That Home You Made With Your Ex? ‘Say Goodbye to Everything’

When Lindsay Weiss began renovating her home on the edge of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, it wasn’t just an opportunity to give the place a new look — it was a chance to make a clean break from a failed relationship.

Ms. Weiss, an architect, bought the 922-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment with her boyfriend in 2008, for about $735,000, and filled it with a mix of furniture each of them owned and new pieces they acquired together. By 2011, they had broken up, and Ms. Weiss bought out her ex, who left almost everything behind.

For a few years, she focused on her work, doing her best to live in a home that cost plenty but didn’t make her happy. “I hated my furniture,” said Ms. Weiss, 41.

Credit…Robert Wright for The New York Times

After she founded the firm Weiss Turkus Projects with Noah Turkus, an interior designer, in 2014, she began dreaming about making a radical change at home, brainstorming design ideas with her new business partner. But as an architect with wide-ranging tastes, she found it hard to commit to one course of action.

“I didn’t know how much I wanted to spend. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was such a daunting task,” Ms. Weiss said. “I do this every single day, helping clients make these decisions, but it’s hard to pull the trigger yourself.”

By 2017, Mr. Turkus insisted it was time to take action. To get things moving, he suggested breaking down the renovation into a series of manageable decisions. “I was like, ‘Let’s get the flooring,’” said Mr. Turkus, 41. “Once we have our flooring, we can hit the ground running.”

Ms. Weiss selected wide-plank European white oak from Walking on Wood. Then, as if to prove to herself that there was no turning back, she cleared out her apartment, selling or giving away almost every piece of furniture, except her mattress. “I just ripped off the Band-Aid,” she said. “I thought it was a good time to say goodbye to everything.”

Soon after, Ms. Weiss decided to replace the swing doors into the bedrooms with pocket doors, and to rip out the closets to make way for custom cabinetry. She stayed with a friend for a few weeks while much of the apartment was gutted and moved back in as the new floors started to go down, carrying her mattress from room to room to stay out of the way.

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