally skips a beat! I’m so excited for more content, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the Kingston Cottage (my vote totally goes to Kingston Cottage for the name. Haha.)

    I love that you put out content when you have something worthwhile to share, and that you don’t just churn out meaningless daily posts for the sake of posting. I get really bored with other blogs that do that. Keep being you, and doing amazing projects and sharing them, and you’ll keep being my favorite blog!

    Thanks so much for your hard work – you brighten up day.

  104. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

    And seriously, don’t sweat it about sponsorships. I don’t mind seeing them at all as long as they are relevant!

  105. This is absolutely amazing!! I cannot wait to see what you do with it!!

  106. Congratulations on becoming a flipper for a living, ha, yay! So, um, that hole in the floor and the new roof don’t mean it was open to the elements and rotting away for years then. Good. Can’t wait to hear more about the house and your plans for it.

  107. Such a cute little house! I love the windows and the detail over the door.

    I spent most of Saturday watching Rehab Addict. Nicole was working on a condemned house that she bought and turned into a jewel.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this house. I have faith that you’ll turn it into a little jewel, too!

  108. What exciting news, I can’t wait to see this house take shape! I’m tired of bloggers apologizing for ads and sponsorships, it makes sense to take such opportunities in order to support the craft. Also, it often means more posts and quicker results which are fun for me to see as a reader.

    Manhattan Nest (now Kingston Crib?) is one of my favorite blogs and I check it everyday just in case!

  109. Daniel. As someone – much older than you – who is contemplating the emotional snake nest of “what’s life all about”, I am ridiculously proud of you for figuring our your “thing to do”. Creating beautiful, quality, and affordable homes is an amazing contribution the world. Look forward to following this journey, and those to come. YAY YOU! And kudos to your AWESOME mom, too!

    • I said virtually the same thing to Daniel this morning, Jennifer. It’s amazing, really! I hope that someday I figure out my “thing to do,” too. I don’t think many people ever manage to.

    • Well, thank you Jennifer (and Anna!)! I have no idea if this is my “thing to do,” really, but it’s a thing I can do right now that I think will be fun and fulfilling and do some good. That’s kind of all I’ve got—happiness and interests and passions are so fluid…I feel like our culture gets caught up in the idea that everyone has a singular calling, and if they haven’t figured it out, they’ve failed or they just aren’t looking hard enough. I think that’s such a bummer, and makes people feel sort of inadequate if they don’t feel like they know what their thing is. So I don’t know…I care about all sorts of things and want to do all sorts of things (many of them COMPLETELY unrelated to any of this!), but this is one of them. After that, we’ll see. :)

      • Tes! This! “happiness and interests and passions are so fluid…I feel like our culture gets caught up in the idea that everyone has a singular calling, and if they haven’t figured it out, they’ve failed or they just aren’t looking hard enough” – I’m at the ebb of one career and looking to transition to another, and sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one whose passions ebb and flow like this. Everyone else seems to find that one career to dedicate their life to, but that’s not how I work. It’s nice to read that other people feel this way, too!

        And since that’s not the point of your blog: SUPER excited to watch you work your magic on the new house! My SO and I have thought a lot about moving out of the city (in our case, Boston) and going somewhere with “potential” where we could be part of building and improving an amazing community…your story makes my heart happy. I’m not sure we’re ready to give up the car-free city living just yet, but since we’re hoping to jump into owning real estate soon I have a feeling that may happen sooner rather than later.

  110. This is so exciting!! I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. My gears are already spinning looking at the first couple of photos, imagining what could be done. (I think that’s something your blog has helped me be able to do- look at photos of a really run-down house and see all kinds of ways it could be transformed into something absolutely amazing.) Yay!

  111. This makes me so happy. Who knew there was a charming little secret cottage hidden back there? Can’t wait to see you bring it back to life :)

  112. So exciting! I was really worried at the beginning there that you were packing it in, blog wise (as another of my favorite blogs did recently), and was so sad, because you are really my favorite blogger right now. But more content? An adorable, not-condemned, fantastic new project??? MORE CONTENT???? Be still my heart. Yay!

  113. Congrats! It’s like deciding to have a second child…your life will be crazier than ever but the rewards are worth it .

    I know NY was settled by the Dutch who invaded Native Lands, but I like the french translation of
    “Hidden Cottage” best- it’s Chalet Caché, (or Caché Chalet ).

    Whatever you call her, she’ll be so happy to be spiffed up again-and I can’t wait to see all the progress, step-by-step! Mono schmono. Who has time for that? Life is short. Live it up. Buy ALL THE HOUSES!

    PS-Maybe your ads/sponsors/giveaways could include companies who give back on a regular basis? Just my two cents, anyway.

  114. my vote for new house name: pied-a-tear
    (purposely spelled tear)

  115. The Little House that Could.

  116. Yea! I’m so excited for you and for me that I get to read even more about your home-fixing-up adventures!!

  117. I think this is so awesome!!! I love fun little houses with tons of character. If you are planning to keep any of the green (please do! please do!) what about Villa Verde?

  118. you real estate mogul you!! I’ll be reading with double interest now! more posts yay!

  119. I’d call her Little Miss Sunshine!

  120. This is so exciting! I actually really enjoy your sponsored content because it gives me great ideas for our own ongoing renovation of our falling apart house. (Most recent – color matching Ben Moore to Valspar Reserve is going to save us a ton of money when we repaint our entire house later this fall). But more importantly, anything that lets you post MORE content is good in my book.

    Can’t wait to see what you are able to accomplish on this new project. I love that you have a really specific aesthetic and how it translates from your different apartments to the Big House in Kingston, and now the “Hidden Nest” (seconding the vote for that name :) while still feeling fresh and appropriate in each setting.

    Good luck!

    • I’m glad to hear that, Ashley, thank you! The Valspar Reserve recommendation wasn’t sponsored (I would say in the post if it was, and it would be categorized on my blog as sponsored!), but I’m so glad it was helpful! I really do love that paint! :)

  121. this is my second day reading your blog (i was hooked when i read about your black doors and “Nothing says “Welcome to Gay Gardens!” like a strange naked man on the wall while you’re eating dinner, am I right?” still laughing over that). Anyway, at first I thought you were going to say you were taking a break from blogging or something, ahem. But can not wait to be along for the ride to see what you do this house!
    Congrats! I like “casa escondida” (hidden house)

  122. As a loyal reader, I look forward to being part of your reno adventures in this tiny little house. If I was a buyer, I’d love to read about the effort and decisions that went into its renovation as it would give me a sense of peace about the purchase and the things in the house that I can’t see (like plumbing behind the walls). In this vein, have you read SoPo Cottage? It’s about what goes into serial renovation and selling of houses, and I look forward to those posts almost as much as I do to yours. Good luck with this new endeavor; may it be fun and profitable.

    • Thank you, Ann! I do hope whoever ends up living there is interested in all the work that went into it!

      I’m sort of shocked I’ve never seen or heard of that site before! I’ll definitely have to read more…I just took a quick look and it looks so fun!

  123. This is the best news EVER!

  124. The tree house! I love it. Good for you, good for the neighborhood!

  125. I’m a new follower on your blog and I appreciate your discussion about sponsorships. I’ve stopped following bloggers who (1) have sponsored posts that have nothing to do with their “brand” and (2) let other people write most of their content. How valuable is their voice if they let others speak on their behalf and influence or water-down their content.

    So good for you for your approach. And it looks like I’ve started following you at the right time… I’m very excited to see the transformation of your new property.

  126. Love this little gem hiding behind a forest. And love the additional blog content that it promises.

    And, within reason, go for the sponsored content. You get to make a living and we get free content. Bonus for us that you are transparent about it.

  127. This is freaking great. I am so excited to see how it goes!

  128. This is SO exciting! And it seems like you hit the nail on the head to achieve everything you’re looking for — expand the blog, further your personal and professional goals, keep readers extremely interested, generate more income in a transparent, nonsketchy way, and more. Can’t wait to read all about this and everything else.

    Aside from flipping it, If you ever wanted to offer personalized workshops or retreats or whatever (on design or writing or DIY or home renovation or something? I dunno), you could always turn the house into a kind of guesthouse for that?

  129. As an architect and fellow renovator I am equal parts insanely jealous and happy for you!
    Also jealous of the cheap real estate! Everything where I live is half a mill…
    Can’t wait to see what you do with this “fresh” nest.

  130. That’s one whacked kitchen. Congratulations to you, max and mom. I guess. This will be a wild ride for sure. Question: why can’t you sell the Reno to hgtv? Talk about sponsorship. I have been reading you from the beginning and it may be time to really get out there. I mean come on. You see the shows they put on. Yours would be so fresh and real. If that’s even possible for tv.

  131. VERY EXCITING!! Congratulations, this is going to be so awesome!!

  132. I don’t comment ever, but I just wanted to say I am so so excited to see where you take this little house. :)

  133. I’m excited. I adore what you’ve done with your home and can’t wait to see what you will do with the new one.

  134. Love, love, love it! I thought I was a brave renovator; you have great imagination, patience, and the willingness to step out. Wow! I great up in New York State north of Kingston – Kingston always meant “Bluestone” to me and my family. How about naming your new project “Bluestone Cottage” and designing a beautiful bluestone walkway through the front garden?

    • That’s so sophisticated sounding! I like it! And actually, there is a TON of big bluestone slabs underneath all that crazy jungle mess…that was a nice first-day discovery (tempered, of course, by a terrible one!)

  135. Three cheers! Hip, hip!

    Do you think Nicole Curtis could come and work some of the machinery needed?!

    • I’ll try to get her here, haha! She’s probably afraid of me at this point. My love just runs too deep.

  136. Those moms! Aren’t they the BEST?! I am soo excited for you – I think this is an awesome opportunity!

  137. So much yes, so much confetti pop emojis. Excited to see what you do!!

  138. Good for you, and hurray for Kingston! Looking forward to all of your blogs on your new venture. Know will be a wonderful dream house when you are done. Keep,up the good work!

