Winter Times

Remember that stuff I said about tons of things getting done around the apartment while I was on break from school and work? Which has been for the last two weeks?


That hasn’t really happened yet.



Max and I took our caravan of dogs to Buffalo for Christmas, but a four day trip turned into a 6 day trip when we got snowed in! I guess it snowed a bit down in NYC, too, but hot holy damn, Buffalo. You know how to do a snowstorm up right.

Buffalo is really beautiful, by the way. I’ll admit that it took me a few trips to warm up to the city itself, but now I really enjoy going up there to visit. Max’s family is super great, too.

The dogs were not as pleased as we were about the snow, but one thing that made them a little more content were their fancy jackets! After Linus got his adorable little mug on Cute Overload, a really sweet company called D-fa Dogs in New Zealand e-mailed me out of the blue, asked if the dogs needed coats for winter, and offered to send them matching Ice Barkers.* So nice! I took them up on it and the dogs have both been getting a lot of wear out of them all winter. The merino wool is deceptively warm, and if it’s really cold we’ll layer their American Apparel hoodies underneath for extra cuteness points.

*Note: D-fa Dogs didn’t pay me to post about them or even ask for a post in exchange for the jackets. They just wanted my dogs to be warm!

Linus has the black coat, by the way. He’s impossible to take pictures of because he doesn’t sit still unless he’s sleeping, and his paws got too cold to walk so he hitched a ride inside Max’s coat…but I’ll try to get a picture soon. Dogs in jackets are really cute and you deserve to see that FYI.


After we got back from Buffalo, we made a quick turnaround in Brooklyn before heading up to Kingston, NY for a couple of days. A couple of our friends got together and rented a cute house, so we spent two days drinking and eating and drinking and antiquing and drinking, and the whole thing was super fun and relaxing and awesome. Kingston is cute town on the Hudson River Valley, and now I have delusions and yearnings in my loins to find a way to buy a cheap historic house somewhere in that vicinity and make it beautiful and perfect. For the weekends and holidays? It would be so fancy and beautiful? Hashtag goals.

Since nobody seemed to know what they wanted to do while we were up there, I just did what I do best and dragged everyone out thrifting for a few hungover hours of fun times digging through weird old crap. Totally everyone’s idea of a good time by which I mean nobody’s by which I mean my friends probably hate me now and I’m alone and destitute and could really use some new friends?


Whatever. I bought this ENORMOUS enamel tray, which was covered in dirt and rust but totally looks way better now that I cleaned it up. What do I even do with this thing? It’s about 20×30 inches and looks completely dumb on my credenza or dresser. But it’s pretty and I love it and I love trays and it’ll work out.


Oh look, I bought another enamel tray, too! This one is a more reasonable size and cute and good for corralling all the things?

Trays are good because you can group your shit on them and then it looks like maybe you have a reasonable amount of shit instead of too much. They don’t call this a design blog for nothing?

Oh yeah I actually bought two of those trays because they were there and they were cheap and I love all the enamel.


I also bought this tiny little amber glass jar. I don’t know. Exciting fucking stuff. I’m rocking your world right now.


Here’s Mekko to take you through the weekend until we get some real updates happening up in here next week.

Look at her tongue. Look at her nose. Look deep into her eyes. Keep looking. See your future.

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. 1.4.13
    Shelley said:

    Sounds like you had an awesome holiday!..could that huge enamel tray (the really big one),,go behind your stove in the kitchen? (I know you were kicking around backsplash ideas previously)

  2. 1.4.13

    Mekko’s tongue is made out of bologna.

  3. 1.4.13
    'col said:

    My future is cute. Happy New Year!

  4. 1.4.13

    Can’t wait to live somewhere cold so I can justify buying my doggie some cute winterwear/sweatshirts! Pretty sure my dog needs this for next Christmas –

    Linus in Max’s jacket is just too adorable. Actually that whole family photo of you guys is super cute.

    New friends you say? New friends who like thrifting? Check. I will work on convincing the hubby to move us to NY ASAP. I will also start playing the lottery as to hopefully win so we have the means to do so.

