Friday, August 26, 2016

Sweeten Weekend Reading Roundup

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handmade ceramic sink
Devol handmade ceramic sink (via Remodelista)

– This handmade ceramic sink with cracked glaze reminiscent of Japanese pottery is so artful.

– Dinner for 10. Your place. This adjustable console-to-dining table might be your only hope (check it out in action in this sweetened Upper East Side apartment!).

– Sweeten finds: love the look of butcher block? This mango wood cutting board is a gorgeous alternative to high-maintenance wood counters.

We love the idea of cabinet cut outs instead of door pulls.

– In case you missed it #ICYMI, Apartment Therapy commenters were envious of the intricately patterned marble floor tiles in this sweetened Greenwich Village bathroom. Read more about the renovation and product sources here.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

Posted by: Categories: Link Roundup 0

We love hearing from homeowners about their renovations, but this week’s dispatch comes instead from the interior designer of a New York City apartment re-do. Samantha was brought on to help modernize a client’s apartment, and while she was clearly up for leading the ambitious design needs, she needed help finding a general contractor who could execute beautifully on the plans. Her client had filled his home with art and travel finds over the course of four decades in the space, and what started as a “refresh” project evolved into a total apartment renovation to create a light and bright canvas for treasured pieces and cherished friends. Here’s to helping more fabulous designers meet fantastic general contractors!

apartment renovation
Guest post by Samantha Stein, Interior Designer (more…)

Given the complexities in trying to define a bedroom, and the reality of severely limited square footage in urban residences, it’s no wonder that many homebuyers are playing around with floor plans rather than sticking to legal classifications for bedroom space. I, for example, sleep quite happily in the basement level of my duplex apartment in a space that is defined legally as “accessory storage.” (Even so, it’s nicer than a lot of other New York City bedrooms I’ve had—it’s got 8.5-foot ceilings, a door, a window, AND a half bath!)

City dwellers often have to tap into their creativity to figure out configurations within limited spaces. Here’s the full story on what constitutes a legal bedroom in NYCand here are two case studies of what two Sweeten renovators did with their bedroom spaces.

bedroom space configurations
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Posted by: Categories: Bedrooms, Process Guides 1
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Is a Legal Bedroom in NYC?

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A lot of arrangements can pass for bedrooms in the classifieds. Hallways, closets, breakfast nooks, and even this basement stairwell (featuring “a special ergonomic space for your mattress with a gentle 45 degree angled slope”) have been listed by optimistic landlords in search of not-so-discerning tenants. Even among the less outlandish, listings regularly feature terms such as alcove, railroadflex/convertible, or junior to denote varying degrees of the almost (but not quite) bedroom. This is confusing to renters, but can be even more problematic for buyers, who not only need to figure out the livability and usability of a space, but also its legal status for purchase, renovation, and resale purposes. Let’s take a look at what constitutes a legal bedroom in New York City, exceptions to the rule, and considerations that buyers and renovators should keep in mind. Ready for a case study, too? Head on over to our look at how two different renovators dealt with bedroom space.

legal bedroom in nyc
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Posted by: Categories: Bedrooms, Process Guides 1

We can’t be the only New Yorkers who love to scour real estate listings in our spare time. Here’s our weekly take on NYC properties with big promise.

Bright Studio on the Upper East Side

UES studio

Asking: $275,000

What we love: Bright and airy, new hardwood floors, recently renovated kitchen, storage space, art deco fireplace, exposed brick, and that hard-to-beat sales price.

What we’d do: This studio apartment has been carefully maintained, but two big changes would make this small home much more livable. The kitchenette has new appliances and recent renovations but shares a wall with a large closet. Possible opportunity for expansion? A basic kitchen renovation in NYC starts at the $20k mark; moving walls and making layout changes can add another 20 to 30%.

Although we are quite fond of the retro blue tiles in the bath, we’d love to see a new tub / shower and vanity / cabinet combo installed. Plan to start with $15k for a basic bathroom renovation. (more…)

Posted by: Categories: On the Market 0
Friday, August 19, 2016

Sweeten Weekend Reading Roundup

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window treatments blinds
Black blinds via Anne Sage

– Window treatments might be the last thing on your renovation list, but they can have a big impact in a room. What is the right window treatment for your space?

– It’s kind of unusual to see overlap between construction materials and decor accessories, but this British designer is doing wallpaper, and tile murals, pillows, and mugs. All the owls for me, please!

– Sweeten finds: this solid cast iron shelf bracket would look good in any room.

– Interesting that so many of these geometric kitchen backsplash tiles are paired with natural wood finishes. Seems like a smart way to quietly tone down a bold tile (and check out this modern kaleidoscope pattern of triangular tiles in this Clinton Hill kitchen!).

– In case you missed it #ICYMI, Apartment Therapy commenters were big advocates for the parquet flooring in Becky and Sarah’s sweetened Clinton Hill Co-op kitchen. Read more about the renovation and product sources here.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

Posted by: Categories: Link Roundup 0

Fifteen years after Claudia purchased her one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in a quaint Upper East Side co-op, she felt ready to renovate. Since arriving in 2001, this software engineer knew that she’d eventually need to address the 30 year-old carpeting, fixtures, and odd space issues…or simply move on and find a new home. Loving everything about the building, the neighborhood, and her lifestyle, she decided to stay put and find a designer who could bring an architectural approach and a restorative eye to this lovely space. Read on for the stunning reveal of Claudia’s thoughtful and personal apartment renovation!

apartment renovation
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We can’t be the only New Yorkers who love to scour real estate listings in our spare time. Here’s our weekly take on NYC properties with big promise.

Top Floor One-Bedroom Co-op in Bushwick

bushwick co-op

Asking: $299,000

What we love: Well-maintained co-op full of old world charm, top floor unit boasting Manhattan skyline views, oak floors with inlaid borders, sunny and spacious layout, plenty of storage space, true one-bedroom and generously sized rooms for an amazing sales price.

What we’d do: It looks like there are already some terrific upgrades in the kitchen, with a line of modern cabinets and built-in oven / cooktop combo visible in another photo. But one half of the kitchen could benefit from a more complete design with expanded storage, a full-size sink, and backsplash tiling. A basic kitchen renovation in NYC starts at the $20k mark. The bathroom looks like it might need a complete overhaul – we’d set aside $15k to replace tiles and fixtures there, as well. (more…)

Posted by: Categories: On the Market 0
Friday, August 12, 2016

Sweeten Weekend Reading Roundup

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wooden branch knife rack
Rustic knife holder designed by Buchholz Berlin (via Shoebox Dwelling)

This magnetic branch knife rack holder from a German shop is for sale if you can translate German and the Euro price tag.

Pantone released a new color-matching app that identifies hues around you by taking a photo. It’s the Shazam of paint color!

– Sweeten finds: hanging HALO LED light fixtures from Martin Azua.

– Love this round-up of matte black in the kitchen (that black sink and faucet combo is top of our wish list).

– In case you missed it #ICYMI, big ups from Bob Vila for the vintage brass finishes in Allison and Jovito’s sweetened Brooklyn kitchen. Read more about the renovation and product sources here.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

Posted by: Categories: Link Roundup 0

We have a new contender in the tiny urban kitchen competition! A half galley in Brooklyn Heights has held the honor up to this point, but a 25 square foot Upper East Side kitchen looks like it might edge out all competitors. With an eye on re-sale value, the owner of this Manhattan studio came to Sweeten to make the most of a small space with new finishes and a delightfully scrappy use of modern materials.

kitchen renovation
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