Manhattan Nest is Two!

Alright y’all, pack your ass in this stretch hummer limo and let’s break out the champagne and the strippers, because Manhattan Nest is officially two years old today! Ah, takes me back to my own 2nd birthday party. Good times.

Back to regular stuff in the soon and very soon, but I’m feeling mushy. It feels a little weird for me to take up some kind of sustained activity and keep doing it for an extended period. For instance, when I was 14 and starting high school, I vowed to keep a diary everyday, and reliably did so for all of 3 days. Even my middle school scrapbooking craft phase only lasted about 10 months, and my efforts to be good with technology basically started and ended with mastering the user interface of a Tamagachi.

So it feels pretty exciting that I’m even still doing this same thing I started doing two years ago (as infrequent as it may sometimes seem around here) let alone enjoying it. I think what started as a place for me to document has become a great place to share, and that’s been fun. This blog has—directly or inadvertently—affected my life in so many ways, so I just wanted to pause and say thank you. For whatever bizarre circumstances have led you to reading this webpage, I offer my deepest gratitude.

This time last year, I opened up the comments to a free for all Q&A. It was fun the first time around, so let’s do it again? Maybe you’re dying to ask me a question about something but just haven’t found the right time? This is the right time. Because why shouldn’t we talk about me a bit more? I can’t find a reason. I’m a fabulous topic.

So go ahead, hit me with your best shot. I’ll publish all the answers in a week!

PS- I know The Apartment Therapy homie awards are old news at this point, but since I haven’t blogged since then: thanks everybody! I know I didn’t win, but still: I was in that? People actually voted for me in that? Like, lots of people? Does not compute. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, you’re too kind.

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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Archives: 2010-2022

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  1. 3.26.12
    Maggie said:

    Happy Two’s!! I for one am so glad that blogging is something you have stuck with. Much love on your bloggy birthday. Mx

  2. 3.26.12
    Sophia said:

    The stories you share are fun, educational and interesting! So, yeah, I’m glad you’re here to stay! Happy anniversary!

  3. 3.26.12
    melissa said:

    What is your favorite thing to cook (please include recipe)?

    How do you make money/support yourself?

    How old were you when you came out to your parents?

    What are your top 5 songs right now?

  4. 3.26.12
    Sandra said:

    Happy second birthday! Love your blog and love the way you write, it’s hilarious.
    I am a student myself and I’ve always wanted to do something like you’re doing. However, I’m living of student loans so almost every penny I have goes to school, rent and food.
    How do you find the money to do all of this? Do you work with school?

  5. 3.26.12
    Sian said:

    Daniel – Discovered your blog through The Homies – hilarious, and you are clearly the crafty master of DIYing. I’m always curious how you manage to make such drastic – and amazing – changes to a rental? I’d never have the leeway to even take on some simple things like painting, never mind some of the cooler things you’ve done. What sort of jedi mind tricks did you play on your landlord?

  6. 3.26.12
    Martha said:

    Happy Birthday, Manhattan Nest! I love your blog, I really thought you deserved to win the Homies for your original content and writing. My question is, how’s Mekko doing? Has she been a good dog? Have you been doing much training or taking any classes? When my husband and I got a dog I was surprised how big of a learning curve it was for me to interact with a dog, it wasn’t very intuitive for me. He’s a great dog and a surprisingly well behaved puppy (I know now) but him just being a puppy freaked me out! My husband is naturally very good with dogs though, so maybe you and/or Max are natural dog owners like he is. They are man’s best friend, after all….

  7. 3.26.12
    susan said:

    Happy 2nd! I guess if I had a question it would be, were you born with your incredible style sense or did you go to school for it?

  8. 3.26.12
    Laura said:

    I also found your site through the Homies nominations, and I am glad I did! You got my vote because as a Manhattanite, I have lived in many apartments with tight spaces, odd layouts and old fixtures that I wanted to maximize use and asthetics of. So to me it’s relatable and motivating.

