A Studio Apartment Remodel in Gramercy Park as a Pied-à-Terre

A homeowner returns to Sweeten for another renovation

studio apartment remodel with kitchen doors and green walls
  • Homeowners: Charon and Lex posted their studio apartment remodel on Sweeten
  • Where: Gramercy Park in Manhattan, NYC
  • Primary renovation: Remodel an entire co-op studio for visiting family members
  • With: Sweeten general contractor
  • Homeowner’s quote: “Having used Sweeten three times now, I can confidently offer some advice to future renovators: Use Sweeten. There are no downsides.”

Written in partnership with homeowner Charon

My name is Charon, and I’m a graphic designer. Together with my husband Lex, we decided to purchase a co-op apartment and embark on a renovation journey.

homeowner portrait after home renovation

We needed to update our apartment desperately—a Murphy bed was attached to the wall and we needed to revive the bathroom that was the original. Located in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, the apartment was situated in a building that was built back in 1929. A face-lift for the entire space was a good spot to start. 

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A pied-à-terre comes into focus

We have three adult children who occasionally visit us. Our vision was to begin the planning of a guest studio where they could stay comfortably. Having their own space was important to us, rather than having them sleep on the couch in our one-bedroom apartment. Additionally, we were quite fond of utilizing the studio’s terrace, which we planned to enjoy ourselves.

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Design tricks for a small space

One aspect that excited us the most was improving the kitchen. We had a unique design in mind—enclosing the kitchen with mirrored doors, creating a surprise element. Moreover, when the doors were closed, the mirrors would reflect and open up the small studio, enhancing its visual appeal. We were also thrilled about the prospect of having a quiet and effective air conditioner that didn’t rely on a window installation.

studio apartment remodel in gramercy park with kitchen doors opening and closing
cobalt blue kitchen cabinets with double doors to hide kitchen

Choosing the right materials was crucial, and we opted for vibrant and saturated tones throughout the apartment. We loved a glossy hunter green tile that we had used in a previous bathroom renovation. It would be featured again in this new bathroom. As for modernizing the kitchen, we wanted something eye-catching, so we selected bright blue cabinets and a colorful terrazzo counter, providing a fun, unexpected twist.

"I had used Sweeten in the past and it was a good fit."

bathroom with dark green tile and pedestal sink in gramercy park remodel
studio apartment remodel in gramercy park with green walls
studio apartment remodel in gramercy park with niche shelves

The right contractor for the project

Although the kitchen turned out great, it did come with its fair share of complications. In an old building like ours, none of the walls were straight. So the kitchen is actually a box that was slid into the space. All of the measurements were very tricky. 

Sweeten was our first thought when we realized we were going to need a contractor in Manhattan. I had used Sweeten in the past and it was a good fit. I knew that if I were to run into any problems during the project, Sweeten would help me. Having used Sweeten three times now, I can confidently offer some advice to future renovators: Use Sweeten. There are no downsides. You’re working with contractors who are vetted, and Sweeten is always there to step in if needed. 

double glass doors leading out to terrace in gramercy park remodel
outdoor space terrace with green awning

The kitchen truly became the highlight from the start of our entire renovation. In fact, I love every aspect of our transformed apartment. We are able to enjoy it as an entertaining area and our grown children can enjoy it as a place to stay when visiting the city. 

Thank you, Charon and Lex, for sharing your pied-à-terre with us!

Renovation Materials


  • Kitchen cabinets: Custom by contractor
  • Countertops and backsplash: Walker Zanger
  • Sink and faucet: Kohler


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