A Hands-on Renovator Fashions His Perfect Home

A Hands-on Renovator Fashions His Perfect Home

Prepping was a smart move from hiring the right contractor to staying on budget

With some working knowledge in architecture and interior design, Toby was able to articulate—and save time and money—on how he wanted to recreate his fixer-upper in upper Manhattan. He reached out to a few contractors on his own but wasn’t convinced there was a fit. He then posted his project on Sweeten, a renovation platform connecting homeowners with vetted general contractors, and hired a contractor to fulfill his vision. Laser-focused on the design as well as the renovation process, he reversed a dark and inefficient space with a series of space adjustments between the rooms, ushered in a brighter home (thanks to paint and skim coating), and by being uber-organized. Bonus score: His neighbors became friends during the process. 

living room renovation

“After” photos by Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Sweeten blog post by homeowner Toby

Before hiring my contractor through Sweeten, I had been apartment hunting for over a year. I wanted to be in a diverse community that was vibrantly neighborhood-centric and had accessible transportation. As an avid HGTV junkie and a novice student of architecture and interior design,  I wanted something I could make my own. I landed in upper Manhattan and chose a co-op with a reputation for having a board with liberal renovation policies.

I had hoped to bring a contractor to potential properties to help with realistic renovation ideas but contractors don’t want to spend a lot of time doing detailed estimates for buyers without an accepted offer. Plus, the walls carry expensive secrets that don’t come to light until demo time, so estimates can vary widely.

homeowner portrait holding pet cat

After interviewing five contractors and still feeling unsure, I turned to Sweeten. I chose three of the contractors who showed interest in bidding on the project. There were pros and cons to each of the eight professionals I interviewed but I landed on this Sweeten contractor.

On my first meeting with him, I was hesitant. He was very professional but a bit standoffish, which worried me. Having a good relationship with your contractor is critical. He was very upfront and honest about all the potential hidden costs which I wanted and appreciated but I also wanted to hear options and workable solutions. He was not the cheapest by far but what impressed me most was how thorough he was in the walkthrough.

The apartment didn’t have a lot of character. It had a small galley kitchen and a tiny bathroom with a toilet in direct view with the dining room table. The amount of natural light was ok but the depressing shades of brown and beige on the walls made it look darker than it was.

However, it did have an open spacious living/dining area. I felt I could expand the kitchen and solve the light issue by painting the walls white throughout, installing blinds instead of curtains, and bleaching the floors a light natural color. The walls needed skim coating and recessed lights were added throughout for ambiance. The board also allowed the installation of a new washer and dryer, which was a must-have.

I hired an architect to navigate code issues, work around structural limitations, and produce licensed plans but my elementary knowledge of space planning and architectural drafting saved a lot of time and money.


By the time my contractor was ready to start the demo, I had chosen most of the finishings. I kept track of lead times, on-hand inventory, and the dates materials were needed on-site with an elaborate spreadsheet that I used as my bible throughout the project. Shopping for finishings was fun but it was exhausting and time-consuming. It can be a full-time job. I spent most of my time shopping for appliances, countertops, and tile. Warning: In planning a kitchen redesign, choose your appliances first and work around them or adjust accordingly.

I created the illusion of more space by using the same tile on the floor and walls and taking it to the ceiling.

I liked having a hallway that separates the private areas of the house but it was inefficient. Moving the doorway created a trifecta of functionality. It eliminated the sightline to the toilet from the dining room, created a location for the washer and dryer, and added additional closet space, including a hall and broom closet.


I hated the dark reddish wood floors, so I stripped and bleached them. When the natural color came out a bit green, my contractor gave me “wash” options. It cost a bit more but it’s one of my favorite upgrades making the apartment lighter, brighter, and more modern.

I gave the master bedroom closet to the bathroom, and built a full-length closet with sliding doors, which I designed, stained, and finished, along with an open inset for the dresser and a TV, resulting in housing significantly more apparel and my extensive shoe collection.

