8 Years!

Let’s just make this clear right off the bat: I’m not stopping this blog train! I’ve noticed that every time I open a blog post by talking about blogging, or life, or anything not explicitly house-related, inevitably a contingent of readers thinks I am trying to signal the end times. Not so! Relax! I am, however, immensely flattered and still amazed that anyone would find such an announcement even mildly consequential or distressing. But that’s not what’s happening so don’t work yourself up! It’s only Tuesday! We have the whole week for that! Pacing is key!

Here’s what is happening: Sunday marked EIGHT YEARS since I published the first post on Manhattan Nest. I think that’s almost a century in Internet-time? What a crazy thing.

Eight years is a long time, I think, for most people to stick with any one thing. Which isn’t to overstate the longevity here—I mean, this morning I fell down an Instagram rabbit-hole and discovered that Heidi and Spencer have now been married for almost NINE years, and that shit knocked me right back down to size. But still, 8 years is something. Can we just IMAGINE for a second if I had applied the same level of long-term commitment to, say, physical fitness? Who even KNOWS the heights of hotness I could have reached! I certainly don’t. But it’s sort of fun to think about.

It feels a little funny/wrong/weird/indulgent (maybe because it isssss!) bringing up this 8-year milestone at all, primarily because of all the things this blog is not. You’d think after this much time, I might have figured a lot of stuff out about blogging, or at least about my own blog, but the truth is…nope, not really. Stuff like…is there a goal here with this thing that I’m doing? Why am I doing this? How does it fit into my life?

You know that feeling that everything we do ought to be undertaken with a specific goal in mind? Yes hello. You get the degree to get the better job. You practice the sport so you can win the game. You stitch this piece of fabric to that piece because all the small efforts will add up to one hawt caftan, or whatever. But what if you don’t know if you’re sewing a caftan or a quilt or a circus tent or a throw pillow? What if you just kind of like the activity of it? That can feel a little aimless, because it is. And not very worthwhile, sometimes.

I’ve been lucky to meet and know a lot of bloggers over the years, and have always felt super out of place when a conversation shifts to posting schedules or strategies to grow follower counts or subscribers or newsletters or video content or sponsorship deals with the kind of budgets that have definitely never come anywhere near my inbox.* In 8 years, I’ve never been successful at sticking to a posting schedule for any significant amount of time. I’ve stepped away from it all for weeks or occasionally months when other stuff took over my life. I’ve never done any of the smart things bloggers do to organically grow traffic and increase shares and gain larger followings. I’ve never pitched myself to a brand. I’ve never created goals for blog-derived income or really any blog-related goals, period. Yet, 8 years. Here we are.

*For the record, pretty much all blog people I’ve ever met IRL are really cool and fun and smart and mostly talk about things other than blogging.

For a long time, I felt like I was doing this whole blog thing very wrong. Actually, not even a long time—I mean pretty much the entire time. Like I accidentally created this thing that had potential to be…something…and I never got my shit together to really figure out what that thing was. I’ve never been able to figure out if this is job, or not a job, or kind of a job but totally different than my actual job, or an extension of my actual job, or what. It’s personal, but how personal? It’s professional, but how professional? Sure, I think I should be entitled to make some money off of it, but how much money? And how? And at what cost? How much time is too much time to spend on something that isn’t how I make a living, but contributes to it? Could I make it a job if I really dove into it with everything I had? Would I even want that if it was an option? Questions like this are shockingly easy to avoid thinking too much about, but I think the consequence is creating an abyss of not-knowing-ness. Without the clarity of a direction, often you don’t really know what to do. I guess you can just stop, but if it feels good…what’s the harm in continuing? For eight years.

I don’t have an answer but maybe that’s because I’ve been considering the wrong question. Maybe it doesn’t have to matter all the time what something should be, because how often in life are we honestly allowed to just not really know? Through what other mechanism can I have fun shooting the shit about stuff in my life and get paid even a little bit for it? And interact with a bunch of awesome people who want to talk about it? And make some legit friends along the way and see some amazing things and learn so goddamn much?

Maybe it kind of already is what it should be, which is a collection of all those things. That doesn’t mean it can’t be more. That doesn’t mean it won’t at times become less. But recently I realized that I was looking back on my 8 years of blogging as story of underachieving, a collection of personal and professional shortcomings, of all the things I somehow never wrote about or didn’t complete, of taking for granted what I know plenty of people work really hard for. We tell ourselves harsh stories, sometimes. But that’s one perspective, and it’s a bad take. My idea of a big project when I started this blog was building my own desk, and now I’ve built a housemaybe what this thing should or shouldn’t be just isn’t all that relevant.  The fact that we’re even talking about it at all 8 years in is worth something. The fact that it’s still fun is worth something. It actually feels like it’s worth a lot of somethings, at least to me.

This blog is, and has been, a source of incredible good in my life—this I know. And maybe a consequence of sitting for so long in that abyss of not-knowing-ness was the creation of this space, right here. This kooky little dimple of the internet where people are actually fucking nice to each other, and smart, and knowledgeable, and generous, where we can freely engage big ideas as much as fawn of pretty stuff and adorable raccoons. Sometimes I worry that acknowledging the rarity of that will come off as self-congratulatory, but honestly? I didn’t create it—you guys did. There have been almost 36,000 comments posted on this blog, and I don’t even think I’d need all ten fingers to count the shitty troll-y ones. Where else does that happen? I really don’t know, but it’s a real honor to be part of it here.

