Sweeten’s Guide to Hamptons Renovation Costs in 2020


Sweeten’s 2020 guide to Hamptons renovation costs, including kitchen, bath, and whole-home, plus permit tips

The Hamptons…the mere mention conjures up images of poolside luxury and endless summer. But what’s it really like to live—and renovate—there? If you’re considering buying a home in the East End to renovate, there are some things you should know. Luckily for you, we’ve done the homework! Read on to learn what to expect (and budget) for your Hamptons renovation costs. (Keep in mind that all projects are unique, and many variables will impact a remodel!)

Sweeten offers a guide to Hamptons renovation costs, focusing on four categories—cost per square foot, kitchen, bathroom, and permits. Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.

Note: every expert contractor will want to have a detailed chat and inspection of your home before creating an estimate for your needs and wants.

Here’s a breakdown of typical Hamptons renovation costs, compiled from Sweeten renovations and Remodeling’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report.

  • Full home renovation: Starting at $100 per square foot (psf) with stock materials; high-end properties start at $250+ psf
  • Low-end kitchen remodel: $25,000 for under 100 square feet
  • Mid-range kitchen remodel: $40,000—$75,000
  • High-end kitchen remodel: $75,000+
  • Low-end bath remodel: $20,000
  • Mid-range bath remodel: $25,000—$40,000
  • High-end bath remodel: $40,000—$100,000
  • Basement remodel: $25,000—$100,000

To be clear: when referring to the Hamptons, we are talking about the Town of Southampton and the Town of East Hampton, which both comprise many hamlets and villages. Hamlets such as Westhampton, East Quogue, or Hampton Bays lie within the boundaries of the town of Southampton. The villages of Amagansett and East Hampton are within the administrative boundaries of the town of East Hampton. So, any building permits filed will be with the offices of Southampton or East Hampton.

There is a season for everything, but especially in the Hamptons. Usually, there is a big push before summer so that everyone can enjoy their homes before the summer is out, and everyone is very busy. If possible, start your design process in the fall and do the work in the winter. 

However, with the unexpected events of 2020, real estate industry experts expect the busy season to shift due to the freeze on non-essential activities and business.

Hamptons home renovation costs per square foot

According to experts who work in both New York City and the Hamptons, the consensus is that costs per square foot are essentially the same in both locales. As we point out in our cost guide to Westchester County, proximity to Manhattan dictates both the buyer demographic as well as real estate values. This, in turn, is reflected in the cost of renovations. As Sweeten contractor Eric points out, however, there are subtle differences between the villages and hamlets, with East Hampton being the priciest. Sweeten sees projects starting at $100 per square foot with stock materials and high-end properties at $250+ psf.

While renovation costs per square foot will vary depending on whether it is a gut or non-gut, and the level of finishes and custom features you require, Eric tells us that there is a starting point of $150 psf for renovations with stock materials. Luxury waterfront properties, however, start at $500 psf for high-end renovations and can exceed $1,000 depending on complexity and finishes. (See Budget Basics: Renovation Costs Per Square Foot, where we outline three levels of renovation.)

Additionally, cost increases over the past year have also pushed baseline budgets upwards: the price of fuel has gone up, as has general liability insurance, said Sweeten contractor Eric. “Building materials are also up from last year because of supply and demand; everyone is renovating! And when homeowners are renovating, the cost for electricians and plumbers and other subs increase, because they can pick and choose between the most profitable jobs. They will charge more now for smaller jobs like a single kitchen or bath.”

Costs for a kitchen renovation

  • Low-end kitchen: Most Sweeten kitchen remodels in the budget range average $25,000 for under 100 square feet with budget-friendly finishes from retailers such as Home Depot. 
  • Mid-range kitchen: Most Sweeten projects in the mid-range can fall between $40,000—$75,000. In Sweeten contractor John‘s experience, he cites a mid-range kitchen could average in the $75,000 range. Ariel Okin, an interior designer who works in the Hamptons, tells us: “Kitchen gut renovations can range from $40,000—$150,000 depending on the level of work the client wants, and the same goes for baths. Square footage, scope of work, and estimated amount of time it will take to complete the job are all major considerations that go into pricing out the project.”
  • High-end kitchen: At Sweeten, we’ve seen projects cost start at $75,000 for high-end finishes. According to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value 2020 Report, a major upscale kitchen remodel averages $166,408 in New York or $832 per square foot.
    This is based on a 200-square-foot kitchen with top-of-the-line custom cabinets, stone countertops, imported tile backsplash, built-in refrigerator, microwave, commercial-grade cooktop, and vent hood, as well as all new lighting and wood floors.

Sweeten contractor John estimates that a high-end kitchen in the Hamptons will start at $150,000 and up.

Costs for a bathroom renovation

  • Low-end bathroom remodel: At Sweeten, we’ve seen projects begin at $20,000. John quotes a three-piece (shower, sink, and toilet) project to average out to about $35,000 for a 5’ x 8’ space with budget-friendly finishes.
  • Mid-range bathroom remodel: Sweeten has completed bathroom renovations between $25,000—$40,000 in the mid-range that covers about 100 square feet. Cost vs. Value 2020 Report cites an average of $29,585 for a mid-range bath remodel.
  • High-end bathroom remodel: At the high-end range, Sweeten renovations that consist of three-pieces can cost between $40,000—$60,000. A high-end master suite remodel consisting of 4-5 pieces including a shower, double sink, bathtub, and toilet costs between $60,000—$100,000. According to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value 2020 Report, an upscale bathroom remodel averages $88,523 in New York or $885 psf. This is based on expanding an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet, relocating all fixtures, and installing a new shower with a frameless glass enclosure, freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets, stone counters with dual sinks, one-piece toilet, and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan.

