Before & After: Big Changes for a Little Kitchen

Before & After: Big Changes for a Little Kitchen

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Nancy Mitchell
Apr 1, 2015

When Pallavi and Keyur bought their one-bedroom Murray Hill co-op, it had a couple of pretty common NYC apartment problems: a teeny-tiny kitchen, and a bedroom with nearly non-existent clothes storage. The little sliver of the kitchen that you see in the photo above was all that would fit in the picture — it was really that small. But since there was no way to expand the footprint of the apartment, to make their kitchen bigger, they had to get creative.

Pallavi and Keyur had been wanting to renovate for years, but all the contractors they talked to gave them quotes that were way outside their budget. They finally posted their project on Sweeten, a website that connects New York area homeowners with qualified contractors, architects, and designers. Through Sweeten they found Pedro, who helped them make some minor tweaks to their floor plan that meant major changes for the livability of their apartment.

As you can see, pre-renovation the apartment had a seriously awkward floor plan. The bedroom, bathroom and living room all had a good relationship to each other, but the kitchen was tucked away at one end of the apartment, separated from the rest of the space by a long hallway. The stove was in a little nook by itself, which awkwardly impinged on the bedroom.

The 'after' solution is a simple and elegant one: Pallavi and Keyur chose to steal a little space from the bedroom to turn the kitchen into a much roomier L shape. Since the kitchen now opens directly onto the foyer, it's much more connected to the rest of the apartment. The old closet and shelves in the bedroom were demolished, and in a nook created by the kitchen floor plan changes, Pedro built a larger closet with plenty of storage.

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

Here are a couple of views of the refreshed — and now much larger — kitchen. Besides almost doubling in size, the kitchen also got a new look: sleek and modern, thanks to the white cabinets and stainless appliances, but with a little bit of warmth from the natural wood of the custom open shelving.

The mosaic stone tile backsplash is a beautiful alternative to subway tile, and a nice complement to the quartz countertop. But perhaps the best thing about the new kitchen is the dual-drawer dishwasher — the two drawers can be run together or separately, to save water and energy on smaller loads. (You can also never unload the dishwasher and just remove clean dishes from one drawer and place them in the other one once they're dirty, which is exactly what I would do.)

(Image credit: Sweeten)

In the bedroom, a new eight foot long closet with an Elfa shelving system and a space-saving sliding door provides storage for everyone's clothes. By taking only a few feet out of their bedroom, Pallavi and Keyur have gained a ton of space in their previously problematic kitchen and closet — definitely a win in my book.

In addition to all this goodness, Pallavi and Keyur also got a new bathroom — which will be featured in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

To read more about this project and see more photos, visit Sweeten.

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