I don’t know what the next 8 years or 8 months or 8 weeks looks like with this blog, but I’d like to approach it with less concern about what I should be doing and more about what I want to be doing, since that’s pretty much all I’ve ever been good at anyway. It’s the internet, guys. We can do that kind of thing. And I hope you’ll come along for it, because I really like having you here. We have a nice time together, I think.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you for these past 8 years! Year 9—let’s do this thing.

Life
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129 Comments

  1. Yay! Congrats! I don’t remember when I started reading your blog – it was not eight years ago, but maybe like, four? I don’t know, I think it was just before you bought the house. Anyway, I used to read a lot more blogs and these days I only read three and yours is my favorite. So in my obviously very important opinion, you’re doing it right :)

    • Thank you so much, Rachel—for this and all your comments over the years!

      (I kinda hate to tell you, but I bought the house almost 5 years ago now! You might have been around longer than you think—time flies!!)

  2. Congratulations on 8 years! I’ve been lurking for quite a few of them now, but like to pop my head out to say “You’re awesome!” and “Keep it up!” when the opportunity arises :)

  3. You’re awesome, Daniel! You’re very humble, but you should take credit for your fabulous, insightful writing and your willingness to share your humanity so openly. These are a big part of what keeps me coming back, whether you post once a week or once a year. Congrats on 8 years! I’m looking forward to what is next… :)

  4. Congrats on eight years! You have come a rather impressive distance in that time, and survived all the punches life hands out. Don’t sell yourself short. There has been growth in leaps and bounds, even when it doesn’t feel that way. Besides, it’s your blog, you do whatever the F you want.

    I had a photo blog for many years (2005-’10) and was a slave to posting a new image five days a week. I loved the feedback, but after several years realized how much time I was devoting to it and realized the reward was diminishing over time. Now I just blog for friends and family, and if others happen to follow along, all the better.

    I wish you the very best in year nine, and look forward to your (miss)adventures ahead.

  5. Yes you are definitely at the tippy top of the top 3 … your writing is truthful & full of humour and humility … it’s a winning combo CONGRATS on 8 years and here’s to moving into Year 9

  6. Happy 8 years! I love your writing style. I always feel so immersed in whatever it is you’re talking about that I feel like I’m right there with you. Whether you post 8 times a year or 80 times a year I’m here for it!

  7. I’m glad you’re still here. Most of the blogs I followed aren’t, and it’s depressing. The one where I work full time is still going, 12 years on.

  8. Mazel tov! I started reading your blog about 3 yrs ago, but I did go back & start from the very beginning to catch up. What an interesting road you’ve taken.

    I had a blog for 5 yrs; mostly it was just a place to stash links to things I liked. Then one day I made the big mistake of looking at my stats & discovered I had about 500 views daily. Then I started hunting for content b/c I was suddenly aware I had an audience! From around the world! And they depended on me! So I started spending way too much time looking for content instead of just having fun. And finally I realized it was like work only I wasn’t getting paid (although Blogger wanted me to monetize it). So I just shut it down & left it sitting there for 5 yrs. I went back & looked at it & 90% of the links were broken, so I took it down.

    The lesson is: as long as you’re having fun, keep doing what you do. When it’s not fun anymore, stop. Hopefully you’ll keep having fun for the next 8 years.

  9. Awww!! Well deserved Daniel! Hope you feel the fanboy love from all of us and are inspired to come blog with us more. I love how honestly human you are about whatever is happening in your life. And bonus that your awesomely creative and have a great eye for design.

    And Spidei has lasted 9 years? Never would have guessed. That’s the craziest thing.

    • NUTS, right? I never watched the shows they were on and really don’t care about them one way or the other, but I just always thought about them as reality TV people whose relationship probably died when the cameras turned off. They have spawn and everything! They love Jesus now! It’s surprisingly compelling.

  10. We just want to keep hearing from you. Love your blog because it is so real.

  11. Following you for 5/8 and I love every bit about your blog.

    And you write so darn well.

    Adrien

  12. I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog Daniel! Thank you for being honest, helpful, and funny!

  13. Congratulations! I’m a newcomer – probably sometime in the last year? – and don’t remember how I found you. But I like you. And I like what you write. Keep it up as much as you can. And I think you know by now that folks will wait when you are caught up in life. Have fun.

  14. How I found you, who knows but have been on this journey for the same eight years (I think cause I’m old and don’t remember stuff – cleaned that up.). Whatever happened to Eva or is that something that’s none of my business. Somehow I don’t believe that since you are so refreshingly honest and candid. In any event, for as long as you want, I’m here.

    • Eva and I are still dear friends! We’ve actually been trying to plan a weekend for her to come visit me up in Kingston. Living together way back when didn’t work out super well—we both bear some responsibility for that, I think—but I’m so glad she’s still a part of my life. :)

  15. I never comment on blogs, but damn, this post resounds so much with me that I can’t not comment. Way to go on 8 years and more than that, 8 years of fun! I’ve had fun reading this blog for 8 years, living vicariously through all the trails and tribulations. And I’m looking forward to another 8 and beyond (even if I never leave another comment)!

  16. Congrats! I’ve been following since you were in your first apartment in New York. I love your writing and your authenticity. Most blogs these days seem to exist simply to advertise products under the guise of creating original content. No thanks, not interested. I’m happy that you’re still around and blogging the good old fashioned way.

  17. Can’t wait to see what year 9 brings :)

  18. Oh, Daniel, my brother, my fellow intuitive! My fellow stumbler-through-life. How I can I thank you for the timeliness of this post without sounding totally narcissistic? Well, I can’t but so what. There are those who follow the straight and narrow path from a to b to SUCCESS!!!! Ka-Ching, etc. Just got back from a wedding full of those people (they photograph well too) and have been busy affirming my own existence on this planet. I wander, I gaze, I stumble, I owe money, and yet, I love my life and the people around me. I must be who God made me to be or I’m living a lie. They could not be me anymore than I could not be them. We are not commodities. We are people. I love what you do and who you have shown me to be through this blog. Don’t change for me!