    My question is:
    How did you get your home improvement skills (from trial and error, reading online or you had the basics already)?

  9. 3.26.12
    Sherri said:

    I LOVE this dog!! I am really interested in the ups and downs of owning a Pitbull. They are such a misunderstood breed and it breaks my heart to hear such negative stories….until you wrote about your girl and the amazing way you have changed her life.
    Good job with sticking to the blog. Please tell us more about your experiences, so far, with owning a Pitbull.


  10. 3.26.12

    Happy two year birthday! {my blog just turned ONE the other day!} I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying this just as much as ever :)

  11. 3.26.12
    Erin said:

    Congratulations on two years and second place in The Homies. I was so glad to find a burgeoning design blogger with your humor and writing style. I definitely didn’t take enough time to savor the archives. Thank you!

  12. 3.26.12
    Christina W. said:

    I require more doggie infos and pictures! Posthaste! Seriously, I want to smush your doggie’s face on my face. :3

  13. 3.26.12
    Margo said:

    Happy Blogday!

    I’m curious about the new addition to your family. How’s it feel to be a doggie-daddy? How has being a dog owner changed your life?

  14. 3.26.12
    sarah said:

    i will be moving in with my gf of what will be about 8-10 months in september. how long were you and max together before moving in? what tips do you have for young, stupid gaybos about to shack up? we are poor but very in love.

  15. 3.26.12
    Autumn said:

    I just wanted to pop in and say that your blog has been a lifesaver for me. We just moved cross country to an apartment in Boston that we found on craigslist. Needless to say, the one picture that was posted didn’t do justice to the disaster that it really was. Every time I get overwhelmed with the ugly, I just browse through your recent projects… your red walls, that crazy hallway, the kitchen.. They really give me perspective and I feel that I too can make this space beautiful. Thank you!

    My question is what the hell do you do with old linoleum in the kitchen?! Argh.

  16. 3.26.12
    jeannette said:

    can mekko have a blog? i just love her slitted eyes and big grin.

  17. 3.26.12
    Chris said:

    Just want to say how glad I am you write and I found you. My desert island blog for sure.

    • 3.29.12
      gracie said:

      Aw that’s so nice.

  18. 3.26.12
    furpants said:

    Daniel, you are a gifted writer and I love your mom!

    Question: what do you want to do when you finish school?

  19. 3.26.12
    Magpie said:

    Dear Daniel. Love your blog, big and huge congratulations! Anyway, I have a question for you: I’m about 4 days away to start on my own renovation-project (me and my boy bought a house) and I’m extremly excited about it. But where do you start? Do you recomend starting with the things that feel more fun, or the things that makes more sense (like painting the ceiling). Recommendations? I wish I had a funnier question to you, but right now my mind is pretty blank. You rule!

  20. 3.26.12
    Alicia said:

    Very happy birthday, Daniel and Manhattan Nest!!!

    How’s it going with the fashion designer’s studio?

    • 3.26.12

      Ditto to Alicia! I’m wondering if there are updates to Daniel V?

      Happy bloggy birthday!

  21. 3.26.12
    holly said:

    i have a burning question that I never remember to ask-

    can you share your thrifting tips? you have the most amazing luck and find incredible things and I don’t and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

  22. 3.26.12
    Sara said:

    Question: the floating shelves you use for nightstands. Made? Bought? Where? How? I love them. I need them. You rock!

  23. 3.26.12
    Mickey said:

    How do you like living in Boerum Hill? I am moving to Brooklyn in a couple of months, and am having a hard time choosing between Boerum Hill/North Park Slope/Prospect Heights/Fort Greene. Any thoughts?

  24. 3.26.12
    nicolezh said:

    thank you for two years of inspiration, goods reads and advice- your blog is one of my faves from the beginning!

  25. 3.26.12
    JC said:

    How long does it take for you to compose/edit your blog posts?

    Your voice, humor, and pacing of your writing is so well-done. Do you slave over each paragraph? Or do you write your posts in less than 30 minutes?

