Our 6th Home School series giveaway with Brooklyn Based is up and running (yay!), which makes now the perfect time to introduce prize-sponsors and tS network members Ezra & Rachel Picard of Bear Mountain Woodworking. The husband-wife team joined us earlier this Spring, and we’re looking forward to seeing Ezra knock out some great projects with us! The craftsman loves pushing his creative limits with custom projects, from furniture to cabinetry, to cottages in the woods. When the larger jobs are done, Ezra & Rachel have even found a way to turn the wood scraps into artisanal serving boards, platters & bowls, which are available for purchase at BMWW’s Etsy store — but if you’re interested, you can also try your luck at Home School #6, and enter to win a BMWW serving board, along with $50 to spend on yummy artisan snacks from With Love, From Brooklyn. (more…)
Every summer we run a series of design stories and giveaways called Home School in partnership with our friends at Brooklyn Based. For our latest giveaway in the series, we’ve rounded up some of Brooklyn’s most inspired Ikea kitchens. Read below for details on this month’s sweet giveaway – a serving board from BMWW and a gift certificate for artisan treats from With Love, From Brooklyn. Enter the contest at the bottom of the post.
Everyone dreams of a fully custom kitchen, but for many of us, the price point of a one-off renovation may be out of reach. One of the most common ways to circumvent this hurdle is by opting for prefab or off-the-shelf cabinetry, which can save tens of thousands of dollars as compared to the bespoke alternative. Ikea cabinets are super popular for their affordability and flexibility to install them yourself, but we’ve learned that this money-saving solution doesn’t have to be the death knell of a unique, custom kitchen design. Take some inspiration from these Brooklynites who have used Ikea cabinetry in creative ways to make standout kitchens that didn’t drain their bank accounts.
1: Customize construction details for Ikea “built-ins”
The open kitchen in this Ditmas Park home features Ikea’s simple, shaker-style Ramsjo cabinet. Construction details like the shadow reveal where the cabinets meet the ceiling, and a built-in cabinet above the refrigerator, give the space a unique character that leaves behind any immediate thoughts of prefab. The adjacent dining space features a built-in buffet, a la Ikea. The Ramsjo cabinets tie this space back to the kitchen, but the clever use of glass panels creates a more formal mood. (more…)
“We are ultimately focused on the tangible components and how they contribute to the experience of a project, which allows conceptual designs to be realized within actual parameters of budget and resources.”
–Bryan Young, Principal at Young Projects
This week, we’re pleased to introduce one of theSweeten’s newest members, DUMBO-based architecture studio, Young Projects. Firm principal Bryan Young (photographed above) launched his practice in 2010, and in just 3 years, the small team has rallied some big achievements, including last month’s award of the 2013 Architectural League Prize. In practice, the team pursues unique considerations of materiality, assembly, & craft through a method of experimentation that embraces all levels of technology; the resulting architecture, while stylistically modern, elicits qualities of warmth & tactility. We were interested in learning more about Young Projects’ work, so we met up with Bryan on the site of a project that is currently under construction in Williamsburg, the Photographer’s Townhouse.
The Photographer’s Townhouse project is a gut renovation & new addition to an existing, 2,300 sqft masonry townhouse. The century-old building had deteriorated to a state of disrepair before it was purchased by a local photographer. After a thoughtful collaboration between the Young Projects team and the homeowner, the first phase of construction began earlier this year. On site, Bryan walked us through some of the highlights of the project design and development. One of the most prominent features of the new design is the exterior; by their use of materials, the designers have created a strong juxaposition between the old, restored brick facade, and the new addition — an elevated mass behind a screen of perforated, corrugated zinc. You can see the exterior in the above rendering. (more…)
“TheSweeten is brilliant. There really is no other way to properly access the best providers to address a renovation… I valued [GSDO's] honesty and integrity the most. You have to trust the people that you are working with.”
–Paul K., East Harlem Homeowner
Apartment combinations are a common project we see at theSweeten, and we have several of them to share in the next few months — starting with this week’s site visit up in East Harlem. A couple years ago, homeowners Paul (photographed above) & Teresa relocated from Union Square to a newly renovated building in the more family-oriented, uptown neighborhood where their young son could enjoy the park and have a little extra space to play. Then, last year, the family was also able to purchase the apartment adjacent to their own, so they posted to theSweeten to find an architect to draw up the plans for a legal combination of the 2 units which were connected by the elevator corridor. From their matches, Paul & Teresa chose to work with Adam Glickman & Lauren Schlesinger of tS firm GSDO to design their spacious, 2,800 sqft version of a “classic 8.”
