After living in Brooklyn for nine years, I decided to move back to Queens in search of more space and a slice of the outdoors. For me, the purpose of the purchase and subsequent renovation was to create a sanctuary where I could relax after a long day of work.
I always wanted to live in a Craftsman cottage but knew I couldn’t find this style of building in New York City.
A few things would need to be changed immediately; there were lime green walls in the bedroom and a vibrant orange hallway.
I also wanted to rip up the linoleum and carpet floors, replace the house’s original windows, and update the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. Moving from an apartment to a house, I could now fully set the tone that welcomed everyone into my home.
I chose to custom design the steel front door in a Craftsman style that felt warm and inviting. For the flooring, white-and-blue handmade cement tiles added a lot of personality. I didn’t want the walls to pale in comparison to the bold floor, so I found a textured and paintable wallpaper that mimicked an abstracted cloud design. Sweeten brings homeowners an exceptional renovation experience by personally matching trusted general contractors to your project, while offering expert guidance and support—at no cost to you. Even though I didn’t have enough space for a grand entrance, I still wanted to make a statement for the front entry by using a modern fixture and opening up the arch to double the size in the living room. I was so excited when my Sweeten general contractor suggested I install European tilt-and-turn-style windows.
I debated going with a modern, gray stain, but ultimately decided on a timeless walnut that felt more appropriate to the cottage style. When it came to the kitchen, I decided to mix cooler colors and neutrals like blues, whites, and grays, balanced with a bit of warmth from some champagne bronze accents. I wanted a certain set of cabinet pulls that were too expensive for my budget, but was thrilled to find a similar version for a third of the price.
My contractor transformed a small broom closet in the hallway into a pull-out pantry. Without it, that closet would have held trash bags and a Swiffer, but now I use every inch of that space for my spices, peanut butter, and pancake mix. One small accent that was a big deal for me was the ceramic crackle push plates for the swinging doors between the kitchen and the bedroom.
I’m a big fan of British television and had been inspired by the homes in shows I watch. It was hard to find this kind of push plate in the U.S., so I ended up having them imported from England.
Most of my decisions were functional, but everyone thought I was crazy when I installed wainscoting in my very tight powder room.
I was glad that I was able to be involved in most of the decisions, even though I work full-time and couldn’t be physically present all day. Shawano wall-mount sink and Barnum dual-flush corner toilet: Signature Hardware.