Before & After: Cara and Jared’s Chelsea Kitchen and Bath — Sweetened!

This week, we’re off to Chelsea to tour an apartment rescued from someone else’s well-intentioned (but ultimately not long-lasting) DIY tile project. Cara, Jared, and their dog, Indy, moved into their one bedroom, one bathroom co-op a few years ago, and though Cara was irked by the kitchen’s layout and finishes from the beginning, the couple arrived at a point of no return last year when the mosaic tile installed by the previous owners started to fall off the wall.

chelsea kitchen reno

“Evros was able to come in, be a calming influence at a stressful time, and meet deadlines from our board and our cabinet vendor. He’ll be back to help get our place ready for the arrival of our new baby!”

— Cara and Jared, Chelsea homeowners

Though the bathroom situation was the most dire – tile damage near the tub was more than just a cosmetic concern – the kitchen was also turning out to be too cramped for two cooks. Jared, a professional chef, and Cara, who works for a boutique recruiting firm, decided to press on with targeted changes to make the space more of a fit for them. After a first try with a contractor they found through a friend who wasn’t able to get buy-in from the building’s board, the couple came to Sweeten to find a team who could handle their project and make sure that each “t” and every “i” would be properly crossed and dotted for building approval. We introduced Cara and Jared to Sweeten Expert Evros who gracefully took on both charges.

Cara and Jared decided early on to focus a significant chunk of their budget on built-to-order kitchen cabinetry from Henrybuilt. They nearly tripled the kitchen’s storage by removing a partial peninsula, lengthening the counter and shelving line way out of the corner, and adding a hefty island with a huge amount of storage and prep space.

The new white oak cabinetry is beautifully crafted and helped dictate design and finish decisions throughout the room. The couple picked a gray plank base with a white oak line of upper cabinets. Aside from their neutral and contemporary appeal, Cara explained that Henrybuilt offers a mix and match option (high-pressure laminate along the bottom and solid wood on top) that gave them the effect of high-end cabinetry without quite having to shoulder the full cost.

The other key design decision involved moving the stove out of the back of the room and centering it – better for hosting and better for access to the dining area.

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


Evros’s team anchored the expanded kitchen footprint with porcelain tiles from Porcelanosa and installed Pentalquartz counters all they way around the new line of base cabinets. Cara artfully explained that her talented husband has some, well… bull-in-china-shop tendencies when he is at work on a new culinary treat, and so their sole consideration in choosing a new counter was durability and stain resistance! The “bar block” that tops the island is a Henrybuilt signature – Cara and Jared love the accessible storage option and layered it with glass to make it easier to use in a high-traffic entryway.

Cara chose the neutral white backsplash tile from Nemo Tile for its modern simplicity and understated effect. Finishing strong with appliances, Cara and Jared headed for a big, beautiful 36” Bertazzoni range, a Bosch dishwasher concealed with a custom door panel, and a Samsung fridge that hides Cara’s most favorite new feature: a built-in SodaStream faucet (this exists?!).


In the bathroom, Evros and his team took on a surgical task to take the old tub out, create a walk-in shower, and replace the crumbling tile that had served as the impetus for the entire project. Cara and Jared decided to leave as much intact as possible and work with what they had, so Evros made sure that the transition from the gleaming new shower to the rest of the room came off seamlessly. Everyone agreed to just do what was needed to make the necessary fixes and restore balance to the room’s function.



Thank you, Cara and Jared, for showing us around your gorgeous home! We’re glad we could play a small role in helping your family get ready for a new arrival!

Selects >> floor tile: porcelain Porcelanosa / countertop: Pentalquartz / backsplash tile: white Nemo Tile / built-to-order cabinets: Henrybuilt / oven: 36” range Bertazzoni / dishwasher: Bosch / fridge: Samsung

Sweeten handpicks contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your project on Sweeten.

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


“It was great to work with Sweeten. They provided excellent choices, and were honest with us when we asked questions. We recommend them for others like us with no previous experience.”

— Mary C. from Philadelphia, PA

Read more reviews —>
Start your renovation

Subscribe to our
renovation newsletter