Before & After: Austin’s Williamsburg Co-op Renovation — Sweetened!

Austin came to Sweeten to find a design/build contracting team after a long search for a move-in ready pad in Williamsburg. He’d scoured New York’s ultra-competitive market for months and landed a charming but worn floor-through unit in a Graham Avenue co-op. The building was a century old and his unit hadn’t been touched since the ‘70s—but with high ceilings and old bones, Austin saw the many cons as potential pros: here was his chance to grab a well-located, window-filled blank slate and start anew. Austin posted his project on Sweeten and planned to put between $100,000 and $150,000 into the space.

For a first-time renovator who spends his days as a consultant for media and cable groups, a full renovation game plan was admittedly ambitious. We introduced Austin to a Sweeten contractor to create a sunny and spacious space that maximized every bit of square footage. One of Austin’s guiding goals was to make an apartment that anyone could enjoy, so he opted for a minimalist approach in a neutral color palette. To create the open and airy feeling that Austin was after, the contractors weighed in with suggestions for modern finishes and monochromatic tones that would unite the space and keep the focus on natural light.

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Austin and his Sweeten team managed an incredible feat: with one single design choice, he brought an entirely new feel to the entire space. Matte-finish wide-plank hardwood flooring, and not all that much else, now sets the tone in this serene bedroom and throughout the living areas.

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To create the kitchen, the team focused on making the most of a slightly slim layout. They swapped the former kitchen space into the living room, and turned what was formally a bedroom into a new slim kitchen. They maximized its narrow footprint with all food prep and storage along one wall and then connected the space to the rest of the unit with French doors and glass panel details. Austin chose a very dark soapstone countertop with light marbling – a stand-out feature that is low maintenance and impervious to acid, bases, and heat. A custom table from Room and Board turns the room into a hangout spot and pulls double-duty as both breakfast nook and workspace.

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The bathroom showcases a blend of the old-world and new, with a mosaic hexagon marble tile floor paired with more contemporary limestone on the walls. Couple that with a sprawling vanity and a stacked washer/dryer, and the project started to feel complete.

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LG washer and dryer combo

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Austin initially worried that the process would be daunting, but thanks to regular check-ins and tech-savvy partners, the crew kept the project on-time and on-budget, even when surprise issues like termite damage came up. Since he was often traveling for work, the Sweeten contractors instituted regular check-ins and created a DropBox to share images of the progress with Austin, right down to snapshots of the inside of his insulated floors.

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Thank you, Austin, for this tour of your beautiful new condo!

Bedroom and Living Room Selects >> floor: DuChateau hardwood, vernal white oiled sold at most hardwood retailers / paint: Benjamin Moore

Kitchen Selects >> cabinets: custom wood / tile backsplash: Home Depot / countertop: Garden State Soapstone / bar height table: Room and Board (custom) / barstools and pendant light: CB2 / appliances: LG

Bathroom Selects >> floor tile: hexagonal mosaic white marble tile / wall tiles: OVERSTOCK / vanity: Home Depot / sink: ModernBathroom.com / shower fixtures: GROHE / toilet: American Standard / light fixture: CB2 / Washer and dryer: LG

Sweeten handpicks 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 project on Sweeten.