Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Sisters Daria and Deanna DeChirico are ginger jar collectors, Chinoiserie enthusiasts and unabashed in their love for bold color — they’re also under the age of 35. Millennials are taking cues from their maximalist grandparents, readily adopting a design style House Beautiful writer and editor Emma Bazilian recently dubbed ‘Grandmillennial.’

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Together, the sisters purchased and renovated a 700-square-foot apartment in a co-op building in Manhattan’s storied Sutton Place neighborhood. “We knew exactly what we wanted for the space before we found the apartment,” they say. “[We] think a lot of people are surprised when they see the space because for two young girls, we have very traditional style.”

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Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Working with Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, the DeChiricos rejigged the apartment’s awkward layout, adding a second bedroom, spacious walk-in closet and a dining space to accommodate a four-seater table. “We went shopping at antique stores a year before we bought the apartment and had a number of items from our grandmother’s house that we wanted incorporated into the space,” they add.

Image: Courtesy of Sweeten

To streamline the flow of traffic through the apartment, Daria and Deanna opted to knock down walls and eliminate unnecessary entry points. Four irregularly placed closets were condensed to two — a seven-by-ten-foot walk-in for the sisters’ “endless amounts of clothes” and a pre-existing coat/linen closet in the dining area. “It was the right move and we’re so happy we kept it,” they say . “It also created a great way to incorporate the mirrored doors we love and add extra light and depth to the space with just the use of mirrors.”

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

The dining area is primed for entertaining, wrapped in a floral Chinoiserie wallpaper by Thibaut. The wainscoting, chair rail and trim are painted out in a pale blue color and a crystal chandelier ups the glam factor. “We were very excited to finally have a dining room to sit and eat meals at — a luxury in NYC,” they say. 

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

“We tried to participate as much as possible in the process (i.e. painting, moving, putting things together) so that the place really felt like ours and our hard work paid off,” they say. For the living room, they chose an energetic navy blue paint color from Benjamin Moore and versatile furniture pieces, like a pair of upholstered ottomans that can be used as extra seating. “We wanted people to be struck by the colors, textures and coziness of the space.”

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

The kitchen utilizes clever solutions to maximize every square inch. The white quartz countertop wraps around a partition wall, creating a bar area with cabinets and a wine rack below. Daria and Deanna “avoided a trendy cabinet style to ensure longevity in the look” but selected an emerald green subway tile backsplash “inspired by The Polo Bar,” Ralph Lauren’s popular Midtown restaurant.

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

The sisters splurged and saved strategically in the apartment’s only bathroom, choosing budget-friendly white subway tile for the shower surround and a luxe basketweave mosaic tile for the floor. “If you believe your new space won’t be your ‘forever’ home, you can make it comfortable and custom while also choosing materials that will be appealing to potential buyers,” says Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten. Sparkling gold fixtures and an affordable, yet expensive-looking vanity by Ellenbee complete the look.

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Deanna’s bedroom is painted a moody, dark green hue with framed equestrian artwork and vintage polo mallets scattered throughout. The Chinoiserie-style duvet cover coordinates perfectly with the ginger jars and table lamps that flank the bed.

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

In Daria’s bedroom, a powder blue paint color plays up the natural light from three corner windows. Built-ins provide extra storage and a flat surface for displaying treasured objects, books and flowers.

Photo: Pixy Interiors for Sweeten

Establishing clear lines of communication with the Sweeten-vetted contractor helped the renovation process run as smoothly as possible — although the sisters did spend many of their lunch hours visiting the site to answer questions and check on the progress. “It’s great seeing the whole project from start to finish but the best part is seeing it all completed,” Daria and Deanna say of their rejuvenated and reconfigured apartment. “It was especially great for us since we couldn’t wait to be out of our rental and into our brand new space!”

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