  5. 1.4.13
    Kate. said:

    I started an Etsy shop to re-sell all of the awesome stuff that I just couldn’t pass up at the thrift store but absolutely, positively could not fit into my home. Now I get the joy of the buying and the ca$h from the selling. …Love the enamel trays!

  6. 1.4.13
    Sherry said:

    I squeal every time you mention Buffalo because that’s where I live (but mostly with wild fantasies of you breaking into my house and redecorating it – which you are totally welcome to do, break in and/or redecorate – up to you!)

    Buffalo does have some really beautiful spots, and homes, but I think everything looks so much prettier under a blanket of snow. That is until I remember I have to dust my car off in the morning for work!

    Glad you had a fun break! And the dogs! They kill me!

  7. 1.4.13
    kira said:

    First, I love your blog and pretty much everything you do. And your dogs are the cutest ever (ever!). But this whole question mark after non questions is starting to be a little much. Sorry.

  8. 1.4.13
    misa said:

    big ups to dogs in jackets. henry got this fancy winter coat with a fur-lined hood (which he hates beyond words) and i just about lose my shit every time we put it on him–it’s so cute.

  9. 1.4.13
    Erica W. said:

    If you’re looking for a very affordable old historic house that’s about as close to NYC/Brooklyn as the Hudson Valley is, check out my home town: Springfield, Mass. We have fabulous Victorian houses (Springfield is called the City of Homes) at low low prices. It’s a great place to live and is about a 2/2.5 hour drive to NY/Brooklyn (in non-rush hour traffic). Lots of great thrifting and auction houses around here and very low cost of living. My friend and I made these two web sites to lure people to buy houses here: and

  10. 1.4.13
    Nancy said:

    I really dig that first tray. Perfect for eating your dinner when watching TV on the couch.

  11. 1.4.13
    Steph said:

    I’m sure Mekko says it but I guarantee that Linus repeats “I am so lucky” “I am so Lucky” “I am so Lucky” to find my dads!!!!

    • 1.5.13
      kelly w said:

      I was thinking the same thing. So grateful these pups have such a wonderful home.

  12. 1.4.13
    despi said:

    hahaha!! cant stop laughing! you are seriously talented and this post is seriously great & funny. Wishing you all a seriously happy new year!

  13. 1.4.13

    I used to study in Buffalo. every single winter morning was a challenge. Shoveling the car out of the snow.
    he thing I loved most about Buffalo were the Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Have you seen any of them. They are still up to date. I love his timeless design!

    I am glad you had a great time!

    • 1.4.13
      Daniel said:

      Yes! Max and I toured the Darwin Martin house over the summer and we were also just at the new boat house (which is new construction but based off of a Wright design). They’re amazing!

  14. 1.4.13
    Adrienne said:

    Love thrifting, dogs, and more thrifting. Love you guys…(I’ll sign up for your new friends list).

  15. 1.4.13
    Renee said:

    hungover thrifting is like my favorite thing Evah. And I totally have a couple of identical useless-but-oh-so-pretty-brown-bottles…plus a matching one in green.
    Best Friends Forever?

  16. 1.5.13
    Black-Eyed Susan said:

    I have mad-envy for those trays and can, off the top of my head, think of no less than six-hundred ways to use them in my home. Sadly my home is populated by savages who unintentionally yet constantly ruin my design dreams. That elegantly staged tableau above the wine cabinet turns into ‘Oh that’s pretty but you know what it really needs? My keys, wallet, stickers, toys etc so I’m just gonna put it there ‘kay. I mean it’s a dish right, it’s meant to hold things so I’m you know, being helpful.”

    In your case, I could totally see you setting up a refreshment station on a unused countertop. Take your beverage of choice, be it coffee, tea, cocoa, wine, water bottles, juice, sodas etc and round up all the necessary accouterments on the tray but pretty it up a bit by only putting out your pretty glasses or your fancy cloth napkins or displaying your tea-spoons in a cute vase or putting sugar packets in a little bowl. Not only is it visually appealing but it designates an out of the way place in your kitchen for refreshments and makes it easier for guests to help themselves. If that’s not your thing, you can use it as a pretty way to round up other things in a designated place like your salt and pepper mills, napkins and silverware.