The tiny bathroom was a challenge. There were several pipes to work around and the waste line dictated that the toilet could not move. The room borrowed two feet from the master bedroom, allowing the tub to be swapped for a walk-in shower. I created the illusion of more space by using the same tile on the floor and walls and taking it to the ceiling. Also saving room is a floating vanity with lighting under the sink that acts as a nightlight. The guest room was tiny because I took space away to add to the kitchen. But I spent a long time making sure a full-size bed and closets could still fit. That interior design space planning class paid for itself many times over.

bathroom tile and clear shower door

In preparing for my renovation, I felt I knew as much as possible about what lay behind the walls at the end of my contractor search. My Sweeten contractor was one of only two who gave me their estimate on the date they promised (his was a day early) and it was a very thorough detailed estimate that proved to be a valuable reference document that allowed me to keep an accurate running total of actual costs and change orders. The office manager was on top of all change orders and cost adjustments.

The contractor estimates came in significantly higher than planned across the board so I revised my budget by almost double with no room for contingencies. In order to set and hit realistic budgets, lay out your must-haves vs nice-to-haves, including the things you can do on the cheap that work. Items from Ikea, Target, and T.J. Maxx can work beautifully next to expensive pieces.

The contractor quoted five months to complete while I was facing an expiring lease in my previous location. After a five-week close, the board approved my interview in one day—a miracle—and then approved my renovation package three days later. Soon after, I gave a nice bottle of wine to surrounding neighbors along with a note apologizing in advance for the disruption.  We have been friends ever since.

I am really thrilled with how the project came out. My project manager, Nicholas, and his crew were great to work with and I appreciated that Sweeten checked in on a regular basis to make sure things were going as planned.

Thank you, Toby, for sharing your new home with us!


KITCHEN RESOURCES: Cooktop: Bosch. Hood: GE. Wall oven and microwave: Whirlpool. Dishwasher: Samsung. Refrigerator: Fisher Paykel. Tile backsplash in Smokey Grey: TileBar. Countertop in Alabaster White: MSI. Cabinets in Super Matte White: Adornus. Cabinet pulls: Build.com. Under-counter lights: Kichler. Floor tile in Baltimore Gris: Happy Floors. Faucet: Grohe. Sink: Artisan

BATHROOM RESOURCES: Showerheads, faucet: Grohe. Vanity: Fresca. Exhaust fan: Panasonic. Vanity lights: Kichler. Bathroom tiles: TileBar. Washer and dryer: LG. Shower glass: Fleurco. Towel racks, toilet paper holder: Grohe. Toilet: Duravit. Lighting trims and lighting trim kit: Ultritech. Bulbs: Phillips

OTHER RESOURCES: Durso 8 light dining light fixture: Wayfair. Closet door handles, privacy door handles: Kwikset.

Sweeten founder and CEO weighs in on what to know before renovating a brownstone.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

The post A Hands-on Renovator Fashions His Perfect Home appeared first on Sweeten Blog.

3 Bathroom Designs to Add Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 to Your Home

3 Bathroom Designs to Add Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 to Your Home

3 Bathroom Designs to Add Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 to Your Home: For over 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. The brand has just revealed that the Colour of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue, also known as Pantone 19-4052.

Continue reading 3 Bathroom Designs to Add Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020 to Your Home at Maison Valentina Blog.

A Trio of Lobbies Transform for a Happier Entrance

New technology, materials, and more light welcome home dwellers

lobby renovation

“After” photos by Kate Glicksberg for Sweeten

Required exterior work of the New York residential building, the Howard, led to a decision by its Board to add on much-needed renovations for the lobby as well as the lobbies of its two sister complexes. They tapped the architectural firm, EDG, for a modern overhaul giving all the spaces a greater aesthetic, comfort, and security. The firm came to Sweeten, a renovation platform connecting commercial renovators with vetted general contractors, resulting in lobbies remodeled with new amenities, low-maintenance materials, and an eye towards increasing homeowners’ investments.

PROJECT: Three residential building lobbies

LOCATION: Rego Park neighborhood in Queens, New York

RENOVATION TEAM: Sweeten general contractor, and EDG

INTERVIEW WITH: Elsie Stark, Board President of the Howard Owners Inc, and architectural firm, EDG

residential residence exterior

Sweeten: Can you tell us about your building?

Elsie: Back in the early ‘50s, our buildings were residential luxury rentals built by the architect Philip Birnbaum, who designed many of the buildings in Forest Hills/Rego Park. The Howard is one of three complexes built named for the children of the builder Alfred L. Kaskel. The other two are the Anita and the Carrol which have the same footprint as The Howard. There are 485 units altogether.

