I know I sound like a broken record here, constantly soliciting for your votes, but I swear it’ll all be over soon. Because guess what, mothertruckers? We made it to the top of the Apartment Therapy Small Cool Contest semi-finals, and now it’s the FINAL ROUND. This is where the big money happens. And I need you to go vote.

We racked up over 1,400 votes in 12 days in the semi-finals, and I cannot thank you enough for clicking, signing in, signing up, and clicking that little “favorite” button. It means the world to me, really and truly. If you voted in the semi-finals, you need to go vote again in the final round. Need to.

There’s a lot of money at play here. Like, $5,000 a lot. And if you’ve been paying attention to this blog, you know I can make that money work. You won’t be sorry, because you get to watch it happen.

So GIVE ME ALL THE PRIZES. How will I ever feel validated without constant accolades and cash monies?! Think about it.

In case you’re new here, or you found your way here from Apartment Therapy, here’s the best reason I have for you to go vote for me: I fucking deserve it.

Check out this shit. I did that.

Oh what’s that now? I did that too. Oh yes I did.

Hallway sneak peek! Guess who did that? Me. I did. Wait until you see the other part, you’ll crap your pants.

I even renovated this side of my kitchen. Want to see the other side undergo some crazy amazing makeover magic that I have all the plans for and no money to make happen? Well, you can do something about that. Just go over to Apartment Therapy and vote. 

Here’s how: If you have an account, hooray! You’re halfway there! Go you! Just click here and vote for “Daniel’s Amazing Bones.”

If you don’t have an account, don’t stress. Just click here and make an account. It take like 2 seconds and they won’t even send you any emails. Win-win.


If you need more convincing, let Biggie inspire you.

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. 4.30.12
    JJ said:

    Voted! And you were winning :-)

  2. 4.30.12
    Bliss said:

    I really enjoy your blog but when I saw the finals up I said to myself, “Yo, you really need to look at the other entries and not vote for someone just because.”

    And so I did.

    And STILL liked your place the best!

    May the design force be with you!

  3. 4.30.12
    Mike said:

    Voted, you’re winning by 60 votes. Now finish the Q & A’s from two weeks age ;)

    • 4.30.12
      Daniel said:

      I know, I haven’t forgotten about the Q & A! I have two more posts, they just take foreverrrrrr to write and I needed a break from feeling so completely self-indulgent. They’re coming!

  4. 4.30.12
    ruth said:

    just voted for you again….hope it’s the big one this time! Slainte…as we say in Ireland!

  5. 4.30.12
    Isabella Golightly said:

    You really deserve this award because, not only do you love your adorable dog (I know, I know, nothing to do with home renovation, but…) but you have a great eye and a real talent for seeing the gold amongst the dross & I check your blog every frakking day to see what you’ve done next.. So, if you win, I think all of us voters deserve weekly posts. Because we know (vaguely) where you live!

    • 4.30.12
      Daniel said:

      Mo’ money –> mo’ content. Science!

  6. 4.30.12
    Tanya said:

    Voted as soon as it opened up. I’m feeling all sorts of jittery. You absolutely need to win this thing. Glad my favorite Mekko is a-ok!

  7. 4.30.12
    Kbillawarra said:

    Love your blog, love your digs, love your dog. You got my vote. ;)

  8. 4.30.12
    Ryan said:

    I voted as soon as I saw the comment in your previous entry mention voting was open. Although I could not endorse votes based purely on popularity – you fucking deserve it. AND, I want to see what you do to finish the kitchen and that takes money.

  9. 4.30.12
    Lindsay said:

    Voted! And I am officially baffled at how you can literally say, “GIVE ME ALL THE PRIZES” and have it not come off as obnoxious. You are skilled, indeed. :)

  10. 4.30.12
    Sarah said:

    I signed up just so I could vote for you! No one is more deserving.

  11. 4.30.12
    Voted, Bitches!!!! said:

    Even though I completely love your style, I decided to check out the other entries just to be sure that, if I weren’t already familiar with your apartment and style, I would still choose you. Guess what?! I would! So I voted for you wholeheartedly. Good luck!

