Sweetening the Layout: Fort Greene Apartment

Since none of the finishes or fixtures in the apartment are worth saving and the layout is somewhat awkward, without a real kitchen or closet space, the best strategy is to gut the interior and begin with a clean slate

The apartment would benefit most from a more open layout, to bring light from the rear windows deeper into the interior. In addition there are some practical considerations. There’s the need for a real kitchen, with adequate counter space and storage. There’s the need for closet and storage space. And it’s best to keep the kitchen and bathroom located where they are, close to the existing plumbing, gas and sewage lines.

The design can go in many different directions, depending on the owner’s lifestyle and priorities. Here are some basic ideas:


Renovate to live, Sweeten to thrive!

Sweeten brings homeowners an exceptional renovation experience by personally matching trusted general contractors to your project, while offering expert guidance and support—at no cost to you.

Start your renovation

For someone with her own business, or who sometimes works from home, this scheme builds an 8′-0″ long work station along the right side of the apartment. It has a continuous wood work counter, drawers and file cabinets below, and shelving on the wall above. From here the owner can sit and work without distractions. When she’s done, she can clear her things from the counter and the space stays tidy and well-organized, separate from rest of the apartment.

The entire apartment remains open. At the back is the living and dining area. At the middle is a bed and a clothing closet. At the front, near the entry, are a galley kitchen, the bathroom, and linen and coat closets


For someone who cares deeply about fashion, this scheme has a walk in closet with plenty of room for her to keep her clothing and a place where she can get dressed in the morning. The closet has racks for garments and shelving for shoes, bags and accessories. There’s a window for natural light, and room for a chair and a vanity table or standing mirror too.

The remaining space in back becomes a sleeping alcove. The center of the apartment becomes a living area, with built in bookshelves and cabinets. At the front, near the entry, are a galley kitchen, the bathroom, and linen and coat closets


For someone who likes to cook and entertain, this scheme has a full-size kitchen and a formal dining room. The double galley kitchen provides plenty of counter and storage space, and room for two or three people to be cooking and prepping at one time. The dining room is large enough to seat six or eight people.

The back becomes a living area with a fold-out bed. At the front, near the entry, are the bathroom, a clothes closet and a linen closet.

Any of these layouts could be converted to a proper one-bedroom by closing off the sleeping area. This is something that’s possible but that I would try to work around. Closing off a bedroom might make the rooms, especially those near the entrance, feel small and dark.

This apartment has a footprint that lends itself to many different layouts. I’m very excited to see what choices the owner will make as she sweetens the space!

You may also like

Renovate with Sweeten!


We’ll match you with vetted general contractors and offer support until your project is done — at no cost to you!

Start your renovation

Customer review 5.0


“Sweeten made the process of gathering bids easy and painless, and I was able to find a great contractor. I'll use it again.”

— Holly M. from Queens, NY

Read more reviews —>
Start your renovation

Subscribe to our
renovation newsletter