  139. Already makes me what to buy this house when you’ll be done with it :D Also – yay for more content!

  140. Ha! You weren’t kidding when you said their were houses in Kingston like the ones in Newburgh. $20,000 houses with sound structures are my dream scenario. I am too exited about “The Other House” and even more excited for more content. Congrats, Daniel!

  141. Long time reader, never commented-

    I worked with a small real estate investment firm for an while out of school and we purchased 120 homes in the course of 18 months (mainly in NJ), and either flipped or rented them depending on how the finances played out. I now work for a very large NYC developer, primarily residential projects, and I am counting down the time until I can get back in the game of working for myself on my own projects. Very interested in the Hudson Valley market, but as long as I have a full time job, its not feasible for me to live in Brooklyn and work on a side project in my spare time up near you. There is absolutely nothing better than working on your own project and seeing palpable progress and steps forward, no matter how small.

    You seem to have good experience with knowing your limits of expertise, and I have noticed on your blog that you have an inherent ability with project management and phasing during a gut renovation. I have absolutely no doubt with your abilities and with enough time you could probably do the entire thing yourself! However, in the interest of time and $$$ (one in the same with a project like this), you will inevitably sub many of the jobs out and do the fun stuff for yourself. I cannot stress the importance of hiring competent experts and skilled labor for a job (or flip) like this. Your contractors (or sub contractors as you will act as the GC) will make or break this project, and by extension make or break your budget. Luckily you have found a few tradesmen you can trust during your house renovations, but it goes without saying that whenever you are spending yours or your mom’s money on other people, it absolutely must be the best value you can find. The best value is a fine balance of the best quality work for the lowest price. Get everything in writing and do your homework on people with references. You can never spend too much time or money on vetting people, and it only takes getting burned once to learn this. Find guys that would work well with you and are willing to work alongside you eg. Letting you demo while they follow right behind with the new subfloor.

    Let me know if you want to talk shop! I would build this house on paper multiple times (both financially and design plans) before the 1st dumpster even shows up, and as always, double your estimated time and budget. Excited for you, and very jealous, nothing compares to the feeling of starting something new!!

    • Commenting to say I like Kingston Nest, and that this Dylan comment seems very smart. I’ve been reading you for years, though I rarely comment, and I’ve seen you do a good job learning from and incorporating your reader’s comments into your knowledge base. I love that about you, as well as your effervescent for beautiful houses.
      Keep on keeping on, because I have a feeling you’re about to EXPLODE onto the blog world in a way you hadn’t even imagined possible back in the Apt Therapy small spaces voting days.
      Also +1ing on the occasional Mom’s perspective blog post.
      Congratulations!

  142. I almost had a heart attack. I thought you were leading up to an exit, stage left, a la Young House Love. Instead, more posts! Woo hooooooooo!

  143. Fingers crossed the original front door is hiding in the basement or back shed!

  144. This is SOOOO exciting. I can’t wait to see how this project goes. You are by far one of my favorite bloggers. You keep it real (shit goes wrong at times, demo is dirty dirty work, sometimes you have to just start somewhere, there is no shame in having a half-finished project if it means you get exactly what you want in the end) and give people a real sense of how all this stuff works versus the usual “I decided to reno the bathroom and boom, one week later it is completely transformed and everything was rainbow farts and sugary unicorn breath and we didn’t run into a single hiccup.”

    I do have to ask, what is the lowest number of extra trips you have had to make to the hardware store for a project once you start (meaning after the initial big purchase of all the stuff you thought you would need)? For us, our record is only 3 extra trips. Was almost 2 once…then I cut the last piece of pipe for the kitchen sink drain too short and I was back in the car to get another piece. :)

    • Thank you Kristina!

      Oh man, ok, so I just helped a friend renovate a bathroom (but had to check out of the project near the end due to the whole Mono thing…), and I think by the time *I* was done with the project (but the bathroom wasn’t finished, so i don’t know!), I think I’d been to Lowe’s 5 times. And I felt like that was really pro. Because it is usually just an everyday event until whatever I’m doing is done. 2 or 3 sounds completely impossible!

  145. OMG – I am so excited to hear (and see) more about this house! What you have already done to your house is amazing, and I know this new house is going to be just as fabulous. Cannot wait to see more!! Congrats.

    Also, maybe I’m biased because I work in the advertising field (used to work for Meredith/BHG actually), but I don’t see anything wrong with sponsored content. Especially when you choose to work with companies and brands that you trust and would most likely use anyway – why not get paid for it! :)

  146. I’m quite excited about your new project and an increase in posts as I often check your blog to find out the next step in the Kingston renovation saga.

    As for the sponsored content, I feel that for most of the blog I read I have a good feel for the writer and the disclosure of sponsored content is done in a very straightforward manner. I also feel like the bloggers are very selective in what products and companies they support and if they didn’t like something, they would tell their audience just that.

  147. You just made my day. Different house, different challenges, different style to suit cottage spaces, but everything Daniel. Yes! Always appreciate the transparency of your sponsored content. Style + integrity + humor + 2 photogenic pets = A1 blog. Just remember to factor in some R&R for the “having a life” part, yes?

  148. SUPER excited!

  149. As someone with one foot in Manhattan and one foot in the Schoharie Valley (a little north of you), I can relate. The Hudson Valley is gorgeous and full of interesting people. Congratulations on your decision and on this very exciting (and smart) project. I’m looking forward to reading about this next great adventure. PS: I do not mind your sponsored content at all and in fact find it informative along with everything else you post.

  150. Mazel! Victoria Kingston sounds like a bad bitch house name.

  151. Awesome and exciting. I’m excited to see the progress on this house! Ps You were my inspiration to get out and finish a job that sucks this weekend: Myself to myself “Well that dude with that blog works hard on his house so get your butt outside and strip the paint off those new/old porch pillars.” “Truth self…truth.”

  152. This is SO EXCITING!! What a smart idea for sponsored content–I’ve seen a few people do a donation room here and there but this is a much bigger scale and an amazingly positive thing to do for your neighborhood. Plus, hey, more content = much <3 !

  153. Such a sweet little house! It is incredible to me that you and Max are able to live this responsible, spontaneous, productive and fulfilling life at such a young age. My husband and I are just a little older than you guys, and your gumption is truly inspiring (to me, that is. my poor husband has come home to me and the circular saw in the kitchen one too many times to be really stoked about renovations.) You need your girl Nicole Curtis to come pay you a visit…she worked with LeBron, why not Daniel?

    Best of luck! Can’t wait to see the process.

  154. Hi Daniel,

    I’m really excited for you and your new venture. Yours is one of the few I read on the regular.

    The “other house” is positively adorable and I know you’re going to breathe new life into it and make it a place that people want to live in. As for a name, given your mother’s involvement, the proximity to your house and your propensity for all things associated with Victorian ladies, might I suggest “the Dower House” as a name?

    That is all.
    Good luck from your neighbour to the North,
    Ellen
    Ottawa, Canada

  155. Sponsor away! Sponsor broadly! I figure I will only learn by the products and businesses you decide to feature. You’re the real deal – your writing, your design eye, your project management, your photography. The brands ought to pay you really big bucks for sponsorships – because we will all be listening, and then occasionally re-blogging your recommendations, of course:).

  156. Oh WOW! Congratulations! You’ve got such an awesome mom, not to mention HOW AMAZING that you decided to expand in this way.
    I must admit, I do worry for your finances in a completely unreasonable way, so it is a relief to read your disclosure (not that I would feel entitled to know about your private business and all). You are so so brave, I can’t even!

    LOVE the idea of more content, and I feel like I don’t even care that it’s not on schedule, it feels more natural that way. And as someone who blogged for a hot second, having a schedule can dampen the writing motivation so fast! So good for you!
    As far as names, I vote for Cottage or Cottage Nest – something that will be easy to roll off the tongue/types fast.

  157. Aren’t mums the best!
    Like other commenters, when I started reading I thought “oh no, no more Manhattan Nest”, but happily it’s the opposite. My favourite blog by far!

  158. aaah congratulations! I envy anyone that will be living in that house! Just as I envy people that live in your apartment :)

  159. YAAaAAAAAAAAAAAAY! So excited for you Daniel, and can’t wait to see more on the other house (Which is just SO CHARMING!)

  160. Wow, this is exciting! I wish we could do something like this in our neighborhood, too. Can’t wait to see what comes of it.

  161. Daniel,
    This is exciting news. I have learned so much from your blog and I love your style of writing with all the humor and information. Please don’t loose the writing style, it is what makes your writing so pleasurable to read.
    It is a really cute little house, almost a cottage in the woods. I am anxious to find out what you do with it and to have a complete tour of the unrenovated beginnings.

    Cal

  162. I am thrilled!!! All time favorite blog and can’t wait to follow this new adventure!!!

  163. At first I was scared to read this post. It started out feeling like it was going to be a ‘i dont have time to blog anymore cos im too busy’ but Im so relieved that its actually The.Complete.Opposite

    Yay !

    Good Luck !

  164. This is so exciting! I love the way you write and the frenetic energy you bring to renovation. And yes, get sponsors all you can because this is a business, and damn straight you deserve to be paid for it!

    As for the name of the house… how big is it? Does it qualify as a cottage? What kinds of trees does it have/ do you want it to have? How whimsical do you want it to be?

    My first thoughts are all about the optimism and hope you have tied up in it, so it goes that way:
    Hope Cottage
    Feathered Cottage (hope being the thing with feathers that perches on the soul)

    • Thanks so much, Vanessa! The house is 2 floors (no attic, partial basement) and 1300 square feet…it’s definitely very cottage-like! I think it might just have to be The Cottage…I suck at naming stuff!

  165. Wow, this is SO exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with this place! It sounds like you have a great plan to make sponsored posts really work for you – I’m imagining it being something like how so many DIY Network/HGTV shows are “brought to you by…” Your sponsors (hopefully) will provide you with what you really need to renovate this house in exchange for advertising/promotion, and your readers will get to learn about some products/companies. And we get more posts. Sounds like a win-win-win all around (especially because of the more posts part)!

