Before and After: Megha’s Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation in Downtown Midtown – Sweetened!

This week we took a tour of the West Side of Manhattan to check out a big change to an apartment in Midtown West. Megha Desai, who runs a marketing company, came to Sweeten after nine years of living in her two-bed, two-and-a-half bath condo. Megha loved the place but was ready for an upgrade, and after talking with friends in the industry who shared similar ideas for breaking down the walls and unifying the living area, this small upgrade plan eventually grew to include major demolitions and construction. If this were a quiz that made you match the photo before to the photo after, we’d probably fail – this really is an eye-opening lunch, kitchen and bathroom makeover!

We sent sweetener expert Alastor to Megha’s house to carry out the architect’s projects that required major changes throughout the kitchen and living areas. The original layout of the condominium was all cut to pieces: the kitchen was walled up from the entrance and from the living room with a through hole that was anything but useful. The master bathroom was falling apart: the once-new-looking fixtures were peeling and flaky, and the separate shower and bathtub were underused. Megha loved the apartment and was ready for the changes that would open things up.


Alastor’s team has broken down all the walls between the hall and the living room. This move had the dual effect of creating a huge open-plan living room and also making the kitchen the social center of the new space. Megha did a lot of research on furniture options and ultimately settled on a hybrid of custom furniture bases with IKEA Sektion white lacquered doors and handles. Megha told us that the new Sektion cabinet line is like “day and night” compared to the line it replaced: the surfaces look indestructible and the drawer and cabinet inserts offer amazing variety in storage space. Megha chose a gray Caesarstone worktop, molded and cast in polished slabs and installed with cascading edges that house each section of the new kitchen cabinets. The gas pipe in the kitchen – a feature no new technology could address – splits the new island in two, but Alastor has joined two separate countertops seamlessly, leaving a smooth gray surface that wows against the white and pine finishes in the kitchen. other parts of the room. Megha decided to go big in a tiny place – she splurged on marble backsplash tiles from Complete Tile in Manhattan’s Flatiron district – the natural veins of the marble with the geometric herringbone pattern are just gorgeous. Megha admitted that she was taken aback by how expensive a few square meters of tiles can be, but she is obsessed with this beautiful detail.




Megha highlighted three favorite aspects of the new kitchen: Alastor installed a recessed socket on the surface of the island that opens when in use and vanishes when nothing is plugged in. The project also included a sink disposal device with a hidden button, integrated into the worktop and practically invisible. In most NYC apartments, sink disposal is hidden because, well, there’s just no sink disposal device at all, so we’re particularly impressed with any apartment that has this luxury AND manages to hide it to boot. ! The remodel also included a custom bench that wraps seamlessly from the kitchen cabinets, around the dining area, and into the new custom radiator covers – a great way to extend seating and storage space in the expanded living room.

The Alastor team replaced the unit’s floor with a white-stained wood that Megha found from Lumber Liquidators – a nice find at a moderate price. Megha’s appliance choices include a Jennair down draft stove, GE stainless steel refrigerator, and GE microwave oven (installed with custom panels). The sink and tap are both Grohe and the transparent glass pendants are by & Tradition. Three niches on the shelves overlook all this glittering splendor: when Megha asked Alastor for some space to store and display inventively, she designed and made this set herself.




In the bathroom, Megha went straight for a look that is part spa and part five-star hotel, of course! Textured gray porcelain tiles line the floor and the shower floor is pebbly. Alastor lined the shower with white glass tiles from Home Depot and a gray-green grout that softens the sheen. Megha spent hours searching for the perfect sink and was amazed to find that nothing on the market seemed right. Instead of spending time and money on a vision that simply didn’t exist, Megha went bespoke with a piece that combines white lacquered drawers with a wardrobe, all topped with a Caesarstone counter and Grohe fixtures. Megha chose a custom full-wall mirror lined with Broadway lights, a real twist for a bathroom that had spent the previous decade bathed in dim yellow lighting. The good news here is that Megha’s new bathroom is definitely spa-like; the bad news is he’s having a little too much fun and taking longer than ever to get ready in there …




Kitchen Select Select >> wall cabinets: IKEA Sektion / countertop: Caesarstone gray / splashback tile: herringbone marble Full tile / wood floor: white spot Lumber liquidators / stove: Jennair low draft / refrigerator: GE stainless steel / microwave: GE / sink and faucet: Grohe / glass pendant lamps: art and tradition

Select the bathroom >> glass tiles: Home Depot white / vanity top: Caesarstone / faucet: Grohe

Sweeten selects the best design and construction experts for major renovations. Follow the blog for fun stories from real homeowners about creating spaces they love, and when you’re ready to renovate, start your project.

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