Looking for an apartment in New York is not a simple task. Picking a neighborhood, finding the right layout, bidding wars, the list can go on! It gets increasingly difficult when the buyers have a baby on the way. Here is a tale of two families navigating the apartment search and renovation with the help of us, Sweeten, the free New York City- based renovation service that matches homeowners with general contractors.
Tina and Fletcher’s search for a two-bedroom home turned into a hunt when they learned their family of two was about to grow. With the due date as their deadline, apartments needing structural, electrical, or plumbing work were ruled out. Four months into the pregnancy, they chose a duplex in a historic Brooklyn townhouse. The living room was lined with 10-foot windows, but the kitchen was closed-off and the garden level felt like a basement. It was in need of some TLC and Tina was excited to exercise her skill as an architect and tailor the home to their needs. She turned to Sweeten to find the perfect contractor that best understood her vision and can help strategically meet Tina’s goals.
Tina had three months to plan- opening the kitchen and re-tiling the bathroom turned into refinishing the floors and adding classic feels to the historic space. Tina initially planned for standard semi- custom cabinets due to their tight budget, but her contractor suggested a custom cabinet maker that was more cost-effective. They decided on an L-shaped kitchen with an island, blue shaker-style custom cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and Caesarstone Frosty Carrina countertops to allow the blue to pop.
As the previous owners installed top-of-the-line appliances, Tina had to work around them. This included hiding the microwave in the island to allow space for a true exhaust hood and rotating the island to accommodate the refrigerator’s away-from-the-cook swing. As luck would have it, Tina went into labor on move- in day.
Sam and Sean’s apartment search was cut short when their first bid on a Clinton Hill apartment was accepted. Upon taking a closer look, they realized the space was old and not lived in for many years. The listing agent suggested Sweeten, given the ever-growing list of Sweeten alumni in the complex. Sam received multiple bids on the project and found the perfect contractor to update the apartment.
The plan was to remove the walls separating the kitchen from the dining and living rooms and update the bedrooms. With two kids under five, it was important to have sight of the common areas while cooking.
To make the kitchen feel as large and open as possible, the contractor created a separate space for the refrigerator and pantry by closing a space of the hallway and kitchen. The renovation was under way and Sam discovered their family of four was about to become a family of five. This quickly became a temporary home and needed to be planned strategically.
They decided on a neutral palate for the kitchen to combat the colorful chaos of children’s toys and games. Thus they chose gray cabinets with a soft eggshell-colored backsplash and Caesarstone Frosty Carrina countertops. The bronze knobs and pulls provided a pop of color and a warm contrast. Their renovation was completed in just four months, allowing them to turn their attention to their next major project, a new baby.
With a baby and a kitchen on the way, these families had a lot of big decisions to make. We are happy to have been able to match them with the perfect contractors that were able to take some pressure off the expecting parents. The results are absolutely beautiful!