I won Small Cool. As in, I am a victorious winner who wins things like contests and money and Apple store gift cards so I can buy things like hookers and blow and Apple store geniuses.

Mekko was all:

Thank you, thank you, thank you to anybody and everybody who took the time to go vote, or registered an account to go vote, or thought about voting and actually didn’t but totally meant to. I already feel mushy and warm and fuzzy that anybody would even want to read this site in the first place,  but that so many people thought my apartment deserved an awesome award with an awesome prize is just totally amazing. Thank you, thank you, and thank you some more.

Shout-out to the other finalists—JoAnn, Beth, and my incredibly talented friends Lauren and Kyle of Chezerbey (one of my very favorite blogs)—for making this whole thing super fun and super stressful with their super beautiful spaces. They didn’t make it easy, so for that I both love and hate them.

Again, from the very bottom of my heart, thank you. Now let’s have some fun.

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. 5.3.12

    Who showed you how to make transparent type? You’re getting all fancy. MUST BE ALL OF THAT CASH MONEY PRIZES.

    You sooooooo deserved this win. I’m insanely happy for you. xoxoxo

    • 5.4.12
      kelly w said:

      my first thought when I saw that graphic was ‘aw, nice of Anna to make that for Daniel.’ : ] CONGRATS! Utterly well-deserved. Yayayayayay!!

    • 5.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Figured it out myself! Gettin’ smart. Opacity n shit. Layers. I do stuff.

      Thanks, you.

    • 5.4.12
      dewofthedesert said:

      It’s super easy to do in iPhoto on the iPad. CONGRATS once again! Looking forward to oodles of creative, amazing things from you.

  2. 5.3.12

    You should totally insist onbeing paid with a ginormous publishers clearinghouse check.

  3. 5.3.12

    Woohoo! So happy and excited and proud of you! All is right in the world.

  4. 5.3.12
    Eliza said:

    yay! congratulations! you deserve all the good things! can’t wait to see what you do with it! (that’s a turn of phrase. i can totally wait. i’m just really excited, is all.)

  5. 5.3.12
    Jen said:

    Yay Daniel! Brooklyn is proud of you! 3 out of 6 wins for the better borough. Not too shabby!

  6. 5.3.12
    TieDye64 said:

    WAY! Champagne all around. Cheers!


  7. 5.3.12
    CT said:

    Congrats! Yay for the other half of your kitchen!

  8. 5.3.12
    Annette said:

    Your welcome!

  9. 5.3.12
    Gaby said:

    Congratulations! And now what? Kitchen! Furniture? Mekko´s bedroom?

    • 5.8.12
      jeannette said:

      a girl cave for mekko! with one of those french provincial dog beds AND MINNIE MOUSE SHEETS! yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

  10. 5.3.12
    Erica said:

    Congrats! Looking forward to seeing what you do with your glorious winnings!

  11. 5.3.12
    kay* said:

    congrats congrats! well deserved.

  12. 5.3.12
    terrie said:

    Love love your posts. Your great writing voice is a pleasure to read as much as following your projects. Use your money for good!

  13. 5.3.12
    Bernadette said:

    Best picture of Mekko ever!

  14. 5.4.12

    Woohoo! So well deserved. I’m super happy for you.

  15. 5.4.12
    Furpants said:

    The CUTENESS. Has Mekko seen the news lately about “The Scream” painting because she is reminding me of that painting a little. I ALMOST congratulated you earlier with a word of caution “don’t spend it all on hookers and blow” but I thought it might be offensive. Guess not :)

  16. 5.4.12
    Monica said:

    So cool! Congratulations!! I am so happy that you won (the money, so that we can see more awesome posts).

  17. 5.4.12
    Janet said:

    Good things happen to good people. Well done Daniel :)

  18. 5.4.12
    Fat Cat said:

    You sooooooo deserve this ! Enjoy !!!

  19. 5.4.12
    Mig said:

    WOO HOO!!


  20. 5.4.12

    Ahhhhh! Well done! This is such great news FOR US ALL because now you can spend that money doing amazing things, and WE GET TO WATCH.

  21. 5.4.12
    Simone said:

    OK good to hear from you. You know I thought you were busy schlepping that Nelson Sling Sofa over the Brooklyn Bridge (and then up 5 flights of stairs was it?) and that that caused you to react a bit late.
    Congratulations I am very happy for you. Divine justice. (It’s way better winning when there is a prize!!!) maybe you will get jobs from this, judging and advising and writing!!! That would be cool. Daniel Stewart (hahaha).
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  22. 5.4.12
    runswithscissors said:

    Well deserved, YOU!
    I totally thought the first image might be of Mekko rolling
    on a money covered duvet

  23. 5.4.12
    Erika said:

    Congratulations! You (and Mekko) deserve it!

  24. 5.4.12
    bliss said:


  25. 5.4.12

    Bravo! Well deserved!

  26. 5.4.12
    LeeAnn said:

    So very happy for you! Now what are you going to to do with all that fun money?! It could go pretty far in a thrift store!

