"Doing a gut renovation on my own—no husband, no boyfriend, just me—wasn't easy," admits Sarah Jacobson, of the renovation of her 750-square-foot NYC home. "It was literal blood, sweat and tears (so many tears!). It was many a moment of fear, of thinking I wasn't good enough, of thinking I didn't know what I was doing, of thinking I'd bitten off more than I could chew. But guess what? I did it anyway. And now, I don't just have a home, I have all the chutzpah a girl could ever dream of."
This wasn't a simple redecorating job—Sarah had to completely gut old flooring, old tile and other surfaces in her small-ish space.
The kitchen, which is located right off the entryway, is now a showstopper with patterned cement tile.
The breakfast nook makes use of what might have been wasted corner space. And it's a compact spot to enjoy a meal that doesn't take up precious living space.
The old kitchen counters and storage were ripped out and replaced with cabinets made locally in NYC.
One of the most amazing transformations happened in the living room, where an original brick wall was accidentally discovered buried underneath drywall!
"When I moved in, the living room was a rather dreary blank space, with nary a brick in sight. It wasn't until my electrician started hacking away at the back wall to run the new electrical that I saw it peeking out: a tiny little square of red.
As any good New Yorker knows, exposed brick is the holy grail. So it's no surprise that when I saw that little square, I basically hyperventilated, then promptly demanded (nicely, of course) that they continue to hack away until they exposed the WHOLE DAMN THING."
"As luck would have it, I left for a weeklong vacation out west the very next day, so the big reveal of the wall—and any updates as to whether it was, truly, all brick—came via text message from my contractor, a lovely but argumentative man who wasn't nearly as excited about the discovery as I was.
I'll never forget the image he sent me. I was in Zion National Park, surrounded by nature's brick walls, when my phone dinged with this photo. I just about lost my damn mind! All of a sudden, I could see my construction zone transforming into something magical: a home."
The bedroom also got new floors installed, and a simple furniture and decor setup creates a soothing space.
Like the kitchen, the bathroom looks dramatically different from the before.