  17. 1.5.13

    Daniel, you make my day! Someone should hire you already so you can design (with world rocking thrifted amber jars) & write (partly insecure partly egoistic phrases with inappropriately placed question marks) so that I can read you everyday.

  18. 1.5.13
    Kerrie said:

    Oh – Hudson Valley dreaming is dangerous! I can kill serious time doing that. That’s how I found Anna’s blog, which led me to yours. I was daydreaming about and fantasy searching for Victorians in Ulster. I lived in Kingston years ago and still fantasize about owning a home on the creek downtown. As for the tray – I have one that is similar, though not quite as big. It HAS been tricky to place. I usually break it out when I want to eat dinner in the living room or when I am entertaining.

  19. 1.5.13
    Wendy said:

    Hey Daniel, I have dozens of the exact enamel trays that you bought-they are from my great grandparents’ grocery store they owned from 1910-1970. They are “meat trays” and were used to display all of the meat in the meat department. Just thought you might like to know what their original purpose was. They look much nicer displaying your chotchkies rather than a bunch of meat though!

  20. 1.5.13
    BMAC. said:

    We really need some close-up action on that family portrait. I want to be able to zoom in on Linus inside Max’s coat. And Mekko is so patient and good, sitting her butt in the cold snow. Her tongue is tofurkey.

  21. 1.6.13
    Carolyn said:

    Ah! It’s so nice to see pictures of snow! Your family is so adorable. Thanks for sharing your adventures here, they always brighten my day.

  22. 1.6.13
    Ryan said:

    SO MUCH SNOW!!! I am still super super jealous and hating on you for it. We’ve had 43 degree days down here (not sure the farenheit conversion on that for you, sorry..?) which is making it worrrrrrrrse! Hate you so much. Haha.

    Cute dog coats too! Nawww.

    (PS come check out the new blog!)

    – R

  23. 1.6.13
    Mac said:

    You could buy this historic house for cheap without even leaving NYC…
    Lot’s of old homes are being fixed up on that block in particular. This one would surely benefit from your amazing talents.

  24. 1.6.13
    Kristy said:

    “Trays are good because you can group your shit on them…” – best thing ever written on a blog….ever. You’re the bestest Daniel.

  25. 1.6.13

    Mekko is my love. I can actually hear the sound she made while licking that nose. Every time our pup, Jack, licks his nose, it’s practically slow motion, so we make big – SLOW – slurpy noises.

  26. 1.7.13
    lets said:

    I have a vacation home in Saugerties, NY right by Kingston. I have the best realtor ever (jeanne Boice)…she waiting so patiently for us, looking through homes for 2 years before we found our perfect one by the creek!
    I love the hudson valley area, and drink Boice milk! its local!

  27. 1.7.13
    KMP Modern said:

    I am tray gal myself. We have a collection ranging from plastic to wood to metal. They are an amazing way to arrange any type of collection. Plus they look stylish. Love your pics!

  28. 1.8.13
    Mom said:

    Hola muchachos. In sunny and warm Cuba. Love it except I can’t see any of your pics on the Internets. Only words… Bummer that I’ll have to wait for cute pics. Love.

  29. 1.9.13
    nancy said:

    what are those yellow ball things? love em.

    • 1.9.13
      Daniel said:

      Billy balls! They’re a type of flower that dries really easily and lasts forever.

  30. 1.9.13
    Jocelyn said:

    O hai Buffalo! I live here! :D Did you check out the gorgeous big houses on Lincoln Parkway? There are a lot of nice houses in the Parkside neighborhood and two other little-known Wright houses in the area.

  31. 1.11.13
    Anna said:

    I just clicked through from Design*Sponge and I am so glad I did! So nice to find a kindred spirit-in-thrift. I am lucky enough to be managing a thrift shop waaay over here in Bellevue, Wa and I feel such a frisson when I see other thrifter’s finds. Enamel trays? Yes please. Cannot get enough of those.

  32. 1.22.13
    m@ said:

    Can we talk about how cute the guy from whom you rented the house is? I can only assume that influenced your choice…

  33. 2.4.13
    tess said:

    love seeing the enamel tray, my mom put those on radiators in the winter, filled with water to moisten the air