    As for names, the Dandelion Cottage suggested above seems both charming and accurate!

  166. Congrats Daniel!
    I’ve never commented on your blog but I’ve been reading for a long time. I don’t think anyone will have any problems with more sponsored content as long as you stay true to yourself and your voice. What differentiates you from other bloggers is your honesty about what really works and what doesn’t. I’m really looking forward to seeing you tackle a new space!

  167. Yay. So exciting. I think that you should say “yes” to every sponsored post, then make us laugh and impress the hell out of us as you find ways to make it all work. “You’re probably wondering where I’m going to use these aluminum louvered doors …”

    • Hahahaha, oh man, if I said yes to every sponsored post, I would have blogged about some CRAZY shit at this point. Trust, you don’t want that. OR MAYBE YOU DO?? (nah, it’d get old)

  168. So excited for you! Congrats and I can’t wait to read all about it =)

  169. I’m contemplating selling a kidney to get some work done on my house, so go ahead and shake your money maker and get some sponsors!

    “Gay Gardens” perhaps?

  170. YAY! Congratulations- excited as usual to see your progress. I think it’s great that you can find sponsors to, well, sponsor your projects, more power to ya! (and yay to more posts too, love your honest writing style.)
    hidden house maybe? or secret garden house? or a play on Kingston?

  171. For a terrified half-minute I thought you were going to announce quitting blogging. ~calms still-racing heart~ I’m so glad to hear that you’ve picked up another project! This house looks like will be so grateful for a little love and attention. Does that sound weird? But I 500% believe homes have feelings too, and I bet dollars to donuts this one’s excited to be your next project!

  172. this is so awesome! congrats on this little gem. as a fellow blogger (at a sub par level), i’m all supportive for sponsored content, it only makes sense at this level!

  173. INfor cute wee house! I am so excited and thrilled for you. You will turn her into something beautiful, I have no doubt. In MY head, her name is already ‘Little Sister’….

  174. This is similar to my project, but much less expensive. I’d say your mom’s got the best deal in this endeavour. If you’re looking for a lower interest rate, get in touch. In Europe 2 % classifies as “high interest rate”.

    • 2%! Woah! *packs bags for europe*

      • There’s no longer interest rates on private bank accounts, and the ECB has introduced a negative interest rate on bank’s bank accounts. I.e. banks are charged, if they have money lying around. This is to encourage investing. Both by the banks, but also private investments, such as your mothers. Keeping money in a bank account has a theoretical loss. Giving it to an entrepreneur like you has revenue.

        It seems to work rather well. Loaning money to friends and family spreads the risk, thus avoiding a sub-prime carousel encore.

      • Fascinating! Oh, Europe. Smarty pants.

  175. The Jungle House. The fan-like decoration above the door totally looks like a palm frond.

  176. Soooo nice!!! I love your blog, read it since it was a dorm… and now you are almost a Donald Trump! Now, seriously, I am from Brazil, live in Rio de Janeiro and would love to buy this cottage and retire in Kingston… Nice job! Love you two!

  177. I vote that it be called Mekko’s Doll House.

  178. Blue Apron? I read 50+ blogs & have never encountered Blue Apron & apparently that’s a good thing.

    Keep up the transparency & hope if you find a dud product, you will reveal that as well.

    Your mom is THE B E S T!!! I’d do exactly the same for my dear son. Your mom raised a good and talented son & must be so proud. Don’t change!

    It is your love of a house and your sense of community that is also compelling. Kingston & your neighborhood is so lucky to have you and Max in their midst.

    Chalet a Revele (cottage revealed) or Chalet Enchante (enchanted cottage) or Chalet Cache (hidden cottage)

    Masel Tov! So, so happy for you and Max. Looking forward to more frequent blogs.

    • Thank you, JB! My mom is totally the best!

      (Oh, and I don’t mean to shit on Blue Apron at all—I mentioned above, but I actually used the service for quite a while just as a regular customer and think it’s really pretty great!! Food was awesome, learned some stuff about cooking, used weird ingredients I’d never buy or know what to do with…I really liked it. Apparently they just had some unfortunate coordination with sponsored posts on home/interior/lifestyle blogs…nobody wants to read all the bloggers talking about the same thing all at once!)

  179. Just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and it’s one of my absolute favorites on my blog roll. I can’t wait to see what you do with the new place and I wouldn’t worry about sponsored posts etc. Just do what you need to do. As long as the content is as entertaining and interesting as it has been (and how could it not be in the future!) you’re golden. You deserve some compensation for your time and efforts. Thanks for being awesome!

  180. This is all fantastic news. I am excited to see what you do with the new place and relieved to hear this wasn’t one of those “I’m tired of blogging. Good bye” posts!

  181. What ran through my mind as I read was, “Ha, ha, ha, he forgot a zero!”

    $20,000 for a house in a nice neighborhood? Wha?? Even if it is a crap house, that’s an unbelievable price. And you paid less for yours? Does not compute!

    Well, good for you! We love you out here in readerland.

    • Well, most people probably wouldn’t classify my neighborhood as particularly “nice,” but I really do love it and its proximity to Uptown (which is the adorable charming place where all the good restaurants and stuff are)—NO regrets at all about where we bought! And OHHH, I was saying we paid less than 100K for our house, not 20K!! Now THAT really would be a steal!! (ours was 85K, if you’re dying to know…it’s public record and not that hard to figure out where I live, so whatever.)

  182. Love this! Looking forward to the transformation of what I would call The Little Nest.

  183. This is so exciting! Can’t wait to see you do your magic here!
    How about Kingston Platz?

  184. I’m a long time reader and super infrequent commenter and your blog is my favorite (door sixteen is a close second). For what it’s worth, I don’t mind the sponsored posts because they enable you to do great projects and post about them on your blog. I think where people do mind them is when the company encourages you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do, or compromises the way you do things in some way, which hasn’t been the case with your blog as far as I’ve noticed. I’m excited for this new project and if I lived on the east coast, I would love to buy any house you were involved with.

  185. Wow! My name suggestion is “One Ten”. Also I’d love to drive over to Kingston for the day to meet you, pitch in with some yardwork or such and the opportunity to gather some bits of technical info for my own project(s).

  186. I take my hat off for you. Thank you for loving and saving old houses! I’m another long time reader and don’t comment much, but today I had to say what an amazing person you are to take on an old house like this and to share it with us. I don’t mind the sponsored content here. You have such integrity that I can be certain that the companies that you do choose to write about are companies that I would be interested in buying from were I to live in US. Your blog is the one I always read first because you treat your old house with respect and love. And for your enthusiasm. :) I am very much looking forward to reading about your extra-house as well as your own house.

  187. High Hopes House
    “Just what makes that little old ant
    Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant”

    I think you should have your own show. Seriously.

  188. Little House in the Big Woods….and for short “the little house,” since that’s at least what I’d end up calling it no matter what I actually named it.

    Congrats. It makes me so happy that you’ll be able to make a living from this, and that as a result I’ll get to enjoy more of your wonderful DIY/commentary. I’ve lost interest in pretty much every blog I used to read, but yours is different. You’ve inspired me to take on many tasks in my home that I wouldn’t have done normally, and to appreciate the cute historic details/quirks in our 1930’s cape, rather than fighting them.

  189. I read, love and never comment but OH MY GOD I would beg, steal or borrow to buy that place. It is perfect. And even just in photos has a spectacular feel to it. Can’t wait to see you work your magic. Congratulations!

    (And a big yes to your own show. But only if you sell it to the UK so I can watch. )

  190. I’m glad to see you take this on. I have a remodelers heart stuck in the body of a much less lucrative and energetic person, so I’m always glad to see others with a similar mindset get into remodeling houses for fun (and money). Obviously, you’ve thought of naming it the Treehouse, right? ;)

  191. Congrats! I’m looking forward to the new content. I don’t think I’ve commented before but wanted to let you know that I read all the time and learn so much! I store away ideas from the stuff you share (even the projects you say fail lol) for all of the dream renovations I have in my head for my own home. And yeah, if you ever get your own show, I will definitely watch you!

  192. Kudos to you– I am so excited to watch this project unfold!!

  193. Such amazing pearl! So happy for you and for all of us who will get lots of posts!

    I propose to name it “The Down Street House”.

  194. So excited for you and all of your readers! Going with the movie/upstate New York theme, I thought of Hyde Park on the Hudson. A Wikipedia search revealed that the house that hosted King George was Top Cottage. Not sure how you’d feel about that double entendre especially paired with Gay Gardens – But I had to share it with you for the laugh.

  195. So exciting! I’ve loved seeing how bad ass the reno has had to be on your current house (tearing out walls and ceilings is THE BEST) – so this is only great news!

  196. First, Good luck!!
    Second, looking so forward to everything.
    Third, Go Mom for being so supportive!

  197. This is great! I’m so excited for you and to follow along with the process. I love how conscientious you are about investing in your community.

  198. Love the new exciting chapter. We are also renovating a house (first home buyers) but nothing on the scale you are. What about calling it the Pied a terre. A small house some distance from your primary residence and the french just makes it a little bit fancy!!

    • So fancy! Maybe a little too fancy, haha. Wait til the interior photos! Congrats on your first house!!

  199. Love it! So sweet and charming!! And such a lucky little house to be in your capable hands!
    How about “Phoenix Cottage” ??? You know, rising from the ashes (or weeds, as it may be!)….

  200. Oh wow, I can’t wait to follow this transformation! So exciting! It’s so much fun watching how you love the “big house” back to life, how thorough you are with all the details and everything (“what would Daniel do?” has become my mantra when fixing up my own apartment), so I’m sure this one is going to be amazing as well.

    I honestly gasped out loud when I read this post, like “moooore Daniel-renovating, yaaaay!”. 8 months? Yeah, you can totally do it! :D

  201. Awesome idea! I have a similar loan situation with my grandparent-in-laws (they paid off my student loans and I’m paying them back with more interest than the bank/less interest than the loan company–win/win!) Excited to see the progress on the new house.