From 2009-2011, the historic building underwent a complete renovation by a local developer who not only brought it up to date, but also up to LEED Gold rating. Paul & Teresa loved the modern edge that the developer brought to the 1920′s building through the updated construction details, and wanted to follow suit with the combination project. (more…)
So many exciting developments have been bubbling up behind the scenes at theSweeten! Among them is a new photo series we’ve been working on with the help of our friend, photographer Jeffrey Kilmer. Rather than the usual ‘before & after,’ we’re taking our site visits up a notch, and including professional shots of the during stages as well. Soon, you’ll start to see the results of this new series of renovation photos: before, during & after. Until then, here’s a preview of some of those beautiful, uncensored ‘durning’ shots.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could give your home a whole new character, imbue it with the essence of a place you love, near or far? That’s just what Kyle & Sophia had in mind for their home in Lincoln Square. After living for a while in California, the busy young professionals were inspired to bring some of that West Coast sensibility to their current home in NYC — a 685 sqft, 1-bedroom apartment overlooking the Lincoln Center. The homeowners were lucky to meet fellow California ex-pat, Sarah Zames of tS firm General Assembly, who worked with them to re-imagine the cramped and outdated space. After nailing down new designs for the kitchen, master bath & powder room, Sarah suggested using theSweeten to find the right contractor for the job. After meeting their matches, the designer & homeowners chose to work with tS member Jon Eklund, owner of Ecostruct. The renovated home is light, airy, & nature-inspired; it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view!
In March, West Village homeowner Franz posted to theSweeten in need of a contractor to create a built-in shelving unit for his studio apartment. We connected Franz with tS member Gennadiy Kaliberda, owner of South Fork Projects, who was able to do the job quickly & cost-effectively — and just in time for the homeowner to leave for an extended stay abroad. While away, Franz is subletting the home to his friend Matt, who invited us to see how the project turned out. We love the new built-ins, which have made it easy for both the permanent & temporary tenants to keep their belongings in the same, small space.
“It’s an amazing feeling to walk into our apartment and feel like it’s our ‘home’ — and we owe much of that to Peter and his team.”
–Marie Clare K., Homeowner
When Park Slopers Marie Clare & Peter purchased their first home together early this year, the couple, along with their daughter Tessa, knew the space would need some improvements in order to make it the perfect retreat for their active lifestyle. Marie Clare, a copywriter for Bobbi Brown, and Peter, who works for Mayor Bloomberg, planned to modernize the 2 bedroom home, focusing on the living space & bathroom. With a great sense of style and a clear, modern vision, they posted their project ideas to theSweeten, and, after meeting their matches, chose to work with tS member NYC Pros. Firm owner Peter Ramirez impressed the new homeowners by completing the project in only 3 weeks to meet their March 30th move-in — and the results are as charming as little Tessa!
“Nick worked directly with me in a brief design phase to make sure what we proposed would actually work. His ability to design AND build was key.”
–Glenn M., Zeebox Team Member
One of the things we love most about doing commercial projects is that we get to know new local businesses — like Sotto 13 and Fanbridge — through their workplace renovations. This week we got to connect with another new company and check out the results of their recent office renovation project. Glenn Masterson (pictured above) lead the team at Zeebox, a London-based company with a free app for TV-lovers, to theSweeten to find the right contractor for a project at their new SoHo office. Zeebox was happy to be connected with tS member firm Nick Knacks Creative Interiors who helped them build the more productive space they had in mind. (more…)
Ever since our construction visits at the end of last year, we’ve been anticipating our return to Ditmas Park to see this completed first floor gut renovation, built by tS member Alan Michael Carpentry (above photo: Alan Bowes, AMC owner). The 1000 sqft, Brownstone home had not been updated in 40 years before AMC was brought in to transform the heavily compartmentalized living spaces of the first floor into an open, functional, and modern family home. The team at AMC had their work cut out for them, beginning with asbestos abatement and structural reinforcing which was necessary to create the new, open plan. They also relocated plumbing, updated electrical, and integrated a new HVAC system before moving onto the modern finishes we see now.