    • Oh, Cindi M! “They photograph well too” made me laugh because WHY IS IT SO TRUE?! Always.

      It’s so true, though—I think it’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people, and especially to our idea of their success (usually very different than their actual success!), but we rarely complicate those comparisons with how exactly that success was made, what kind of person you have to be to get there, and whether we’d actually want any of THAT part instead of just the success part. And worse, we discount our own often rich experiences that never would have happened if we were on that a –> b –> SUCCESS linear path. Some of the most difficult experiences from these past 8 years might have been avoided if I had “just” figured out how to parlay this blog thing into a much more lucrative thing years ago (or just gone down a different path entirely—none of this was ever my plan!), but those difficult experiences are invariably the ones that taught me the most and brought me to the next good thing. I think some of us just have to figure things out that way—it’s nice to have some company. :) <3

  19. This blog is worth a lot of somethings to me too and I am so grateful you created this little corner of the internet for us! Congrats on 8 years (also, I don’t think I’ve done ANYTHING consistently for 8 years so your work ethic astounds me!)

  20. Yay! Eight years is a good thing. I too wish you could get paid more for all the great things you have created/provided – it is well deserved. But, only if it doesn’t change how you write the blog – which of course is the conundrum… I’ve been following you since the nest in Manhattan – before it was renamed Manhattan Nest, btw. I come back for the great tutorials, decor inspiration, the utterly amazing way you will clean things down to the nub, the shooting of shit and now house renovations. I discovered Door Sixteen because of you and Apartment Therapy because of “him”. I don’t know that I’m living vicariously through you, it’s more about catching up with a really talented neighbor I like that I only see every once in a while and have a great time listening to. Cheers to year nine!

  21. Congrats Daniel!

    I’ve been reading your blog for 6 years. It’s one of my fifteen address bar shortcuts, in fact, so I have looked at it every few days for those 6 years. I don’t really know what kind of blog this is either; every time i try to find others like it, I find things that are almost but not quite entirely unlike it. Basically, you’re my favourite genre and you and Anna might be the only ones in it!

    Every time you post, I’m happy to read it and enjoy the content, even when it’s a post about fancy drywall. I have been looking for a way to tell you how excited I am that you’ve been posting more often without guilting or shaming you for taking a break and I can’t really find it, so I hope this suffices. Thank you for 8 years of blog content I have really enjoyed!

  22. Congratulations on the eight years! Know that you have made my little moments enjoyable with your interesting, fun and very witty writings about life and houses and life with houses.
    Hopefully you’ll find delight in this for years to come, so we’ll have some good stuff to look forward to. All the best to you!

  23. And this is why we all stick around. Because of your way with words, your ability to come back and give us stories, and talk to us, the empty open audience as if you care…and you do. I always enjoy your blog posts despite the fact that the most DIY I ever do is drilling holes in the wall to hang a mirror… and even then I manage to fuck up and use the wrong drill bit for my wall. Regardless I love your stories, you rposts, the vignettes of your life. Congrats and Mazel Tov!

  24. Wow, congrats on 8 years. I’ve been reading your blog for about 3 years, I think, and finding a post by you is the highlight of my day. (Is that sad?) anyway ….. I appreciate all the things you share, your great writing style, your sense of humor and all the rest. Here’s to the future, whatever it looks like.

  25. I’ve been following from the first time your desk was posted on apartment therapy. I’ve stayed all these years because your content is so good, and your writing is great.
    I love home decorating blogs but they’ve become pretty formulaic – yours is unique. So thanks, it can’t be easy to always think of way for new content.

  26. Keep doing whatever you want to do! I love coming here to read your adventures. It seems like only the other day you were in that apartment… and now here we are! Crazy! Thanks for sharing your life with us <3

  27. 8 years, time flies….congratulation! I am following along since the beginning and really love your way of writing, your sense of humor and aestethic. Thank you for sharing these insights into your world.
    Keep on running and stay your unique, inspiring and authentic self!
    Love from Vienna
    Lis

  28. Thank YOU! I can’t remember how many years I’ve been following you or how I found you, but it’s a sheer delight to do so. Here’s to 8 more (at least)!

  29. Congratulations Daniel!
    I started reading decor blogs when I was pregnant, and my son will Be 8 Next summer, so I think I was reading you from the start. What I love about your posts is that they are so NATURAL! Other bloggers are really nice and write great content, but It shows that It is a business for them. I take every one of your posts as a gift that you give freely to us and I would like to thank you for it!

  30. Your blog feels like a good old friend Daniel, even though we are total strangers and I know a lot more about you than you know about me ;)
    Your writing hits home for a lot of us because it is honest, open, truthful, sometimes happy, sometimes sad…but always raw. No filters. And that is a rare thing to come by these days.

    So thanks for not pretending to be someone you’re not, or tricking us into buying a bunch of useless stuff we don’t need <3. Cos ain't nobody got time (or money) for dat!

  31. Nope, thanks to you for letting us in :)

  32. Daniel, I’m so glad I have your posts to read. This blog is one of my top 3 favorites!
    I found you a bit before the Lowe’s Spring Backyard Makeover and I haven’t left. I look forward to reading about whatever you choose to put on the blog- amazing trips, life, love, building, tearing down, dogs, food, makeovers, auctions, etc. Oh, I just came back from the link of Pumpkin the raccoon and he’s way toooooo cute. Your choice to buy a house and restore it to its former glory–just amazes me!! It’s definitely not something I’m capable of doing and I enjoy reading all about it. You’re a great writer, architect, builder- all around amazing person!!!!
    Congratulations on 8 years!!!