  27. 5.4.12
    Kirsten said:

    CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy your lovely apartment won!

  28. 5.4.12
    Lil said:

    Now you must finish the kitchen. And show us. Cuz that’s why we all voted… ;-)

  29. 5.4.12
    Martha said:

    Even better than the Homies, bitches! I still think you were robbed in that regard but maybe it was for the best because Small Cool is cash money, and there is nothing better than that! I dream of painting doors black nearly every day now because of you :) Can’t wait to see new posts about the place.

  30. 5.4.12

    Yippee!!! Well deserved! I especially love that a pit home won!

  31. 5.4.12
    Maggie said:

    Awesome! Congratulations :)

  32. 5.4.12
    Fionnuala said:

    It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. Well done!

    Now get to work with that five grand, pal.

  33. 5.4.12
    Gypsy said:

    You deserve this a million billion percent! I love your blog (and Mekko and your witty sense of humour and this list goes on!)- as many other readers, I also dream of black doors and pitbulls :)


  34. 5.4.12
    susan said:

    You totally deserve it. Totally.

  35. 5.4.12
    Heather said:

    Congratulations. Your incredible wit, style and uber cute pooch won my vote. I am normally a Chezerbey devotee, but you got me.

  36. 5.4.12
    Lena said:

    I have to say that there were many wonderfull entries, but you totally deserved to win! Curious to see what you will do with the money! I guess kitchen cabinets and maybe a new couch? Maybe a nice baby shower gift for Zerbebe?:-)

  37. 5.4.12

    Congrats again, you are certainly well-deserving of this and I can’t wait to see how you spend the loot!

    (And you should totally splurge on at least a few things that you’ve always wanted, time to go shooooopppping!)

  38. 5.4.12

    D, you deserve this and we’re happy for you over here at the CheZ ! Kitchen next? I think Mekko deserves a prize too, maybe some cheesy bacon, that’s what Bailey would want;)

    • 5.5.12
      Janet said:

      Hmmm I think pitties are a bit more picky than goldies who would eat their own paw if they could figure out how to hold that salt cellar :)
      LOVED the ‘open letter from Bailey’ post on your super duper blog :)

  39. 5.4.12
    Shauna said:

    Super duper congrats to you! :) I love reading your blog.

  40. 5.4.12
    Gaidig said:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to see what you’re going to do with it.

  41. 5.4.12
    Sophia said:

    Your incredible work on the apartment paid off. I’m so relieved (NOT that it really mattered since you are so brilliant but I was feeling a bit guilty) because I missed the final voting…CONGRATS!!!!

  42. 5.4.12
    Alyssa said:

    Cash MONAY! So excited to see what you do with it. May I suggest eggplant coloured silk smoking jackets, mahogany pipes, and getting a classy-ass couples portrait painted featuring aforementioned new acquisitions? Hang above fireplace.

  43. 5.4.12
    querencia said:

    It made my day to see you win this. Cheers.

  44. 5.4.12
    Heather said:

    A well deserved win! Love your style and your approach to design. Good work.

  45. 5.4.12

    I saw that you had won on Apartment Therapy today and just had to stop by to say congrats. Congrats!! It looks amazing.

  46. 5.4.12

    well done, now go make/fix up stuff and blog about it!!

  47. 5.4.12
    Roxanne R. said:

    Well deserved, Daniel.

  48. 5.4.12
    Jennifer H. said:

    Congrats are in order!! Can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of the kitchen. And the Small Cool contest was the first time I’ve noticed the changes in the hallway; was there a post about that, that I missed? Spend some of the dough on your sweet family, and then get busy on those projects!

  49. 5.4.12
    Ryan said:

    I very much want a print of that photo of Mekko to hang on my wall. Complete with the transparent type. Seriously. (I would even print it myself from an awesomely big JPG.)

    No pressure, but we’re all waiting to see what happens next. At least write the hallway post before your night with the hookers and blow.

  50. 5.4.12
    Lucía said:

    Go you! Congrats! I totally voted… Will you write more often now that you’re loaded?

  51. 5.4.12
    nic said:

    richly deserved!!

  52. 5.4.12
    Kara said:

    Congratulations! You and your wonderful blog are fully deserving of this award! Cheers!

  53. 5.4.12
    Louise said:

    Again, congrats ^^

  54. 5.4.12
    Sam Difference said:

    As someone who has a love/hate relationship with most DIY blogs and has never voted for anyone on anything much less AT, I registered myself and voted for you, Daniel: someone I’ve never met, most likely to never meet and all that jazz.
    But you know why?
    Because you do cool things and you deserved to win the comp.

  55. 5.4.12
    Linda said:

    So happy for you, you TOTALLY deserved this…and…I am in love with Mekko. How is it possible to become progressively more cuddly with every photo??? Again, congratulations on a well earned success/acknowledgment.

  56. 5.5.12
    Jo said:

    Dammit! Now it will be more difficult to convince you to come design my living space after I win the lottery (because I would still be a cheapskate after winning the lottery – not that you’re not worth a lot of money, but I’m sure you will have better offers and dammit this isn’t coming out right at all) Congrats! you deserve it!