  202. Daniel, your posts are always fun—I’m glad when a new one shows up in Feedly. Doing another house sounds like a great time, vicariously! I always appreciate someone who can write well while creating a real voice, especially a voice with your kind of personality and humor.

    And you’ve always been transparent and believable, so thank you for that!

    As for a house name, how about Hummingbird House (I didn’t read every comment, so don’t know if this has been suggested) because hummingbird nests are TINY. The trim color on the exterior is also bright, like a hummingbird’s feathers.

    karin

  203. “Oh my goooooooooood, why in hell would you cover that up?!!”

    Yesssss, this is awesome!
    I’m a long-time lurker, first-time commenter and I am supremely excited to see you take this project on (and hopefully more in the future), as I cannot get enough of your blog already. Cheers to new endeavors!!

  204. Reading this post made me feel like Christmas came early! I can’t wait to see how you rescue this… bush? And turn it back into a house. :)

  205. I have always loved your blog and am excited to see Manhattan Nest on steroids!

    As someone who adores blogs but knows I do not have the stamina to write one myself, I just wanted to say that I actually appreciate sponsored content because it pays for my FREE hobby of reading blogs. Reading an obviously sponsored blog post here and there is the least a reader can do when they get to watch amazing renovations, get fashion styling advice including direct links to products, and get to peek inside the lives of others and feel a connection to other like-minded people through blogs. No complaints here if you want to make this blog a business!

  206. Just finished a good mystery……….Night Work by Steve Hamilton……………set in Kingston NY………your NEW hometown. Congratulations to you both and the pups!!!!!!

  207. I am so excited……I can’t wait to see what you do with that house. I think using sponsorship wisely will be good for all. It will help you fix it up faster & hopefully better and it may also show what products to use. My only quibble with your blog (please excuse the quibble) is that you don’t post often enough……I just love your writing style and what you have done to your house. I am hoping to see lots of content on your experience with this flip.

    I live in a 100 year old Craftsman in Vancouver and I am really considering changing my doors in the hall to black after you showed how great it can be. I have a long wide hall that runs the length of the house with shoulder height board & baton. It was painted when we moved in and I redid it in BM Cloud White. The walls above are textured and they are in BM Cloud white too. I like the look but think the black doors would just raise it to a “whole ‘nuther level”. Not sure if I would have thought of it without your beautiful example. I have boiled the hardware per your advice and that really perked them up too. Might have to change to white knobs like you though.

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the new house.

  208. WOOOT! More content, hell to the yes! And congrats to you and Mom on the new house.
    You need to make a living, I don’t begrudge you on that. In fact I hope those darn sponsors roll in for you!

    How about the name “Queen Kingston Nest”?

  209. What an amazing house! I can see why you were so taken with it, it has a magical quality. Cannot wait to see the progress!

  210. So exciting, congratulations. Its always nerve racking to take a risk like this, but I already know this will be worth the ride :). I don’t have a name but I love the Yiddish words if any of these terms would suit?

  211. I am that person who never comments, BUT THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER EVER. This? Is exactly the kind of sponsored/partnered content I am dreaming for, and OF COURSE you would find the way to make it happen. Bra-vo.

  212. The tree directly in front of the house, the one with the big heart-shaped leaves is a catalpa, I have one in my front yard (Ann Arbor, MI). In late spring it is COVERED in these pretty white orchid-like flowers that smell divine. I hope you will try to keep it. Although in fall it has those annoying seed pods that are a bitch to rake but burn like a mo-fo, crackling and spitting, good kindling for outdoor fire pits. Can’t wait for the progress to start and when is that exactly? BTW I like Kingston Cottage, would it be too kitschy to call it Kingston Kottage, yeah, probably?

    • Thank you, Paula! Unfortunately the tree is in a really terrible spot and has been pretty mangled from some very bad pruning, so I think it has to go, but I’ll definitely plant another tree in a better spot…I have a soft spot for dogwoods, so that’s kind of what I see here! More toward the front right hand corner.

      We’ve already started! Eep!

  213. Awesome news!
    As for names: La Casa Condenada. In Spanish, Condenada not only means condemned but also something that gives you a hard time ;)

  214. Can I say WTG?! That little house is adorable and you can do it! WTG Mom too!

  215. Good for you, Daniel! I love this blog. I’ve been an occasional reader of other design blogs, but this is the one I look forward to, the one I save as a treat for getting through the work day. I also renovate/build houses (not full-time), and I want to let you know that I really like the way you do sponsored content. I find it helpful to hear how you work with new materials, and very often I end up buying the things you profile. So sponsors, take note: real people read this and we pay attention. And we buy things.

    I’m so looking forward to reading about TNBT (the next big thing) and what you do with it!

  216. Wonderful news! I’m a fairly new reader of your blog and I absolutely love your writing style and approach to renovation/restoration. It’s great that you are able to generate income through blogging and I can’t wait to read about this new adventure- sponsored and not!

  217. I love this project. I’ve dreamed of doing something like this in my neighborhood for some of the same reasons as you. I don’t need to create blog content, but those poor houses, they just need someone who loves them. I see these forgotten houses come on the market for sometimes $40,000, $50,000 and need extensive work but I worry that they’ll be “updated” and end up with all vinyl windows and home depot cabinets. With a full time desk job i can’t figure out the time to manage a renovation on a house that’s not my home even if I could swing the money. But that’s really something I’d love to do. The recent interest in my neighborhood has been called by some gentrification. However, i hope there is something in between “run down rental ‘hood with obvious drug sales in the park” and gentrified yuppie-ville that displaces the current residents.

    I just want neighbors that care about their home, their yard, their other neighbors and want to live here for a long time.

    I look forward to the new content and projects you’ll be able to tackle with the new house. Like you i started reading house blogs back in the day of houseblogs.net when it was mostly renovation / restoration content. I love the design stuff too, but i also want to hear about stripping paint from banisters and door knobs or replacing plumbing, and restoring old windows and making decisions about storm windows and screens.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Ryan! When writing this post (and taking on this project in such a public way), I was really concerned that I’d end up taking a lot of flack for trying to gentrify the neighborhood, which is so not the case. I’m really glad you brought it up, because yes, exactly: I think there is absolutely an in-between, and our neighborhood, I hope, is headed toward that. There are so many GREAT people on my street and the surrounding blocks, and that’s a very diverse group in every way you can imagine. We all just want the same thing: to live in a place that’s safe and cared for, and where people respect their own property and that of others. Houses like this one (luckily there aren’t many, but more than there should be) just become targets for all sorts of things…drug/gang activity, vandalism, destruction, trespassing, littering, not to mention just being eyesores that make an otherwise OK block seem kind of derelict and probably affect surrounding property values. Et cetera. One of the big lessons I’ve learned with our house (which still has SO much work to be done) is that when a house looks cared for, people are much more inclined to respect it. Our stuff doesn’t get stolen, our windows don’t get smashed, our yard doesn’t get littered in…and it makes people happy to see a house in their neighborhood getting improved and looked after. All of it makes a difference, I think, and there’s a HUGE separation between that and “yuppie-ville.” So anyway, I’m rambling now, but thank you!

      (and oh, the days of houseblogs.net! I can say for SURE I wouldn’t be doing any of this without those early house blogs…so detailed, so informative, so much fun…I wish more of them were still going!)

      • the rev. jim dickerson practically invented micro finance in america when he realized affordable housing for families in d.c. meant teaching people how to save money for homes, and helping them qualify for loans. he has created neighborhoods like the ones you’re talking about throughout d.c. through his home reno and home buying program, manna inc.
        progressive rehab for inner cities dwellings, progressive finance. i would love to think of you hooking up with jim dickerson to learn both his sustainable rehab strategies — most def including sweat equity by the buyer — to preserve affordable housing in the kinds of viable and sustainable village communities you’re talking about. power to the people.
        http://www.mannadc.org/template/page.cfm?id=111

  218. That’s so exciting! Yay, Mom! You could always rent it out on airbnb and thus write off a lot of the renovation expenses. I bet you’ll attract people to Kingston with your love of the place! Congratulations, you guys!

  219. can’t wait to follow along. I agree with the others that you are very open & transparent about your sponsorship deals & they always feel genuine and not forced. I can’t stand posts where the blogger is cagey about the kick backs. Or the deals of the sponsorship are hazy and not fully disclosed (LGN – I’m looking at you). It makes me distrust them & I eventually stop reading.
    All the best for this crazy new adventure!
    Jo

  220. I never comment but have been reading regularly pretty much since you bought your house and am looking forward to having a front row seat for your new adventure. Your posts have given me the motivation and confidence to attack my own less than stellar living room walls. Though I’m not going to be skim coating the whole thing I’ve got wallpaper removal and taping seams and a couple spots of disintegrating plaster to deal with (plaster washers for the win!). Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you, Victoria! And good luck! Wall repair is slow and tedious, but once you get that first coat of primer on…nothing like it!

  221. Fantastic news, congratulations!

    Question: If you organise a sponsor and the product is awful do you blog about it?

    • You know, that’s really (honestly! I swear!) never happened to me! I have to say, I’m honestly not entirely sure…I’m guessing it would have to be a case-by-case basis sort of thing (like I may just cancel the deal entirely or give the company the option of backing out), but I can absolutely promise I’ll never lie about a product being great if it isn’t. I don’t generally accept out-of-the-blue kinds of offers from people/companies that I don’t know anything about or already trust and do business with, so it’s hard to imagine being in that position!

  222. Congrats on the new project!

    I agree with some others about the sponsored posts – please spare us the Blue Apron and the Nature Box posts… my lord.