  33. Congratulations, Daniel! I love reading your posts not only because I love your style, but because you seem so real. You don’t hide your messes or your mistakes. You are so talented, but seem so humble. Keep up the good work, and enjoy life!

  34. Eight years is forever, because internet years are like dog years, only shorter.

    As many have said above, I come here for your refreshing writing style more than anything else. No one else has ever written an article about collar ties that I have actually read. No other blogger has ever inspired me to go back to the beginning of the archives and catch up on everything I missed.

    I hope you can make money off all the effort you put into this, you certainly deserve to be rewarded for your work, but I also hope that you don’t try to force yourself into a commoditised “I post 3x per week” kind of production, both because I think that would suck for you but also because I think that might ruin the authenticity that makes your blog so enjoyable to read.

    Good luck, and here’s hoping you continue to enjoy the road ahead (actually that’s totally self serving, because I’m just hoping you’ll continue to write for us!)

  35. Quality over quantity! I’ve been a subscriber of yours for many years and I don’t remember at all how I stumbled across your blog because I’m not a renovator or decorator but your genuine honesty and sense of humour had me hooked from the beginning. Your posts arriving in my inbox are little gems that brighten my morning and are appreciated all the more for their random arrivals!

  36. Thank you for that. I’ve wanted to start a blog, but for some unknown reason, I don’t seem to do it. Whether it’s fear, procrastination, confusion about what to blog about….who knows? I’m new to your spot, but I think you’re clever, creative and I believe that the best blogs make me laugh hard. And you always seem to do that. I’m a dog mom, and your post about your dog was such a beautiful tribute that it left me sobbing in my bedroom. My husband didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. You’ve inspired me, moved me, and I think you’re slaying it. Enjoy yourself.

  37. Daniel, I am a relative latecomer, but I adore your blog. At the moment, I am having a difficult time on a Board that I serve on because it feeds a lifelong passion. No details, but it is pure shit right now, and it is all I can do from screaming f-bombs at the offending parties and quitting mid-project. (Hence the fake name up there.)

    This post made me laugh. It certainly helped me put my puny troubles in perspective. I am eternally in your debt, my internet friend. Thank you.

  38. I found you before you bought the house – work was a bit slow and I was looking for interesting blogs to read to pass the time. This became a place where I obsessively read through from the beginning because you and all you did fascinated me endlessly. Then I thought I might be able to do some of the things, because you made it look so do-able. (So, it turns out *I* can’t do many of the things. So there’s that).

    Love love love having you here and getting a glimpse into your world. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Yesterday when I came to read this post, there were 8 comments (how serendipitous for a post about 8 years blogging!) and just now when I came back to read more comments, there were 88 comments.

      I feel like I should buy 8 lottery tickets or something.

  39. I for one deeply appreciate this blog, your content and voice but especially that Speidi reference. Keep on keepin’ on and engage with your blog however you see fit. =)

  40. Daniel, love to have been on this journey with you! I LOVE how you write! And how your are vulnerable enough to share your life with us…the good and the bad. That only makes us love you more! Congratulations on the blogs success. Looking forward to many wonderful new adventures! Diane

  41. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years. I started reading when Anna shared about your desk on D16 and I’ve loved watching what you did with your Brooklyn apartment and then this house and now on Instagram stories the glimpses into other peoples homes that you’re working on. I hope that if you ever need to stop blogging we’ll get at least some closure on the cottage but until then we will wait patiently until you are ready to finish it. (Seriously, no pressure. It will be a wonderful surprise when we get to go back there).

  42. Oh, Daniel, I love you. I’ve been following you for seven of those eight years and lord knows how deeply you’ve enriched my life. I like this space precisely *because* you’ve stayed authentic to yourself and haven’t sold yourself to a brand. I like that you are here and then sometimes not because that’s how I am in my real life and seeing you be both here and not here gives me permission to do and be the same. Life is messy and non-linear and you’ve done a beautiful job making sense of it all. Thank you for all you’ve done and for giving us this sacred little space on the interwebz.

  43. I agree with Rachel. I’ve been reading your blog almost from the beginning, when you were in that first apartment in New York City. I used to read a tooonnnnn of blogs, but yours is the only one I’ve stuck with. You seem like a genuinely nice guy, you’re relatable and interesting, an excellent writer, and you’ve got a great eye and can show us all the pretty things. And I think one of my favorite things about your blog is that it doesn’t seem forced. I like that you don’t have a schedule, it sort of makes it feel like you’re a friend telling us about the things going on in your life as they happen or as you get a chance to tell us about it, which feels a whole hell of a lot more organic to me than schedules and sponsorships and whatnot.

    Long comment short, I love your blog, thank you for letting us get a glimpse of your life and giving us all of that sweet home decor inspo these last 8 years.

  44. I read a lot of blogs. I have to say that you’re my favorite. I even love your posts without anything decor related or pretty pictures. You are just a dam good writer!! So we…your readers, are fortunate that you enjoy this.
    Cheers to you & here’s hoping for another 8 years.

  45. Your readers will read whatever you post, whenever you want to post, as we enjoy reading your blog. I’m all for your doing with the blog whatever you *want* to do – that’s only right, as it’s your blog. BUT – you *should* throw your readers a bone and give them an update on the bluestone cottage renovation one of these days when you feel like writing about it – I’m guessing it may have gotten a bit involved or traumatic, or you would have written about it before now – but you left off writing about the house mid-renovation, which left your readers hanging on that subject.

