Before & After: Lisa's Brooklyn Kitchen
Makeover on a Budget

Sweeten

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This is Lisa's old kitchen — complete with tiny old stove, wonky old cabinets, and a backsplash in a particularly delightful shade of green. And then there's the part you don't see: hiding behind the sink cabinet is a big hole in the wall. This past summer, after having lived in the apartment for a year (and with her fancé about to move in), Lisa decided that it was time for a change.

She knew she wanted to do the project on a fairly strict budget (hello, IKEA cabinets) but wasn't quite sure where to find a contractor. So she turned to Sweeten, an online resource that connects New York-area homeowners with architects, designers, and contractors (which she heard about on Apartment Therapy!). She chose Peter Ramirez of NYC Pros, who did a great job of keeping the project close to budget and on schedule — in fact, once work began, the renovation was finished in only nine days. That's right: nine days.

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The new kitchen is beautiful, clean, bright, and modern without being in-your-face trendy. Plus it's got a lot more storage and counter space. My favorite part, though, may be the built-in wine rack.

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Here's a view of the left side of the kitchen, showing the new cabinet that was added in for extra storage.

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The cabinets are IKEA's AKURUM, in Lidi White. I think the one glass door is a nice touch — a little place to show off treasured items while keeping the rest of the kitchenware tucked away. The countertop is a grey quartz — Lisa had originally planned to go with a laminate from IKEA, but is glad she picked the quartz instead. It gives the kitchen a solid, timeless feel.

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Lisa's final budget came out to $10,856 — including some medicine cabinets she had Peter install in the bathroom. "Renovations can be addicting," she said — "I just did not want to stop!"

The new renovation allows Lisa and her fiancé to cook and clean together without bumping into one another — and it's passed the test of two dinner parties with flying colors. To read more about Lisa kitchen, including a full budget breakdown, check out the posts about her renovation on Sweeten: here is Part One and Part Two. Can't get enough renovations? You can see even more projects (and find a contractor for your own project) on Sweeten.

(Image credits: Sweeten)

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