They were the first fireproof buildings of steel and concrete without fire escapes. The simplexes, duplexes, and penthouses are incorporated like puzzle pieces rather than apartment lines. Elevators only stop on the odd-numbered floors of the 13-floor buildings. The Howard converted to a co-op back in the mid- to late ’90s.

Sweeten: What led to the renovation of these new building lobbies?

EDG: The client was looking to update their lobbies and add real market value to their properties. They wanted to create a new identity for the buildings unifying the three properties. For the exterior, the original stone border was updated with cleaner lines, and we also installed new building signage using a modern enlarged font, which can now be read from the street.


Elsie: We were doing our Local Law 11 work and in the process, we found that we needed to address some issues with the entrance façade. Since we were going to go through extensive construction with the LL11 work, the board looked into modernizing the lobbies.

We had been dealing with repetitive repairs of outdated doors, intercoms, and other issues, so we looked into the cost and how it would improve services while raising the value of the building. This is always a tough undertaking for one building but for The Howard we are talking about three buildings.

Sweeten: Can you describe the “before” space?

EDG: For a main lobby, there was no real sense of a unique place and lacked any feeling of atmosphere. The existing materials and color palette were drab with uninviting lighting, giving the overall impression of a dated space.

Elsie: The space before was neat, safe, and a bit boring. The Howard had done a renovation about 10 years prior but we did not use a designer or architect. The renovation was done in-house pulling down old wallpaper, painting, adding artwork, and sprucing up the old space.

Sweeten: What did the redesign achieve for the building and the homeowners?

EDG: As the architect, we worked with the client to rehabilitate the exterior façade, the entire ground floor lobby, and the elevator cab interiors for all three residential buildings. We created a more vibrant space, using new textures and materials, like wood and stone, that would be timeless. The existing lobby was dark and decades old. We enhanced the views in and out of the lobby resulting in more transparent sightlines and general lightness.

It also became more functional with the latest door and window technology, an enlarged and optimized postal/package area, brighter lighting and signage, robust flooring and wallcoverings. A variety of seating allowed homeowners and guests to sit and enjoy the lobby as they hadn’t done before.

The final result is a highly refined main entry, while increasing each owner’s investment and quality of experience.


Sweeten: How was your vision executed by working with your Sweeten general contractor?

EDG: We worked closely with our Sweeten contractor and solved a lot of unexpected issues during the renovation process. Our Sweeten contractor displayed a great amount of craftmanship, and took a lot of care to address all of the various conditions which came up along the way, making sure to adhere to the design intent and help realize the project vision.

Despite the typical adversity which comes with a construction project, the contractor’s disposition and their ability to communicate effectively and fairly made for a very good experience overall. We definitely recommend them, and would certainly work with Sweeten again in the future.

Sweeten: How do the new lobbies make the homeowners feel?

Elsie: During the renovation, some of the old-timers didn’t understand why we were renovating a space that they felt was fine. Some felt their routine disrupted or questioned the cost. All valid feelings but the board’s job was to look at the bigger picture and what was best for the co-op overall.

Once the lobbies were finished the shareholders were very happy. There was a new fresh look with materials that were easier to keep clean. The mailbox area was also redesigned to handle increased internet shopping deliveries. The new automatic doors, use of key fobs, and a new digital intercom make the building more secure.

Even the naysayers have come around. Black-and-white photos pay homage to The Howard’s history and the seniors that have lived in the building since it opened.


Here’s how to finance your commercial renovation from traditional loans to crowdsourcing.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

The post A Trio of Lobbies Transform for a Happier Entrance appeared first on Sweeten Blog.

Best Tips to Create a Minimalistic Bathroom Design

Best Tips to Create a Minimalistic Bathroom Design

Best Tips to Create a Minimalistic Bathroom Design: Minimalistic bathroom design ideas are going to be quite popular in 2020 in the interior design world. Normally, these inspiring bathroom design projects are all about the simple concept and incorporate principles of sustainability, branding, and modern design technology is central to their inspiring design practice. As time goes by, more people are choosing more open spaces with a few furniture pieces.

Continue reading Best Tips to Create a Minimalistic Bathroom Design at Maison Valentina Blog.