  46. I’m so grateful for your voice on the internet! I rarely have any suggestions or ideas to share – I’m just constantly inspired by your energy and beautiful work. And your writing is as gorgeous as your houses, so it’s a pleasure to read. Thank you, Daniel! Xx

  47. if I won the lotto… (I love that game), seriously I would give you a million dollars so you could keep doing whatever you what to do! but since I don’t have a cool mil, here’s a million dollar idea… “Manhattan Nest the Book aka The Book of Daniel” You seriously need to publish a book (if you want) cuz i’d be a buying!

  48. I happened upon your blog a few years ago and was really amazed to be able to follow along on the faithful restoration of your house. You share such wonderful details of your thought process and the myriad steps each of the house projects has taken. Sooo interesting even though I know little to nothing about construction. And I just love your self-deprecating good humor along the way.
    Hope you have made some money along the way as you certainly deserve it. So glad you enjoy blogging and I look forward to receiving another in my inbox.
    Thanks so much!

  49. Happy Anniversary! From one not-knower to another, I could not love a space in cyberspace more than yours :-)

  50. Congratulations Daniel! I love your blog. Honestly, I used to read so many of them but the insane amount of sponsored posts and all the perfectness really turned me off. This is honestly the only one I read now. You are authentic, and real and funny and tough it may take some time, the things you make are always gorgeous. If I had the money I would fly you out to Calgary to decorate my house! (Maybe in a few years ;)

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself or doubt yourself so much. We all have times where we get overwhelmed and nobody has every aspect of their life perfectly in order. I think it’s brave you share your hard times with the good, and it makes me and I think many people feel less alone.

    So keep up the good work and the fun reads and maybe pay yourself on the back from time to time!

  51. Congrats on reaching 8 years of blogging! I have been reading for a loooong time, and I hope to continue reading for a loooooong time. I keep rewriting this comment, because it just isn’t communicating what I want, so I think I will just say Thank You! You have the most engaging, funny, and inspiring writing voice in all of blogdom, so if you write it, we will read it. Here’s to another 8!

  52. I love your blog. I love that whatever journey you take us on, it always comes from interest. I love the things I’ve learned here, and I love seeing the rooms you put together (your style is nothing like how I decorate my own place, but I have always thought your spaces were beautiful) and I love that you’ve let us all watch you as you learn and stumble and triumph and snark. This space you’ve created makes me feel good and also hopeful, and there’s no way I could put a value on that.

  53. Love your writing so, so much, and happy 8th! My longest job lasted 8 years and a few months.

  54. Congratulations! I’m also a lurker and have been reading for quite some time. I couldn’t tell you for how long. Maybe 5 years (it was before you bought the house)? I’ve had children in that time and haven’t slept much. Ha. Anyway, I enjoy your blog so much and get excited about new posts. I appreciate how real you are with not only the downfalls but the successes. So keep up the awesome work. :) Thanks for inviting us in to share your life!

  55. Yes! Love It! YES. Love that your blogging isn’t planned and scheduled. It feels more like bumping into your favorite friend Inn the street and then ducking into a coffee shop right then to catch up! A Serendipitous, lovely event that leaves you smiling with joy afterwards. Fun, engaging, entertaining and informative. Why rain thw shitty “shoulds” down all over something as wonderful as that?

    The fact is, your blog makes me wish I did know you in real life. You are relatable and funny. And I love that it’s like no other blog out there.

  56. Congratulations on 8 years. Love your blog. Thanks, Robin

  57. I wish I could remember when and how I first found your blog. I know I really enjoy your writing and your projects and that’s what keeps me coming back to read more. Thank you for sharing here in this little dimple of the internet. It is a pretty nice place to hang out. And while it is always easy to be hard on ourselves for what we haven’t done how cool that you have this record of so many th8ngs you have done. Your story matters. Thank you again for sharing it.

  58. Hands down my favorite blog. You have become a reference point of time in my life. For example, now I think in terms of “life before Daniel”, and “life after Daniel”. The latter is definitely better. Mmwah!

  59. 8 years ago I did not even know about blogs. I live under a rock. (Actually, I live in a 105-year-old craftsman bungalow and your blog makes me feel better about what MY kitchen looks like right now.) The not-knowing-about-blogs thing was a real blessing because I got married that year and I think I would’ve gone off the deep end of place settings and favours and photo booths if I had known that blogs existed. But, sometime after my wedding, my friend Erin showed me your site one night when we were hanging out and talking about our old, falling down houses. This was ages ago; I think your project was adding frosted decals to a French door or something. And I was like “WHAT? People write about things that interest me on the Internet?” It was like discovering the Internet all over again, like I did when I was 13 and my friend Jennifer had colour print-outs of Leonardo DiCaprio in her locker and I was like “WHERE did you get those?”. The only other time I’ve ever commented here was to beg for more details about those IKEA Frack wall lights you made as I couldn’t find the side-outlet sockets in Canada. You helped me! And those lights are still hanging in my bedroom. All this to say — your blog was my first and is still my favourite. Thanks for writing — I don’t care how often you do it or what you write about, but I drop everything to read your posts as soon as they’re published.

  60. Fvck yes! Your blog has been my favorite blog since I found it maybe six or seven years ago and stayed in architecture studio much too late reading all the way to the beginning. Thanks for doing the thing.

  61. Congratulations on 8 years Daniel! I started reading when you first bought the house. The bathtub story drew me in & kept me coming back for more. I consider each of your posts to be like hearing from a long distance friend. We may not talk all the time and sometimes we go months without seeing each other but when we do get together it feels as though no time has gone by & we pick up right where we left off. Thanks for keeping it going for 8 years & for all the laughs (& sometimes tears). Just keep doing what you do the way you want to do it.

