Reno Notebook / By Kelley Rowland / October 29, 2018
Dark “Befores” Find Their Bright Side
Chilling scenes transform to happy ever afters
In the renovation world, nothing is more satisfying than witnessing the evolution of a dark “before” into a dream-come-true space. These kitchens and baths started out as unwelcoming, dated, and in some cases, unfunctional rooms. With help from Sweeten, a free service that matches renovators with vetted general contractors, they took a complete 360°.
(Above) A Chelsea bathroom
Even the homeowner, Kristen, recognized the fear-factor of her studio bathroom. “The shower and tub had gotten a little scary,” she said. Already dark due to a lack of windows, the floor-to-ceiling slate tile certainly wasn’t helping matters. Building regulations prevented plumbing reconfiguration, but the cosmetic changes, from fresh paint to new fixtures, were more than enough to transform the space.
(Above) A Prospect Heights kitchen
This co-op kitchen hadn’t been renovated since the ‘80s—and it showed. The mismatched walls, dated cabinets, and overhead lighting gave the space an eerie vibe that called for a full gut renovation. The limited counter space (only 24 square inches!) and cabinets were swapped for floor-to-ceiling white cabinets, updated appliances, and quartz countertops.
(Above) A Westchester kitchen
Both form and function were lost on this townhouse kitchen. The vinyl flooring, beige countertops, and dark brown cabinets were straight out of a ‘70s nightmare, not to mention many of the appliances didn’t even work. Eager to get it in functioning condition, these renovators gave the kitchen a much-needed facelift with new shaker cabinets, a slate tile floor, and most importantly, brand new appliances.
(Above) A Park Slope bathroom
The pink tile and overall decrepit bathroom didn’t dissuade Matt from buying his home. It did, however, lead to a complete remodel. He wanted a clean, neutral space that he and potential future subletters or owners could also enjoy. A walk-in shower and modern floating vanity brought in a modern yet classic sensibility.
(Above) An East Flatbush kitchen
“Tortured” was the best way to describe the kitchen in an East Flatbush rowhouse. The dropped ceiling and dark paneling could make anyone who dared to enter feel trapped. The renovators saw the potential and moved forward in creating a chef-worthy kitchen designed for entertaining.
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