When it came time to find more space, Hissan and Sophia—both attorneys—agreed on a handful of living requirements, but couldn’t quite see eye to eye on style. The new parents had decided on a three bedroom / two and a half bath condo in Downtown Brooklyn; it had high ceilings, good bones and great subway access, but now came the hard part—making it their own. After seeing another family’s Sweeten renovation in the New York Times, Hissan posted their renovation project, hoping to get design expertise for a facelift in a few high impact places. We matched them with this Sweeten team, who were game to help the new homeowners navigate between traditional style (Sophia’s vote) and a modern industrial look (Hissan’s vote).
They wanted to enhance some of the condo’s most visible features (the long entry hallway, open kitchen, high ceilings, and wood floors). Functionality was already in place; the goal here was to incorporate creativity and style. Anishka and Niya got to work, producing detailed renderings and tweaks and assisted the couple on shopping trips as they worked together to incorporate more interesting materials.
Hissan and Sophia’s expert team started with the floors, deciding to strip the light bamboo planks already in place and stain them a darker, warmer hue. Most of the design work occurred in the kitchen and called for connecting the island to the L-shaped counter, adding a significant pantry build-out near the fridge, and refinishing storage and prep spaces with beautiful materials.
Hissan and Sophia were able to leave the original cabinet base in place—a cost effective choice—and add another row of cabinets on top. Anishka and Niya’s designs directed the crew to build taller cabinet doors, doubling their former stature and interior shelving space for maximum storage and sleekness. They reused the original metal hardware, but finished the cabinetry in white, bringing more light into the space.
The team chose Carrera marble to line the backsplash and accent the half-wall of cabinetry. The counters were replaced with quartz, a lovely contrast and a gorgeous alternative to the expense and maintenance of marble. They left in the original stainless steel appliances, except for the mini wine cooler, which they replaced with a coordinating pull-out garbage bin. Recessed lighting, two oversize pendants above the island, and under-cabinet lights transformed the room from dark and boring to luminous sophistication.
Anishka and Niya sourced reclaimed dark wooden beams for installation along the ceiling—one of the most dramatic changes to the home, giving it that raw lofty appeal that Hissan was after. To revamp the entryway, the designs called for dropping the high ceiling by about two feet, covering piping and providing a clean, uniform look. Custom moldings were introduced here as well, while the doors to the entry, extra bedroom, and powder room were either replaced or trimmed in matching moldings and painted a saturated gray hue to complement the lighter walls.
As it turned out, Anishka and Niya had also designed one of Sophia’s favorite local restaurants, which is what inspired the decision to incorporate accent wallpaper. Oversized pendants provide warm light to the long corridor and guide visitors to the rest of the home.
It’s been over a year now since Hissan, Sophia, and their new baby settled into their redesigned condo. The couple heavily credits Anishka and Niya for recognizing what they’d imagined for their new home and seeing it realized. Both advise homeowners and future renovators to try and get as much work done prior to moving in—especially the floors—but to take your time with the decor.
Kitchen selects >> floors: Verrazano Flooring / cabinets: custom / counters: Compac Quartz in Absolute Blanc / backsplash: Carrera marble / sink: Kraus / faucet: Delta / paint: Benjamin Moore in Gray Owl / wood ceiling beams: Elmwood Reclaimed Timber
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