  62. I found you through Door Sixteen (who also doesn’t post often enough!) when you were in the apartment, doing the desk, which I found so awesome and empowering. Your blog is a wonderful mix of great writing, humor, solid information and aspirational DIY-ness. It’s a place where problems intrude then are resolved after a trip to the hardware store. With lots of wry comments along the way.
    We’ll gladly take as much as you want to give us. Thanks for staying real and not turning into an online shopping catalog.

  63. Love your writing, love your humour and love your mum. Cheers to at least another 8 years xx

  64. Hi Daniel,

    THat’s why I love your blog – because it’s real, not contrived and very much tongue in cheek. Don’t ever change!!

    Maureen

  65. I love your writing and I love your style, I love what you do and how you do it and that you don’t take the easy way out or compromise on the end result (even if/when it means a whole lot of work/pain to get there) and I REALLY appreciate that you do NOT do posts on how to drive up your blog analytics or traffic or followers or how to filter the perfect X-worthy photos. Thank you for sharing your postings with the world at large – long may it continue.

  66. I had either just gone or was just going to Finland and that’s what I was searching for on the internet when I found the cutest pic of two friends goofing around in striped marimekko shirts!

  67. You like posting, we like reading – all good actually I think it’s party because you don’t have an agenda that makes your blog so good – that and your great sense of humour. Looking forward to year 9!

  68. Hell. Some of us don’t even know what the next 8 HOURS will hold for us. “Just keep swimming” a wise fish once said. I surely do enjoy your little slice of the interwebs – keep on keepin’ on, cher :)

    Much xoxo from the South

  69. I started following you a few months before Anna announced your blog on hers- before the desk! Early on! I remember taking a minute to read through your blog from the beginning and I was hooked. I’m into your work, style, and writing. I now know not to look for your blog but a post will come through bloglovin’ and I read it in the first hour I get that notification. You’re a lot of fun to follow and I’m excited for all you’ve got going on. You’re the only blog I read, I don’t know how that should affect you at all, I guess it’s just to say you inspire me and I’m rooting for ya. Keep growing and posting. I personally love it.

  70. Congratulations! I found you through Anna and I was hooked. I read blogs because I am interested in people. I like to see how different we are and yet so very much the same. That has been helpful as I struggle to understand why our country has become so openly hostile to differences. Your blog has taught me more than how to fill a basement with wood or move plants around a yard or change plans for a kitchen a bunch of times. I’ve laughed and cried with you and thank you for sharing so much. I hope the next 8 years bring you joy and satisfaction.

  71. Thank you for making the internet a better place!

  72. Daniel! Congratulations!
    I’ve been reading for much more than half of that time but I admit that I’ve occasionally fallen off the wagon. For example, I clicked on the “I built a house” link and realized that I’d missed the fact that Olivebridge was done! When did that happen? Was it 2017? I’m sure you can forgive me for hiding under a rock during those times. So, did we ever get a complete synopsis of that job and it’s no-doubt beautiful results? I don’t even know how to search your blog for such information! I get mucked up in the years now that you’ve been at in for in internet-eternity.
    Thank you for all of the bathos, the practical information, and especially the humor!

  73. Bravo Daniel, 8 years is quite the accomplishment. Thank you so much Daniel to take the time to share so generously a sliver of you. I always feel bad, it feels like a one way relationship: you give, we take! I know the dialogue in the comments section can be useful or just positive for you but it still feels out of balance. I have been a faithful reader since that little desk, faithful because you have always been my favourite. You are so funny, so truthful, full of ressources and talent. You gave me confidence in my DIY skills and I foud courage to tackle some projects reading about your own. Also your decor style is the bomb, you not being sponsored from wall to wall let your true style shine. (Although I have nothing against sponsored post, (it actually ease a bit of the shame of that one way relationship!!) a blog with too much sponsored post or too much links to where to buy stuff, loses a bit of personal style in my opinion!) So anyway THANK YOU, I like you so much, if I ever see you I would be totally starstruck!!

  74. Happy blogaversary! Here’s to (no less than) at least 8 more!

  75. Yay! I have been reading her your blog since the post about the desk. The thing for that sets your blog apart is the genuineness of it. You’re not working on branding, you just let us into your life, and that has enriched my life so much. In these years, I have remodeled two houses and had a baby who is now seven years old. My design choices are inspired by yours. I think about your kitchen plans a lot. I just got a dog, and guess what? I rescued a pit bull (influenced by Mekko? Most probably). Anyway, neither you nor your blog have to be anything other than what you are. I’m here because I like it just the way it is (though I start to worry about you when you don’t post for a while). Underachieving? Hardly. You’ve done amazing inspiring stuff. Thank you for being you and for opening the door to your life to your readers.

  76. Congratulations Daniel! I think I’ve followed your blog from the very beginning–I remember the desk post. It’s strange because in some ways your blog has left little fingerprints on my own life. I was a college student at the same time as you and was inspired by your dorm/apartment makeovers to do little things to make my space nicer, like actually hanging things on the wall and staining my plain wooden Ikea bed frame. Now that I’m settled in my own space I have a whole wall of bookshelves that I built based on the post about your current living room shelves. You create such beautiful spaces and even though I don’t always understand what you’re talking about your passion get’s me excited for things like plaster work! Here’s to another great 8 years.

  77. I got hooked early on your design savvy + energetic approach + just-do-it DIYness + regular-guy-trying-to-make-his-apartment-better vibe. I was in the same spot then, but you’ve moved miles and miles ahead of me in the intervening years and I am here for it. It’s awesome to see your talent and intuition shine as your skills grow exponentially!
    Yours is the only blog address I regularly type into my browser. I’m never deterred when there aren’t new posts, and always pleased when there’s new stuff to read. However this shakes out for you, I’m just happy to lurk along for the ride.

