One Year.

Friday marked one year since I got it in my head that I should start a blog and published the first post on Manhattan Nest. I had something more exciting planned for this post, but as Friday passed into Saturday and Saturday turned into Sunday and all of a sudden it was Monday… well, that’ll just have to wait. I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

But I figured one year in blogland warranted something, so I’m piping up to send out a big cosmic thank you to all of you sexy folks who, for whatever reason, like this site. Because I like this site. A year ago, I never expected anybody to read what I had to say on here. I had no concept of the amazing amount of support and generosity I would end up getting from my little blog, and no sense of the fun I’d have writing it. I never could have imagined the number of truly special and important people it’s single-handedly brought into my life, and certainly no prediction of how much my little slice of internet real estate would come to mean to me. What started as a bizarre pastime really has altered my life in so many ways.

So thank you, for all of it. Regular commenters, subscribers, people who remember to check back once every three months—you’re all a part of what makes this fun for me. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand what brings people here or why they’d ever choose to stay, but I’m glad you enjoy it, kind stranger.

Now that we’re past the mushy part, I thought it might be both fun and terrifying to open a little Q & A. Anything you’re DIY-ing to know about the blog, or me, or my imaginary dog? Ask away. I’ll publish the answers in a week? Sound good? Awesome. Have at it.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 3.29.11
    Charlene said:

    I recall you said you had lived in Saskatchewan, pourquoi?

  2. 3.29.11
    Charlene said:

    Oh geez, I realize you mentioned Saskatchewan on twitter…is this stalkerish?

  3. 3.29.11
    Maggie said:

    Happy One Year! I don’t think I comment much, but I check in often.

  4. 3.29.11
    Fionnuala said:

    No particular questions, but congrats on getting to the one-year milestone! I think people may like reading for a combination of your funny writing, clear tutorials, good photography and bitchin’ design. That might have something to do with it.

    • 3.29.11
      Stephanie said:

      I know this is why I read!

      I LOVE your style of writing.

  5. 3.29.11
    Lena said:

    Have I commented before? I am not sure, I always hesitate because your writing is so very funny and I love your aesthetic and DIY-skills!
    Anyway, my question has something to do with how you became interested in interiour design. Does it have something to do with your family, was it friends or something else?

  6. 3.29.11
    Susan H said:

    Congratulations! I read your blog because you write well and have a great eye! I have learned quite a lot from reading this blog. Now, what I really want to know, is how you finally decided to display your vintage flashcards? I have some of my own but before I decide what to do with themI would like to see your take . Thanks and keep blogging!

  7. 3.29.11
    J&J said:

    You are definitely one of my favorite reads. Congrats on the year.

  8. 3.29.11
    Maria said:

    Happy anniversary, Daniel. On this joyous occasion I thought I’d inform you that your blog is also much enjoyed overseas (and your thriftstore bargains passionately envied). Greetings from Munich, Germany.


  9. 3.29.11
    patty said:

    Thank you for an entertaining and inspiring year! I think of you when I get my DIY on.

  10. 3.29.11
    Allyson said:

    Congratulations! Your blog is so awesome and a big inspiration to me, since I’m moving into my own tiny apartment in Chicago as we speak. It’s been awesome to watch your apartment progress and it’s making me itch to do something crazy to mine!

    My question: What is the name and breed of your imaginary dog?

  11. 3.29.11
    Callista said:

    Hooray! I love Q&As. I’m curious as to what brought you to New York, as well as what you’re thinking about studying. Anything design related?

    • 4.4.11
      Hillary said:

      I second this question!

  12. 3.29.11
    Natasha said:

    Hi and congratulations Dan! You are awsome! My Q would be what is your favourite ice cream flavour?

  13. 3.29.11
    dabney said:

    do your aunt and uncle provide free rugs to your readers, in addition to their loving nephew?

  14. 3.29.11

    I just started a decorating blog as well, and while my three friends read it and tell me that I crack them up….no one else does.

    HOW did you get the word out about your blog?



