Reno Notebook / By Kelley Rowland / August 20, 2018
Best of Brooklyn: Bedford-Stuyvesant
From condo to brownstone overhauls, a few of our favorite projects in the neighborhood
Distinguished by its deep cultural and historic roots, Bedford-Stuyvesant, (aka Bed-Stuy) is a sprawling area also known for 19th-century brownstones, festive block parties, community gardens, and a lively culinary scene. Dough Doughnuts, anyone? The ever-changing neighborhood offers the best of what’s old and new, making it a place worthy of settling down and staying for a while. See how Sweeten renovators did just that and made Bed-Stuy home.
Having their hearts set on a Brooklyn brownstone led Bellamy and Zak to a two-family home in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Restricted by the home’s layout and their budget, the couple focused on the structural changes that would most impact the flow. They flipped the house to make the top two floors the owner’s duplex and renovated the garden floor as the rental property. Removing doors in the main entryway instantly opened up the space and created a larger living area. Two walls were torn down to expose the full length of the home—and two mismatched walls—which led to repointing and experimenting with painting techniques.
Ursula loved almost everything about her recently converted two-bedroom condo—except the kitchen. Between the dark mahogany cabinets and flooring, the room felt anything but open. The space was revamped with white glossy cabinets, a geometric backsplash, and a sleek hood where the microwave used to be. Ursula and her Sweeten contractor got strategic when it came to storage: the new island featured three drawers for silverware, cutlery, and dishes, and they made the most of an underutilized area next to the oven by installing a pull-out spice rack.
It all came down to location during Marsha and Adam’s house hunt for their family. They searched across Brooklyn and at one point, New Jersey, before realizing the borough was the place for them. The two-family home they finally found in Bedford-Stuyvesant offered the space and light they were looking for, and just had a “good feeling about it.” A full renovation proved necessary to bring the 2,000-square-foot townhouse up to snuff. Taking inspiration from their #1 must-have—white oak floors—the couple set out to create a simple, clean vibe to carry throughout the home, including the all-white kitchen. The rest of the project centered on knocking down walls to open the living room, dining area, and kitchen.
Every New Yorker’s dream? An outdoor space to call their own. Inspired by the gardens of Mexico and Brazil, K.V. Harper set out to turn the once unusable outdoor space behind her two-bedroom Bedford-Stuyvesant duplex into a lush retreat for entertaining. A framed cedar fence became the defining element of the oasis, encompassing different seating areas and gardening plots. Another fun bonus: The crew found bluestone during the demolition and repurposed it to build out a pathway leading to the yard.
Nazli and Larry weren’t expecting a gut renovation when they purchased their single-family home in the Bedford Historic District. While trying to sort out the mechanicals and ductwork, however, they came to the realization starting from scratch would be more efficient overall. To build a home that would grow with them over time, accommodate guests, and most importantly meet their day-to-day needs as a family, they set priorities. For him: the bells and whistles necessary to create a smart home, and for her, the flow and design crucial to making the house fit their lifestyle. The result? A welcoming, open home thoughtful of visiting and family friends. Seriously, the guest room was the first one ready!
Take a tour of the best Sweeten renovations in Queens, the Upper West Side in Manhattan and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
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