No. 4: Out of the gate

Out of the gate feels daunting.  Before the closing the only thing on the line was money.  Now it’s an entirely different story.  Now I have to put my money where my mouth is and deliver on the design.  There are approvals to be sought, permits to be procured – though the design was complete – let’s face it, it’s never really done.  It’s already gone through it’s first major change, and once we are in the field (also known as the bedroom) more changes will be required to address those quirky unforeseen conditions.


The way it looks tonight….

For those unfamiliar with the terminology it means just that …. we couldn’t have known it was going to be the way we found out it actually was once we started demolition.  Unforeseen conditions are also synonymous with additional costs.  Contingency is just a nice way of saying you are going to run into these types of situations, so you need to put additional funds aside to address them.  Would I sound jaded if I said – you get less for more?

If so, let’s not start this project out that way.  The next few months will require beaucoup de creativity and positivity if we want to get this modest little home to blossom to its full jewel box potential, and WE DO!


Jean-Louis Denoit . Stilnovo Chandelier

Now I just know you are waiting for me to tell you what I decided about the lighting, but I can’t.  I’m stuck.  I want a beautiful Stillovo Vintage fixture the likes of which the French Designer Jean-Louis Denoit has used, but alas I cannot find one that meets my size, price, and aesthetic expectations.  I am frustrated.  I then fell in love with Aerin Lauder’s Cristol Teired Pendant…it hangs down 49″ – I can’t even begin to get into a discussion about ceiling heights required in that mansion to support this fixture.  No wonder they call it a pendant.  The others that I have seen of more modest proportions are leaving me uninspired.  I can myself answering the door at the crack of dawn to let the Electrician in sometime in March now….oy vey, if only I could make a decision today.


Aerin Lauder . Cristol Tiered Pendant $1600.

I’m moving on to the doors for the moment.  They will need to be ordered before Wednesday.  I am going with a Jel-Wend single panel door.  It’s clean and simple, and in keeping with the style of the unit.  I will use hollow core flush front doors – super cheap – for the laundry and boiler closets.  This will allow me to make it appear as if it’s a clean wall.  I’ll run the base board across them to further trick viewers.  While these doors are very inexpensive at less than $30.  a piece, it requires advanced skills to install without a casing, create the 45 degree angle necessary for the base molding to accommodate the door swing, and to install the hidden hinges, but it’s really worth it.  In a corridor to have more than a dozen doors simply won’t do.  The new design streamlines, eliminates, and blurs and obscures this reality.


Jeld-Wen Doors . Single Panel seen here in my Milford Street Apartment.

My own reality will need a little of the same treatment as I work through this.  A shout out to my team:

Alan Duggan – Compass, who let’s me be me with the offers and the sale pricing, and who always has great design ideas.  xo to you Alan.

Sarah Ricciarelli – Ricciarelli and Small, LLP – like my shadow she always has my back.  I am filled with gratitude.  She is sharp as a tack and nothing gets past her.

Tracy Bellavance – Blue Hills Bank – who made getting a mortgage easy…that’s right – you heard me – EASY.  Go ahead – release your contingency.  You’ve got it.



It’s a Wrap

Thursday night I closed the door on flip 3 for the last time.  Cleaned, inspected, documented, approved, there wasn’t really anything left to do before the official close the following day.  No time for nostalgia. The Realtors and the new Owner wanted me gone, so I finished my celebratory glass of wine in its plastic cup, picked up my bag and left – just 8 months and 20 days after I bought it.

This was the fastest of the three flips, and the one for which I will net the least profit, but the timing was right for the sale. I felt it in my gut.  I priced it high and nearly fainted when I learned that I was offered $76,000. over ask.  Sometimes the universe looks out for you.  I’ll suffer the consequences of the quick turnaround in the form of capital gains.  Why they call it that I’ll never know.  It’s a capital loss to me, and I am the one that will feel it most distinctly.

94 Sale shot living

Still, to recap, I bought a chandelier in Paris, had it shipped, rewired, 94 Sale shot slimretrofitted the ceiling to support the crazy weight of the thing, and lit the place up like a Hollywood set.  I then painted it, and staged it.  That’s the long and the short of the effort.  So why did it go for so much more than I bought it for just last winter?  I have my theories; location, limited supply, location, unmatched architectural detail, and did I say location?
I’d like to think that the design and color palette had something to do with it too, but one can never really know.  This I do know, people hate losing, and if you’ve been outbid a time or two before, you become particularly disdainful of those that are winning.  Good and ready to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

94 Sale Shot kitchen

The new Owner and I both get to be winners in this game.  I am so happy that he got this lovely condo on a tree lined and much sought after street, and that I will now have the opportunity to start the search for No. 4.

94 Waltham sale shot deck

A huge thanks, once again, to my lawyer Sarah Ricciardelli of Ricciardelli and Small, LLP who ALWAYS has my back, and is super smart and savvy.  To my Realtor Alan Duggan of Compass who lets me do things my way, lent me that great mirror for “the show”, and with whom I am happy to report recorded his first sale at his new hotshot company!  To my movers – Humboldt Moving and Storage who allow me to “Relax and Get Moving”.  I barely give that part of the effort a thought these days.  Finally to my family and friends – particularly to Tiffany who, along with her boyfriend, helped me wrestle that damn chandelier down, and are always part of the sweep up crew – and to Joanne who wanted me to make sure you knew she brought boxes and tape….oh, and bubble wrap too!  I couldn’t do it without you all.  I send my deep gratitude.  xo

94 Waltham Sale Shot bath