  26. 3.26.12

    Happy Bloggy Birthday! Congrats on reaching the 2 years milestone and I hope you will keep this up.
    All your posts are awesome and I continue to be impressed with your paint choices and your overall patience and endurance to do it!

    Question: Do you have much experience with painting metal? If yes, what would be your paint recommendation to achieve best coverage?

  27. 3.26.12
    chelsey said:

    Happy Birthday! I found your delicious blog through the Homies! I am now a devoted reader. I am also going to shamelessly copy your bathroom makeover in my house!! I will send you all the credit and compliments! I’d send you baked goods too if we lived in the same country!

  28. 3.26.12
    Paula said:

    Happy Birthday, Manhattan Nest! I just started following your blog when I saw it doing so well in the Homies awards. It was so inspiring to see someone around my age doing home improvements and making them look fun and less mom-ish. I’ll be starting something similar in the next couple of weeks with my sharings on home decor on a budget, organization and cooking on a budget. Anyways, my question to you is–how do you find the time to do such amazing home renovations/decorations? Do you set a day or two aside or do you just make a room over slowly over time? And, are you planning on making this a career?

    Congrats again and keep it up!

  29. 3.26.12

    Woot! Woot! Congrats on the big two!

    I admit to skimming most blogs I subscribe to, but yours is not one of them. It’s always well-crafted and entertaining and I read every word…keep it up!

  30. 3.27.12
    runswithscissors said:

    Happy Blogiversary!!!
    I enjoy every well written post and the inspiration to start and finish my own DIYs.
    So impressed with all you have accomplished. Wise beyond your years that’s for sure. I’ll love reading your answers to everyones questions.
    My questions:

    -If I ever get to Manhattan what shop MUST I visit?
    -What item/piece of furniture or whatever is on your must-have bucket-list?
    -Has your style/taste changed at all? (you always seem to have a cohesive
    vision and I struggle with that, if I incorporated everything I once liked into one space I’d be on Hoarders…) so maybe the question should be:
    -How do you curate with no regrets? or are there regrets?
    -What’s your favorite beer?
    -Who is the better cook, you or Max?

    P.S. you DID win the Homies.
    *waves* hi to Mom, xxx to Mekko

  31. 3.27.12
    Emma said:

    Happy blogiversary!!

    I have three exceedingly serious questions:

    1) If given the chance, would you move to a farm, and in that case, what would you grow on your property?

    2) If you were a hyrax, what would your house look like?

    3) What did you want to do as an adult when you were a tiny tot (my answer: showjumper, archaeologist, astronaut, dinosaur breeder – yeah, don’t ask my kindergarten self about that last one)?

  32. 3.27.12
    Julia said:

    Happy Blog Birthday, enjoy! Really love your blog which I think I found through Door Sixteen. Would love to know where you would like to go on holiday (money no object) and also if you have any thrifted things you’ve bought and then looked at 6 months down the line and wondered what possessed you to get them? Looking forward to hearing all the answers to these questions – you may regret offering to do this you know, it could take some time!! x

  33. 3.27.12
    Vorpaks said:

    Happy Blogiversery! First of all I am delurking to say — thank you so much for sharing! It is always a bright spot when your blog updates pop up. As one of the other commenters said, they are FUN. It may seem weird but one of the best parts is the creative use of the F-bomb. I myself use the F-bomb quite frequently to describe all aspects of my own home renovation, good and bad, so I feel a kindred spirit.

    I have a random non decor-related question — what are you studying in school? While I’ve caught the school references somehow I have totally missed the subject references. Is it something style-related, or something totally unrelated (in my mind) like organic chemistry?

  34. 3.27.12
    Monica said:

    Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary! Sending virtual confetti, balloons and cake your way.

  35. 3.27.12
    KBurns said:

    Happy 2nd Blogday! My question – the Ikea base cabinet with the butcher block top and roll out trash bins, was everything from Ikea? I want and need this in my kitchen. I have not attempted any sort of apt upgrading/Ikea hacking so any help would be great! Thanks!

