Wednesday, June 25, 2008


NY Home Improvement Blog Patrol

Photo by felixmolter

Earlier this week we blogged a bit about the emergence of home stagers or real estate stagers and their addition to the remodeling directory. We forgot to mention how gruesome the flip side of that coin can be. Every day on Real LI, the fantastic real estate blog run by Valerie Kellogg, Laura Mann and Ellen Yan for Newsday, we get a first-hand look at rooms and homes that are un-staged. The homeowners were either too lazy or had decided to throw caution to the wind, and decided to submit as-is photos with unmade beds, garbage strewn across the floor, or hanging pieces of wall paper. The team at Real LI dutifully posts these pics in their "Retake This Photo, Please" series which is good for a chuckle just about any day of the week.
Retake This Photo, Please

In a timely New York Times piece, Rachel L. Swarns reports on the state of the rental market in the US. It seems that President Bush's "Ownership Society" has taken a pretty big hit since its peak of home ownership in 2005 as many families are left with few alternatives but to rent. Even this is proving to be a difficult prospect because rent rates have not declined with home prices. According to the article:

The percentage of households headed by homeowners, which soared to a record 69.1 percent in 2005, fell to 67.8 percent this year, the sharpest decline in 20 years, according to census data through the end of March. By extension, the percentage of households headed by renters increased to 32.2 percent, from 30.9 percent.
This got us thinking about design tips for all of these new renters, and if the trend continues, we think we'll see even more design concepts that are more temporary in nature begin to bubble up into the American consciousness. Here are a few Design Tips for Renters.
Rise in Renters

Wood beams are the discussion du jour at Brownstoner's Forum. A homeowner who was unhappy with the layer of plaster coating his exposed beams in a few rooms has stripped them down to the wood itself and is now wondering if that wood needs some type of treatment. Surely, an experienced New York carpenter would know the answer...if any treatment is necessary at all.
Exposed Wood Beams

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