How to Downsize without Compromising Functionality

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Let’s travel back in time for a moment to the year 2000: JoAnn and Brian had just moved into their 6-bedroom, 4,800-square-foot Colonial in Chesterfield, New Jersey. They lived comfortably in their beautiful home for 18 years, but in the back of their minds, they never forgot about their lifelong desire to live in New York City.

The couple already owned an investment property in the Turtle Bay neighborhood that could be converted into their new home. The one-bedroom co-op apartment was a huge size downgrade compared to their residential home. It measured 600 square feet and had been rented out for over a decade, but the couple was determined to make their dream into a reality, so they tied up their laces and prepared for a massive renovation.

The worn-down space was, “totally not my style,” says JoAnn. With four renovations under their belts, JoAnn and Brian were no strangers to creating a new space. While watching the news one fateful Sunday morning, they saw a commercial for Sweeten. They quickly hopped on the website and posted their project.

The couple wanted to transform the cramped apartment into an open space without having to compromise room for storage—which just so happens to be one of Sweeten’s specialties. Their Sweeten contractor tore down a restrictive wall in the kitchen that transformed the once congested room into a fluid space.

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul, I want to get lost in your rock and roll and (Bianco) Drift away with these sleek countertops sitting atop the dark wooden peninsula. Swivel stools were placed by the kitchen counter to provide additional seating for the living room without making the space feel too crowded.

6131 Bianco Drift

 “I like to cook and wanted more storage and a larger work area,” says JoAnn. “I needed room for all my appliances and a large countertop for prepping.” From where we’re standing, it looks like JoAnn got her wish—and a bit more! Custom two-toned shaker-style cabinetry and a glass subway tile backsplash top off the look of this cozy kitchen.  

Do you see the luxurious brown couch in the bottom left corner of the above photo? It just so happens to be a pull-out sofa to pull double duty for overnight guests. The ample overhead lighting keeps the space looking bright and welcoming.

Next up on our tour is the bathroom. The old tub was replaced with a walk-in shower with frameless glass to create a more spacious feel.

Grey mosaic tiles in both hexagonal and weave patterns adorn the floor. White subway tile ties the whole look together and stays in keeping with the clean, modern design of the apartment.

In the end, JoAnn and Brian are thrilled with their new home. “We are extremely happy with all the choices,” says JoAnn. “Our apartment was completed in a timely fashion and exceeded our expectations!” Looks like it’s time for this New York couple to nestle in and enjoy this new chapter of their lives in the big city.

For more Sweeten renovations: Goodbye Dreary Kitchen, Hello Minimalist Dream!Livable Kitchen Meets Modern Design


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