Yesterday we launched our new, interactive renovation maps on Sweeten! We’re super excited about the project, and, already, so are our friends at Curbed, Brownstoner, & Gizmodo! We’ve mapped all of the projects posted on Sweeten along with the last 10 years of alterations permits filed with the NYC Dept. of Buildings.
Each dot on the map represents one building address, and by clicking on an address you can view the full record of each renovation in that building — including the owner, permit applicant, a description of work, the estimated cost of construction and filing fee, along with a link to the original DOB digital filing. Go to your building and see all the renovations on file …or on your block, in your neighborhood, or zip code!
We designed these maps to help the entire Sweeten community better understand the current renovation market, as well as how it changes over time, and we’ll be creating followup posts highlighting renovation investment trends that we see in neighborhoods across all five boroughs. We are also offering an email alert service for our “insiders” to receive monthly email updates on any new renovations filed in your list of watched addresses. Insider accounts are $10 per month. You’ll be automatically informed of work in your building, or any building on your watch list.
A fun fact for anyone curious about the map’s color palette: after a few trials that weren’t quite right, Jean used the orchid on her desk as the final color inspiration— doesn’t it look great?!
The new maps are just one of the many educational features we’ve been developing at Sweeten to help our community better understand the renovation market here in NYC. Check out the project and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! http://sweeten.com/maps
Ever since Billy & Sally came to us with their cramped Clinton Hill kitchen last year, we’ve spent a lot of time Sweetening homes in the Clinton Hill co-ops. One of the most remarkable things about these projects is that they all start with the exact same, 1940′s bones, but by the end, no two of these spaces ends up anything alike. I personally cannot decide which of these kitchens I love most, but one thing is for sure, they have all come a very long way! Have a look at these three renovation outcomes and let us know which you like best.
Kitchen #1: Billy & Sally’s Stylishly Curated Kitchen
Kitchen #2: Kyle & Angela’s Mid-Century Inspired Kitchen
Kitchen #3: Light & Modern, Family Kitchen
Let us know which you like best in the comments below (–and check back in a few weeks to see how this one finished up)!
You know that sort of childish feeling of being so excited about a future event that it actually seems to slow down time, and the only way around it is to put it out of your mind until the moment finally arrives? Whether the timeline is 2-weeks, or 20-months, renovation projects epitomize this trial of patience — and in following so many of them at Sweeten, we always have so much to anxiously await!
For me, Milktrout’s gut renovation in Gowanus has been the ultimate test. We’ve had this project on our radar since construction began last fall, and I made my last visit to the site while it was under construction back in January, at which point, things were really taking shape… and I already, seriously, could not wait. The project finished up on time this past spring, which meant between moving in, getting settled, and the natural slack brought on by summering, this fall would be it! At long last, after a very patient run (–I’m just kidding, I’ve been totally impatient), Milktrout firm owner Kent Johnson along with homeowners JD & Meaghan recently invited us back to check out the finished space, and I couldn’t be happier to say that this home fully exceeded my expectations. (more…)
Nate & Michelle had just about finished settling into their Greenpoint condo last spring, when it came time for the new homeowners to tackle their unfinished roof deck with its killer skyline views. The couple, both creative professionals in advertising, posted on Sweeten to find someone who could help convert the derelict roof into an extension of their home — an outdoor room with comfortable seating and plants to soften up the space. We introduced them to a few matches, and before long, they awarded their project to Sweeten member Hutson Landscape, owned by Corey Hutson, whose expertise in landscape design & construction was a perfect fit. When we stopped by to see how the project turned out, Nate, Michelle, and their bouncy labradoodle, “Kid,” were setting up to host some friends on their renovated roof. (more…)
Home School is a series of design stories and giveaways we run in partnership with Brooklyn Based, the best source for events, food and cultural news in and around Brooklyn. For the latest installment of Home School, we share some ideas about thoughtful design for kids’ rooms. Read on and enter at the bottom for a chance to win a Growing Up with Design prize package worth over $2,100. Details below!
Great design isn’t just for grownups — in fact, kids are notorious for wanting whatever it is that the grownups have, so it’s only natural that they’d envy our well-considered spaces! Here are a few local examples and ideas for designing a fantastic room for a baby, toddler, or big kid.
CREATE UNIQUE STORAGE
This family’s TriBeCa loft (above) underwent a full gut renovation once their daughter was born. Their architect, Olga Bakic, was clever to integrate built-in bookshelves and display niches into the little girl’s room. These details seem almost mature for such a little one, but they’ll be useful for storage and display at any age. When renovating with young ones in mind, it’s always wise to think ahead, sometimes way ahead! If built-ins are out of the question for now, HEARTWORK’s bookcases are a great alternative—they’re perfect for all ages and, since they’re built to last, they make a good investment for the kiddos. (more…)
This week, we’re thrilled to be back on a renovation site under construction where we met up with new tS members, interior design firm, Mendelson Group. The team at Mendelson is a small, closely-knit group of young designers and project managers, lead by firm Principal, Gideon Mendelson. The team’s portfolio is so rich with interiors that are highly personalized and utterly distinct, we could hardly wait to get behind the scenes to learn more about their process! We caught up with the designers during a check-in meeting with their Upper West Side clients. Qian & Mike, a pair of young professionals, hired Mendelson Group after purchasing their 2000 sqft, 3-bedroom condo, looking to renovate the new home for themselves and their expected newborn. (more…)
Many of you know of theSweeten.com as the amazing renovation-matching, content-friendly website that you frequent for several reasons. Perhaps you posted a project to the site, or know of someone who has. Maybe you have read about theSweeten in NY Magazine, or are one of our qualified members. Regardless of what has brought you here, I have a great post in store for you that will provide insight into the inner workings at theSweeten office, through my eyes, the Intern!