Sweeten contractor John estimates that a high-end master bath renovation would run about $100,000 on average.

Costs for a basement renovation

At Sweeten, we’ve seen basement remodels budgeted at $100—$150 psf or $25,000 for a simple coat of paint. A gut renovation would cost $50,000—$100,000 which could include plumbing, electrical, an entertainment center, appliances, closets, and with possible walls going up or down. An average basement conversion project in the New York area is $75,000, according to the Cost vs. Value report. The project for this size budget includes a 20′ × 30′  foot room and a 5′ × 8′ foot bathroom with a shower and bar area as well as insulation and laminate flooring. This sample project works out to $117 psf.

What to know about permits in the Hamptons

Permits are a big part of the renovation process in Hamptons towns. While expediters are not regularly used there, the process can involve two types of experts not usually called upon in renovation projects elsewhere.

  • Environmental consultants can assist homeowners and architects in parsing land use regulations, coastal environmental planning, and acquisition of related permits. Given the delicate ecosystems and the proliferation of wetlands and sand dunes along the coasts, these consultants are crucial to navigating this aspect of the permit process. Additionally, they can answer help determine whether you can expand the footprint of a house or add a dock. They typically charge by the hour (ranging from $250-350/hour, with a minimum project fee). For the initial site inspection and report, some offer a flat rate fee of around $1,500. This fee would cover the property inspection and produce a report.
  • Local attorneys who are well-versed in the zoning codes of the particular town in question can help navigate the process. Sweeten architect Andrew tells us that East Hampton recently changed some of its codes and a local attorney assisted him and his client in liaising with the town office on a debated matter of allowable square footage. Attorneys’ fees vary; a local real estate agent can provide recommendations.

Keeping up with local regulations and requirements

While the town offices may be small and provide a more personal interaction, as Sweeten architect Andrew relates, don’t mistake that casual air for a casual approach to enforcing regulations. For example, certain Hamptons neighborhoods won’t allow work on weekends, or after a certain time during high season. There have also been increasing attempts to limit the square footage on properties and accessory structures that may be used as rental properties. Additionally, there are stringent regulations at the town, state, and federal levels that will affect your renovation, depending on scope.

It’s important to understand what the current code is. However, you should also try to find out what is upcoming or anticipated in terms of changes. Because project timelines can extend, you want to ensure you’re complying with the relevant codes when your project finishes.

One relatively recent development has been a change in the energy conservation requirements in East Hampton, for example. Andrew notes that he is dealing with this on a current project. Now, they’ll need to hire someone who is certified to complete the HERS rating, which will cost between $1,000—$2,000. They may also need to use different building components to achieve better insulation and R-value required today.

The Town of Southampton provides this handy Building Permit Application Checklist for residential interior renovations (note that different fees and applications are required for other types of construction).

  • Building permits for residential interior remodeling permits run $65 psf up to 2,000 square feet on the first story of a house with a $50 fee for up to $1,000 of estimated construction cost (ECC).
  • This Electrical Permit Fee Schedule indicates that electrical permits range from a minimum of $50 for a re-inspection to $1,000 for additions, renovations, basement wiring, and garages with more than 7 devices over 15,000 square feet.
  • Fees for plumbing fixtures are $5 per fixture with a $50 minimum.

Ready to start planning your Hamptons renovation?

Now that you understand typical Hamptons renovation costs, you can start the planning process! Sweeten’s Renovation Checklist offers you a downloadable roadmap to organize all of the moving parts of a home renovation, including laying out your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Once you post your home renovation project on Sweeten, you’ll be matched with multiple excellent contractors who can provide their expertise and estimates. Sweeten stays involved and monitors your project until it is completed. The result: peace of mind during the renovation and your dream house at the end!

Learn more about remodeling costs based on location and project scope with our handy cost guides.

Refer your renovating friends to Sweeten and you’ll both receive a $250 Visa gift card when they sign a contract with a Sweeten general contractor.

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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Steal This Look: A Plaster Pink Kitchen in Bath, England


It’s hard not to be seduced by the all-white kitchen, but for those willing to make permanent decisions, think colorful ranges and painted cabinets, the payoff can be huge. Take this pastel kitchen designed by Nicola Harding for a couple living in a renovated Georgian manse. On color, Harding explains: “We used dark colors to make large or shady spaces feel more intimate, and warm, uplifting tones to make grand spaces feel more relaxed.” With Plain English cabinets, factory lights, antiques, and the children’s artwork, the result is a gentle elegance. Here is our list of sources to match the look.

