In 2006, I purchased my first apartment in New York City. Nothing huge, the compact one-bedroom was all I needed as a single woman with a pocket-size dog in tow.

I paid $426,250—a deal by New York standards—because it clearly needed work. The kitchen would need a complete overhaul, and the bathroom was in sorry shape, too. So I decided to splurge on my renovation.

I started with the kitchen. I reconfigured the layout, had custom cabinetry built, and procured top-of-the-line appliances. I found the prettiest granite for counters, along with beveled subway tile for a backsplash, a wine rack, a spice cabinet, and many other bells and whistles.
Next, I set my sights on the bathroom. Before I knew it, this dark, cramped space was encased in floor-to-ceiling Carrara marble. I had the dingy old bathtub demolished and replaced with a floor-to-ceiling spa shower. Read more here.