Best of Queens: Renovating in the Borough
Our favorite projects across five neighborhoods
With a population almost as large as Brooklyn, and the biggest footprint of the five boroughs, Queens has a lot to offer. Besides its growing, international food scene, a mix of established neighborhoods and amenity-laden condos, and an influx of tech startups, there’s the proximity to Manhattan, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and Citi Field (go Mets!). Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, provides a peek into renovations across the borough, all the way from Long Island City to Ridgewood.
When their tiny, 700-square-foot Manhattan apartment began to feel cramped, Sarah and Craig packed their bags and moved to Long Island City. They found a 1,160-square-foot one bedroom that felt enormous in comparison to their previous digs. At first, the spacious upgrade was more than enough. Four years later, a top-to-bottom renovation allowed the couple to transform their home into the stylish and eclectic space that they’d always wanted.
The very tight kitchen in Lisa and Chris’s Kew Gardens co-op made cooking in the space awkward. If you opened the refrigerator door, you’d end up trapping yourself in the kitchen! Converting the wall into a peninsula widened the galley layout and increased dining and prep space. With the addition of new cabinets and appliances, the kitchen refresh was just what they needed to enjoy their home again.
Housed in the former building of the Ridgewood Times newspaper, Michael and Chenta’s loft had deep roots in Queens. A condo conversion in the early aughts—white walls and wood floors—stripped the space of its original, industrial charm. Looking to restore some of that raw quality, the couple ripped up the tired wood floors and exposed the original concrete underneath.
A long search for a larger space led Jonathan and Cecilia to a mid-century apartment in Elmhurst. With a 25-minute commute to midtown, the location was perfect for them. The 1,300-square-foot, 3-bed, 1.5-bath co-op was a true fixer-upper. The couple made changes to the floor plan and updated fixtures and finishes in the kitchen, bathrooms, and living areas.
Nikki and Chris loved their neighborhood of Astoria but needed more space. What the next apartment lacked in style and function it made up for in square footage. They focused their renovation on the kitchen and bathroom—the two spaces that would benefit the most from an upgrade. Custom cabinets, new appliances, and gold pendant lights took the kitchen from drab to fab. In the bathroom, the couple drew design inspiration from their favorite New York City restaurants, installing new fixtures and a fun, pineapple print wallpaper.
The next stop on the Sweeten tour is Prospect Heights! Take a look at some of our favorite Brooklyn renovations.
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Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.