    • 4.30.12
      Daniel said:

      Yes, all joking aside I really do want anyone who votes to vote for the entry that truly speaks most to them, regardless of my tacky pleas!

    • 5.1.12
      Janet said:

      A no-brainer, I looked at all and stayed objective and STILL thought you were the very very best :)

  12. 4.30.12
    Camilla said:

    You begged. Your cursed. I voted. You should win.

  13. 4.30.12
    Emily said:

    I’ve really held off joining Apartment Therapy because I hate how bitchy their commenters get (not even good, funny bitchy…just…ugh. mean.) buuuuut I do want to see what you can do with 5 Gs.

    Perhaps Biggie also influenced me. And my sudden gangster-speak.

    Make it rain.

    • 4.30.12
      Mary said:

      pshh AT just needs more friendly commenters. You should join the comments-force and make it rain happiness.

      But also, some of them kind of are funny bitchy.

  14. 4.30.12
    Brit said:

    You’re so kickass so I signed up (ew) and voted. I hope you win.

  15. 4.30.12
    karina said:

    just voted for you, my fellow brooklynite. good luck!

  16. 4.30.12
    Maggie said:

    Can’t wait to see what amazing shit you do with the moula! Good luck!

  17. 4.30.12

    I really hope you win, your place makes the others look all meh.

  18. 4.30.12
    Mary said:

    haha thanks for the memories. I forgot how atrocious that hallway (and paint job were). Just so you know, I voted for you both times (and not because I’ve been a follower of your blog).

    To be completely frank, some of the first round apartments might have earned my finals vote over yours, had they made it through (that would just be a personal taste thing though, I love unicorns and you don’t have nearly enough unicorn decor in your apartment) (just kidding, unicorns are stupid).

    But of the four finalists, your apartment is hands down, by far my personal fave (and so much cooler than anywhere I’ve lived, despite my hardest efforts).

    I’m glad you showed the before and afters here, so everyone coming over from AT can see the hard work you’ve done.

    PS – Congrats on how far you’ve made it – don’t you get a new ipad or something? Also, if you win the big cashmoney, please incorporate at least one unicorn-inspired decor element into your space (no, don’t).

    • 4.30.12
      Daniel said:

      Yes, if I’m understanding correctly, I think we won a $500 Apple gift card for being in the finals (which is how much iPads cost, I guess?)!

      I’ll keep my eye out for unicorns. Maybe a polite cross-stitched pillow? With a rainbow background?

    • 5.2.12
      Mary said:

      heh, heh, awesomeness!

      also: congrats!

  19. 4.30.12
    David said:

    I don’t know if I can vote against chezerbey. They have a cute dog *and* a baby on the way. You guys need to step it up…

    • 4.30.12
      Daniel said:

      We can’t have babies because we don’t have a single uterus between us. Not even Mekko :-(

      Lauren and Kyle have done incredible work on their house and I’ve been a big fan of theirs since the beginning, though. A little competition between friends never hurt nobody.

    • 5.1.12
      Furpants said:

      The chezerbey house is fabulous but I couldn’t vote for both of you. To me, your place is more what small/cool is about. Their house is actually over the size limit if you count the basement (which they didn’t)… not that I’m the AT police or anything… oh, why can’t everyone get a trophy?

  20. 4.30.12
    Alyssa said:

    FINALLY SOME HALLWAY ACTION! Man, those goddamn rectangles gave me nightmares. Voted because you deserve that shiz.

  21. 4.30.12
    leyla said:

    voted again. You deserve to win, inspiration that reaches as far as Bogotá-Colombia!!

  22. 4.30.12
    Sherri said:

    I voted! Good luck, you totally deserve to win!

  23. 4.30.12
    Michelle said:

    Man, that was one ugly apartment before you got a hold of it. Great job fixing it up and great style.

  24. 4.30.12
    Shane said:

    VOTED and YAY, you’re well in the lead, 777 to the next highest of 511! I can’t wait to see more projects and posts and inspiration :-)

  25. 4.30.12
    amanda said:

    i see a face in your abstract.

