Brooklyn Couple Brings Personality into Bed-Stuy Apartment

When home-buying, it can be difficult to see the potential in a space. Even if you’ve found your dream apartment, it’s always important to find small – or even big – ways to make the place feel like home. Sometimes this can be done by moving in all your belongings, or putting up picture frames in your foyer. But if you’re like this Bed-Stuy couple, then you might take on more custom projects to make the place just right.

A Brooklyn Renovation Project

In 2015, Alexis and Derek Gagne moved into a fourth-floor walk-up in Bed-Stuy with a private balcony overlooking brownstone Brooklyn. A wall blocked off the second bedroom, which cut off that room from some of the spectacular views the apartment had to offer. According to Alexis, the couple knew from the get-go that they wanted to tear down one of the walls to create an even more open floor space.

bed-stuy living room before renovation
Photo of living room before renovation
Photo to show downstairs bedroom before renovation
Photo of downstairs bedroom before renovation

“We still wanted to keep the bedroom private for when we had friends & family staying with us, so we decided to build a big sliding door, that when it was closed felt like an extension of the wall,” said Alexis. “But when it was open, it disappeared from view.”

Giving Brooklyn Home Some TLC

The project was too small for most contractors they met with, Alexis said, which caused the first hitch in the plan. And after looking at the available prefabricated glass door options, they quickly realized this was a job only the two of them could accomplish. 

“We decided to design and build the sliding wall ourselves,” Alexis said.

Photo of living room after the renovation project
Photo of living room after renovation, door closed
Photo of the second bedroom after renovation
Photo of bedroom after renovation, door closed

Sometimes if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. At the end of the day, only you know what you want, and when it comes to your home, you should be 100% satisfied with your space. Besides, if you’re not afraid of a little DIY, it can be extremely rewarding to tackle the job on your own.

“Now we have WTC views from every room in the apartment!” Alexis said. “Not to mention the beautiful sunsets.”

Photo of living room after renovation
Photo of living room after renovation, door open
Photo fo bedroom after renovation, door open
Photo of bedroom after renovation, door open

Creating an Outdoor Oasis in Bed-Stuy

Alexis and Derek didn’t stop there – they had an even bigger vision for their home renovation. They went on to install decking on their private roof space, working with the Condo Board to install one unified surface. As we all can imagine, having a beautiful outdoor space can be a real lifesaver, especially when we were all forced to stay in. 

“It’s been our escape and we love spending time up there having dinner and enjoying the weather,” Alexis said.

Photo of roof space, after renovation
Photo of roof space, after renovation

Adding a Few Finishing Home Touches

But even with a finished outdoor space, there were still a few details the couple wanted to tackle indoors.

“We also took the recommendation of our awesome realtor, Tina, and had the shiny wood floors sanded and sealed with a matte finish,” explained Alexis.

Photo of flooring, before renovation
Photo of flooring, after renovation

Plus, they added a new ceiling fan in the loft and added light fixtures with a mid-century modern design aesthetic, giving the place a real personal touch. Sometimes, it’s the more minor details that transform an apartment into a home. 

“It changed the whole vibe of the apartment into a warmer and softer space,” said Alexis.

Personalizing Your Home

Adding a strong stroke of your own personality – and a bit of spice – can change your entire perspective on your space. Depending on how adventurous you are, those touches can be bold and demonstrative – like constructing your own sliding door. Or, for those with a muted taste, personalizing can mean updating your light fixtures to enhance the aesthetic. Either way, there’s simply no better feeling than sitting on your sofa at the end of the day, looking around your space, and thinking, “this is mine.” 

“The improvements we’ve made have been incremental,” Alexis said. “But all together has had a big impact on our quality of life.”

If you’re looking to upgrade your quality of life and step into your own space, make sure you get in touch. We’ll help you find the right place for you.

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