Before & After: Boring Studio to Beautiful Family Home

Before & After: Boring Studio to Beautiful Family Home

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Nancy Mitchell
Mar 22, 2016

Ok, so here's a fun one. I know you guys love seeing transformations that involve entire rooms, and especially entire apartments, and this 'before' was particularly bleak. It's not the worst we've ever seen, but it is a perfect example of the kind of soul-deadening blandness that afflicts NYC postwar apartments. In addition, the homeowners, who had just moved from a two-bedroom, were expecting a new addition. So the 650 square foot studio layout just wasn't going to cut it.

First time homeowners Saskia and Ben turned to Mark, a contractor they found through Sweeten, a New York area resource that connects homeowners with designers, architects, and contractors, to help them turn their blank slate of an apartment into a family home. They had four goals for the renovation: to separate the living and sleeping areas, add more storage, update and open up the kitchen, and do something about the terrible tile in the bathroom (you can get a glimpse of it here). Check out the finished product.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

The biggest change that was made to Saskia and Ben's apartment was also the most practical one — the addition of a wall, at the far end of the former studio space, that creates a bedroom separate from the rest of the apartment.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Here's a close-up of the living room, looking into the new bedroom. The bulk of the bedroom space is on the left; on the right is a nursery nook for the new little one. French doors in the nursery nook help light flow from the wall of windows in the bedroom into the rest of the apartment.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Inside the bedroom, a wall of closets separates the main bedroom area from the nursery nook.

(Image credit: Sweeten)
(Image credit: Sweeten)

For the kitchen, Mark widened the door and added a pass-through, which opens the space to the rest of the apartment while still giving it a little definition. Painting the existing cabinets navy and adding a new backsplash, countertops and appliances has given the kitchen a whole new look.

(Image credit: Sweeten)
(Image credit: Sweeten)

The new bathroom plays up the contrast as well, with dark walls and bright subway tile.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Here's one final image, looking back toward the apartment's front door from the living room. As a finishing touch, Mark re-finished and stained the original parquet floors. It's a small, very practical change that makes a huge difference in bringing this (formerly) sad little studio into the modern era.

To read more about Saskia and Ben's apartment renovation, visit the project page on Sweeten.

Re-edited from a post originally published 3.19.15-NT

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