An NYC Couple Escapes to the Country

Finishing touches on a nearly perfect getaway

Large white farmhouse sink over wooden vanity in white bathroom space over vanity mirror after renovation

  • Homeowners: New homeowners Michelle and Nate, posted their master bathroom renovation on Sweeten.
  • Where: Riverhead, New York
  • Primary renovation: Transforming a closet into a master bathroom
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in financial protection—for free.

Written in partnership with Sweeten homeowner Nate

New home becomes long-term project

Michelle and Nate, both freelance advertising creatives from Brooklyn, bought a 2,010-square-foot house in Riverhead, NY, during the summer of 2016. Built in 1994 by the previous owner, Nate found the home in good condition. “Luckily, the house didn’t NEED anything to enjoy it right away,” he said. “We looked at it as a fun long-term project to turn it into an escape from the city,” Nate said. Nestled in the woods and surrounded by local farms, wineries, and nearby beaches, the Long Island home was perfect for their plans. The first item on the to-do list was to add another bathroom.

Happy homeowners sitting on the couch with their dog

White sliding barn door in a white bedroom with brown french windows after renovation

Adding a bathroom

To make it easier to accommodate guests, the couple wanted each bedroom to have its own bath. There was a large alcove in the upstairs hallway that they thought would be the perfect ensuite guest bathroom. It was conveniently located above the downstairs bathroom and plumbing so they hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to transform. “Our main question was really just how difficult would it be to add a bathroom where one hadn’t existed before,” said Nate. He posted the Riverhead bathroom remodel on Sweeten and was matched a Sweeten general contractor.

We had to be out of town a lot during the work, but our contractor was really good about sending work-in-progress pictures.

White bathroom with glass door for walk in shower and triangular storage nook

White bathroom with walk in shower and glass door beside triangular storage nook with shiplap wall after renovation

A modern farmhouse style

Before getting started, Michelle and Nate nailed down the look and feel of the bath, opting for a modern farmhouse vibe that was clean and simple. Because the angled roof affected one of the walls, they had to get creative with the layout, choosing to build a triangular storage nook in the uniquely-shaped space.

Shiplap was added to the slanted wall, giving the room the desired farmhouse style the couple hoped to achieve. They also incorporated some personal touches, including handmade shelves that Nate built from reclaimed wood, along with a pull-out drawer repurposed from an old door to hold cleaning supplies and extra toilet paper. For the entry, the couple took a style cue from the neighboring farms. “We especially like the look and function of the sliding barn door,” Nate said.

White farmhouse sink over wooden vanity along with bronze antique light fixtures in a white bathroom after renovation

Finding the right materials

Michelle and Nate looked at a variety of brands to outfit their bath but always found themselves coming back to Restoration Hardware. “The nice thing about getting fixtures from one place is that you know the metals will match. Oil-rubbed bronze, for example, can look very different from one brand to the next,” said Nate.

“We had to be out of town a lot during the work but our contractor was really good about sending work in progress pictures,” he said. “The pictures helped make sure things came together the way we imagined them.”

Bronze antique light fixture on shiplap wall near metal towel ring and medicine cabinet mirror after renovation

Renovation materials

Sliding barn door: Rustica Hardware. Santa Rosa Kohler Toilet: Home Depot. Manhattan Series 6” x 24” subway tile and Ardesie “Black Reef” floor tile: Forever Floors & Design Center. Vanity, medicine cabinet, faucets, fixtures, sconces, and hooks: Restoration Hardware.

Thanks for sharing your clever new bathroom, Michelle and Nate!

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.

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