    For what it’s worth, I also appreciate when bloggers are upfront (in the first couple lines of a post) that it is sponsored. There’s nothing more disappointing/shadier than reading some feel-good lifestyle post about “how great life is blah blah blah but there’s just this one little thing and OH LOOK I just happened to find out about this little thing called SNAPPLE and it was totally the solution to that one little thing and now my life is EVEN BETTER! Blah blah blah, end of post. (Oh and p.s. this post was sponsored.)” Like, come on.

    But I trust you and your crazy self so I know you wouldn’t play me that way.

    Looking forward to the (mis)adventures ahead. Thanks for always keeping it real around here!

    xoxo

  223. It’s one thing to read blogs where the authors keep redoing the same spaces over and over via sponsored posts. I mean … what about the rest of your houses guys? It’s not relate-able anymore to see that happen. I actually have un-followed a few blogs lately because the sponsored posts were so frustrating.

    But it’s such a different thing to see you using sponsorships for GOOD. You are going to save a house and that is amazing. AMAZING. I hope Home Depot and Ace Hardware and Lowe’s and Dyson and Carnival Cruises and whoever makes those air filters people keep randomly talking about pay for every darn inch of this salvation project. Thank you for warning us in advance of your plans. Now GIT ‘ER DONE!

  224. I’m so excited about Manhattan Nest on steroids! And huge congrats on another exciting adventure.
    You’re like a fairy godfather turning Kingston real estate beautiful with a wave of your magic toolbox. (That is perhaps the gayest, most metaphorically mixed sentence I have every typed.)

    And since your Mom’s comments are always my favorite, I hope her involvement in this project means seeing her name more in the comments section!

    • Or the BEST sentence you’ve ever typed! Must incorporate somehow into my About page, haha.

      Me too! I think she has a little stage fright about how many people are bringing her up in these comments!

  225. Oh this is so exciting! Can’t wait to read more about this new adventure! Wonderful stuff.

  226. What I love about this post is that you are both so happy living in Kingston. I think that living in the right place is so important for our well being.

    Renovating The Cottage is a great idea. You’ve gained so much experience already and will gain even more. I can see you becoming the king of renovating victorian properties and see you working your way around Kingston, buying the old properties, renovating them, selling them on. Hey, the council may end up giving you an award for improving the housing stock and the look of the town.

    Best of luck with the new project and kudos to Mom for becoming your business partner.

  227. Jealous.

  228. Congratulations! I think this is a fantastic step in the right directions based on your blog posts and your talents. Can’t wait to see what you do with the little house. It’s adorable. Sponsored posts are fine, I like finding out about new products out there via blogs. Keep doing you and we’ll keep reading!

  229. So you know how the nucleotides on human DNA are made up of bits that are coded (i.e.: A, G, C, and T)? Well, the ‘A’s, in your case, don’t stand for “adenine”, they stand for “AWESOME”.

    That is all.

    PS: I’m pretty sure I love you forever. Please don’t tell my husband.

  230. Love it! Did you ever watch the secret garden as a kid? She finds the garden and fixes it up. That’s what I thought of, so what about The Secret Cottage? Granted, maybe you’re removing the tree and it won’t be secret…I love this personal reflective thought you have going on, I get to read for free, so please continue doing sponsors as classy as you have been! Thanks for the free content! I can’t wait for more posts.

  231. You should hold off on naming the house preemptively. (Much like living in a house for awhile before you take in major renovations to see how you actually use the space!) It will come to you in time, and be perfect when it does. That said, I’d call it the “halfway house” because 1) you’re a rehab addict 2) it’s halfway hidden from sight 3) it’s halfway functional – structure and roof only and 4) you’re admittedly halfway nuts to take on another major renovation! Note: I say this in jest, and with no disrespect, as halfway houses provide a wonderful transition for those seeking positive, rehabilitative change in their lives.

  232. how do i follow you??

  233. I almost never comment, but I had to de-lurk to tell you how THRILLED I am by this news. I completely love your voice and your blog and I’m so glad that you’re starting on a new project. How wonderful, too, that you’re improving your community at the same time. I would never in a million years begrudge you for accepting sponsorships and I’m so glad your mom decided to partner with you. Hooray! Can’t wait for a tour :)

  234. The “Gay Chalet”. Boom, there it is.

    • OMG, that’s really good.

    • Love it!

    • incredible

    • this

    • “The Gay Chalet” is brilliant. I was going to suggest “Nest Egg” but, damn, the chalet suggestion is more in line with your hysterical writing. I am still chortling over the “nothing says Welcome to Gay Gardens like a strange naked man on the wall while you are eating dinner.”

      This is the first time I have posted a comment in many years of reading your blog, Daniel. I love how you don’t clutter up the page with ads. I really like your candid evaluation of products. Even the misfire projects (I have had my own front door like escapades. There is a certain deck that is mocking me even as I type.) I also do not mind the infrequent posting. I always want more. But I will trade quality for quantity.

      …and please, don’t ever stop being the honest, snarky over-sharer. You are wonderful. I want to stalk your neighborhood and be your friend. (Don’t worry. I live in Minnesota.)

  235. Daniel! Long time reader, first time commenter (I think).

    I think this is great! And I love your blogging model. It’s so different than a lot of what I’m seeing. And if more sponsored posts mean more sassy, entertaining content from you, I’m all for it.

    Your mom made a great investment with you. You get shit done, and I love hearing about when you fail, as well, because you’re hilarious and transparent and great about it.

    You totally give me hope for my future home buying and renovation dreams. Keep it up! And I’ll keep reading.

  236. FANTASTIC!
    Daniel, you are a joy to read, and your style and desire to keep things original (or as close to looking original as possible) is why I keep coming back to this blog. I have complete trust in your ability to do sponsored posts and to whip this house in to shape. How FUN! I’m a little jealous. ;)
    Thanks for always bringing us along on your adventures in homemaking. Can’t wait to read along with yet another Daniel house. So, so happy for you!
    P.S. Your Momma rocks!

  237. Hey Daniel I love reading your blog! I grew up renovating old houses with my dad so it’s great to live vicariously through you. I would ask your new neighbors Nicely if they would remove those horrible awful disgusting satellite dishes from their front porch!!! maybe if that didn’t work you could then bake them a cake but if that didn’t work maybe find some obscure zoning law that would require them to remove them. I think I would even volunteerto pay their cable bill just so I didn’t have to look at them them…done with rant now :)

  238. It’s incredible that there is a house hiding behind all that overgrowth!! The promise of more blog content from you has made my Monday and I am soo excited to see what adventures and blog content this new house brings! I don’t mind hearing someone’s experience with freebies but it’s encouraging to feel like in your own home any product you use is good enough that you are willing to invest your own money in it. Using the platform of the new house to accept freebies and test them out in is genius! Congratulations!

  239. Hidden House or Cloaked Cottage for the name game.

    Good luck! I look forward to more reno posts, and I’m certain you’ll tame the sponsor posts down to be manageable for your grateful readers.

  240. My favorite blog that’s run by someone who seems like a genuinely nice guy AND who’s living my reno dreams? Can’t wait to see what’s next. :)

  241. That picture of the overgrowth is going to be the very best before picture ever. It made me laugh out loud especially after I got over the anxiety from your post title that you were giving up on your own house. Yay mom! Yay Daniel! I am so excited for you. And for me. Because I get to read more of this blog!

  242. Ummmmmm, this is so awesome! Can I live there and be your neighbor? Or come out there and hang some wallpaper at the very least :) CONGRATULATIONS. It makes me so happy and inspired to read about you doing all these really cool things! Work it.

    • Duh you can live there and be my neighbor! I always thought you guys should be Hudson Valley-based. :)

  243. I am over the moon about this project and I am so happy to be in on the start of it. I wonder how this cottage would do as a B & B. I can see it called The Bluestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast. I don’t care how much you use sponsorships. Just keep on keepin on.

  244. I think it’s brilliant and a super awesome mom (I would totally do this for my kiddos too, someday). Have you considered raffling the house? Proceeds go towards the mortgage and sweat equity and someone can blog about the family that won it. :) Might be from your audience… Kingston Cottage is pretty fab! Cheers.

    • I sort of don’t think that would work financially! Unless there are WAY more people reading this blog than I think there are, and all of them want to own a house in Kingston!

  245. CONGRATS!!!
    Although I’m a little bit “disappointed” cause I won’t see much upgrading works for your recent house! ;)

    • I’ll definitely try to keep things going at my house, too!! I’ll go nuts if nothing’s happening there!

  246. I’m so excited to see how this little house shapes up! Also, and I’m totally not kidding at all, please do this as an airbnb before you sell it! I will totally stay there! I’M SERIOUS! I would love to hang in Kingston (in fact, I’m thinking about going up there in October). I love the Hudson Valley. So beautiful! Congrats on the new house!

    • Maybe I’ll do that, especially if I do decide to sell and it has to sit on the market. Could be a good way to cover some costs!

      • Please do!!! :) And just think, you can totally decorate it with thrift store finds and make it gorgeous!!!

  247. Hi Daniel-
    Thanks for your transparency on sponsored posts. I usually can’t stand sponsored posts and click away immediately, but I like your mom more, so if it helps her (and you, yes of course, you too), go for it.
    (I really do like your mom a whole lot. I look forward to reading her comments ALMOST as much as I look forward to reading your posts!)
    Good luck!!

  248. Yay! This is going to be fun. You scared me there at the beginning, I thought you were going to quit blogging :( glad you are sticking around.

  249. I accidentally found your blog a few years ago and it has been such a joy keeping up with your renovating and life news. Your writing, brilliant style and just general Daniel-ness is so fun to read and be a part of. The house and apartment are looking amazing and good on you for making this blog a business. If you want to do sponsored posts etc GO FOR IT! If it means helping you and the blog I don’t think anyone would stand in your way :)

    The new house is so cute, kind of magical-hidden-in-a-forest sort of feel. Yep. Love it. So stocked.

  250. Awesome! I can’t wait to see what magic you’re able to conjure up for this house.

    As far as the “sponsored content” goes, I read a lot of blogs and I mean A LOT and I find that some bloggers try to be cagey about sponsored posts/freebies, you’ve never really done that (at least from what I’ve read) – because of the fact that you are very up front about it my humble opinion is to keep doing what you’re doing in regard to that. The only time it should honestly matter is if the transparency goes away.