  15. 3.29.11

    Happy blog birthday! Going for a year is a great accomplishment. Others have already said it…we read because you are a great writer, have slick design skillz, and combine the two in such an entertaining way. My question is – what do you hope to be doing professionally by age 40?

  16. 3.29.11
    Kirsten said:

    no question, just congrats. You have a great blog that I always enjoy and I’ve been really inspired by you and Anna.

  17. 3.29.11
    yw said:

    How do you go about searching for gems in the city? And if you find them, how do you get it home?

    Also, do you have any advice for those of us with zero carpentry skills but tons of tools (that my dad keeps hoping I’ll learn to use)?

    • 3.29.11
      Tamisha said:

      Ask your dad to teach you. He’d love it.

    • 3.30.11
      Mom said:

      OK, must interject here. In defense of all the great women of the world. Daniel’s father, while a wonderful husband, father, and person has no skills with the tools. In fact, he has been banned from light bulb changing, after breaking a fixture in attempting to do so. Everything Daniel learned about tools he learned from either me or his experiences in theater arts classes and productions at his high school.

  18. 3.29.11
    Cee said:

    Hi, no questions, just want to say I love reading your blog it’s one of my favorites.

  19. 3.29.11
    Lena said:

    Do you keep all your books and files and binders ect. on the tiny bookshelf in your bedroom? Where do you keep your printer?
    Congrats to the one-year anniversary!

  20. 3.29.11
    Annika said:

    Congratulations Daniel! Your blog continues to be a great source of fun and inspiration. When it comes to questions… what’s your favourite movie? And do you like shoes with laces or velcro best?

  21. 3.29.11

    Congrats, it has been quite a year and you totally deserve all of it! Looking forward to what year two will bring.

    P.S. – Bailey would like to set-up a play date with your imaginary dog.

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Hillbilly would love it! He doesn’t get out much.

  22. 3.29.11
    jbhat said:

    We the people like your blog because you are very funny, because you are creative and clever, because you are resourceful, because you love a bargain, because you have a good eye, because you are not a mom, and because you live in Manhattan in a cool apartment. I think most of us would like to be or do all of or most of those things, no?

    Happy one year! Here’s to many more.


    • 3.29.11
      Lena said:

      soo true!

  23. 3.29.11
    ilyana said:

    Happy 1 year anniversary! Your blog is one of my very favorites to read, you’re so entertaining with your writing and your projects are amazing. Here’s to another year of thrifty goodness, cheers!

  24. 3.29.11
    Lina said:

    Happy 1st Year Anniversary! No question, but wanted to drop a line and say how much I enjoy your blog. It makes me laugh. Out loud. Often alone in my office. Like a crazy person. So thank you for that.


  25. 3.29.11
    Julie said:

    Happy 1st Year! You are a smart-ass writer and I love seeing what you come up with next.

    I think my question would be–did you ever get a new roommate? And if not, how cheap IS your rent on a two-bedroom in NYC to live alone sir? And can I move in? (As a vacation spot, I mean.)

  26. 3.29.11
    Alicia said:

    Hey Daniel! Congrats on one year. I’ve been reading since the beginning and check in all the time for updates.

    I guess my question would be… after schoolwork is done, how do you find balance between hunting for decor, decorating your apartment, hanging out with friends and all of the other things you do in your free time? There are so many thrift stores in NYC, sometimes it seems like it you could perpetually spend your entire day from opening until closing going from store to store, right?! Do you stick to the ones just in your neighborhood, or venture elsewhere? That was a few questions, but you get the picture!

  27. 3.29.11

    Mamm Biscuit and family would like to congratulate you on your one year blog anniversary! I’m a fairly new follower and have enjoyed what you have to share so far—keep it up!!

    Now, onto the more pressing issue, my question is: boxer, briefs, thongs, jock straps or nude, which one are you? Mamma B. really wants to know ;-)

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Mamma, you sassy-ass bitch.

  28. 3.29.11
    karin said:

    Daniel, congratulations on hitting your one-year anniversary! You have real talent as a writer AND designer. It’s not easy to tell interesting stories day after day, and you do it. It’s no fun reading blogs where the authors can’t write, can’t spell, and don’t bother trying to improve, so to find yours, where you write so cleanly and clearly, is a pleasure.

