Before & After / By Carol Wang / July 26, 2018
A Family Affair Turns up the Style Dial
A daughter helps mom renovate a Westchester condo
Prior to having her son, Alissa had worked in fashion and had a good eye for style, design, and finding a great value. So when it came time for her mom, Tatiana, to find, gut, and renovate an apartment, the two teamed up to take on the project.
Tatiana was both downsizing and moving from Port Washington in Long Island to be closer to her grandchildren. She concentrated her search in southern Westchester, about 30 minutes outside New York City. Alissa and her family live in Bedford, NY, so that location would provide easy access.
The mother-daughter duo prioritized location and a great building with amenities, and also looked specifically for a rundown space so that they could do a full gut renovation. Tatiana also wanted a condo rather than a co-op; in case she ever wanted to rent out the property in the future, she didn’t want to deal with strict building rules and sublet policies.
(Above) Kitchen and nook (l.), and living room (r.)
The apartment they settled on was a one-bed, one-bath condo measuring 975 square feet, located in Hartsdale, NY, in a condo complex with a pool, clubhouse, and gym. The apartment itself was outdated and the kitchen and bath were original to the building when it went up in the late ’70s. Alissa turned to Sweeten and the pair chose to go with this Sweeten contractor. Her mom closed on the unit and began the renovation just a week later. Everything had to go—the floors and carpets, popcorn ceilings, walls, doors, and the entire bath and kitchen.
Alissa and Tatiana decided that they would order all of the materials themselves, so they could search for good values and have full control over the final look. Alissa explained, “We knew exactly the vision we wanted for the spaces. Working in fashion and living in NYC my whole life, I was able to go direct to the wholesale districts and find the best deals on items like the fixtures and other materials. This gave us leftover money to splurge on designer furniture and lighting!” The contractor took care of the demo, installation, and provided rough construction materials.
“My mom is very stylish and vibrant; we wanted to create a bright, airy contemporary space to match her style,” said Alissa. “We went for neutral gray tones with splashes of color.” In the living room, they chose a calming gray for the walls and floor-to-ceiling curtains, accessorizing with gold-toned finishes and brass furniture. A leather couch offers a grounding contrast to the animal print rug—both on-trend and grandchild-friendly. Dark gray wood flooring and Jonathan Adler lighting are seen throughout the apartment. For a more affordable solution, the contractor covered the popcorn ceiling with a one-quarter-inch layer of sheetrock rather than smoothing out the texture, which would have been time-consuming and costly.
Tatiana wanted her apartment to be “dressed” in a way that resembled her personal style: classic with a flair. In the kitchen, this meant going with a clean, bright white. Shaker cabinet fronts with nickel hardware were selected for their simplicity and mixed with open shelving as well as glass fronts. Stainless steel appliances complete the look. White and gray porcelain tile on the floor mimicked the look of marble without the price tag.
In the dining area, the mother-daughter duo was thrilled to find leather chairs in a bold cobalt blue at a Lillian August SONO outlet in Connecticut. Durable and wipeable, they are perfect for visiting grandchildren and sit around a dining table under a silver drum pendant light.
Tatiana’s bedroom was painted in warm ivory tones with blush pink velvet curtains and a comfortable armchair. The colors are calming, and the high-gloss sheen they chose for the paint “gives the walls a very lush feel and works really well with all the velvet,” said Alissa.
The serene bathroom is in a similar color palette to the kitchen. Marble tile floors and walls are paired with a white vanity with plenty of drawer space. Alissa and Tatiana accessorized the space with woven covered baskets for storage and to add a bit of warmth. The original bathtub was reglazed along with a glass shower divider so that a curtain is not required.
Alissa shared with us a hiccup in the process: “Funny story—this was such an amateur move! Before the renovation started, we were online looking at kitchen appliances, got overly excited, and bought a refrigerator without taking the measurements first. My mom picked out the BIGGEST double refrigerator, thinking it would fit. When the appliances were delivered, the refrigerator did not fit through the front door! It was so annoying—the store had to take it back, and then we had to take very careful measurements and select another style to satisfy the space. After that incident, we measured and re-measured before making a purchase!”
Despite that obstacle, the Sweeten contractor met the deadlines and even delivered the apartment a few days early. Now that the project is finished, Tatiana reports that “the new space is amazing, and I never want to leave!”
We hope that you and your family make many happy memories in your new home, Tatiana!
KITCHEN RESOURCES: 12″ x 12″ Porto Venato matte floor tile and 3″ x 6″ Metro white gloss subway tile backsplash: Westchester House & Home. Sink and faucet: Wayfair. Samsung refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, and microwave: AJ Madison. Maurice 5-arm sconce in antique brass: Jonathan Adler. French door and crystal doorknob: Home Depot.
BATH RESOURCES: 12″ x 12″ Venice Calacatta polished floor tile: Westchester House & Home. Vanity and mirror: Wayfair. Vanity hardware, Moen shower fixtures, and toilet: Home Depot. George Kovacs lighting fixtures: Lamps Plus. OMNIA door hardware: Blueman Hardware.
DINING ROOM RESOURCES: Chrome light fixture: Jonathan Adler.
BEDROOM RESOURCES: Clothes closet system: Custom-made by general contractor. Curtains: West Elm. Pink velvet chair: ARHAUS. Starburst Console in mahogany: Williams Sonoma. Wood floor: Total Value Flooring.
A Westchester kitchen finds Shaker-style simplicity.
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