    In the sea of blogs out there I find yours well written, funny & informative as long as that keeps up – I could care less about the freebies you get :P

  251. *could not care less. /sigh – this is why I don’t have a blog :P

  252. …cue offers to buy this house as soon as it’s done. In 3… 2… 1.
    Um… can I have it?? :P
    I think this is exciting!
    I would name it The Annex… especially for the Airbnb listing you do when you’re done.

  253. More Manhattan Nest posts? More old houses? More of everything I adore? There is a God!

    As for naming the poor wee thing, I was going to suggest Tree House, as a couple of other people have, but now I think the appropriate name would be the Nestling.

    Which reminds me: strangers are living in our, err, I mean, your, Brooklyn apartment? With all your fabulous stuff?

  254. Another neglected house to receive your TLC, while you get to stay put where you love and make a living out of it, plus we get to tag along virtually for the whole process… Win, Win, Win. And I love the idea of “Gay Chalet” :)

  255. Congratulations! I adore that house. It’s exactly what I imagine my first home would look like. I’m in the market for a starter home right now and this would probably cost over $200,000 in Los Angeles. Crazy. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Also, I second “Gay Chalet”!

  256. That is great news, at least for me as a reader. I have always enjoyed your writing and have also learned a thing or two. Thank you. And no worries about sponsored posts. I mean, as a reader all I have to do is plop myself down in front of the computer and I get the entertainment and great information from you for free. So I am glad you can get income from other sources. And so you should. Good luck with the new project … and, forgive me for saying, take your vitamins! You’ll need the strength. No mono anymore!

    Oh, the little house looks it could become an absolute little gem. The front is already adorable.

  257. I can’t wait to see what happens to this little house! And to see more of it in the next post.

    I think you’re wise to not try to post every day. I’d rather have a few well-done posts here and there, than a week’s worth of daily posts, some of which would be filler so that you met your schedule.

  258. Gasp! Shock and awe! I am so excited! You’re my favorite blogger in Blogland for so many reasons. This just made my Tuesday a whole lot less Tuesday-ey. Hooray!! Congrats!

  259. congrats … a new project is always very exciting…. but i can’t stop thinking about your stuff in the Brooklyn apartment! The idea of bringing all your amazing furniture to kingston is more exciting to me! Cant wait to see how you’ll arrange your furniture here…. did you already do that? can’t wait

    • I’m glad you’re excited—I’m kind of overwhelmed! I think we’ll have to sell a lot of it, but my favorite things will definitely come live here. The idea of transporting that fiddle leaf fig alone…yikes!

  260. What an awesome opportunity! Looking forward to hearing more about the house.
    I think you should call it Anne. As in Anne of Green Gables.

  261. Wow. I’d really like to live in a house you renovated :). Sadly it’s not possible, but I’m really like your blog and looking forward to the posts about “the other house”. It looks like a really lovely place.
    I read every one of your posts on this blog (if I not said before, I love your blog) and I feel you are honest with advertisements and products so I think your blog won’t became cheap or something if you have more of them. I think you just know what amount of it works. I even liked your sponsored posts too, although I can’t use the information is any way – most of the time if I even wanted, I wouldn’t be able to buy something from there.

    On another note: I like it, when you let us a look into your motivations, and thoughts, like in this post – obiuosly I don’t know you but it feels like I have a friend who talk about his plans :). I know, in reality there are loads of thing you don’t write down in a blog, but I’m happy with this feeling :)

  262. Holy Hell!

    As this seems to be the most commented post on this here blog, I feel I also must give my opinion, because, you know, my opinion is always pure gold.

    So many questions! First of all: You’re really gonna give up New York City for life in small town America? That makes me sad. But yay, more content, I love it! Where does Max stand in all this? Didn’t you also want to get married? When is that going to be and where? Will you really leave us all hanging with the rest of the house? What about that gigantic drawing room with the glass wall? Didn’t you want to loft out (correct vocab?) the ceiling in the former upper kitchen?

    I kind of love “The Other House”. It sounds eerie and faintly magical. Like something that can only be glimpsed in a mirror or from the corner of the eye. Of course you have say it right. As in: Max isn’t here any more, he’s in the [ominous pause] Other House [discordant strings].

    You should totally paint it black or at least dark grey!

    I really like “Novice Flipper”. It sounds like an apprentice dolphin, still learning the ins and outs of dolphining. Should you decide to rent out the other house, you could grow a moustache and call yourself the slum lord, while your mother has now become the loan shark. I’m sure there is enough material in here for an animated Disney movie.

    I’m looking extremely forward to your posts! So how bad can this mono be? Go sand some banisters and don’t forget to take pictures!

    • Ha! Lots of questions!

      1. I think we are, yes! It doesn’t really make me sad at all. Kingston is only about 2 hours north of the city, so it’s still there and very easy to get to (there’s a bus directly from Kingston, and trains a short drive away, and we can always drive down, too). Kingston really isn’t very “small town”…it’s a small city, but surrounded by lots of other small cities and towns, so I think it feels bigger. There really is a lot going on, and our quality of life here is just so much better, with much less financial pressure. NYC is a a tough place to live in a lot of ways, and I’m A-OK with it just not being my thing. Clearly it’s lots of other people’s thing. They can have it!

      2. Max is on board! He needs to commute down for work more than I do (usually 1-2 times a week), but we’re both very happy in Kingston and happy in our house.

      3. We’ll get married someday, at some point! That is the extent of my plans.

      4. Nope, I’ll still be blogging about our house, but now it’ll be a mix. I honestly don’t know how much time I’ll have to be working on it, though, but obviously I live here so I’m pretty motivated to, like, have more rooms that aren’t constructions zones!

      5. The gigantic glass wall room is…still there? I’ll get to it! Same with the old upstairs kitchen. The house has been standing for 150 years…it’s not going to disappear! I mean, hopefully. :)

  263. I think you could probably just post the finished cottage for sale on this blog and sell it quickly–I know I already want to buy it! You do such beautiful and thoughtful work. This is very exciting on every level. It’s so great that you are beautifying your street one house at a time, and selfishly…I just can’t wait to see what you do. I also just want to echo the fact that how transparent you are about sponsorship makes it completely bearable–and if it allows you to keep going, I am all for it. Along those lines: you can NEVER stop blogging, it would just be too sad for all of us, but you know…no pressure.

  264. Daniel, just wanted to add to the chorus here: I respect the way you’ve done sponsored posts in the past and I’m not worried about sponsorships for this darling little house. Thanks for keepin it real — the stuff you write sponsored posts about always seems like stuff you would buy anyway (gotta have a washing machine!), not random pricey stuff that’s suddenly, mysteriously “affordable” just because “OMG, isn’t this sponsoring company the best???”

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this little house.

  265. I always look forward to reading your blog, as its the one that I can most relate to. I live in the UK my home was built in 1850 and is sandstone and stucco construction. Lots of people can get away with quick fixes, but believe me I know how long painting a room with 13ft ceilings takes, or boarding out a room or uneven ceiling, digging out a floor because, well it wasn’t really a floor to start with just ash and lime! It takes incredible drive and resilience to renovate an old home. I wish you the best going forward with your current home and new project and I can’t wait to see more.

  266. Congratulations Daniel, such wonderful news!
    Your love of Kingston and its homes is inspiring. Between you + Anna, the Hudson Valley is getting so much LOVE. I’m hoping the 2nd home leads to 3rd,4th… Does Kingston have a site like Newburgh Restoration that posts homes that are for sale that either need love+restoration or homes that have been restored?
    It is wonderful to see homes being restored instead of torn down and replaced with sleek new buildings. Living in the city I see so many wonderful buildings being demolished for the bright, shiny, higher rent buildings.
    I can’t wait to follow this journey, good luck.

    • I don’t know of a site like that in Kingston, no! Kingston and Newburgh are very different places, though—I think it’s safe to say that Newburgh has had a rougher go of things over the years, and many more abandoned/vacant/condemned properties. If I’m not mistaken, the entire city of Newburgh is classified as a historic district, and I think there’s much more of a restoration mindset there, in part because people are basically legally required to restore (at least the exterior) rather than “wreckovate” properties as they do their work. Anyway, Newburgh Restoration does a great job. Kingston could probably benefit from something similar! I love Newburgh, and I’m glad somebody has taken that project on in such a thorough, dedicated way.

  267. Your honesty is refreshing! Look forward to watching this journey! :)

  268. Brian. I think Brian is a good name.

  269. I’m so excited about this new endeavor. There is a GORGEOUS historic home (c. 1865) on our street in Cincinnati that has been vacant since we bought our house 6 years ago. We are so very worried that it will have to be torn down if someone doesn’t fix it up soon. Unfortunately it is not on the market and the owner has not responded to our inquiries. It is inspiring that you are able to save a home in your community!

    • Thank you, Lauren! That’s so frustrating!! I hate seeing that. I wonder if there’s a way to talk to the city…at a certain point if a house has really fallen into disrepair, I think most cities will intervene.

  270. I love and love and adore and love that you bought this house! I think Kingston cottage is perfect for a name. Very much looking forward to seeing pics especially of the front when the trees (weeds? Omg scary weeds) are gone. Maybe sit the puppies on the porch and take a pic? Lol poor puppies. Many blessings, Mecha

  271. This is such a bold move, and I think it’s the right move. I’m fine with sponsored content on blogs but I have to admit that what makes me a slavish follower of blogs is the process of building something from nothing. I love love love horrible starts and garbage middles and finally “I’m mostly there” reveals. I get invested in the developing story. I think this is a great way to continue telling great stories while creating a good project to partner with vendors on. I love old house renovation blogs.