    Let’s see, I think someone asked this already: what’s your plan? What are you hoping to do with your life?

    Thanks for sharing what’s up with your life!


  29. 3.29.11
    Reva said:

    Congratulations! It’s amazing what you’ve accomplished in just one year. You are on fire! I read a fair share of shelter blogs, and even though you don’t post as often, your blog is hands down my favorite. For the funny, for the pretty, and for the creativity. Also, you just seem like a nice person, and I like that. :)

    And as for my question, Daniel, how did you get to be so cool?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      It’s all an act!

    • 4.7.11

      No, it’s the real deal.

    • 4.9.11
      missT said:


  30. 3.29.11
    joy said:

    no questions for you, but i just figured i’d finally come out of hiding and say hello! i’m a native manhattanite living in madrid and i have to say thank you for the (fairly) constant reminders of home. you might never hear from me again but i’ll be watching… and google reading!

  31. 3.29.11
    Amanda said:

    Of all the blogs I read (and that’s several), yours is the most consistantly well written. The voice you use, slightly self-depreciating, slightly smarmy, but ever so charming, brings me back to see what you’ll say time and time again. Even though my carpenter fiance would never accept someone’s repurposed nightstand in our home, I still come here for inspiration because you are doing it and doing it well. Everyone talks about how they should really *fill in the blank* but never can quite find the time. You, however, a student with seemingly healthy freindships and hobbies, still take the time to make the space in which you reside your home. So congrats to you and your first blogirthday. I hope I’m still reading you on your 50th. :)
    Question: I’m planning a wedding and want really unique programs. Unfortunately most of my ideas have been sort of, well *yawn*. Any truely fabulous, inspiring ideas?

    • 3.29.11
      Vivian said:

      Just found your blog recently, but I really enjoy it. Inspired me to get going on some projects that have been waiting for me to find some energy after chasing the twins around! Probably shouldn’t be trying to tackle three of them at once, though!

      Congrats on a year!

      @Amanda, for some inspiration, check out my niece’s site: She does some cool work!

    • 3.29.11
      Jenn said:

      As a self described ‘anti-bride’, I found great design sense from when planning my nuptials. As a result, we eloped and then graced the cover of a bridal magazine– go figure. Good luck and happy planning.

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      I think this is beyond me! But the wide world of wedding stuff on the internet is definitely a great way to find some inspiration!

  32. 3.29.11
    jenni said:

    Daniel- congrats! I am a huge fan, and check up on you and Anna D daily to make sure I am not missing anything. I love love your DIY projects. I tried the fabric window idea with the cornstarch paste, and it is gorgeous! Your directions were easy to follow, and it turned out exactly as you said it would. Thank You!

    My question to you is: do you see more frequent blog posts in your future? :-)

  33. 3.29.11
    jenni said:

    oh- one more question if you’ll take two from me…..

    What blogs do you read for inspiration? I would love to know.

    Take care,


  34. 3.29.11

    OK, here’s my question: WTF do I do with this huge-@ss bedroom?!

    The space is seriously huge, we could fit like 4 queen sized beds in there and still have room for the dresser. The biggest problem is that I love the big horse blanket hanging on the wall by the bed, but I feel like it makes putting anything else on the walls really hard – because it’s hard to match – and we don’t want to paint. Any ideas?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Gosh, that’s a HUGE room! Hard to say without really knowing your taste/needs, but have you tried moving the bed to the longer wall? Might make things feel less enormous!

  35. 3.29.11

    CONGRATULATIONS from me and Evan and Fritz and Bruno! We’re all so happy we’ve gotten to know you over the past year. You’re a good friend to the four of us.


    1. What are your plans for this summer?

    2. We’re going to hit Stan’z Used Items when the weather gets a little better, right?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      OH HELLZ YEAH WE’RE GOING. I hope more than once.

  36. 3.29.11
    Lilith said:

    Congratz on one year! You have shared so much with us! Keep it up :-)

    Question: How do you fit all the bargain-hunting and renovations into your time?

