Renovating With Love

by Kelley Rowland

How couples and families worked together to achieve a common goal

Anytime you take on a project with a loved one, be it a significant other, a friend, or a family member, there are bound to be a few ups and downs. But, there’s also the inevitable reward of making decisions and accomplishing a goal as one. This is definitely the case when you tackle a renovation together: it’s a laborious task, but it’s also an opportunity to connect and develop an even stronger bond. These homeowners, who all renovated with Sweeten, took on renovations hand-in-hand to create homes with and full of love.

Maggie Spiegel, Ross Spiegel, dog, home renovation, portraitRenovations (and relationships) are all about compromise. This was the case when interior designer Maggie and former architect Ross renovated their home in Kips Bay, Manhattan. They weren’t exactly on the same page style-wise—he’s all about contrasts between dark and light materials, while she prefers pops of color and texture—but found a happy medium. “We had to make compromises, but by working together, it turned out beautifully. Many of the materials in our home reflect a blend of those distinctly different design ideologies,” Adam shared.

Rattenbury family portrait, home, renovation, Clinton Hill, BrooklynCourtney and Jim have always loved Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. So when, on a total whim, they bought an apartment there, it felt like the perfect fit. Years (and two kids) later, they realized the apartment wasn’t quite right anymore and started looking upstate for a house as a second home. After they made an offer and started negotiations, it hit them: they had to appreciate their primary home before they could take on another. They worked with a Sweeten general contractor to reimagine a home suited for their family—and fell in love all over again.

couple portrait

New to New York City, but not to renovation, Jeremy and Chris worked with Sweeten to transform a co-op in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan. Along the way they learned and accepted just how different it is to renovate in this city. They also both catered to one another’s “mild obsessions” in home design. For Chris, his desire to put a banquette in “any possible corner” came to fruition in the kitchen, and Jeremy’s Anglophile preferences manifested in the cook space cabinetry and a towel rack in the bathroom.

A passion for food and family was the focus of Tracey (she has a culinary degree!) and Stephen’s East Flatbush, Brooklyn, renovation. With their Sweeten contractor, they transformed a dark and scary kitchen into an inviting chef’s retreat. Once the renovation was complete, Tracey spread her love for cooking to her brother, and gave him a few tips in the new kitchen. “Food binds our cultures and our lives together,” she said.

New Jersey, Jersey City, renovation, two family, remodel, one family,Carol and Jon’s “Bunny Mansion” renovation was truly a labor of love. When they first moved into the two-family home in Jersey City, New Jersey, they made aesthetic changes, then waited and saved money to get the real work done. Once the couple was ready to renovate, they moved into the upstairs unit and lived without a stove—and with seven pets! They divided and conquered their various projects: Carol put her attention toward the kitchen, while Jon remained focused on making sure the home felt like a one-family space.

Why not make renovation a family affair? Alissa and her mom, Tatiana, teamed up to take on the renovation of Tatiana’s new apartment in Westchester (she moved to downsize and be closer to her grandchildren). Since Alissa worked in fashion and had a good eye for style, the mother-daughter duo used her industry know-how to pick out and order all the materials themselves. Their project resulted in a classic-meets-contemporary home with pops of color—just what they had envisioned.

Love is in the air! See how five couples bonded over their renovations.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Storiesfor renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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