An eggshell (Estate Emulsion) finish of Farrow & Ball pink is on the walls with a glossy finish of the company&#8
Above: An eggshell (Estate Emulsion) finish of Farrow & Ball pink is on the walls with a glossy finish of the company’s Slipper Satin for the old floors. Photography by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe from ‘Mamma Mia’ Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse.
Black basalt counters and soft grey cabinetry. Photography by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe from ‘Mamma Mia’ Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse.
Above: Black basalt counters and soft grey cabinetry. Photography by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe from ‘Mamma Mia’ Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse.
A Howe table and chair in a dose of custom blue paint is an unexpected addition to the purple and pink palette. Photography by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe from ‘Mamma Mia’ Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse.
Above: A Howe table and chair in a dose of custom blue paint is an unexpected addition to the purple and pink palette. Photography by Paul Massey, courtesy of Howe from ‘Mamma Mia’ Music Producer Nick Gilpin’s Stylishly Revived Georgian Manse.

Paint

The house&#8
Above: The house’s original wood floors are painted with Farrow & Ball Slipper Satin to “bounce more light into the interior.”
The walls in the kitchen are painted with Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster. Says Harding: &#8
Above: The walls in the kitchen are painted with Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster. Says Harding: “It works for any light level, any time of day, any time of year. Calm, warm, fresh, comforting.”
The Plain English cabinetry is painted in a cool grey similar to Farrow & Ball Mole&#8
Above: The Plain English cabinetry is painted in a cool grey similar to Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath (not the exact grey used, but close).
Worth a mention: the Howe oak dining table and chair are custom painted with Blue Gum, a color from Paint & Paper Library.
Above: Worth a mention: the Howe oak dining table and chair are custom painted with Blue Gum, a color from Paint & Paper Library.



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A Suburban Kitchen Renovation Puts Pockets of Space to Use


A suburban kitchen renovation helps ex-city dwellers get a bigger, more stylish kitchen in Montclair, NJ

open concept kitchen

“After” photos by Miao Jiaxin for Sweeten

  • Homeowners: A couple posted their suburban kitchen renovation on Sweeten
  • Where: Montclair, New Jersey
  • Primary renovation: Kitchen update
  • Notable: Gaining square footage with a better layout
  • Result: Room for an island and connection to the dining room
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.

Guest blog post by Sweeten homeowner

Find New Jersey Contractors

Leaving urban life in Brooklyn for New Jersey

My wife and I both grew up in apartments in New York City. When we were planning to start a family, we divided our living room inside a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. We created another bedroom believing it would give us enough space. It was tight but manageable. However, when our daughter turned four years old, we were less than thrilled with our school district and we knew it was time to move.

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My buddy, who lives in Montclair, New Jersey, suggested that we visit his town, and we fell in love with the area and the houses. We found the school we wanted our child to attend and searched for a home nearby. The market was crazy competitive. We lost six bids before we finally found a home in the neighborhood we wanted.  

Reviewing inefficiencies at home

We bought the house, a two-level residence on a wide quiet street, knowing it needed work. We closed in June and didn’t plan on moving in till late August, so we had a little over two months to renovate. The kitchen was in bad shape. It was small and felt claustrophobic with cabinets looming over on all sides.

There was only about eight feet of usable counter space and about 20 square feet of space to move around. The stove looked like it came out of a movie from the 1940s. The floor tiles, which were cracked and loose, were what my neighbor called, “McDonalds” tiles—the ugly red terracotta tiles that are in some older McDonalds restaurants.

The house is almost a hundred years old. I’m guessing that most of the fixtures were original and that nothing was maintained. The plumbing was a mess—all the valves were corroded. At some point, the electrical box was changed, but no permit was pulled and the box was not up to code. We wanted to start renovations with the kitchen.

kitchen island

Trouble with contractors

We had the names of a few contractors who were recommended by our realtor. Some never called me back and three actually came by to see the house. One of the three never made a single measurement but quoted us $28,000 with no details. When I asked, he said it includes everything except counters, cabinets, and fixtures. I kept having to ask questions to try to nail down what exactly he was going to do.

Yet another contractor made measurements and told me he couldn’t start until November or sometime before Christmas. He still wouldn’t provide me with an estimate but kept asking when I was available to go shopping for cabinets with him. Speaking with my new neighbors, they told me it’s difficult to book any contractor in Montclair you don’t already have a relationship with.

One wall had an old butler’s pantry, and by removing it, we gained a whopping 18 square feet.

By August, we were pretty desperate. We spoke with an architect friend, and she recommended using Sweeten. She drew us a rough drawing of what we wanted, and we posted the job. Fortunately, we immediately received serious responses from contractors from outside of Montclair. After receiving several estimates, we found the Sweeten contractor we wanted to hire.

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Finding hidden spaces at home

Work started in September. We were able to expand the kitchen by tearing down two walls. One wall had an old butler’s pantry, and by removing it, we gained a whopping 18 square feet. It was enough space to add an island counter, which gave us an abundance of counter space to do our cooking. There was an unused cellar entryway that we removed and made into a walk-in pantry. The wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed to create a bigger space and an open kitchen design.

Our Sweeten contractor was terrific throughout the whole process, acting as both contractor and design consultant. Being a really old house, there were some unanticipated structural issues during demolition, but he was able to deal with it all. He added a header beam and support columns to support the ceiling. Our contractor also helped us move some pipes and changed all the old corroded water valves. All of the existing DIY electrical wirings were all cleaned up.