  78. Daniel, I’ve been with you since your first desk. There is something about your writing style, the conversational tone of it, that had me hooked. Add to that the fact that you seem to be a genuinely nice person. I’m not one to comment often, but thank you for 8 years of sharing and inspiration. (When you write your book about all this, I’ll buy it – and read it!)

  79. Congrats on 8 years! Every time one of your posts pops up in my feed, I pretty much drop everything. Just goes to show that the community means more than put out content for the sake of “consistency.” Anyway, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about with this blogger stuff. But I know I love what you do.

    And let’s not forget the puppy factor. Some of us are also here for the puppy content ;)
    Mekko seems to be keeping up ok (I’m an instagram creeper as well), though I’m sure you all miss Linus terribly still. Any chance we all might get a new rescue with you any time soon (a rescue dog, that is. You seem to be doing ok on rescue houses!)

  80. Aaaaaand this is why you’re so awesome! I have been reading since about when you bought the Kingston house, and every single post has been a treat. You are easily the most talented writer of any blog I read. And I somehow agree with every design choice you make. Weird but wonderful.

  81. Great job ‘reframing that shit’. <3

  82. Yours is my favorite blog. Thank YOU, so very much, for you being you. <3

  83. Yes! Can I say “Amen” to this? I know that sounds like a dumb thing to say, but it’s what I’m gonna say, k? Congratulations on 8 years of blogging, dude! I love your blog so much, I don’t even know what I’d do without it. Thank you for writing it! I’ve been able to see you go from desk building, to skim coating, to inexpensive-clever-kitchen-remodeling, and through your experiences I’ve been able to tackle bigger experiences in my DIY life. I still haven’t built a fucking house, but maybe someday. Also, blogging is hard and involves a lot of feelings. I totally have had all (ALL) of these similar thoughts, but would never be able to articulate them the same way you just did. Thank you for sharing! XO

  84. No no NO, thank you! And the funny and smart people who gravitate here. (This is the only place where I usually scan all the comments.) You fill a void in blog-land I wouldn’t have known was there.

    I’ve been reading since your Manhattan days. Your blog is a delight, whatever you choose to post about: houses, furniture, gardening, gutters, rugs, death tubs, Edwin, pups, penguins. Anything. You could make me chuckle about taxes.

    A big ol’ happy blogiversary to you, and many more.

    P.S. “Shoulds” are highly overrated.

  85. Daniel!
    man.. time sure flies! I remember finding your blog when we were in the process of buying our first home. That was 5 years ago. I have enjoyed reading each post and look forward to many more!

    Congrats on 8 years!

  86. Thanks for sticking with us all for this long! To be honest, I just enjoy reading what you write, it’s always hilarious and puts me in a good mood (which I know sounds a bit weird given how much you write about how everything around you is in a general state of disaster.) It doesn’t much matter what the topic is, but I sure as heck love hearing your take on it. Congrats on the blog-aversary!

  87. Congrats on 8!!! I guess I am at about 5 following you and love every single post.
    So glad you are posting a little more these days.
    Peace.

  88. Happy blogiversary!! I have been a fan since the Brooklyn apartment, and went back & re-read everything when I was laid up after a riding accident a few years back. I know it’s hard for you not to overthink stuff, but you do NOT have to worry about this blog, You are a skilled writer, completely authentic., and have unerring taste. EVERYBODY LOVES YOU!!! Keep your stories coming!!!
    And super kisses to your beautiful Mekko.

  89. I found you when Apartment Therapy posted your desk project. I don’t read there anymore, but I still read here. I don’t mean to diminish how much it can suck to feel aimless or like you don’t know what you’re doing, but, for whatever it’s worth, the lack of a highly calculated direction has created space for something that feels much more authentic than what many other blogs are selling these days. I think a lot of us are craving that in an era where humans and homes are now brands and content, and corporate sponsorship is king. I don’t begrudge anyone making money off their blog because I know it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain one. But it’s gone to a weird and unsettling place. There’s still a very discernible and genuine human element here, and I’m fine if that comes with some gaps between posts due to anxiety, being busy, grieving for Linus, or whatever. Happy 8th.

  90. Congratulations on 8 years Daniel (great opening photo)! I’ve been here almost the whole time. You are a talented writer. I have laughed and learned a lot over the years and want to say thank you for contributing that to my life. New blog posts from you are a high point. Keep it up.

  91. Congratulations Daniel! I don’t comment much, but this has been my favourite blog since like… 2013? Some time around your posts about your really, really, really long hallway with all the decorative squares. I just went back and reread it and it still makes me cackle.

    Thanks for all your posts, and here’s to another 8 years.

  92. Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I follow you, first and foremost, because of your writing. Your projects are ALWAYS entertaining and informative. I love what you do but if you ever publish a book of essays I’ll be buying it. Hardcover. Don’t ever change how you do things. Your blog is unique, as are you.

  93. I treasure the work you do — both the designing and renovating, and the writing about it. Your voice is so very special.
    Would you consider adding a Patreon link so I could treat myself by throwing a few bucks at you every month? I wouldn’t consider it pressure to post more, but rather thanks for everything you’ve done, and a way to support your kitchen habit instead of making you do sponsored posts for bespoke grommets. Whatever, I’ll still be reading and cheering you on when you decide it’s really best to change Upstairs Laundry Room to a bowling alley…

    • *snerk* bespoke grommets

      I would also be happy to throw some money at a Patreon, again because you’ve given me so much joy over the years and not because I’d be looking for you to suddenly become a content factory.