My name is Joshua Lee, and I have been enthusiastically spending my summer break helping theSweeten team, while also learning from these prestigious professionals along the way. For the other ¾ of the year, I study Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois. I was born and raised in New Jersey and it has been a great experience to work at theSweeten office, not only because of the amazing staff, but because it is close to home. Now that you know a little bit about me, lets dive into theSweeten office! (more…)
Last month, we shared the first-hand renovation story of Lisa Law, a Brooklyn Heights homeowner who used theSweeten to update her crumbling kitchen, and today, we’re excited to share our 2nd homeowner guest post — coincidentally, this story also comes from a Brooklyn homeowner named Lisa who used theSweeten to renovate her kitchen! Lisa B., who works in the architecture & interiors industry, and her husband Brian, a media studies professor & author, had lived in their Kensington apartment for 8 years before taking the leap to renovate their kitchen. The couple posted to theSweeten to find a contractor and were matched with tS member firm Nick Knacks Creative Interiors. Today we have before & afters of the transformed kitchen, along with Lisa’s insightful narrative on the new design and the process of making it happen.
Before renovating, our kitchen had its original, 1960s pine cabinets that were custom built for the space, but had many layers of bad paint jobs and several of the doors didn’t close. We thought about trying to save them, but they were so solidly built that there was no way to cut them down to fit our new design plan. Plus, stripping all that paint off would have been a nightmare. The vinyl flooring was peeling, the wall oven didn’t work, the cooktop was barely functional and it was almost impossible to see what you were cooking since it was stuck in a corner under a metal hood. The countertops were horrible, fake woodgrain formica. When we first moved in, they were even worse — there was contact paper on them, which we were able to pull up, but we were disappointed with what we uncovered!
We needed a gut renovation! Everything had to go, down to the studs, which meant new drywall, ceilings, cabinets, fixtures, appliances, flooring, backsplash and lighting.
I read about theSweeten a while ago in NYMag and kept it in the back of my mind because I knew we were going to renovate our kitchen. Although I worked in the interior design field, most of the contractors I knew were doing high-end renovations in Manhattan. I posted before pictures of my kitchen on the site and theSweeten introduced me via email to three contractors, all of whom I met with and who gave me estimates. They all seemed good, but as someone who knows about renovation, I appreciated that Nick Dillon from Nick Knacks Creative Interiors took extra time to really look at the kitchen, open up the cabinets, anticipate potential problems, and talk in depth about the process. (more…)
Last week we met Lisa Law, the Brooklyn Heights homeowner who recently finished her budget-friendly kitchen renovation with tS member NYC Pros. Now that you’ve heard the backstory, as documented by Lisa herself, this week Lisa reveals the outcome of her fully-updated kitchen, along with a very helpful rundown of her anticipated budget & the actual cost of the project.
I love my new kitchen! Although I had picked every element of the new kitchen, I was concerned that the finished whole was not going to be equivalent to the sum of all the parts; would it work cohesively in the end? There were a few stressful times, and I did have to make some quick decisions that could have gone awry, but ultimately, I set out to achieve some major objectives and I believe I more than met them all. I have more cabinet space, more countertop space, larger appliances, it feels much more modern and homey, and it was done in a fairly budget- and time-conscious way. In fact, my kitchen now makes the rest of my apartment now look pretty shabby! (more…)
Today, we’re sharing a special look at this recently Sweetened kitchen. Brooklyn Heights homeowner, Lisa worked with tS member NYC Pros on her budget-friendly renovation; we stopped in to see the progress & take photos along the way, but the rest of this story is told by Lisa herself. This week we’ll look at the processes behind planning & renovating, and next week we’ll look at the project budget and final results of Lisa’s fully-updated, eat-in kitchen.
When I first moved into my apartment a year ago, I knew I wanted to renovate the kitchen. I wouldn’t say the place is a fixer upper, but the kitchen was dated – the appliances were all too small, the backsplash was an awful, murky green tile, and the cabinets were too high and just did not provide enough efficient storage. There was also a big hole in the wall right underneath the sink that I totally missed prior to moving in. With the costs of buying my first home, renovating wasn’t something I could take on immediately.
This summer, however, my fiancé is moving in. So, after a year of living with a less than optimal kitchen, I did a bit of financial planning and I decided to bite the bullet and take the leap to do a renovation-on-a-budget. (more…)