We love our new kitchen. Opening up the space between the kitchen and the dining room, made the tiny space feel really big and flowing. In fact, I was able to take advantage of all that counter space to do a ton of baking with my daughter over the holidays. We couldn’t be happier with the result, and can’t wait for our next project.

Thank you for sharing your new New Jersey home with us! We love how your suburban kitchen renovation turned out. 

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SHOPPING GUIDE

Carrara Morro quartz countertop, redwood porcelain floor tile in natural glaze: MSI. Cabinets: Forevermark. Ducted under cabinet range hood: Hauslane. Five-burner gas cooktop: Cosmo Appliances. Artec Pro pull-down kitchen faucet, Kore Workstation: Kraus. Profile combination microwave wall oven: GE. Refrigerator: Samsung. Dishwasher: Whirlpool.



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Current Obsessions: Autumn Happenings – Remodelista


Current Obsessions: Autumn Happenings – Remodelista




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The Cons of DIY in Home Renovations: Leave it to the Pros


DIY’ing your full home renovation is tempting…but should you really do it? Here, Sweeten lays out the cons of DIY for home renovations.

the cons of DIY

This is a do-it-yourself, do-it-all maker culture. Fueled by enough YouTube videos, a homeowner can feel emboldened to take on anything—even a DIY home renovation.

It’s natural to be undecided about whether you want to do that full home renovation by yourself or hire professionals. Doing it yourself can mean acting as your own project manager, or it can mean doing it all by hand (completely or partially.) In any case, the prospect of cost savings is what tempts most renovators.

However, there is a counter-argument—the cons of DIY. Is that DIY full home renovation really in your best interests? Examining the cons of DIY isn’t a scare story or a money pit narrative. Instead, it’s a window onto the scale and complexity of DIY full house renovation. Below, Sweeten outlines how to make an informed decision.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.

Cons of DIY: Completion time

Home renovations require time and attention to make both small and key decisions. Depending on the scope, part of your home may be covered in plastic protection, or kitchens and bathrooms will be unusable. What you want is a full home renovation that operates on a compact, predictable schedule.

You have a life. Career, kids, relationships, friends, leisure: All of these have priority. This narrows down the amount of time that you have available to work on your house.

Professionals compress the schedule and complete the project much faster than if you had done it by yourself. Both parties should discuss the schedule and duration so everyone has a clear understanding and realistic expectations. Plus, they have a vested interest in finishing in an efficient manner since yours is likely one of many projects they’re completing.

Keeping on schedule

When you install your own laminate floor or paint your own bathroom, timing is easy. You have three or four minor milestones to hit, and it’s simple to keep them in order.

But when the project is as multi-layered as a full home renovation, it’s like playing multi-dimensional chess. Each project—floor, walls, windows, plumbing, and more—has its own set of milestones. Each of those projects is a milestone and must weave in with other projects. And, to make it even more interesting, you sometimes need to bounce back and forth between projects. Coordinating subcontractors within that system can get bewildering.

By contrast, contractors know how to keep scheduling straight; it’s their stock in trade. They’ll keep all of the projects running as consistently as possible. And they’ll seamlessly coordinate the movements of the subcontractors.

Cons of DIY: Quality of work

Unless you have tiled a shower before, you first need to learn how to tile a shower. The worst classroom for learning how to tile is in your own house. You do not want your house to be a test subject for your beginner tiling, wiring, flooring, or plumbing skills.

Professionals do this work all the time. With training, apprenticeships, and experience in the field, they have already worked out the kinks. Professionals generally turn out professional quality work.

Codes and permits

A vast amount of full home renovation work touches on building codes and permits. Structural work, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and even water heaters require permits in most municipalities. All permit work must be done according to code. And just because you aren’t required to pull a permit for a certain project doesn’t mean that building code isn’t applicable.

Code-compliant work may suffer at the hands of DIYers. The pros know code and are professionally bound to turn out work that complies with the latest codes. Contractors, subcontractors, designers, and architects stay abreast of the latest changes in their field.

Cons of DIY: Finding subcontractors

Subcontractors are skilled tradespeople who do projects like plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting, or flooring.

Even if you’ve decided to DIY your home renovation by hand, you still might end up hiring pros for some projects like whole-house wiring, solid wood or engineered wood floor installation, drywall installation, tiling a shower, or blowing or rolling insulation into an attic.

Finding and lining up good subcontractors can be a challenge. Using a contractor can take that chore off of your plate since the contractor has ready access to a pool of trusted subs.

Renovating safely

Homeowners taking on full DIY home renovations risk injury in many ways. Old paint might be lead-based, or those floor tiles might have asbestos. Black mold is common in ceilings, attics, and walls. Falls—the most common type of household injury—can occur even when you are on a ladder painting crown molding.

When you hire professionals to do the job, they have the know-how, safety gear, and materials to keep themselves and you safe. Safety is second nature to them since their livelihood and health depend on it.

Do DIY renovations really save money?

One reason often mentioned for doing a DIY full home renovation is that it saves money. As long as you can keep the renovation moving and on-target, with no wasted time or materials, you just might save some money.

But there is also the distinct possibility that you may lose this bet. If your project isn’t clearing inspections, you need to do it over until you get it right. That costs money. If you decide to do a hands-on renovation, you may need to purchase tools that are used only once: a wet tile saw, a full set of drywall tools, a paint sprayer.