    • 5.5.12
      Janet said:

      LOL Jo :)

  57. 5.5.12
    Ange said:

    Yay! Congrats! Now we’re all expecting lots of posts in return for voting… Haha. Have fun! Excited to see what you come up with next!

  58. 5.5.12
    Jacey said:

    I just went over to Apartment Therapy to check, and see if you’d won… and wow!
    Well done! You deserve every single cent of that prize money!! Hopefully it’ll allow you to do some more of the things you want to do :D

  59. 5.5.12

    I knew it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am an architect from Spain and I voted for your space without know you at all!!! Now I am going to be a huge fan. Congratulations! or Enhorabuena Maja! (in spanish way) :)

  60. 5.5.12
    Ray said:

    Congratulations! Really looking forward to see how you invest it :D

  61. 5.5.12
    Erica W. said:

    I hope you buy Mekko a diamond encrusted collar (or at least a marrow bone) — you know she drove probably 500 votes your way with that face!

  62. 5.5.12
    Meghan said:

    Congrats! I am sure that super cute doggie in the photos had nothing to do with it. ;)

  63. 5.5.12
    Colleen said:

    A huge congrats! I am waiting to hear about you winning things for your writing next! ~ glad to hear that Mekko is healthy and happy!

  64. 5.5.12
    Tasha said:

    Everybody else has already covered what I wanted to say, so I’ll just add, “eeeeee!”

  65. 5.5.12
    Sue May said:

    I’m so happy for you! This is the One blog that gives me hope in today’s youth.

  66. 5.5.12
    Ella said:

    You realize your readers rule the internet, right? Happy winnings! Bring on the champagne and luxury dog foood!

  67. 5.5.12

    Congratulations!!! You deserve every bit of this! I also like the transparent type in Mekko’s response to your winning, along with Mekko of course!
    The Biscuits

  68. 5.5.12

    Congratulations from the 2010 Small Cool winner, Daniel! Always nice seeing your posts pop up in my Google Reader.

    My friend Matt was the runner-up in your division (I actually helped him reorganize his place last year, so when he entered, I semi-vicarioiusly lived through that contest stress again).

    ps – He saw that Nelson sling sofa on your wish list and has an extra one stashed away if you’re interested hinthintcontestmoneyjk

  69. 5.6.12
    jbhat said:

    Three cheers and five thousand for one Daniel and his small and very cool space!
    I’m so happy for you!


  70. 5.6.12
    Kelly said:

    Official verb for excitement and congratulations.
    Well done, looking forward to seeing the magic x

  71. 5.7.12
    Lisette said:

    Totally deserved, but congratulations anyway!!

  72. 5.7.12
    James Hsu said:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy your hard work paid off.

  73. 5.7.12
    amanda f. said:


  74. 5.7.12
    lahlo said:

    YES! Totes voted for you! WHEEEEEEEE $5000 FUN TIMES!

  75. 5.8.12
    Daniela said:

    Oooooops! I am one of those “thought about voting and actually didn’t but totally meant to but was too lazy to create an account but thought you should win” people. :) Anyway, congratulations! You inspired me to paint… something… maybe the walls in my hallway… or sew something… like a dress… or rennovate the bathroom… or maybe I’ll just read your blog and do all those other things tomorrow.

  76. 5.9.12
    Naomi said:

    Congratulations on your new chair! It indeed looks much more practical. I have to ask: where did you get that sofa from? And can I get a clearer picture of it than the one used in the Small Cool contest?! I am scouring for a sofa, and I am not sure, but from what little I could discern I think I need to take a printout of your sofa yo furniture shops and use it as a reference. It seems like all everyone’s pushing for now is these bulky, low, square and big sofas that are the equivalent of a fat man. I just want tall, lean, and long enough to lay on!

    • 5.9.12
      Daniel said:

      The sofa is the KARLSTAD from IKEA, nothing fancy!! I’ve had it for about two years and it’s really comfortable and held up well. The whole thing is actually slipcovered (but looks like regular upholstery), so you can wash the fabric and change the upholstery at any time, too.

  77. 5.13.12
    Meredeth (xgirl0) said:

    Congratulations! It’s so awesome that you won!

  78. 5.23.12

    i realllly love that lamp! so bossy and looks awesome over the table. much better than the one before. nice craigslist find!!

  79. 5.31.12
    shalini said:

    Congrats! I voted for you too :-)

  80. 6.14.12
    TJ Romero said:


  81. 9.13.12
    tin_mango said:

    Came across your blog while perusing the Small Cool Spaces contest at Apartment Therapy, which resulted in me spending the last hour reading your posts. Love your blog SO much! I never comment on things online but I love it so much I had to speak up. I’ve been obsessed with home design blogs for the last few years and since I just moved into a new place with my boyfriend last month, I’ve been on the home design tip more than ever. Your place is beautiful and your hilarious story-telling is top notch. Thanks for sharing your world :)