  37. 3.29.11
    Kate said:

    “you deserve the good things people say about you.”

    congrats, proud of you!! :)

  38. 3.30.11
    mAt said:

    Happy Blog Birthday my love. May you have many happy returns and smiles galore. You deserve each and every one. with and x and an x and an o.

  39. 3.30.11
    Logan said:

    “boxer, briefs, thongs, jock straps or nude, which one are you? Mamma B. ”

    – doorsixteen(?) on a manhattannest post………….asking this kind of question……well, shit. so answer her! for the people who have crushes on you across this vast expanse of internet and who can’t even remember how they ended up putting you in bookmarks and who have stained SO MUCH TIMBER with the “white vinegar/steel wool thing” its starting to become…well…frankly too much.

    anyway, congratulations, i don’t usually comment but i read everything, and its been such a light and happy reprieve to visit you and your home over the last little while.

    keep on keepin’ on,
    – L.

    the question: what is the most perfect thing you have ever eaten?

    • 3.30.11

      Um, yikes.

      Just for the record, Mamma Biscuit is NOT me! I never comment or post under anything other than my real name.

      This is Mamma Biscuit’s blog:

      Her dads are friends of mine, and they write the blog. I have nothing to do with it!

  40. 3.30.11
    Drea said:

    Cheesy but must be said, long time reader first time commenter. You’ve been a fun find online and I enjoy following your adventures in design, especially since until last month I lived on the UES also. I’ve moved out to Williamsburg and my question is do you know of any decently priced couch slip covers that are colorful?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Not really… Ikea? Or you could try making your own if you can sew at all… I’m sure there are PLENTY of detailed tutorials online!

  41. 3.30.11
    Meg said:

    As a fellow college student, I have my list of procrastination websites (I’m sure you understand), and you are all the way at the tippy-top. Hilarious writing, gorgeous pictures. I’m pretty sure you could even make my 7×8 bedroom pretty if you ever felt like taking a drive to the exciting state of Delaware.

    As for a question, Apartment Therapy is doing their Small Cool contest, and I believe your gorgeous apartment would be eligible? Whether or not your living room is ready, spam with pictures of your bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom and they’ll be dazzled.

  42. 3.30.11
    Ruth said:

    I adore your ability to say things in your extremely special way! Please become a writer!
    And I love your DIY and appartment blog entries of cause!
    And I wish anyone would ever put things you find in the trash to charity shops here in Europe! Its more likely to win the lottery.
    Greetings, Ruth

  43. 3.30.11
    Bright said:

    How can I add more light to my apartment without busting out a wall or filling up all of my floor plan with lamps? Should I replace my ceiling fan with a bright fixture? Or would that be goofy?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Do you need the fan? In my view, replacing a ceiling fan with a nice light fixture is usually a great idea! Those fans can get pretty ugly.

    • 4.10.11
      Bright said:

      I burn things while cooking, so the fan is sort of a necessity for me. It’s just hideous and provides little to no light (I actually don’t bother with putting bulbs in it anymore, since it’s a useless bitch!)

  44. 3.30.11
    Olivia said:

    Congrats, I love the nest! How did you get started blogging, and how long was it before your blog took off?

  45. 3.30.11
    Rebecca said:


    I read your blog, religiously, because you have amazing style, you’re obscenely handy, and man, can you write.

    My questions:

    As a fellow New Yorker, I’d like to find out where you thrift.

    Also, what are you studying at NYU?
    I’m hoping it involves writing and style.

  46. 3.30.11
    Care said:

    Congrats! I always read, but rarely ( if ever? ) comment. Love your blog – keep up the great work!

  47. 3.30.11
    Evan said:

    2 questions:

    1. How do you balance the desire to own awesome vintage furniture with the p.i.t.a. that it is to own stuff and schlep it around NYC? After four years here, I own a mattress, some books and clothes, a couple pieces of art, and a few kitchen tchotchkes. Everything else I inevitably pitch when I move apartments because it it too. much. hassle.

    2. Thrift store/flea market recommendations that you haven’t previously mentioned? Especially little neighborhood places that you’d never hear of otherwise.