When you hire a professional to do your full home renovation, you might save money in a number of ways. Savings might come in the form of wholesale discounts, bulk discounts, or special perks granted by a supplier since the professional is a regular buyer. Or from years of experience, the professional may have a keen eye for finding materials that are still high-quality but less expensive.

Is a DIY home renovation the right choice?

No solution applies to everyone in all situations. A DIY home renovation might be perfect if you are hungry to learn new skills. For anyone who is interested in the process as well as the product, DIY renovation is an eye-opener. Finally, if you are short on money but long on time, a DIY renovation might be right for you.

Hiring professionals to do your whole-house renovation helps you hit those critical timing marks that keep you on schedule. The work will be done to professional quality, safely and cleanly, in accordance with local building codes. Peace of mind and the assurance that the job will be done right—and not hanging over your head for months—are just a few of the benefits of using pros to do your full house renovation.

Ready to find the perfect general contractor professional for your home renovation? Get started today!

Post A Renovation Project

Here’s what Sweeten homeowners took part in during their renovation and what their general contractors handled.

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



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Artisanal Candles (and More) via Wax Atelier in the UK


Founded in 2017 by designers Lola Lely and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo, London-based Wax Atelier “revisits traditional techniques,” as they say, “ranging from candle dipping, paper making, to crafted textiles using natural wax to waxed linen food wraps.”

Here’s a look:

A bundle of Eight Green Tea celebration candles (£ Above: A bundle of Eight Green Tea celebration candles (£22). Each pack ranges in a palette of Mothers Milk, Moss and Seaweed. When lit, the candles release a subtle aroma of matcha tea and honey. 

For the Double-Dipped Twisted Candle (£data-src=
Above: For the Double-Dipped Twisted Candle (£12), a  yellow beeswax candle is dipped in a mix of dyed beeswax.
A bundle of eight Celebration Candles in Pink Blossom (£
Above: A bundle of eight Celebration Candles in Pink Blossom (£22) are made with a fusion of beeswax and madder dye.
A set of ten Double-Dipped Birthday Candles is £.
Above: A set of ten Double-Dipped Birthday Candles is £15.
The Waxed Linen Roll-Top Bag (£) is hand-dyed with flower heads and roots; ideal for use as lunch bags or to store bread,  grains, root vegetables, and more.
Above: The Waxed Linen Roll-Top Bag (£28) is hand-dyed with flower heads and roots; ideal for use as lunch bags or to store bread,  grains, root vegetables, and more.
A set of three Waxed Linen Food Wraps is £
Above: A set of three Waxed Linen Food Wraps is £22 and is made with English linen naturally dyed with flower heads, roots, and wood bark.
A detail of the waxed linen food wrap.
Above: A detail of the waxed linen food wrap.

For more natural dye inspiration, see:

Color Explosion: Linens Imbued with Natural Plant Dyes

DIY: Natural Turmeric-Dyed Tablecloth

Dyed in Dublin: Kathryn Davey’s Naturally Tinted Textiles



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A Williamsburg Studio Goes Boutique-Hotel Chic


Brooklyn’s White Arrow gives a tall, narrow space stunner status. Just look up.

Williamsburg loft

Photos courtesy of White Arrow

  • Designing partners Keren and Thomas Richter of Brooklyn’s White Arrow posted their project on Sweeten on behalf of client Jared S.
  • Where: South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
  • Primary renovation: Top-to-bottom upgrades took the existing finishes in a grayed-out-modern, 668-square-foot studio from stark to a luxe-chic state of relaxed
  • Notable: The remodel brought needed storage and stretch-out room to the narrow condo.
  • Result: A home towering with sleek touches and rich tones, and offering space for everything
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.
double height loft ceilings

It’s hard to say anything but yes to the job next door. “This project, right around the corner from our home and office, was the most convenient project we’ve done,” said Keren Richter, principal designer and founder, with husband and partner Thomas Richter, of White Arrow. But that wasn’t the only aspect of the condo, part of a historic 19th-century building conversion in South Williamsburg, that drew them to the remodel. The lofted duplex, with its 19-foot ceilings and armspan-width, was unique in its shipping-tube configuration. And then there was the owner. Jared had stayed all over and sought to bring an alluring boutique-hotel vibe to the place.

“I’d been bouncing around between cities for a while—Amsterdam, San Francisco, back to New York City,” Jared said. “I wanted a place to call home, that would really be a sanctuary. I spoke with the design team about the aesthetics of spaces I loved, like SoHo Farmhouse, the Bowery Hotel, the Maritime in Chelsea, Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel, the Freehold, the Clover Club, and the Walter.” The White Arrow duo was reeled in.

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“We agreed we wanted to give the home the trappings of a sophisticated urban hotel,” Keren said. “It needed to be great for entertaining, hosting guests, relaxing and working,” which Jared, a digital agency founder, had been doing from home for years. The apartment, despite its high ceilings, was extremely narrow, with a ground-floor kitchen and living room that pushed the boundaries of its small footprint.

“Our goal was to make the home feel spacious and accentuate the positive,” Keren said. The walls, she explained, were a “disjointed arrangement of extrusions and unflattering angles,” including an inset stretch of exposed antique brick and a boxed-in, underutilized loft-bedroom platform. “We streamlined everything, reconsidering odd bumps as opportunities for storage and display,” she added.