Cielo Design Centre

December 1st will see the opening of a dedicated, exclusive and one of a kind Cielo design centre within the C.P. Hart flagship Waterloo showroom. The ‘showroom within a showroom’ concept is the first of its kind in the UK and second globally only to the Cielo design centre in lower Manhattan, New York.


Opening in time for Advent in the UK’s largest premium bathroom showroom, the design centre will showcase a colourful new range by Italian artisan ceramic and bath manufacturer, Cielo. The design centre will become a destination for anyone wanting to purchase or specify Cielo in upcoming projects. Interior Designers can meet clients within the Waterloo showroom to show them at first hand the inspirational palette of exclusive baths and basins, a rainbow selection in 16 colours.



Cielo is steeped in contemporary design heritage. Based in the heart of Italy, the founder and master craftsman, Antonio Coramusi, first began producing sanitary ware in the early 1900s. But from these humble beginnings, Cielo now creates exclusive collections of sanitary ware, washbasins, shower trays, baths, toilets and urinals revolutionising the bathroom experience with unprecedented shapes, sizes, thicknesses, surfaces and colours.


To quote Alessio Coramusi, Cielo CEO, “I wanted to rediscover and pay tribute to our roots. Our company is what I call a real laboratory of ceramics.  The production is characterised by a sartorial approach and a strong link with the values of craftsmanship.  Through constant stylistic research and an innovative approach to the choice of materials and shapes, we place the quality of our product and design at the centre of our research”.


The Cielo design centre in Waterloo covers nearly 750 square feet, exclusively.  It features 5 key room sets and 2 cameos, plus a central basin pedestal display.  Each of the following different designs within the Cielo collection will be on display:



I Catini – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

The I Catini collection features the Catino Tondo (round), Ovale, Doppio (double) and Recttangolare basin systems that create a unique and signature look in a stylish contemporary bathroom setting.  Each basin shape gives the opportunity of combining a simple structured steel stand in 3 finishes with a choice of 16 coloured matt ceramic basins and the added advantage of a marble shelf or storage drawer.   The collection can be completed with a selection of accessories, mirrors and mirror cabinets.


Narciso – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

Narciso brings the dressing room into the bathroom.  The large vanity basin console has an innovative “beauty” case with a convenient mirror in the lid and plenty of storage, ideal for makeup.  The new Doppio (double) and mini version can be enriched with a full range of accessories including a side mounted towel rail, leather laundry bag and drawer combinations.  The steel frame is available in 3 finishes to compliment the 16 colours of matt ceramic basins.


Elle – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

Available with Tondo (round) or ovale shaped bowls, Elle has a classical linear style that expresses the innovation and craftmanship of Italian made ceramics.  The basin appears suspended and features a practical splashback, available in 16 matt ceramic colours framed in a metal structure in 3 finishes including popular matt black.  


Siwa – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

Siwa is a majestically refined basin console that offers a unique balance of mirrors with structured storage.  The washbasin is available in 16 matt ceramic colours that gives a striking combination with the 4 wood finishes for the stand.  The stand can have a simple shelf or storage drawer.



Plinio – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

When it comes to an extra-large basin, Plinio delivers generous functionality with finesse.   The soft lip around the ceramic basin, available in 16 matt colours, adds balance and harmony whilst appearing to float, almost on stilts.  The wooden stand offers customised storage including natural leather baskets and matt lacquered drawers.    


Delfo – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

Delfo makes a powerful statement with both ceramic and wood. The ceramic washbasin sits on an oval shaped ceramic tray, both available in all 16 matt colour finishes.  The wall hung cabinets feature either a classic smooth front or an elegant ribbed design in 5 light to dark finishes, including Eucalyptus.   


Multiplo – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

Multiplicity is what makes Mutiplo such a dynamic and versatile collection.  It can start with a simple design of a ceramic top combined with a variety of ceramic basins, to a more complex solution with a mixture of open and closed storage.  The design possibilities are infinite. 


La Bacinella – designed by Andrea Parisio & Giuseppe Pezzano

La Bacinella is about deep, shallow or spacious bowls in captivating shapes.  Within the collection there is the curvaceous Tina and Tino bowls, the open shallow depth Eco, the practical design of an integrated tap ledge with the Handy bowl and the latest minimal design Era.   All the bowls are available in the 16 matt ceramic finishes to complement any contrasting or matching surfaces.  



