Renovations Rising for 2018

Sweeten’s top 10 reno trends we predict will continue strong

sliding doors

Renovators this year embraced trends new and old, from fresh takes to a more classic approach. Read on to see what made the cut.

sliding doors


A door can be more than just an entry from one room to another; it can take an open plan apartment and turn it into multiple, private spaces. Sliding doors add flexibility to spaces of all sizes, making rooms magically appear as if out of thin air.

Miguel got rid of a wall of closets and relocated the storage to the bedroom, installing a wardrobe on rollers that could also function as a door; glass-paneled partitions allowed Sarah and Craig to create a second bedroom in their apartment without blocking the light from a wall of windows; to transition their office into a guest bedroom, Ana and Leo opted for a set of white, sliding doors that have the appearance of a solid wall when closed.

walls turned into peninsulas


“Where there’s a wall, there’s a way” isn’t technically a saying, but it works well to describe how homeowners have been opening up their kitchens by chopping a wall in half. The move makes your kitchen feel much larger and boosts prep, storage, and dining space.

In Lisa and Chris’ tiny kitchen, the close walls made it feel tight and restricted—until they turned one wall into a peninsula; Kaija and John did the same in their space and topped it with a poured concrete countertop; and so did Dan and Mike, adding stylish wood paneling for a touch of contrast.

soundproofing and air quality


(Air quality/Soundproofing)

Sometimes, the most comfortable elements of your home are the least noticeable, like air conditioning that keeps the summer heat at bay or soundproofing that elevates the coziness factor in bedrooms. When you’re thinking of new features to add to your home, like hardwood flooring or a marble countertop, don’t forget to make comfort a priority.

A new HVAC system found a spot at the top of the renovation checklist in Nazli and Larry’s 130-year-old brownstone; Deniz and Ramon added soundproofing to two walls in their kitchen to prevent noise from leaking into the bedroom; and Sarah chose solid core doors for the nursery so her girls can snooze away while she entertains right outside their door.



The toilet may not be the prettiest feature, but no bathroom is complete without one. When it comes to selecting one for your space, wall-hung toilets have a lot going for them, from the nearly non-existent footprint to the ease of cleaning below and around the unit.

In Felix’s Scandinavian-styled powder room, the wall-hung toilet blends in seamlessly with her minimal design; the unit in Alicia and Ed’s downstairs bathroom fades into the background so that the classic trough sink can take center stage; and in Meredith and Jason’s small master bath, the toilet takes up very little room, allowing them to gain back seven inches of floor space.

skim coating


Although the process costs more than a simple color change, skim coating greatly improves the appearance of walls. Think of it as stretching a fresh piece of canvas for your masterpiece instead of painting on top of an older artwork.

Cat and Jordan took this extra step to reach the goal of making their apartment “look as big, bright, and clean as possible”; the walls that weren’t demo’ed in Sam and Sean’s kitchen got a much-needed facelift; in Lauren’s studio, she followed her contractor’s advice to skim coat the walls and ceiling to repair the uneven surface and hide bowed beams.

patterned floor tile


Bathroom design doesn’t have to be boring; patterned floor tile brings color and interest, regardless of square footage. Go for the unexpected with contrasting grout, a pop of color, or a new twist on classic stone.

Nikki and Chris took inspiration from their favorite New York restaurant bathrooms with black hex tile and white grout; Erin and Brian chose a colorful blue mosaic tile; and Tina and Fletcher took marble to another level with a graphic basketweave pattern.

his and her bathrooms


Whether you have two bathrooms or just one master, designing a stylish space to meet the needs of two people is possible.

Leslie combined two bathrooms in her home to create a large, luxurious space and installed an extra-wide mirror and double sink vanity; in Cecilia and Jonathan’s his-and-her bathrooms, Cecilia wanted a bright, classic space, and incorporated plenty of marble, while Jonathan used stone to make his space resemble a spa; Meg and Brett went with a Kohler slop sink for two circa 1948 and a custom vanity.

blue kitchen cabinets


Keeping kitchens cool is as simple as adding the color blue. In Victorian times, it was believed that a touch of blue in the wall paint would help regulate the room’s temperature. Although the motivation has changed, this moody hue has made a triumphant return.

Tina and Fletcher redesigned their kitchen with navy cabinets painted in Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore; mixing white and blue cabinets add a layer of depth to Mollie’s space; Claire and Mike selected Evening Dove by Benjamin Moore, a bold color choice, which helps define the kitchen from the living room.

waterfall countertops


Nothing is more elegant in the kitchen than a waterfall counter. The look elevates an island from a purely functional piece into a sculptural feature.

Amy and Nick splurged on Carrara marble for their kitchen showpiece; Alicia and Ed refined the edge of their peninsula with a Caesarstone counter in Statuario Nuvo; Carrara marble made another appearance in Lia and Chris’ space to cap the end of the U-shaped layout, a suggestion from their Sweeten contractor.

paneled fridges


Don’t want your refrigerator to be the focal point of your kitchen? Disguise it with custom paneling and let the other features of your space shine.

Ainsley and Simon’s contractor proposed tucking their fridge into an existing column; Kavi and David concealed their appliances among flat-front cabinets; to preserve the classic design of her prewar apartment, Claudia chose custom paneling trimmed with molding.

Of course, we love ALL Sweeten renovations and are excited to help homeowners renovate fearlessly in the New Year!

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.