“Every square foot had to be well utilized,” Jared said. He wanted to add nooks and niches to put his things, and make the place truly feel like his own.

We streamlined everything, reconsidering odd bumps as opportunities for storage and display

The designers and their client also agreed that, instead of demolishing the place, they would elevate the existing finishes and fixtures. “We set out to minimize the rustic details the developer had selected during the conversion, and bring the home to a quiet level of cohesiveness with a new color palette,” Keren said.

Following White Arrow’s plan, their Sweeten general contractor streamlined the place’s odd juts and angles, and adding custom integrated display shelving in the kitchen as well as the home office-niche. Workers refinished the white-oak flooring with a more neutral, beige color tone and painted the dark exposed brick. “I knew I wanted lighter floors for a more Scandinavian aesthetic, but was wary of bleaching them,” Jared recalls. He trusted the team and has no regrets. Similarly, whitewashing the brick felt risky when the designers suggested it—but it “totally opened the room,” Jared said.

painted green cabinets

“Our client took some creative leaps,” Keren recalled. Repainting the gray kitchen cabinetry in a vivid green was a biggie. “The color is a total showstopper, and we are so glad he was game!” Keren remarked. Their Sweeten contractor retiled the kitchen backsplash with marble penny tile and changed all door hardware and plumbing fittings in the kitchen, as well as the two bathrooms, which got new grout and caulk, toilets, vanities, medicine cabinets, and fixtures.

Throughout the place, the contractors added new lighting locations and dimmer switches and swapped in new fixtures. “We added dramatic chandeliers and sconces that draw the eye up to take in the dramatic, high ceilings,” Keren said. “Living finishes” such as an unlacquered brass kitchen faucet, bring warmth and texture. A home-media specialist integrated a sound system and a wall-mounted TV.

It was with the furnishings that the designers really connected with the hotel aesthetic they strove for. “We chose distinctive, contemporary pieces in rich materials and jewel tones,” Keren said. Both Keren and Thomas were excited to shop and showcase an unusual mix of international designers, including Muller Van Severin, Gio Ponti, Atelier Areti, Harto, Maison Sarah Lavoine, Slash Objects, and Trnk. “We sought out furnishings that would do ‘double duty’ to maximize small spaces,” Keren said—sophisticated sofa beds, the secretary desk that Jared describes as “an ingenious space-saver.”

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“Every piece,” Keren said, “is of the right proportion and scale,” including the king-size bed that Jared considered a must-have in the loft bedroom. The designers searched endlessly to find the furniture pieces that would allow every room to feel both luxurious and functional. To mellow the mood of the bedroom, Keren said, they added “a floor-to-ceiling, emerald-green velvet drapery to hide the formerly visible ensuite bath.”

The project had a fast turnaround, thanks to Sweeten’s vetting and follow-up during the project, Keren said. “The contractor was easy to work with and accommodating as the scope grew.”

As for the owner—Jared has been pleased to have his own digs to hunker down in during uncertain times. “The designs are super smart and well executed,” he says. “The living-room nook is discrete and conducive to relaxation. I am really happy.”

Thank you, Keren and Thomas of White Arrow, and Jared, for sharing the results of an inspired collaboration!

SHOPPING GUIDE

KITCHEN: Wood flooring and matte white-washed finish stain from Bona Traffic: Bona. Kitchen cabinets: Existing cabinets  refinished with oil paint in custom emerald green: Fine Paints of Europe. Cabinet hardware: House of Antique Hardware. Countertops: Caesarstone. Bianco Carrara 1” penny rounds backsplash: Builder Depot. Sink: Existing. Unlacquered brass faucet: Studio Ore.

LIVING ROOM: Aura paint in Cloud White: Benjamin Moore. Blue-velvet sofa: Clad Home. Leather chair: Trnk. Side table: Slash Objects. Ceiling light fixture: Atelier Areti. Coffee table: Sonder Living. Rug by The Rug Company: Farrow and Ball. Desk: HARTÔ. Borge Mogensen desk chair reissue: Fredericia. Sconce: Muller van Severin for Valeire Objects. Sound system: Sonos.

DINING AREA: Table: &Tradition. Borge Mogensen desk chair reissue: Fredericia.

BEDROOM: Vintage Harvey Probber Danish Mid-Century modern walnut headboard: 1stDibs. Lamp: Maison Sarah Lavoine. Dresser: Vintage. Sconces: Cedar & Moss. Nightstand: West Elm.

ADUs or accessory dwelling units can transform into home offices, living space for family or as a rental, or a retreat.

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



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Second Time’s the Charm: ‘A Renovation of a Renovation’ in a Brooklyn Duplex


If you’ve ever gone house hunting, you’re probably familiar with that feeling of ambivalence when confronted with a middling renovation by a developer. On the one hand, everything’s shiny and new and there’s no danger of finding a creepy doll in the attic; on the other hand, why does that bathroom door hit the sink when you open it?

Rather than live with the architectural flaws of their developer-renovated duplex, one Brooklyn couple decided a redo of the redo was a must. The pair hired vonDALWIG Architecture to tweak the improvements, to bring more light into their home, and to create better flow.