  26. 4.30.12
    amanda said:

    and i posted on the wrong post. i was trying to be abstract.

  27. 4.30.12
    chrysoberyl said:

    I stumbled over your blog while following links from Apartment Therapy a couple weeks ago. This weekend I inhaled a bunch of your past posts, and I’m amazed and the transformations you’ve made. I can’t wait to see what surprises you still have in store. Best wishes to all 3 of you!

    (and yes, I voted for your entry in Small Cool!)

  28. 4.30.12
    Erin said:

    I mean, seriously. You made baseboards for your kitchen. Baseboards. Who else would care that much? I voted early and sadly, can’t vote often.

  29. 5.1.12
    Lori said:

    OMG Daniel, the apartment was hideous (shitty in my terms) but you made it look soooo good. And because of that you got my vote!. I want to see you werk it, lol. You got skillz.

  30. 5.1.12
    Anna said:

    Just read about Mekko. SO GLAD SHE IS OKAY! It makes my day when I see a Mekko update on instagram :). Voting again. I know what it’s like to be low on dosh and I’d really like to see you guys win! Your apartment is amazing. Much love xoxoxoxo

  31. 5.1.12

    The video prompted me to action and I finally went to Apartment Therapy thinking I had to register to vote. Turns out, I already had an account. Lazy! But I got over that laziness long enough to vote for you because you do fucking deserve it (and $5k is real money). And to comment! Biggie and Daniel, fighting inertia together.

  32. 5.1.12
    molly said:

    voted and excited to see you’re in the lead!

  33. 5.1.12

    Sweet. You already get an iPad then! :-) Voted, and forced Mr E to vote. It’s so ace to see you get these acolades. Also, $5000 is surely better than a Homie award ;-)

  34. 5.1.12
    Catherine said:

    Done and done. And you’re kicking ass! Here’s to a healthy Mekko and an even more awesome apartment…

  35. 5.1.12
    jody said:

    Voted and now fingers crossed…I so want to see what you will do with the 5G’s!!

  36. 5.1.12

    Voted! I should admit that I was looking at your entry a few days ago and thinking, “Wow this apartment looks familiar!” but I couldn’t figure out why. Until I saw the dog, obviously. :)

  37. 5.1.12

    Voter number 1031 reporting for duty! Good Luck!

    (The highest number of votes amongst your competition at this point is 614.)

  38. 5.1.12

    Voted! And you are doing super well!

  39. 5.1.12
    Mariah said:

    I voted for you! Because I love reading your blog and I want to see more content from you! I have no doubt that you got this!!!

  40. 5.1.12
    kory said:

    1101! anything to keep this blog thriving! :)
    you are soooo going to win! :D

  41. 5.1.12
    susan said:

    I think what I like most about you, other than your marvelousness, is your place doesn’t look like every other place out there. You have your own aesthetic and it shows. WHEN you win it will be well deserved!

  42. 5.1.12
    Annapolitan said:

    Voted! Fingers crossed you win!

  43. 5.1.12
    Janet said:

    Yay! you’re MILES ahead Daniel, 5000 smakaroonies comin’ your way. What’ll you do with it? (after you pay the vet bills of course :)

  44. 5.1.12
    Amanda said:

    I read your post about Mekko and almost cried. I had a similar situation with my dog, however we stuck with the bad vet (he was recommended) and he misdiagnosed a tumor as arthritis. When we finally got a new vet, we had everything tested again and the new vet said not only was it was the worst radiograph she had ever seen, our dog had broken her leg where the tumor was because the tumor had eaten so much of the bone. Unfortunately it was too late for our dog.

    • 5.1.12
      Daniel said:

      Oh, I’m so sorry Amanda, what a horrible situation. My personal experience with my vet aside (or lack thereof, really), I’m sure I wouldn’t have made the leap to a different doctor if I hadn’t heard so many things from other sources. I know it’s so, so, so hard to avoid playing the “what-if?” game, though, even if you know logically that you were doing all the right things at the time. I’m just lucky that there was enough evidence to convince me to bail at the last minute, and even more lucky that it even made any difference in the end. I know it could have very easily gone a number of other ways, and has for many people. I’m so sorry about your puppy.