  272. I’ve been following you for for several years and wanted to say how inspiring and entertaining it is to read about all the things you share on your blog. From adopting Linus to getting engaged, shopping in Sweden to DIY’ing your own roof (and living to blog about it), I think you’re living proof that life can be insane, fun, fantastic, hard and rewarding on any given day of the week. What a huge milestone for you, and what a great example of the relationship between you and your mom. Cheers to your new property and viva la skim-coating!!

  273. Is the blog going to be called “Kingston Nest” from now on?
    So excited be able to see another house come back to life – especially as this one looks more like my ’20s bungalow and I’m hoping to directly steal ideas.
    It’s sort of a “little bit of house” compared to your other one, although I’m sure the work will not be any less extensive. How about “Bitsy” or “Lilbit”

    • Ha, I think I’m kind of stuck with the blog name at this point! I haven’t lived in Manhattan since the first year of this blog, so I don’t know…Brooklyn to Kingston, whatever! I hate naming things (all things), so the idea of completely re-branding is so totally overwhelming! But I certainly wish I had been smarter to begin with! I was so young and foolish then.

      Aww, Bitsy! That’s cute.

      • Embrace the name! I delayed starting my blog for years because I couldn’t think of a name, and then when I finally decided on one (chronicled here: http://thelazyapartment.com/2013/10/02/origin-story-2/), I knew it might not “fit” forever because I will probably not always live in an apartment, but apartmenting will always be part of my backstory, and one that I hope to carry forward in life (at least the not buying *more* space than you can use part, I’d like to get to the point where I feel like I have *enough* space, but, TIME!)

        ALSO when deciding on my blog name (and considering that it might not “fit” forever) I was reassured thinking “Hey, Manhattan Nest is doing it, so SO CAN I!” PLUS I think your name *does* still fit, because even though your Kingston house is bigger than what people think of when they think of “nests,” you still lovingly create small spaces bit by bit, carefully picking each ingredient and weaving it together with the others to create beautiful and liveable spaces/nests (uh, hello, the office!!). AND if we interpret Manhattan not as a literal location but instead as more of an adjective or link to your past, it fits too! (This might require having a west-coast brain, but to me Manhattan is kinda…fancy? and legit? but, legit in a way that it’s now full of phonies destroying historical shit in the name of skyscraper condos so all the truly legit people have to move to Brooklyn and then Kingston? Okay so maybe it’s more than just the west-coast part of my brain that’s the problem there, but that all makes sense to me.)

      • Hahaha, thank you for this! I’m just going to send people over to your comment when they ask about my blog name. I have no recollection of what I was thinking…I guess I kinda figured I probably would just use the blog to talk about my first apartment and that would be it! Also I was stoned a lot.

        I guess the funny thing with Manhattan is that I really have very little fondness for it as a place! I wouldn’t want to live there again, and I don’t really like spending time there aside from a few specific areas and locations. But I do like the *word* Manhattan, like, phonetically? So I guess that counts for something? Haha. Whatever!

  274. Awesome, can’t wait for more content on your Blog. I would love to see at least two post a week that would make my renovation day!
    For lack of a better title, the sunburst house, do to the sunburst detailing on the front.

  275. This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with such a cute little place like this. My first thought when I saw it was Green Gables, like Anne of Green Gables. It’s so cute and homey it’s the perfect starter home. I would feel the same as you with renters though, that you put so much time and energy into it and then they treat it like crap because, hey, they’re moving out in 12 months whereas a cute little family would care for it and make memories in it.

    • Abby, my first (and only, really) thought was that “Her name MUST be Anne of Green Gables. Obviously.”

  276. This is so awesome! I’m stoked for you and the upcoming project posts. Don’t worry about the sponsor posts and free swag… If I could get free stuff for my house renovations, I’d take it no shame! Your readers trust you.

  277. I am a new reader, just found you a week ago and I’m HOOKED! Love love love your blog — your witty writing and your style had me at the get go. So excited to see how you tackle this house.

  278. Yay! This is great news. I can’t wait to see what you do with this little house.

    Don’t ever feel bad about making money. You entertain, inspire and educate thousands of readers and you should make money doing it. Honestly, I would pay for access to your blog, it’s that wonderful.

  279. MANHATTAN NEST ON STEROIDS! HOLY SHIT I am so excited! Props to you for examining your life and priorities and then TAKING THE STEPS to line that shit up! You give me hope and joy! And I actually *like* seeing sponsored content on blogs like yours (full transparency, actually using the stuff in a way related to your content, etc.), because *I* sure as hell am not directly paying you for all the content/inspiration/lols you give me, but if my clicks help sponsors pay you bills, I’m all for it.

    When I first saw the shot from the street I immediately thought of a cute house on my route to work that is almost entirely COVERED with plants and that I call “The Bramble,” but that might not fit as a long-term name.

    Also: don’t take no shit from people about living where you love. (People can’t understand why I don’t just *GUSH* over living in Berkeley, and I’m like “Y’all? It’s just not the shit, but it sure as hell is priced like it.”)

    Also also: don’t take no shit from people about when you’re gonna get married, because the answer is always ON YOUR OWN DAMN TIME. (Experience: dating for 9 years, engaged for 3.5, my answer to this question is usually “TOMORROW!”)

  280. Daniel – this is incredible news! I read this post on my phone in the care on my way to Kingston for the second time this month to take a look around and see if Kingston might be my family’s next move from Brooklyn. I’ve been following your blog since the Manhattan apartment days, enjoyed the Brooklyn apartment days, but the Kingston blog days have been my favorite so far. Looking forward to seeing how House #2 unfolds, and who knows, maybe we’ll even be in the market to buy by the time it’s finished up…!

  281. Daniel!
    You never cease to amaze us!! My mother in law are always gushing about your house (as opposed to some other blogs we love to hate, ha!) I vote you call the new house the fan light house because of that gorgeous fan detail above the door (as well as the actual fan light in the modern door). Thank you for being fabulous!

  282. Hi Daniel,

    I have 3 ideas:
    1. Name: (mother’s name or variant of ) Cottage
    2. Ask City/Mayor if they could help with free debris (trees/bushes etc) removal from property as you are improving the city and giving them a bigger tax base by making another habitable home.
    3. See if one of colleges/schools close to Kingston that offers landscape design would help by offering students a “project” of your yard –thereby getting planning/landscape help as well as maybe extra hands.

    Good luck!

    • Thank you, Mary! Kingston actually has a fabulous yard debris situation through the department of public works…basically you can either rent a dump truck for 50 bucks (or use your own truck for free), fill it as much as you want, and bring it to this place where they send it all through a chipper. Then the chipped stuff becomes mulch, which is free (as much as you want!) to any Kingston tax-paying resident. I’m excited to give that a shot!

  283. This is what I’VE been waiting for. More content from you and your perspective on other projects. Onward and upward, dude!

  284. Hi,
    I’m having vicarious thrills. Wish I could be there to help. I love reading your blog and always get a lift when I check and there’s new content. I do think bloggers should be able to make money on something that brings so many people so much FREE entertainment. And as long as you’re so transparent about it and don’t accept crap, I think it’s great.
    Thanks again for providing me with FREE wonderful entertainment. I wish you all the best on this new project and will be following along every step of the way — or every step you care to blog about.

  285. I’ve popped over here twice in the last week – from Making It Lovely for the kitchen reveal and from House-Tweaking for this post- and I am hooked! Judging by the sheer number of comments on this post alone, this is the place to be. I’m dying to dig into the archives and see more of your work. In the meantime, I am really excited for your new project! What a challenging new direction to take, and we all get to benefit from it. Cheers to you also for handling sponsored posts so transparently and selectively. Your strategy for using them more often for the new house makes perfect sense. Best of luck, and thanks for sharing!

  286. Oh, this is so exciting!

    I also wanted to chime in and say that I really appreciate your openness about sponsored posts. There have been so very many sponsored posts lately and most just read like straight advertorials and the bloggers voice gets lost. I always appreciate your honesty and that you don’t let the sponsorship take over the project you are working on or your own opinions. Thanks for that.

    lp

  287. Alright Mr. RockStar! Look at all these fans – I’m so excited to see more renovations! I can’t tell you how much I love seeing the progress on your home (now homes). In my dream world you and Nicole Curtis (Rehab Addict) would get together and work on a project together. Then you’ll be on TV! Then we can all say how we knew you BEFORE you were famous! Have I mentioned how excited I am? :)

  288. I just discovered your blog last week and ended up spending half the day reading everything you’ve done with the Kingston house. I am so excited to hear about this new project! Your plan to keep sponsored posts to the “flipped” house sounds like a great way for you to make an income and not leave the rest of us home renovators seething with jealousy.

  289. This THRILLS me. I love your committment to the history of your current home and I’m stoked to see it in the new cottage. I love the blog, love your style and can’t wait to read more.

  290. How the hell did I just find your blog today?!? I’ve been poking around your blog, and you are hilarious! Such a pleasure to read! Can’t wait to see what you do with the house!

  291. What a charming little house, so many different ways to make it a home!

    I love your blog. I just hopped over from YHL after seeing your blog mentioned in the comments. I love your voice through writing!!!

  292. This is so exciting! I can’t wait for more updates! One thrilled reader here!

  293. First time/long time here! I started reading your blog right around the time you bought your first house! My husband and I had just purchased our first home as well so it was great to read about someone going through a few of the things we were experiencing. (I’m pretty sure we have the same tan/gold speckled counter tops in our kitchen that you used to have!) Anyways… I just had to comment, not only congratulate you on this *amazing* news but also to let you know just how much I *enjoy* your blog! While I completely respect that this is a source of income, I really appreciate that you are selective/transparent when it comes to sponsors and that you post when you have something to post. I can’t wait to hear all about the new place! Keep up the great work!

  294. Long tome reader. Love your writing style and your wit. And like all the others I’m super excited for you and I so look forward to all your wonderful future posts. I especially can’t wait for you to find out about this house’s history. I bet there’s a really neat story since this house sits way back and is so different from its neighbors. To that end, I vote to wait to name the house until you have the name of the original owner or perhaps the longest occupants. That way you can put a fabulous sign out front on an iron plaque with that family name on it to be immortalized. It would be like the cherry on top of the best ice cream sundae ever!
    ” ? ” House, EST. 18??