“We took the approach of rethinking the quality of space and found some simple moves to bring more value and spatial quality to the home,” says Kit von Dalwig, who founded the architecture and interior design firm with her husband Phillip. “We reorganized the garden level, moving the master bedroom to the rear and creating a cool hallway, behind a set of bathrooms, that connects the two bedrooms but is also a buffer space, too.” They also enlarged some windows and installed new pale wood flooring, both of which helped remedy the lack of light.

Ready to see what else the von Dalwigs did to turn a so-so space into something spectacular?

Photography by Alan Tansey, courtesy of vonDALWIG Architecture.

The walls had been painted blue; a fresh coat of Farrow & Ball&#8
Above: The walls had been painted blue; a fresh coat of Farrow & Ball’s Strong White helps brighten the room, as does new flooring, courtesy of 7-inch-wide engineered planks in a sun-bleached finish from Madera. One thing the developer did right: preserving the original dentil moldings, marble fireplaces, and plaster ceiling rose. Hanging from the medallion is the Arca Single-Tier Chandelier by Matter Made.
The clients own a lot of artwork as the wife is a curator. Between Mies van der Rohe&#8
Above: The clients own a lot of artwork as the wife is a curator. Between Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Couch and the black leather chair from DWR is a coffee-table-cum-art by New York–based artist Jessi Reaves. The painting over the fireplace is by Math Bass; the painting to the left is by Beauford Delaney.



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A Williamsburg Studio Goes Boutique-Hotel Chic


Brooklyn’s White Arrow gives a tall, narrow space stunner status. Just look up.

Williamsburg loft

Photos courtesy of White Arrow

  • Designing partners Keren and Thomas Richter of Brooklyn’s White Arrow posted their project on Sweeten on behalf of client Jared S.
  • Where: South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
  • Primary renovation: Top-to-bottom upgrades took the existing finishes in a grayed-out-modern, 668-square-foot studio from stark to a luxe-chic state of relaxed
  • Notable: The remodel brought needed storage and stretch-out room to the narrow condo.
  • Result: A home towering with sleek touches and rich tones, and offering space for everything
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.
double height loft ceilings

It’s hard to say anything but yes to the job next door. “This project, right around the corner from our home and office, was the most convenient project we’ve done,” said Keren Richter, principal designer and founder, with husband and partner Thomas Richter, of White Arrow. But that wasn’t the only aspect of the condo, part of a historic 19th-century building conversion in South Williamsburg, that drew them to the remodel. The lofted duplex, with its 19-foot ceilings and armspan-width, was unique in its shipping-tube configuration. And then there was the owner. Jared had stayed all over and sought to bring an alluring boutique-hotel vibe to the place.

“I’d been bouncing around between cities for a while—Amsterdam, San Francisco, back to New York City,” Jared said. “I wanted a place to call home, that would really be a sanctuary. I spoke with the design team about the aesthetics of spaces I loved, like SoHo Farmhouse, the Bowery Hotel, the Maritime in Chelsea, Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel, the Freehold, the Clover Club, and the Walter.” The White Arrow duo was reeled in.

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“We agreed we wanted to give the home the trappings of a sophisticated urban hotel,” Keren said. “It needed to be great for entertaining, hosting guests, relaxing and working,” which Jared, a digital agency founder, had been doing from home for years. The apartment, despite its high ceilings, was extremely narrow, with a ground-floor kitchen and living room that pushed the boundaries of its small footprint.

“Our goal was to make the home feel spacious and accentuate the positive,” Keren said. The walls, she explained, were a “disjointed arrangement of extrusions and unflattering angles,” including an inset stretch of exposed antique brick and a boxed-in, underutilized loft-bedroom platform. “We streamlined everything, reconsidering odd bumps as opportunities for storage and display,” she added.

“Every square foot had to be well utilized,” Jared said. He wanted to add nooks and niches to put his things, and make the place truly feel like his own.

We streamlined everything, reconsidering odd bumps as opportunities for storage and display

The designers and their client also agreed that, instead of demolishing the place, they would elevate the existing finishes and fixtures. “We set out to minimize the rustic details the developer had selected during the conversion, and bring the home to a quiet level of cohesiveness with a new color palette,” Keren said.

Following White Arrow’s plan, their Sweeten general contractor streamlined the place’s odd juts and angles, and adding custom integrated display shelving in the kitchen as well as the home office-niche. Workers refinished the white-oak flooring with a more neutral, beige color tone and painted the dark exposed brick. “I knew I wanted lighter floors for a more Scandinavian aesthetic, but was wary of bleaching them,” Jared recalls. He trusted the team and has no regrets. Similarly, whitewashing the brick felt risky when the designers suggested it—but it “totally opened the room,” Jared said.

painted green cabinets

“Our client took some creative leaps,” Keren recalled. Repainting the gray kitchen cabinetry in a vivid green was a biggie. “The color is a total showstopper, and we are so glad he was game!” Keren remarked. Their Sweeten contractor retiled the kitchen backsplash with marble penny tile and changed all door hardware and plumbing fittings in the kitchen, as well as the two bathrooms, which got new grout and caulk, toilets, vanities, medicine cabinets, and fixtures.