  45. 5.1.12
    Ronklyn said:

    I voted cuz you say fuck a lot…and it’s funny. And yes, I too am always checking this goddamn blog for more updates on the kitchen etc, and if winning the money gets me more posts, then so be it.

  46. 5.1.12

    Nice, tastefully done – you deserve all the plaudits

  47. 5.1.12
    Rae said:

    I voted and I can’t wait to see what you do with the 5 grand!

  48. 5.1.12

    You’ve already got more votes than the guy who won last year. Just sayin’.

  49. 5.1.12

    Amazing job! Seriously. And your captions just win me over.

    You have my vote, sir!

  50. 5.1.12
    hannah said:

    Created an account and all just for you. I love your blog and your design sense and your crazy thrifting adventures. And I’m so glad the pup is OK.

  51. 5.1.12
    Mig said:

    I come to your blog faithfully since the beginning but have been too lazy to write. Well I wrote the first time I came here… ages ago! Just want to say that I’m always amazed with all your ideas and home improvements. I’m one of your looong list of fans and always vote for you! I’m glad dog dog dog dog is ok!

  52. 5.1.12
    Kelly said:

    I totally voted for you. Why wouldn’t I? Your skills are brilliant. And your bed makeover gave me the strength to make an upholstered headboard for myself (a DIY Colette bed from C&B.) And love that every time I read your blog, I go into my ugly cry laugh because you are hilarious.

    Daniel for the win!

  53. 5.1.12

    I THINK YOU”RE GONNA WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. 5.1.12
    YVRMOM said:

    I created an account just to vote for you. I know that you’ll win!!!

  55. 5.1.12
    Audrey said:

    I totally voted for you. Good luck!

  56. 5.1.12

    These before and afters are truly amazing. What you’ve done with this apartment is incredible.

    I’ve definitely voted. Your place is so far superior to the others in the finals it’s not even funny.

  57. 5.2.12
    Fidotmac said:

    Dude – done!

    I discovered you through the Homie Awards when I voted for one of your competitors. So, although I know you were bummed you didn’t win, you gained a new reader(s) and a better chance for $$ for your awesome design and renovating skills when it really counts. A silver lining to your cloud.

    Best of luck

    PS – Mekko is a sweetie.

  58. 5.2.12
    Janet said:

    If you win (or should I say WHEN you win) maybe you’ll be able to afford a pot of paint to paint that baseboard in the kitchen ;)

  59. 5.2.12
    Kate said:

    I totally joined, just to vote for you. Because you really truely deserve it. You inspire me so much. Not to create a home like yours (which is ace) but to make, to make do, to get on with it, no excuses (in particular the “but i’m renting” excuse for not making my apartment a home).

  60. 5.2.12
    Rose said:

    Daniel: I think if you win, which you totally will, you should have a section where readers can give you their design problems like on AT and then you suggest things that help the space.

    I just moved into my first apartment and I don’t know what to do with my hands and I voted for you. HELP

  61. 5.2.12

    I (like many others) checked out the other entries, just to be totally sure that I should actually be voting for you and, as it turned out, I loved your place more than any of the others. So I registered my vote only to see that you’re storming ahead!

    I believe that $5,000 will be yours, young man. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. You deserve it!

  62. 5.2.12
    Helen said:

    I voted for you and wanted you to win the Homies so you better win the small cool contest! The before and after pictures of your apartment says it all. Good luck!

  63. 5.2.12
    Lisette said:

    You totally had me at “mothertruckers” so how could I NOT vote? Saw you’re well in the lead and that makes me happy!

  64. 5.2.12
    Milly said:

    I sooooo hope you win!! Your readers are dying to see you turn that money into transformations that are crazy good!!

  65. 5.2.12
    Simone said:

    Hi Daniel;
    I voted. When you win you’re going to buy the Nelson sofa, right?
    Have a wonderful day, and good luck!!!

