The New York Times' Home features tend to be first-rate, full of lush photography and useful references, and the March 3 article is no exception. This budget makeover looks great and lists prices and sources for every piece of furniture and acccessory therein. The problem we just can't get past is that the reason for the $8,000 budget is that the guy who bought the place didn't have any cash left over after shelling out $527,000 for the apartment in the first place, he got free pro design help, and the money came from a tax credit for first-time buyers (which we're all sure was intended to help these poor homeless Manhattan lawyers). Kind of takes the sympathetic edge off of the whole thing, doesn't it?

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