Throughout the place, the contractors added new lighting locations and dimmer switches and swapped in new fixtures. “We added dramatic chandeliers and sconces that draw the eye up to take in the dramatic, high ceilings,” Keren said. “Living finishes” such as an unlacquered brass kitchen faucet, bring warmth and texture. A home-media specialist integrated a sound system and a wall-mounted TV.

It was with the furnishings that the designers really connected with the hotel aesthetic they strove for. “We chose distinctive, contemporary pieces in rich materials and jewel tones,” Keren said. Both Keren and Thomas were excited to shop and showcase an unusual mix of international designers, including Muller Van Severin, Gio Ponti, Atelier Areti, Harto, Maison Sarah Lavoine, Slash Objects, and Trnk. “We sought out furnishings that would do ‘double duty’ to maximize small spaces,” Keren said—sophisticated sofa beds, the secretary desk that Jared describes as “an ingenious space-saver.”

Slider

 

“Every piece,” Keren said, “is of the right proportion and scale,” including the king-size bed that Jared considered a must-have in the loft bedroom. The designers searched endlessly to find the furniture pieces that would allow every room to feel both luxurious and functional. To mellow the mood of the bedroom, Keren said, they added “a floor-to-ceiling, emerald-green velvet drapery to hide the formerly visible ensuite bath.”

The project had a fast turnaround, thanks to Sweeten’s vetting and follow-up during the project, Keren said. “The contractor was easy to work with and accommodating as the scope grew.”

As for the owner—Jared has been pleased to have his own digs to hunker down in during uncertain times. “The designs are super smart and well executed,” he says. “The living-room nook is discrete and conducive to relaxation. I am really happy.”

Thank you, Keren and Thomas of White Arrow, and Jared, for sharing the results of an inspired collaboration!

SHOPPING GUIDE

KITCHEN: Wood flooring and matte white-washed finish stain from Bona Traffic: Bona. Kitchen cabinets: Existing cabinets  refinished with oil paint in custom emerald green: Fine Paints of Europe. Cabinet hardware: House of Antique Hardware. Countertops: Caesarstone. Bianco Carrara 1” penny rounds backsplash: Builder Depot. Sink: Existing. Unlacquered brass faucet: Studio Ore.

LIVING ROOM: Aura paint in Cloud White: Benjamin Moore. Blue-velvet sofa: Clad Home. Leather chair: Trnk. Side table: Slash Objects. Ceiling light fixture: Atelier Areti. Coffee table: Sonder Living. Rug by The Rug Company: Farrow and Ball. Desk: HARTÔ. Borge Mogensen desk chair reissue: Fredericia. Sconce: Muller van Severin for Valeire Objects. Sound system: Sonos.

DINING AREA: Table: &Tradition. Borge Mogensen desk chair reissue: Fredericia.

BEDROOM: Vintage Harvey Probber Danish Mid-Century modern walnut headboard: 1stDibs. Lamp: Maison Sarah Lavoine. Dresser: Vintage. Sconces: Cedar & Moss. Nightstand: West Elm.

ADUs or accessory dwelling units can transform into home offices, living space for family or as a rental, or a retreat.

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



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Kitchen of the Week: A Locavore Chef and Landscape Architect’s Low-Impact Kitchen


For landscape architect Victoria Taylor and chef Jamie Kennedy, a pioneer in Canada’s farm-to-table movement, it was all about the location: “The creek running through the property, the bluff overlooking the village, and a perfect south-facing slope for growing pinot noir,” says Victoria, were what they loved about their farmhouse in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. It certainly wasn’t the 100-year-old structure itself, which, while charming, lacked both heat and running water (hello, outhouse!). Still, they cherished their stays there.

That said, as soon as Vanessa Fong, an architect and Victoria’s cousin’s wife, launched her own business, “we got her on site to start talking!” Their collaboration led to a striking new addition that prioritizes both the couple’s emotional connection to the land and their wish to be as eco-conscious as possible.

“Jamie and Victoria had a strong guiding principle of using as many local materials and suppliers as possible,” says Vanessa. “They found heavy timber from an old barn literally just up the road from their property. (It doesn’t get much more local than that!) We assessed each piece and its usability. With the structural engineer, we then had to figure out where each piece could go and how to work it in with some steel structure to complete the ’skeleton’ of the home.”

It was an involved process, but what they ended up with—a lofty, low-impact kitchen and entertaining space that takes full advantage of the bucolic views—was well worth it. Let’s take a tour.

Photography by Cindy Blazevic, courtesy of VFA.

The large new addition connects to the original smaller farmhouse. &#8
Above: The large new addition connects to the original smaller farmhouse. “We wanted materials that would complement yet have a more contemporary angle,” says Vanessa, “hence, the stained wood siding (harkening back to barn board). The red metal roof is something that the existing farmhouse had and is prevalent in the area.”
The open space in the addition features polished concrete floors, white-washed pine walls, and salvaged timber ceiling beams. The slatted dining chairs by Canadian designer Thomas Lamb were a gift from Victoria&#8
Above: The open space in the addition features polished concrete floors, white-washed pine walls, and salvaged timber ceiling beams. The slatted dining chairs by Canadian designer Thomas Lamb were a gift from Victoria’s parents: “They are such a great design. To stack them away, you unbolt the seat frame and its slides flat,” she says.



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