An NYC Couple Escapes to the Country

Finishing touches on a nearly perfect getaway

New York, bathroom renovation

Project: Add an ensuite bath to the second bedroom in Riverhead, NY

Before: Michelle and Nate, both freelance advertising creatives from Brooklyn, bought a 2,010-square-foot house in Riverhead, NY, during the summer of 2016. Built in 1994 by the previous owner, Nate found the home in good condition. “Luckily, the house didn’t NEED anything to enjoy it right away,” he said. “We looked at it as a fun long-term project to turn it into an escape from the city,” Nate said. Nestled in the woods and surrounded by local farms, wineries, and nearby beaches, the Long Island home was perfect for their plans. The first item on the to-do list was to add another bathroom.

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New York, bathroom renovation

After: To make it easier to accommodate guests, the couple wanted each bedroom to have its own bath. There was a large alcove in the upstairs hallway that they thought would be the perfect ensuite guest bathroom. It was conveniently located above the downstairs bathroom and plumbing so they hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to transform. “Our main question was really just how difficult would it be to add a bathroom where one hadn’t existed before,” said Nate. He posted the project on Sweeten and was matched with this general contractor.

We had to be out of town a lot during the work, but our contractor was really good about sending work-in-progress pictures.

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Before getting started, Michelle and Nate nailed down the look and feel of the bath, opting for a modern farmhouse vibe that was clean and simple. Because the angled roof affected one of the walls, they had to get creative with the layout, choosing to build a triangular storage nook in the uniquely-shaped space.

Shiplap was added to the slanted wall, giving the room the desired farmhouse style the couple hoped to achieve. They also incorporated some personal touches, including handmade shelves that Nate built from reclaimed wood, along with a pull-out drawer repurposed from an old door to hold cleaning supplies and extra toilet paper. For the entry, the couple took a style cue from the neighboring farms. “We especially like the look and function of the sliding barn door,” Nate said.

New York, bathroom renovation

“We had to be out of town a lot during the work but our contractor was really good about sending work in progress pictures,” he said. “The pictures helped make sure things came together the way we imagined them.”

Bonus: Michelle and Nate looked at a variety of brands to outfit their bath but always found themselves coming back to Restoration Hardware. “The nice thing about getting fixtures from one place is that you know the metals will match. Oil-rubbed bronze, for example, can look very different from one brand to the next,” said Nate.

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Style finds: Sliding barn door: Rustica Hardware. Santa Rosa Kohler Toilet: Home Depot. Manhattan Series 6” x 24” subway tile and Ardesie “Black Reef” floor tile: Forever Floors & Design Center. Vanity, medicine cabinet, faucets, fixtures, sconces, and hooks: Restoration Hardware.

Thanks for sharing your clever new bathroom, Michelle and Nate!

An upcycled office door finds new life as the sliding door in Christine’s small bath while allowing plenty of light to shine through.

Refer your renovating friends to Sweeten and you’ll both receive a $250 Visa gift card when they sign a contract with a Sweeten general contractor.

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