A Manhattan Apartment Gets a Sleek and Modern Remodel

A Manhattan apartment undergoes a renovation that creates an elegant bathroom and spacious kitchen


  • Homeowners: Sweeten homeowner Megha Desai’s architect posted the project on Sweeten for her client
  • Where: Midtown West Manhattan, New York City
  • Primary renovation: Fitting the kitchen with an open layout and bringing a fresh new look to the bathroom
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovators with vetted general contractors, offering guidance, tools, and support—for free.

Written in partnership with homeowner Megha

Ready for a refresh

Megha’s architect hired a Sweeten general contractor to execute her architectural plans that called for big changes throughout the kitchen and living areas. The condo’s original layout was all sliced up. With the kitchen walled off from the entry and living room, there was a less-than-helpful pass-through cut-out. The master bathroom was falling apart. The finishes that once looked new were peeling and rickety, and the separate shower and bath set-up was under-utilized. Megha loved the apartment, but was ready for changes that would open things up.

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    Breaking down walls to create an open floor plan

    The Sweeten contracting team broke down all the walls between the foyer and the living room. This move had the dual effect of creating a huge, open-plan living room, while making the kitchen the social center of the new space. Megha did a ton of research on cabinetry options. Ultimately, she went for a hybrid of custom cabinet bases with white lacquered doors and pulls. She said that the new cabinets are like “night and day” compared to the ones they replaced. The cabinet surfaces feel sturdy and the drawer and cabinet inserts bring amazing variety in storage space.

    two toned kitchen with bar stools

    White kitchen with grey accents

    Megha went with a gray quartz countertop molded and poured into polished slabs, then installed waterfall edges that house each section of the new kitchen cabinets. The gas pipe in the kitchen bisected the new island, but her contractor joined two separate counter slabs seamlessly. This left a smooth gray surface that contrasts well against the white and pine finishes in the room.

    Two toned kitchen with silver fixtures and faucet

    Megha decided to go big in one tiny place—splurging on marble backsplash tiles. Even though it shocked Megha when she realized how expensive a few square feet of tile could be, she was obsessed with the natural veining of the marble in the geometric herringbone pattern.

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    two tone kitchen with stainless steel appliances

    kitchen stainless steel gas range

    Hidden luxuries

    Megha highlighted three favorite aspects of the new kitchen. The Sweeten contractor installed a recessed outlet on the surface of the island that pops up when in use and vanishes when nothing is plugged in. The plan also called for a sink disposal fixture with a hidden button integrated in the countertop being virtually invisible. A custom dining bench extends from the kitchen to create a dining area.

    two toned kitchen with purple accent wall

    The contracting team replaced the unit’s flooring with a moderately priced white-stained wood. Megha’s appliance picks include a downdraft stove, a stainless steel fridge, and microwave installed with custom cabinet panels. Overlooking this space are three shelf niches. When the contractor was asked for some inventive storage and display space, he designed and crafted this set-up himself.

    kitchen gas range in grey island countertop

    A dazzling new bathroom

    In the bathroom, Megha went straight for a look that had five-star hotel spa aesthetic. Textured gray porcelain tiles line the trim, and ta pebbled tile made for a natural-looking shower floor. Megha’s Sweeten contractor also lined the shower walls with white glass tiles and a green-gray grout toning down the gloss. Megha spent hours searching for the perfect sink vanity and was astonished to find that nothing on the market felt right. Instead of spending time and money on a vision that just didn’t exist, Megha went custom. She chose a piece that combines white lacquered drawers with a cabinet, and a quartz countertop and fixtures.

    two tones bathroom bright

    Megha chose a full-wall custom mirror lined with Broadway lights, a real turnaround for a bathroom that previously had dim, yellow lighting. The good news here is that Megha’s new bathroom is most definitely spa-like.

    Two toned bathroom vanity

    two toned bathrrom with white toliet

    Megha’s renovation resulted in a beautiful bathroom and a kitchen including an open and unifying layout into the dining and living area. With Sweeten’s help, Megha was able to create and more unifying space with light and elegance.

    Renovation materials

    KITCHEN RESOURCES: Sektion cabinets: IKEA. Gray quartz countertop: Caesarstone. Herringbone marble backsplash tile:  Complete Tile. White stain wood flooring: Lumber Liquidators. Downdraft stove:  Jennair. Stainless steel fridge and microwave: GE. Sink and faucet: Grohe. Glass pendant light fixtures: Art & Tradition.

    BATHROOM RESOURCES: White glass tile: Home Depot. Gray quartz countertop vanity: Caesarstone. Faucet: Grohe.

    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 with Sweeten.

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