Pop along to see the collection, book an appointment with a designer at C.P. Hart Waterloo and enjoy the shapes and colours on offer – a different colour for each bathroom, downstairs loo and en-suite in your home!

The post appeared first on https://www.cphart.co.uk

A Basement Remodel Turns into a Happy Family Room

A New Jersey basement transforms into a spot for music, lounging, and laundry

In 2015, Cristiana and her husband fell in love with a beautiful old house in New Jersey’s Bergen County. Original details from 1918 had been preserved, and the space was just right for the family of four. While the above-grade spaces were solid and charming, the basement needed some serious TLC. It featured outdated finishes from the 1970s, low ceilings (a big problem for Cristiana’s tall husband!), and a damp, musty feel.

Cristiana knew that the valuable square footage could be turned into a family room, with space left over for wine and pantry storage as well as an updated laundry room. They posted their project and turned to Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, and found this contractor to convert an uninviting cave into a comfortable spot for the whole family.

renovation Essex CountyGuest post by Bergen County, New Jersey, homeowner Cristiana

Two years ago, we were moving from a 750-square-foot apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, which felt like it was bursting at the seams. When we purchased our early Craftsman Colonial home, we knew there would be lots of work to do. But it felt solid, had the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms and great, livable space. Plus, the original unpainted chestnut moldings and leaded glass built-ins throughout the new house made any renovations that we needed to do seem bearable.

beforeduringrenovation Essex County

Before we were able to move in, we needed to completely rewire the entire house because it still had knob-and-tube wiring. This meant demolishing the ’70s-style finished basement. We weren’t that upset about losing the brown paneling, damp rug, and linoleum-tiled laundry room, and we were saving a lot of money by allowing the electrician free access to the walls and ceiling of the basement. The space had to be refurbished before it could be used for anything besides storage.

After a couple of months of rewiring, patching, and painting, we temporarily relocated the toy storage and our TV to the enclosed front porch and began working with an architect to rethink the space. We came to Sweeten to find a contractor to execute our architect’s vision.

Our plans included moving the laundry room to free up the main living area for toys, creating a craft area, and carving out a wine room. An old phone booth left behind by the previous owners was relocated. We hoped to move as many pipes in the labyrinth hanging from the ceiling to provide more headroom for my 6’ 4” husband and our two future six-footers—our sons, currently ages six and eight. New windows were installed and additional waterproofing was added throughout the space.

renovation Essex Countyrenovation Essex County

When we got started working with our Sweeten contractor, we tried to determine where waterproofing was necessary and figured out what pipes could be moved and what had to stay. We ran PEX pipes for water in the walls and were able to run all electricity through the ceiling. We had to leave our steam pipes for our original but completely functional heating system because it was cost-prohibitive to move them.

Our contractor also created easy access points for a (hopefully not so distant) kitchen renovation. In the end, the ceiling in the basement was raised from under six-and-a-half feet to over eight feet tall—a huge improvement and a crucial part of the renovation.

Once the not-so-glamorous phases of waterproofing, plumbing, and electric were completed, we began to see the new rooms take shape. We were surprised by the space that needed to be left between the block walls and the drywall for fireproofing but decided to incorporate built-ins for board games as well as arts-and-crafts supplies. Our contractor also built a custom shelving unit under our TV to help prevent kids from walking into the corner of the TV when it was pulled out from the wall. The area under the stairs turned into a fort for the boys.

For the walls, we chose a warm gray paired with a soft white trim. The floors are COREtec, which looks like walnut but is actually an engineered plank that’s perfect for below-grade spaces. This was one of our contractor’s best recommendations—a floating floor that is easily replaced if it gets wet, feels great underfoot, and looks amazing. We love it, and have gotten a ton of compliments on it!

renovation Essex Countyrenovation Essex Countyrenovation Essex County

We installed IKEA kitchen cabinets and laminate countertops in our laundry room, which were big cost-savers and resulted in a sleek and lovely place to do laundry. A wall-mounted drying rack is one of my favorite features. My kids and husband have turned the storage room into a music room, but as long as they don’t mind playing next to our second freezer and extra Cheerios, it works for me!