  36. 3.27.12
    Erin said:

    Happy Blogiversary! You look so young to be turning the big 2! I’m interested to know what made you start this blog and how has it changed from when you first concepted it (if it has)? Love this blog!

  37. 3.27.12
    Keren V. said:

    Happy second birthday! I feel as though blogs go by dog years, so today you are 14!

    Q: What is something unexpected that inspires you?

  38. 3.27.12
    Danze said:

    I discovered your blog back in the day when you were barely starting. Loved your way of writing and kept coming back for more. Thank you so much for being a huge inspiration. I have to tell you …because of you I painted my bathroom BM Racoon Fur. I tell ya…it rocks! It is sexy as heck! Loooove it!
    Happy second blogday!

  39. 3.27.12
    molly said:

    what type of sewing machine do you have and do you suggest it?

    happy 2nd bloggerversary daniel! i love your work and hope to read a book by you one day.

  40. 3.27.12
    Em said:

    I found your blog about a month ago and I have to say you are a bitch! :) Thanks to you I spent the better part of two days pouring over every delicious post you have written. Your style is not necessarily similar to mine, but I LOVE what you’ve done and love your writing style.

    My questions for you are:

    1) If you were on a deserted island and could only bring 3 (non-human) things with you, what would they be? (Alcohol doesn’t count because of course you salvaged that from the sinking ship, drowning every bitch in your path, so you already have it with you. Anything else goes though.)

    2) What is your favorite tool for DIY projects? (My God that came out wrong, but you get it.)

    3) Who would win in a post- zombie apocalyptic battle: Unicorn with laser shooting horn or honey badger with Edward Scissor Hands’ hands?

  41. 3.27.12
    Carol said:

    Bon anniversaire! I’ve loved your blog and your style for the past two years- I’m so glad that there is more to come! Also- I just want to hug your doggie all day long! How do you get anything done when she’s around??

    Wait, wait- that wasn’t the question I wanted to ask. My question to you is (and play along with me here): If you were forced at gunpoint to paint a room in your apartment with color (all four walls!), which room and what color would you pick?

  42. 3.28.12
    Jo said:

    Hi Daniel! I haven’t posted before, but have lurked and read since early on. I think you do a fantastic job of achieving great style with what seems to be a small budget and a lot of ingenuity – as a student and a renter, I find MN a lot more inspiring than all the blogs written by people who are older and have bigger budgets to play with, however jaw-droppingly awesome some of their places may be. So thanks for sharing your home with us, and long may MN continue.

    Questions (am I allowed 3?!):
    1) What is the current status of the bizarre hallway in your apartment and the painty windows?
    2) Any chance you could put up a floorplan? I’m really intrigued by how it all fits together.
    3) Who are your favourite writers?

  43. 3.28.12
    'col said:

    Happy blog birthday! Yours is my favorite of all the home blogs, and just when I think it can’t get any better: Mekko face.

    My question is: have you been in touch with the folks who moved into your old place at all?

  44. 3.28.12
    nlb said:

    I love your blog! I just wish you would update more often. :(

  45. 3.28.12
    petra said:

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
    Happy Birthday from Germany. It makes me happy to read your blog and I enjoy the way you are writing – with so much humor and self-mockery.
    I wish you all the best and hope that you will stay in blogland for a long time.
    Best wishes from Petra

  46. 3.28.12
    K said:

    Happy 2nd anniversary to your wonderful blog! I’m constantly inspired by your undertakings. Here’s to many, many more blogging anniversaries. :)

  47. 3.28.12
    Carly said:

    Congrats on two years. Love your blog and your beautiful home. Having just moved, my biggest question is do you do apartment consultations? I am completely overwhelmed by boxes and furniture that just doesn’t fit.

  48. 3.28.12
    berthamae said:

    Feliz Cumpleanos from Los Angeles! How do you protect the rest of your apartment when you use your circular saw/other equipment? Keep up the blog, it’s funny, informative and a nice escape.