  94. Just wanted to chime in with the many that I am glad yours is a blog about your life/home, rather than a life/home about your blog. Too many blogs these days seem to include projects only done to create content, and to get sponsored products. Nobody sponsors your pile of wood scraps, and that is what makes you relatable. Keep on doing what you are doing!

  95. Whatever you do with this blog I’ll continue to read and enjoy it as long as it’s around. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say, to see what you are working on, and being inspired by your amazing vision and design sense. I’ve been following MN since the early days, drawn in first by your DIY projects, and then by your witty and humorous writing style as well. Congratulations on eight years of Manhattan Nest!

  96. Congrats on 8 years!! Like everyone else, I’m glad you’re here! Your posts are always a delight to read – and your renovations and transformations are inspiring. I can’t remember when I first found you, but I’m glad I did. :)

  97. Cheers to you, your awesome ramblings and raccoons (?)! I am always excited to see you have a new post – whenever and whatever – so keep up the amazing schedule, dance to your own tune, and knock’m dead!

  98. Daniel, you’re right, it’s a delightful and unique place you’ve created and I’m 100% here for all of it. Bring on year 9!

  99. I know it’s unlikely that you’ll even get to the bottom of these comments (hell, *I* didn’t read all of them) but I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed your blog since the moment I found it. I don’t remember how I did, but it has been incredibly fun to go on these journeys with you. I hope it continues for many more years to come. Thanks for bringing us along!

  100. Congrats, Daniel! I’ve been reading since almost the very beginning, and your blog is one of my absolute favorites. Your style, your determination, and your sweet puppers have been a true joy. Keep it up (for whatever reason makes you happy!)

  101. Looking forward to year 9 and beyond. I have been reading and enjoying your blog since before the house. I love your humor and honesty. – It’s my absolute favoritest blog. =)

  102. congratulations, it’s just perfect as it is, my heart breaks every time a personal “amateur” blogger goes pro. it’s not about anything real any more. you always are. thank you, and happy passover. next year in jerusalem.

  103. Love, love, love your blog! So engaging, funny and heartfelt. Don’t change it! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  104. Love Manhattan Nest. Your writing is great and your tiling instructions were all I needed to work out how to redo my kitchen backsplash in Sydney.

  105. I don’t know you at all in real life, but I have this unconditional love for your blog. Whether you post a lot, don’t post at all, post about success, or post about failure, it’s all wonderful. I identify with your tendencies toward perfectionism and self-doubt, as well as your love of making old things beautiful again. And, whatever it is (or isn’t) at any given time, your blog is meaningful to me. Thanks for doing this for eight years (and counting)!

  106. Daniel- you are not going to believe this, but I have just gone back and read every post you have ever written from the beginning. It has taken me a week. My husband is ” what are you doing, still Daniel?”, especially when I am laughing so hard my eyes are tearing. You might remember, I am a serial renovator- my husband thought I might start a blog with this stone farmhouse in Umbria, and I told him, NO, it was too depressing. No one would want to read all that crap. Now, 9 almost 10 years later, I can go back and read my work journals. Italy is not for beginners. I love your blog posts. I love your mother’s comment. She just strikes me as so cool,and loving, and supportive.
    Thanks Daniel- good on you- cannot wait to read what comes up next.

  107. Wow – 8 years! Hello from Brighton, UK! I love that you post when you have something to share – good or sad (you’ve broken my heart at least twice) and that you take time away when life gets in the way (or you’re not feeling it). I love the thrifting,the reno-ing, the travelling, and everything in between. And it feels authentic. There are very few blogs who can post on a schedule and consistently produce stuff I want to read, without getting tired of the voice. You write, reno, thrift, decorate, travel and dog-love SO BLOOMIN’ WELL. Don’t change.

  108. Congrats and I’m so glad you’re here, and going into year nine!

  109. I’ve been reading since before you bought your dear abode – still my favourite blog x
    Lauren – Australia x

  110. Long-time reader and lurker piping up to say thanks for sticking with it! I think your blog and writing is better and fresher than most because it never feels forced, probably due to the fact that you aren’t keeping yourself to a schedule of churning out content. I’ve been following you since you were sprucing up your Brooklyn apartment and have loved watching you become a total badass contractor. I hope you’ll always share tidbits, even if sporadic, as yours is one of my favorite voices on the internet. Cheers to 8 years!

  111. I got algorithmed by Instagram and didn’t see your anniversary post until today. So…congrats Daniel! I’ve been here since the kitchen remodel where you talked about not having the right tools for the job. (So witty.) Obv not from the very beginning but have loved waiting for you to write about stuff all over the road. And you taught me about Restore a Finish so THANKS for all the shared knowledge. Love coming to your corner with the rest of these fans.

  112. I know I speak for many peeps when I say, thank *you*.

  113. Thank you Daniel for every single one of those years. I would always found a little break and peace and joy in coming here for authentic and beautiful reads and snip bits of your life.. Thank you for sharing your talent, your heart and your journey. <3 <3 <3

  114. YES! Yes to the whole thing. And that is exactly why I love this blog. People being nice to each other in the comments, that’s the frosting on this charmcake.

  115. Well, congratulations! This is the only blog I read. And I’ve been reading it for a good long time (like, you still lived in Manhattan when I started). I’ve cried over your dog posts. And I don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment. Keep it up. I keep checking, you know, even when you take these long breaks.

  116. I remember hopping on board the blog at your post about cleaning the marble threshold tread of the Brooklyn apt (?), and I have loved every post since, with all its transitions! I think the random schedule adds to the delight, at least for people who like surprises. Whatever this is for you, thanks for sticking with it!

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