  48. 3.30.11
    Abby said:

    I, for one, would love to hear about this imaginary dog. ;]

  49. 3.31.11
    Kyli said:

    Hey Dan,

    Biggest congrats on your one year anniversary! I would like also like to know what you are studying AND how you fit in the time for your projects around your study? Two questions, I know.

  50. 3.31.11


    I found your blog when Anna@D16 told us about you. Since then I check almost everyday, although I know you only post from time to time.

    No questions I can remember now but wish you the very best in all your endeavours.

  51. 3.31.11
    Ann said:

    Jumping on the Love train… Congratulations! Great blog.

  52. 4.1.11
    kory said:

    Happy birthday, Manhattan Nest!

  53. 4.1.11

    Congrats Dan!

    You have a great ‘voice’ and I have really enjoyed your blog over the past year, you should be very proud!

    Also, thanks for the endorsment on Magic Erasers, is there anything they can’t clean?!?

    But I always thought you were a cat person, to hear you have an invisable dog has cast a pall over my crush on you.

  54. 4.1.11
    Lena said:

    Congratulations, Manhattan Nest, to a great blog, all the way from Sweden.
    My question, which designer stores would you recommend for me to visit when I get to NYC in june?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Designer stores?! Oh gosh… um. I don’t really go to those. There’s a gorgeous vintage shop that’s crazy expensive called Lost City Arts down in the East Village that I sometimes go to, just to drool over all the things I can’t afford.

  55. 4.1.11

    I hooked up into your blog from the first time i spotted the dyi desk!
    Such a nonchalant spirit, thanks for sharing. Makes me feel more at ease when improving and renovating my living spaces. Long live Manhattan Nest!

  56. 4.1.11
    Joanna said:

    Congrats on your one year!!! So I have to tell you it is because of you that I became obsessed with George Nelson bubble lamps (you know, the posting about your bedroom before and after). I have managed to score two of them!!! A small saucer for $85 and I just got a medium cigar for $70! Not as great a deal as your purchase of course… but not bad. So here comes by question..

    The cigar lamp I just bought is a bit… wonky (hence the price). How did you un-wonk your saucer????

    I heart your blog!


    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Check to make sure that the vertical wires are all in the proper holes in the metal rings on the bottom and top of the lamp, and kind of delicately jiggle around ones that seem off, if that makes sense. If the wires are actually bent, I think it’s just about very very delicately trying to unbend them into the shape they’re meant to be in. Good luck! And those are great deals if you can fix them up!!

  57. 4.2.11
    LeeAnn said:

    I am so very glad you decided to start a blog a year ago. I really love your sense of humor and style and I do have to admit your blog is one of the first I look every time check my reader to see if you updated.

    So here’s an odd question and certainly a good one if you want to start a conversation in a group: What’s your favorite thing to eat cold out of a can? We all have a guilty food substance we can fall back on when we live alone (or not) and don’t feel like heating up anything. It’s interesting what people will say!

    PS. Love that your Mom answered one of your questions! I’d love to see an interview of her on this blog!

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      She’d probably LOVE that. Maybe someday!

  58. 4.2.11
    Alyssa said:

    What the hell were you doing in Saskatchewan?
    That is all.

  59. 4.2.11
    JS said:

    Happy Anniversary. I really love your blog

  60. 4.3.11
    Iris said:

    Have to say you and David Sedaris are the only ones that makes me really laugh out loud with your writings. Everyone else gets a smirk or a hint of a smile.

    You have me banging my knee with your blog – and that’s a true compliment.

    Most of my friends don’t get my passion for thrifting and when I show off my finds – aka “6 dollars for 10 pieces of this vintage pyrex!!” – the looks I get are the same as when people are staring at monkeys scratching their butts in the zoo.

    So please keep up with your blog – I have made you one of my homepages and when I need a good laugh or motivation to do something around the house I reread your postings.

    Guess my question to you have to be – where do you plan on moving after graduating? Please let it be Florida :) I would love to have you as my thrifting buddy.