  66. 5.2.12
    nicolezh said:

    Daniel, you sooo deserve to win! I already forced my partner to vote for you and my sister, too. Can’t wait to see what you are doing with the 5000 bucks…

  67. 5.2.12
    Emily said:

    I voted! Love your blog Daniel. You’re so awesome.

  68. 5.2.12

    The voting is now closed and they said they are announcing it today. So exciting!! You must be flipping out! Hope you get all the prizes!!

  69. 5.2.12
    Kara said:

    Congratulations!! You deserve every penny.

  70. 5.2.12
    Brenda said:

    I just looked over at the contest to see who was ahead and you won! Congrats to you, and to us because now we can see more of you DIY goodness (and Mekko).

  71. 5.2.12
    Valerie said:


  72. 5.2.12
    Kelly said:

    YAY!!! Congrats Daniel. Awesome win(I sound like a prepubescent 80’s valley girl) I’m glad you’re getting the cash and with your skills you won’t have to spend the whole pile to make your apartment even more beautiful…..

  73. 5.2.12
    molly said:

    congratulations daniel!

  74. 5.2.12
    Ann said:

    Congratulations! You so deserve this.

  75. 5.2.12
    Gillianne said:

    Well hot damn, Daniel, you and your self-promotion hustling did it! (I voted for you.) Lookin’ forward to seeing that AT prize moolah put to creative DIY use in your Brooklyn Nest. Congrats to you.

  76. 5.2.12
    Danyelle said:

    I’ve never been this proud of someone I don’t know but you truly have been an inspiration. Congratulations Daniel.

  77. 5.2.12
    Chris said:

    Congrats!!!!! Can’t wait to see what you do next (and more importantly, to see more photos of Mekko!)

  78. 5.2.12
    Mig said:


  79. 5.2.12
    Camille B said:

    I’ve been reading for a while but this is my first time commenting. Just wanted to say congrats on the small-cool win–you totally deserve it! Like many others have said, I don’t register for many things, but I got an AT account just to vote for you. Your blog and your home are such an inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you do with the loot money. :) Congrats again!

  80. 5.2.12
    lets said:

    You fucking deserved it!!! CONGRATULATIONS

  81. 5.2.12

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I can’t wait to see what you do with your loot :)

  82. 5.2.12
    Ryann said:

    I second Danyelle, I think all of us readers are super, duper proud of you, congratulations to you! A very deserved win.

    I hope you are able to put a little of the money away in a cookie jar as emergency funds for Mekko – having dogs all my life, I unfortunatly have to say every time my dog(s) would get sick it was pretty much always unexpected, and always costly. They are of course worth it for how much joy they bring to our lives – but you are a daddy now and it never hurts to be a little prepared for the worst, as much as we don’t want to imagine it. I also want to say that your last post was incredibly touching and I think many dog owners could relate; there is nothing scarier than a sick doggie and nothing sadder than one no longer being a part of our lives.

    Back on a lighter note, your home is beautiful and I am so excited to see about the hallway transformation! You really are a super-hero of apartment living.

    Have a wonderful, celebratory weekend!

  83. 5.2.12
    Kate said:

    Congratulations Daniel! Can’t wait to see what this let’s you do next!!

  84. 5.2.12
    misa said:

    i am so thrilled that you won, daniel!!! congratulations!!! it’s much deserved!

  85. 5.2.12
    Simone said:

    Congratulations on your WIN! Awesome work!

  86. 5.2.12

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place.

  87. 5.2.12
    Minna said:

    Wheeee! I feel like I won because you won!

  88. 5.2.12
    Milly said:

    You freaking won!!!! Yes!!

  89. 5.2.12
    Louise said:

    CONGRATZ ^^ You deserved it :D

  90. 5.2.12
    runswithscissors said:

    The people have spoken :) Well done

  91. 5.2.12
    JC said:

    winner winner chicken dinner. a lot of chicken dinners with $5k!!!

  92. 5.2.12
    Erica said:

    Yay!! Can’t wait to see what you do around the apt with all that renovation money!

