Before & After: A Tiny Upper West Side Kitchen Grows

Before & After: A Tiny Upper West Side Kitchen Grows

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Nancy Mitchell
Aug 2, 2016

This is the story of a kitchen that was once so small that it could barely be photographed. Having bought a place of her very own in Manhattan, Evelyn was living the dream, but her kitchen left a little something to be desired. Besides being (a bit) on the small side, it also featured a leaky dishwasher, cracked floors, and barely-there workspaces. After living in the apartment for a few years, she knew it was time for a change.

(Image credit: Sweeten)
(Image credit: Sweeten)

The new kitchen has a gorgeous, classic feel — and significantly expanded storage and work space. Removing the glass cabinets that previously bookended the kitchen allowed the kitchen to expand into the dining room a bit, while opening up both spaces.

(Image credit: Sweeten)
(Image credit: Sweeten)

Traditional touches, like the classic black-and-white tile floor and the subway tile backsplash, are a nod to the building's history, while the high-gloss white IKEA cabinets help to brighten up an apartment that, by Evelyn's admission, doesn't typically get much light.

For the floor, getting the stark black and white look she was going for was harder than Evelyn thought it would be: initially, she was told that she'd have to settle for off-white, until a helpful salesperson pointed out that she could achieve the look she wanted by mixing glass (for the white) and granite (for the black). This makes the floor extra durable, and the glossy white tiles also help to brighten up the space.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

One thing that Evelyn really loves about her new kitchen is all the drawers. "Seeing the various ways in which I could get my mixing bowls out by pulling out a drawer instead of digging into the back of a cabinet was revolutionary!" she says. In addition to all the wonderful new drawers, her new kitchen also has a pull-out trash bin, an especially welcome feature in a small apartment.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

In the dining area, a new built-in bench — which replaced an unused radiator — adds extra seating, storage, and a feeling of coziness and warmth.

Evelyn found her contractor, Jon, on Sweeten, an online resource that connects homeowners with local design and construction experts for home renovations. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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