  295. You could promote asbestos filled ant infestations for my home and I would be happy if it means more words and pictures from you.

  296. I only ever mind sponsorship when it gets in the way of reading the post. Meaning, when its in the content that is fine, when its a banner on the side, that is fine. When its a video that start playing or loading as soon as I hit the page, so I start getting warnings that some adobe flash thing is using up all my memory, then I don’t like it (e.g., the post “Look! We Have a Dining Room Again!” had a surfing video as part of an ad and it just kept starting up again and and again, no matter how many times I closed it until my browser finally crashed).

    I love your blog and devour ever post and usually all the comments too. I am looking forward to seeing how you transition from what DIYer to entrepreneur But I do want to gently cal you out on something. You mentioned carrying costs being an issue with this place vs the reno on your own place. But 7% of 10,000 is only $700 a year (approx $59 a month). Since you know you are going to save that much on multiple projects: demoing, the garden, etc. It doesn’t sound like a serious consideration when you are deciding to use a vendor if only to speed up the process a bit. Just saying don’t let the idea of carrying cost scare you into changing your DIY methodology if the actual numbers don’t pencil out that way.

  297. I just feel lucky to see what you do. Wish I had your talent and your dedication. So happy that someone pays you for it however that works out. There is something about fixing up old houses that I love so unreasonably and you do it better than any other I know. Best of luck with this new baby!

  298. Okay, I just skimmed (and read) through 300+ comments to see if mom popped in to say her piece. I always look forward to your dad’s and mom’s comments. They are the best! You have one awesome mom, and I’m so excited for you Daniel!

    I’ve been a long-time reader, since you’re first apartment, and had back-read the first time I came across your blog. Just commented twice. One was for a giveaway.. sorry! :) But I just have to say that you never fail to entertain and inspire. I have no idea where you get the energy but good for you and great for us readers.

    Just so you know, you have a loyal follower from across the pacific ocean! Looking forward to whatever you do next.

  299. I was sort of hoping that you were going to donate a portion of the future sale’s profits to charity when you talked about “meaningful” sponsored posts. Wouldn’t that be a nice antidote for the guilt? Can’t wait to follow you along on this adventure!

  300. This is incredibly exciting! I’ve been reading from day one and this is my first time comenting. I look forward to seeing what becomes of that house. It is really inspiring to see what you come up with with so many constraints. Keep up the good work!
    If you can make a living doing what makes you happy then more power to you.

  301. Yay! I can’t wait to read about your newest venture. You could write about pretty much anything and I would happily read it – but I’m particularly happy that you write about home renovation. So excited at the thought of more content and perfectly pleased that you make a living doing something you’re excellent at that you obviously love.

  302. Fabulous news! I’ve been a huge fan since I first happened across your blog a couple years ago. I love your design sense, your writing voice, your excellent pics, and your generous sharing of your process. So helpful for those of us in the thick of our own renovation projects. I’m thrilled for you and your new wee house. My suggestion for a name would be Kingston Nook, or just the Nook.

  303. How about ” l’autre” as a name for the cottage (‘the other’ in French).

  304. Dan of Green Gables!

  305. You’re an inspiration. I love that you just jump right in. So excited to keep reading about what you’re accomplishing.
    I’d kind of like the place to have a name that has something to do with you. “Two Dog Cottage”? “Two Dog Mews”?

  306. Totally looking forward to this. I’m totally cool with you getting sponsorship and materials for free if they are reachable aspirational items/materials. I think it would be a bummer if you got all kinds of free stuff that normal people could never afford (like a $21,000 AGA stove), but it would be great if you got things that people might be able to splurge on here or there while saving on other things. Also, I think you have a great eye for furnishings and art. Could you make money by partnering with cool companies and galleries/artists and staging the house at the end? Like Lucy from The Design Files does every year? She totally fills and stages houses where everything is for sale and they make me want to move to Australia and move right in every year. I would totally shop the house if I lived anywhere near. That would be awesome, but I don’t know if Kingston is the right market for that?

    • Thank you, S@sha! And HA—DEFINITELY no 21K stoves for this house, I can promise that!! I’m thinking more along the lines of our own laundry room—that project was sponsored, and because we had a little more $ in the budget, I was able to give the room a little more love than I might have otherwise…I think we spent somewhere around $200-$300 on lumber in there for all the molding work that I did, about $300 for subway tile, etc. It was still a pretty inexpensive renovation using very common and accessible materials and supplies, but probably nicer than I would have been able to do without the sponsorship component, just because there are so many other things in the house we need to throw some money at.

      The staging idea is fun! There’s definitely a very large arts community up here, so I suppose it’s possible!

      • Just to be clear, I’d totally be okay with you accepting the odd $21,000 Aga stove for your own house here and there. ;) (Or whatever Aga stove dream equivalent you harbor). As long as you keep writing detailed posts to entertain us all.

  307. I love reading your blog and refresh your blog once a day to stay up to date. I usually read but never comment on blogs but the occasion deserves a congrats on the new adventure and I look forward to seeing your work.

  308. If more sponsorship means we get to keep seeing amazing content from you and you can make a living then bring it on! You come across as so real and authentic that sponsorship doesn’t seem like a big thing at all. Just what happens you’ve got talent and want to get it out there :) Can’t wait to see what you do with the new house, and I’ll be looking forward to even the smallest of things on the “old” house.

  309. Oh gosh. SO excited for you in this new adventure! And I really appreciate your candidness regarding sponsored posts and the financial side of things. it shows a lot about your integrity, and how much you respect and appreciate your readers. Cannot wait to see some “afters”!

  310. Whatever you end up naming it, I reckon I’m going to think of it as “the little house that could.” Fantastic news, very exciting, hope you enjoy the experience!

  311. I can’t be as excited as you are, but I am VERY excited. Could you tantalize us with more interior photos? Even without text? I want to savor the before. :)

  312. Wait.. this is one of the best things ever. I love love love your blog, the “realness” and especially the way you describe things. (Btdubs I use your first name in conversations when I talk about this blog like we are actual life friends..)

    Take all the sponsors you want ever, no judgment- free is free! Also if you need help tearing things out or painting I am not great at either but I am pretty good at jokes. Keep up the amazing work and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

  313. saw your dining room here> http://www.bloodandchampagne.com/feed/
    you are very talented & tenacious! your blog is a favorite!

  314. That’s brilliant News, Daniel! If anyone can return this house to its former glory, YOU can!

    I love the dining room. As usual, pure understatement that just expresses so much more. Classic Kanter.

    Everything is taking shape with the garden as well. It all just looks really, really good Daniel. Bravo.

    I think the best thing of all though, is that you have found your place in Kingston. That feeling of being at one with yourself is what we’re all really searching for, after all. You might be young – and a little bit reckless!! – but you’re also so wise. An inspiration to all of us. Thank you!

  315. Call it Big Surprise. Love it, it isn’t little it is HUGE in your life.

  316. This is very exciting news! This adorable little cottage makes me want to pick up my family and move to Kingston (nevermind we are not huge fans of cold weaher here in S. GA;) when the house is ready to sell! Cannot wait to follow your journey as you give this home new life!

  317. I think I love you.

    I only discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and I feel like my life has been incomplete up to this point. You are doing everything I have always hoped to do in my life and you are doing it AMAZINGLY well. Not to mention your wit is just killer. I am so excited/jealous? of your new endeavor and will be here aching to see the next brilliant project.

  318. I am so jealous that you are in a spot to be able to do this! This is totally what I want to do – be a house rescuer!

  319. Because you need 421 comments, and because I’m kind of jealous (in a good way) that you can buy a whole house for what would barely be a deposit in the crazy Sydney real estate market.

    Our local paper featured this house sale – http://tinyurl.com/kpsksna. – , which, ok, it’s in Balmain, a former working class but now really gentrified suburb on Sydney Harbour, but look! Could you even call it a house, or is it just a pile of stuff in a basic house shape? (It’s about $2.39 million in US dollars)

    Oh well. Like everyone else I’m thrilled that there’ll be more content and can’t wait to read the further adventures of Daniel.

  320. I am so excited this is happening! I love watching and reading about your adventures, Daniel – I’m always so happy when I see a post of yours pop up on my feed.

  321. LOL, now you have a vacation home just down the street:)

  322. Hi there! I love your new project and can’t wait to see it come together. Also, totally love Kingston, visited a brewery there last summer, drove around, and thought ” this looks like a home town”. I am glad it might be yours!

  323. Anything that gets me more of your writing is a good thing.

    We visited Kingston on a trip through NY this summer, based solely on your blog. It was really beautiful. I’d like to visit again, maybe a cozy house for a winter weekend or summer camping. I’m jealous you get to live there!

  324. What a wonderful thing to do! Your mother is really a sweetheart to join in on this project. There is so much potential in this sweet little cottage and smaller houses are in great demand too.

    Just looking at the photos makes one want to start clearing away the weeds (hopefully, you can keep the tree, please, people are cutting down way too many trees) and then roll up our sleeves to get to work. So creative and just an excellent way to put back into the community.

    In our small town, many of the older homes are being redone and making the town a town full of charm and vibrancy again. Really, does any town need more McMansios or tract housing?

    It’s going to be really exciting to watch and observe what you do with this house!

    Wishing you the very best!
    Jenn

  325. So looking forward to seeing what you do with this place. Also I will buy the house when you’re done.

  326. Le Petite Maison
    My husband and I live around the corner on Fair Street.
    We have lived here our entire (long) lives, and we love that you love Kingston as much as we do.
    One of our daughters, and her husband ( who is also from Kingston) live in Brooklyn.
    She follows your blog and sends me updates.
    Thank you for caring, loving, enjoying Kingston.
    I ALWAYS said that Kingston is one of the friendliest places I have ever been. How wonderful to be able to live among friends.
    Welcome.

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