  61. 4.3.11
    Pigeon said:

    You’re reaching readers from all over he world too. I’m in Australia. I’m SO jealous of your thrifty finds. There’s no way you’d find stuff that good here.
    We are much more restricted in Australia when renting too, the rules seem really different in the U.S.
    What sort of freedom do you have to decorate? (for example we cant paint here)
    Does the Landlord give any money towards costs of updating? Do you need the landlords permission?

  62. 4.4.11
    Mohamad said:

    I always wondered what a “donate” button would do to the website. Have you ever considered adding such a feature?

    A few dollars a pop, and guess what, Daniel will have the opportunity to purchase items like WOAH, which =’s to more content.


  63. 4.4.11
    Charlotte said:

    Congrats on your first year of blogging! I guess my question would be where else in the world could you imagine wanting to live?

  64. 4.4.11

    Okay, I have another question: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?!

    • 4.4.11
      Daniel said:

      I said I’d publish the answers in a week! That’s tomorrow!

    • 4.4.11


    • 4.6.11


    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      I know. I hate myself. It’s coming. It’s taking forever.

    • 4.6.11

      Yeah, that’s why I kind of stopped doing posts like this. Have fun!!!!!!!

  65. 4.4.11
    Stephanie H said:

    I found your blog by accident a couple of months ago, and absolutely adore it.
    What I really want to know is where the heck is that crazy Portland thrift store where you found the shell chairs? Sometimes on Saturdays I’ll just drive randomly around town looking for it.

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      Grandma’s Funky Furniture! It’s at 6852 SE Foster Road… which is around 70th street or so? I don’t know Portland all that well.

  66. 4.4.11
    Anaïs said:

    Congratulations Daniel !
    I’m a “long time reader, first time commenting…” from Dijon (Burgondy), France and I LOVE your writing ! I’m studying English and reading blogs like this one, not only helps my comprehension of the language -in its “everyday”, use-, but also gives me great ideas to decorate my tiny student apartment -hélas! there aren’t as many thrift stores in Dijon as in NYC, so thanks Ikea ^^.
    Keep up the excellent work! (I’m just starting my own website and I’m already lacking inspiration/motivation…lazy me)

  67. 4.4.11
    Fiona said:

    Congratulations Daniel, a year already wow. What a writer, it’s a gift. And the apartment’s coming along pretty fancy too. I think you’re studying a media course, I suppose I wondered whether you want a career in design journalism after college. Or maybe you’re not thinking that far ahead yet?

  68. 4.4.11
    Josh said:

    Hi Daniel,

    Happy anniversary! I have some questions: 1) How did you find that great kilim on ebay? Did you use any specific search terms or just stumble upon it? I’ve been looking for a wile now and haven’t had any luck finding decent affordable options. 2) Are you planning to keep your apartment for the summer or move home? 3) Do you think you’ll look for another roommate or just enjoy having some extra space?

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      I think I just search “kilim” and sorted the results by price! I don’t really remember. My lease ends in mid-june, so I’ll be in New York for the summer… still deciding if I’ll find another roomie or just move, but right now I’m loving my own place.

  69. 4.5.11
    Caitlin said:

    how’s that lovely woolen headboard you made holding up?

    ever worry about bedbugs while thrifting/scavenging? any thoughts on avoiding those nasties?

  70. 4.6.11
    Tricia said:

    My question is a two-parter. First, will you please come to my wedding since you’ll already be visiting my fabulous sister and we’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you join us? And if so, will you please send me your mailing address so I can invite you properly?

    PS…long-time reader, first time commenter. Congrats on your anniversary! You’re amazingly talented and deserve bucket-loads of success!

    • 4.6.11
      Daniel said:

      I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to be there! I’ll email ya! Congrats, Tricia!!

  71. 4.6.11
    Liv said:

    What’s your major?

  72. 4.11.11
    CindyE said:

    Congratulations! I just really enjoy your blog, your writing – Thank You!

  73. 4.17.11
    Kat said:

    Believe it or not, you have a devoted follower who hails from Moose Jaw. Love the Saskatchewan connection…but maybe you need to educate your readers on the proper pronunciation of Regina.

    You know what I’m talking about.