  93. 5.2.12
    Bernadette said:


  94. 5.2.12
    Juliska said:

    Daniel, do you know that you’ve won? Not a single victorious peep, so far? Come on, kid, we’re all happy for you and celebrating! Join us!

  95. 5.3.12
    Victoria said:

    Congratulations Daniel! Well done and well deserved. Enjoy your winnings …!

  96. 5.3.12
    Furpants said:

    Have a fantastic time with all that $$$$$ Now you can quit your job and write a book or something. YAY for us all.

  97. 5.3.12
    Fat Cat said:

    YouHou ! You won ! Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the $$$ ;-)

  98. 5.3.12
    Elen said:

    Congrats Daniel!! I’m so glad you won!! :)) You deserve it so much!! ^^

  99. 5.3.12
    jody said:

    Woo hoo…you won…now get to the other side of that kitchen!!!

  100. 5.3.12
    HappyCheeryGirl said:

    Woot! You won, my friend. All that crapload of registering to vote paid off. Congrats!!!

  101. 5.3.12
    Janet said:

    YOU WON YOU WON YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  102. 5.3.12

    Oh Daniel,

    I’m so proud of you. Really pleased to be able to share your journey from afar.

    Love as always from England!

    Mrs E.

  103. 5.3.12
    ingrid said:

    I see on the apartment therapy site that you’ve won! congratulations! I think my vote pushed you over the edge.
    Well done.

  104. 5.3.12
    kristi said:

    I was just on AP and saw that you won! I got so excited for you! Congrats!

  105. 5.3.12
    Jenny said:

    You WON! congratulations!

  106. 5.3.12
    AgentDarkApple said:

    Hey rockstar, you won Small Cool. Congrats! I found your blog a while back and used your tutorial on hacking the Fjellse to make my own $1300-looking bed. Was pleased to find out you were the winner. Oh and I am so glad your dog is ok!

  107. 5.3.12


  108. 5.3.12
    Paula said:

    I voted for you based on that kitchen update alone, and then I saw the credenza at it was locked up. Construction and circular saw hacks in an under 600 space? Rock on. Dude you know how to hack.

  109. 5.3.12
    rj said:

    congrats daniel. every day that you post on this blog is a day worth living. rock on. can’t wait to see what you do with the loot.

  110. 5.3.12
    Charlene said:

    You WON!!!! WOOOO!!! Congratulations! How’s that for the sweet end to a super stressful week! WOW!

  111. 5.3.12
    Julie said:

    Yay! You totally deserved to win! Can’t wait to see what you do with all that loot!!

  112. 5.3.12
    chris said:


  113. 5.3.12
    Mariah said:

    Yay! Congrats! I can’t wait to read more postings from you (you promised!!) :) I agree with the commenter above about using the some of those bucks to tuck away for emergency Mekko fund. (Just to be on the safe side). From one proud doggie owner to another— congrats! *high five!*

  114. 5.3.12
    Charlotte said:


  115. 5.3.12
    eileen marie said:

    Shit, bro, you won! Congrats!

  116. 5.3.12
    Mom said:

    On behalf of Daniel, I want to thank everyone for all the encouraging words and support. I know he will acknowledge this himself when he can but this is finals week for him so he needs to prioritize and deal with his education too. Believe me, he feels the love, and will write again when his exams are over.

  117. 5.3.12
    Monika said:

    Congrats on winning! Hope exams go well–if you can sit still and study–and then you have time for some more projects :-). Keep up the good work and phenomenal writing. You have a great blog and deserved to win.

  118. 5.3.12
    TieDye64 said:

    Oh, yeah. Forget to let you know I voted (of course).

  119. 5.3.12
    TieDye64 said:

    Wait. You won?! Holy shit that’s freaking fabulous! I’ve been working a new job *sobs* so I’m outta the loop. CONGRATS!


  120. 5.12.12
    eva said:

    where is you kitchen artwork from?

    i also refurbished my house, did all the manual work possible being 5-8 months pregnant:)
    congrats on beautiful apartment!

    • 5.13.12
      Daniel said:

      The two posters next to the window are from here!