  49. 3.29.12
    Rose said:

    I’m signing a lease today on my first apartment. All I own is a cordless drill. What tools do I buy?

  50. 3.29.12
    Laura said:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Question/information request: I am a sucker for floorplans, and your current one has been “coming soon” for too long, my friend. Give, already!

    Second question: I want to hear more about Mekko! How has your life changed (good/not so good) since getting a dog? Is it everything you hoped it would be? What’s the most hilarious thing she does (because pit bulls are such comedians)? More more more about your DOG DOG DOG DOG DOG!!!! :-)

  51. 3.29.12
    Elizabeth said:

    More Mekko please? Yes I know it’s a design blog but she is TOO CUTE.

  52. 3.29.12

    Happy 2nd Blog Birthday! You have officially entered the terrible twos phase! So go on, start screaming uncontrolably, pout or throw a tantrum. . . . you earned it baby!

    My question is, will Mamma Biscuit and Mekko ever meet? and if so, will Mekko eat her? Mamma seems so tiny in comparison ;-)

    Keep on Keepin’ on, I enjoy every minute of reading your blog!
    Mamma Biscuit and Family

  53. 3.30.12
    bfish said:

    Been checking out your blog since long before the Homies . . . your writing is a standout (and not just among bloggers!) and I’m inspired by your DIY enthusiasm and creativity. Could you share your favorite and least-favorite design/decorating trends or approaches? Are you a New Yorker for life or would you consider moving somewhere else (preferably after graduating of course)? If you have the wanderlust, where would it likely take you, in and outside of the US?

    I’m all for more DOG details as well! Thanks for being open to taking readers’ questions.

  54. 3.30.12
    Ren said:

    Happy 2nd birthday! If the Q&A free for all is still on then I’d love to know what camera you use for your pictures. :)

  55. 3.30.12
    Roan said:

    Love your blog!

    1. Favorite restaurant in NYC and why?

    2. In the future, would you consider moving out of NY? And if so, where?

    3. Favorite TV show????

  56. 3.30.12
    Charlene said:

    I also discovered your blog through the Homies, and I just LOVE your style! Your writing style makes me feel like we’re best buddies and I haven’t even read your blog for long. Your design style is engaging and posts about how to do things are really helpful and hilarious. Totally enjoying it (and when my partner catches me reading M.N., she asks me how my new bf is doing)!

    Some friends have been encouraging me to start a blog – more about small (as in: NYC small) apartment organization and design ideas, with occasional driftings into cooking/recipes. It’s got my wheels a-turning, but this leads me to my question for you: What do you consider the most challenging part of attending to your blog?

    Congratulations on 2 years and keep up the great work!


  57. 3.30.12
    Erica W. said:

    Congratulations on your blog birthday and coming in really high on that AT poll!

  58. 3.31.12
    Kathy said:

    Happy 2nd Blogiversary! You have the best writing style–entertaining, informative, and personal. Whenever you share, it seems you’ve pent it up (maybe on purpose?) and it explodes in delightful expression. You’ll be successful in whatever profession you tackle, however, writing is definitely one of your gifts. Please don’t stop.

  59. 4.1.12
    Lena said:

    totally understand if you don’t want to answer the question, so feel free not to, but: how much is your rent? How much was the rent of the old place? I am just really curious how expensive New York is!

  60. 4.1.12
    Bongo said:

    Surprise! Daniel isn’t answering * any * of our queries.

    • 4.2.12

      Did you miss the “I’ll publish all the answers in a week!” part?

      That’s today!

    • 4.3.12
      Vanessa said:

      Now that would have made for a funny April Fool’s joke now wouldn’t it have :)

  61. 4.3.12
    Jill said:

    I just wanted to say how thankful and grateful I am that you started this blog. Your adventurousness, tenacity and sense of humor are all so evident in the pages of this blog and I applaud your effort to share your life with us. It’s also so clear that you’re a genuinely lovely person, to boot.

    My own sap aside, congratulations on the anniversary and here’s to many more! <3