That’s about it for the first phase of our basement renovation. Of course, there are still items on the to-do list. We are planning to turn the wooden phone booth at the bottom of the stairs into a fun space for the boysit has working electricity, so we are hoping to wire it with wifi or as a charging station. We will also either paint it red (Londonesque) or blue (Doctor Who!), and add a plaque on the top with our last name. Next to the phone booth is a door that leads to our unfinished wine room, another project for the future.

For now, though, we love spending time in our new basement—and getting dedicated storage for the toys, drums, and storage off the main floor! It’s become a great family room for us to hang out in, and for the boys to play with their friends. Working with our Sweeten contractor was an amazing experience. He was cooperative, made great suggestions, and brought the project in on budget.

Thank you, Cristiana, for showing us the fabulous transformation of an often-overlooked space! We can’t wait to see what you do next.

BASEMENT RESOURCES: Blackstone Oak COREtec flooring: COREtec. Laundry room cabinets and countertops: IKEA. Dolphin Fin wall paint: Behr. White Dove trim/ceiling paint: Benjamin Moore.

Watch video:

Here’s what you need to know when turning your basement into a living space.

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.

The post A Basement Remodel Turns into a Happy Family Room appeared first on Sweeten Blog.

A Chef Remodels His Family Kitchen

A cook space functions for entertaining, resale, and, of course, cooking

Blue kitchen remodel

“After” photos by Miao Jiaxin for Sweeten

Project: A builder-grade kitchen refreshes for a work-from-home chef and caterer

Before: After temporarily living in a large flat in Europe, Arnish and Brenden returned to New York City with a hankering for more space. They found it in Downtown Brooklyn in the 1929 BellTel Lofts landmark building. Unhappy with the experience of an earlier bathroom renovation (done by a non-Sweeten contractor), Arnish, a chef, waited until he had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do in the kitchen before posting the project on Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted contractors. Arnish chose this contractor to execute his entire vision for his dream kitchen.

kitchen renovation before

Aesthetically, the style of the kitchen was not to Arnish’s taste – the combination of the work surface and cabinets was too dark and the countertops were prone to staining. Functionally, there were many deficiencies that he wanted to remedy: the kitchen sink was too shallow for large pots, and the cabinets not deep enough for all of the equipment, gadgets, and dry goods. He also wanted to improve the flow of the space. 

After: Arnish uses the words, “sleek, modern, and high-end” to describe his new kitchen—and it is exactly that! “I dislike clutter and I love keeping my kitchen and home organized,” he shared. He didn’t want it to be too taste-specific for resale purposes, so they chose bright white, smudge-proof cabinets. And instead of handles or pulls, their contractor suggested ”tip and touch” for a cleaner look. 

chef in his kitchen

minimalist kitchen

The veins in the quartz countertops add a bit of drama, as does the peninsula. As a chef/caterer and everyday cook, Arnish planned for larger appliances, a pantry for dry food storage, an appliance garage, a pull-out spice rack, a hidden trash/recycling drawer, and a large, deep sink. 

He also moved their peninsula a foot closer to the stove and closed up what had been two feet of unusable “dead space.” On top of the “must-have” list was a huge peninsula that would accommodate his catering and cooking prep as well as for big parties. “We set up a bar on the peninsula and guests gravitate towards the kitchen,” he said. “Sometimes we have up to 80 people in the space.” With the piece of furniture also holding a wine fridge, he got everything he wanted. 

Kitchen pantry storage

Wine fridge in peninsula of kitchen

Throughout the remodel, the contractor had a specific team member in his office assigned to their project who kept in constant communication. “His office also used an app called Buildertrend that kept me updated on the status, including scheduling, deliveries, “to-do’s”, and material selections, which was very helpful. I never felt left in the lurch,” Arnish explained.

When asked how his new kitchen made him feel, Arnish replied, “Thrilled is an understatement. I feel so fortunate that I get to cook for my husband and entertain our friends in a space that I love. As a chef, I spend so much of my time in the kitchen and I believe that my food tastes better in my new kitchen. This space truly reflects my taste and style and whoever comes into the space can tell that this kitchen was designed by and for me.”

