Before & After: An Awkward Kitchen Gets a New Lease on Life

Before & After: An Awkward Kitchen Gets a New Lease on Life

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Nancy Mitchell
Jul 31, 2015

About to welcome their second child, Bernice and Davison were happy to find an apartment with three bedrooms, so that each kid could have their own space (not always a given in New York City). But they were less excited about the kitchen, a dated space whose awkward layout just really wasn't working.

As you can see from the photos above, the refrigerator was immediately to the left upon entering the kitchen: past that was the sink, tucked awkwardly into a corner. And the little sliver of the countertop to the right of the refrigerator wasn't doing anyone much good.

Bernice and Davison had three goals for their kitchen renovation: introducing a more modern feel, re-orienting cooking and prep stations to make the kitchen work better for their needs, and adding a washer and dryer (a dream for any NYC resident). Let's see what they came up with.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

The new kitchen has a much more stylish look, thanks to updated cabinets, a beautiful new porcelain tile floor, and a new glass tile backsplash. But the biggest changes are more than skin deep.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

For one, there's the new washer, a huge boon to a growing family. Bernice and Davison were able to get approval from the co-op board to add a washer, provided that they installed a feature that would sense water flow and shut off the water to the device if the flow exceeded normal levels. But the dryer proved to be a bit trickier: concerned about overloading the building's electrical grid, the board would only approve a 120 volt dryer. Adding a standard 240 volt dryer would mean the couple would be responsible for a significant amount of additional electrical wiring.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

They considered adding a combo washer-dryer unit that would fit the requirements, but only be able to handle much smaller loads, but ultimately decided to get a full-sized washer and forego the dryer. The little angled bit of cabinets next to the new washer allows easier access to the sink.

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

Rather than completely gutting the kitchen, the couple's contractor, Louie, was able to save a lot of the old cabinets, which were re-painted and fitted with new doors. The cabinets along the kitchen's back wall were all preserved: the ones on the left are a combination of old and new cabinets, and the cabinets on the right side of the kitchen, surrounding the new refrigerator, are all new.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

The family now has a much more functional and stylish kitchen — and it was all finished in time for the arrival of their new baby girl.

Bernice and Davison found their contractor, Louie, through Sweeten, a New York-area resource that connects homeowners with architects, designers, and contractors. You can read more about the project, and see more photos, on the Sweeten blog.

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