Consultant Pallavi Mantha and her husband, Keyur, a software engineer, have lived in their Murray Hill apartment for four years. A trained architect, Mantha knew exactly what she wanted in a renovation and was desperately seeking someone who could execute it beautifully — and on a budget.
"[With a background] in architecture and interior design, I'd never felt the need to hire someone," she explains. That all changed when Mantha and her husband began planning to remodel their 700-square-foot space. After searching for a contractor for four months, Mantha came across Sweeten on Apartment Therapy. She remembers being "pleasantly surprised" by the company's M.O. "We thought someone was watching over us when we came across their site," she remembers.
The couple's two major constraints? Their co-op's time limit on renovation projects — "they only allow one apartment to be under construction at a time," Mantha explains — and the need to move out of their place for the duration of the makeover. "We were couch-surfing at our friends' places and couldn't overstay our welcome," she adds.
Click through to see how the couple made the most of their situation and their budget.