Pull-out spice drawer

Dog in remodeled kitchen

Arnish’s tip: Now that his project is done, his advice, “Remember, the renovation process is only temporary. It will feel overwhelming at times, but after the dust settles, the end result will be worth it.”

Thank you, Arnish, Brenden, and Jungli, for sharing your new kitchen!

Style finds: White base and upper cabinets, Vintage Blue peninsula cabinets: Miralis. Countertops with “waterfall edge,” backsplash: MSI Quartz. 32″ sink: Kraus. Faucet: Delta. Built-in refrigerator, Professional Series range with griddle and convection oven, microwave drawer, wi-fi dishwasher: JennAir. Pop-out ventilation hood: Miele. Dual Zone wine fridge: G.E. Monogram. Paint in Misty Gray: Benjamin Moore. Onda by Stua bar stools: Design Within Reach.

Ready to schedule your remodel? Here’s how long it takes for a kitchen renovation.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

The post A Chef Remodels His Family Kitchen appeared first on Sweeten Blog.

Add a Dash of Pink to Your Bathroom with Benjamin Moore’s Color Of 2020

Add a Dash of Pink to Your Bathroom with Benjamin Moore’s Color Of 2020

Add a Dash of Pink to Your Bathroom with Benjamin Moore’s Color Of 2020 : When it comes to premium paints and stains for your home, Benjamin Moore has set the standard for excellence throughout the years. The famous company has just revealed its Color of the Year 2020 as a warm, rosy pink named First Light.

Continue reading Add a Dash of Pink to Your Bathroom with Benjamin Moore’s Color Of 2020 at Maison Valentina Blog.

Bring Those Holiday Vibes to Your Bathroom with Maison Valentina

Bring Those Holiday Vibes to Your Bathroom with Maison Valentina

Bring Those Holiday Vibes to Your Bathroom with Maison Valentina: The holiday season is coming and you need to make sure that your luxury bathroom is as trendiest as it gets. Reinventing your bathroom decor for this season can be a challenge, however, Maison Valentina has gathered a few trends for this festive season, in order to help you elevate your bathroom holiday decor.

Continue reading Bring Those Holiday Vibes to Your Bathroom with Maison Valentina at Maison Valentina Blog.

How To Choose The Right Pieces For Your Bathroom

When it comes to creating your dream bathroom, the choice can seem overwhelming. From basins to baths, taps to toilets, it can be hard to know where to start. So, to break the process down into more bitesize chunks, we asked C.P. Hart’s Head of Retail Design, Yousef Mansuri, what to consider when selecting the perfect elements for your space…

Q. With so much choice on offer, how do you decide what you need in your own space?

A. As Head of Retail Design at C.P. Hart, I always advise customers to think about who will use the space. For example, in a family bathroom you might want plenty of storage to keep the room uncluttered, but the priority in a master en-suite might be to have twin basins. We are also seeing more demand at the moment for twin shower heads in one big walk-in shower area, which suits couples who get ready at the same time in the morning.

Q. What is the best way to choose bathroom products?

A. There’s no substitute for going to visit a showroom to help you identify the styles you like and to see products in the flesh. Do you prefer traditional and classic looks, or do you have a more contemporary and cutting-edge mood in mind? At the moment, there is a fantastic level of choice available – from entire collections primarily designed to suit compact spaces, to the latest innovations including bespoke sauna-hammam systems.

Q. Can you tell us about some of the key points to consider?

A. Is has been great to see so much clever and joyful use of colour and pattern coming through, along with the variety of bathroom wallpaper and furniture-style products that are being influenced by living area design. Try to bring some of the ‘softness’ of bedroom design into the bathroom with walls painted or papered, rather than tiled, and decorative lighting and mirrors. Why not include an upholstered chair or chaise longue, if you have the space? Floors are best tiled, but a washable rug can add some warmth and texture. 

Q. What is your top tip for ensuring a successful project?

A. Make sure there is enough storage! We have so many lotions and potions these days that it makes sense to have drawers and cabinets to help keep surfaces uncluttered, but with just enough storage for nice bottles of fragrance and accessories you want to have on display.

If you're looking to renovate your bathroom and transform it into your dream space, then our Professional Design Service could be for you. Make an appointment from any of our 15 showrooms and you can start working with a dedicated, fully qualified C.P. Hart interior designer to guide you through the process.

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