Before: Chris and Lisa bought a two-bedroom apartment in Kew Gardens, Queens, because they needed more space for their family, including their daughter Mackenzie and their dog Porkchop. Even though the apartment already felt like home, they wanted to renovate to make it even more suitable to their needs and lifestyle, with more storage topping the priority list. Plus, from a design standpoint, “there was little to be excited about,” the couple shared.
After working with a Sweeten general contractor to renovate their kitchen, the couple decided to tackle their bathroom about a year and a half later and posted their new project to Sweeten. They were matched with the same general contractor.
“We were completely happy with the renovation work that he had done for us and decided to work with him again for our bathroom,” they shared.
After: The renovation had to solve a number of issues in the bathroom, including slippery floor tiles and an overall awkward placement of items like the vanity mirror, which was located too high above the sink due to wainscoting panels. “Style-wise, we wanted a bathroom that was a calm and inviting space. We wanted clean lines and a more modern feel with just a pop of color, with sleeker finishes that were easy to keep clean especially with a child at home,” they shared.
After a full demolition of the old fixtures and materials, the couple started to reimagine the space. The footprint largely remained the same, but fresh tile, a new vanity, and a large, mirrored medicine cabinet had a big impact on the functionality and look. Fun fact: The medicine cabinet is equipped with an electric outlet, defogger, lights, and a digital clock!
They did take space from an unused closet in their bedroom adjacent to the bathroom, which they used to build shelving (made from custom cut butcher block) and created a permanent home for towels—a much more convenient option than going out of the bathroom into a linen closet.
The couple opted for an environmentally-and-budget-friendly glass tile for the walls. They loved the wood-look floor tiles (with a non-slip texture) installed in the kitchen, so they used the same ones for the bathroom.
Once again, Chris and Lisa had a great experience working with their Sweeten general contractor. “One of the best things about working with him is that we were able to just get the fixtures and not worry about anything. His team was professional and worked with what we gave them. For the shower, we bought the wrong diverter, and they just went out and found the correct one to fit in, no big deal. In fact, there wasn’t much worrying done on our part because we knew we were in good hands,” they shared.
Since they’d already been through a renovation, they mostly knew what to expect. Lisa took their daughter and dog to her sister’s house upstate during the renovation, while Chris lived in the space during construction (the building has a basement bathroom he could access and friends offered their showers for him to use too).
Their advice to future renovators? “Don’t be afraid to invest in items that will give you what you need in the long run. Even with all the price shopping we did, we went slightly over our budget going with fixtures that worked for our lifestyle, but we knew remodeling is also an investment into our comfort, so we’re okay with that.”
Bonus: A new pocket door is a major space-saver!
Style finds: Avella 36” x 6” wood-look porcelain floor tiles in Oceanside Oak Gray: Lumber Liquidators. ABOLOS Nature 8” x 16” glass subway wall tile in Calacatta White/Gray, Neptune 1” x 4” glass mosaic tile in Glossy Silver/Brown: Wayfair. Purist Katalyst spray head in polished chrome, three-spray handheld shower Awaken 36” deluxe slide bar, San Souci one-piece toilet: Kohler. Undermounted sink: WS Bath Collections. Godmorgon vanity: Ikea. Flat-sawn walnut drawer and side panels: Semihandmade. Recessed dimmable lighting switches: Le Grand. Fresco Tiempo 48” x 30” with LED lighting: Home Depot.
Check out this hotel-worthy bathroom in Valley Stream, Long Island.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.