Before & After: Practical Upgrades for a Brooklyn Kitchen

Before & After: Practical Upgrades for a Brooklyn Kitchen

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Nancy Mitchell
Jun 6, 2016

The kitchen in John and Kaija's Brooklyn co-op began life as a narrow galley kitchen, but a previous owner had the smart idea to tear down the separating wall to half-height, and top the remaining wall with a countertop. This made the kitchen a lot more spacious, but the new countertop, inconveniently located at bar height, wasn't particularly useful for prep work, and storage was still an issue. John and Kaija, who both enjoy cooking, were forced to stow a lot of their small appliances in Kaija's parents' basement due to the lack of space. So they decided it was time for a few changes.

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

The centerpiece of their new kitchen is the old wall-turned-island, which now incorporates plenty of storage, a countertop which significantly expands the kitchen's work space, and a bar at counter height.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Other parts of the kitchen also saw significant changes. The old cabinets were replaced with new matte white ones to match the new drawers in the island, and the old white floor tile was replaced with a contrasting large-format grey tile, chosen for its durability.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Custom shelving next to the window provides the perfect landing spot for cookbooks, pots and pans, and the appliances John and Kaija received as wedding gifts (including a beautiful stainless KitchenAid stand mixer), which are no longer confined to mom and dad's basement.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

John and Kaija considered honed marble countertops but in the end decided they wanted something a little less high-maintenance. Instead they chose a poured concrete countertop, which is the perfect fit for the kitchen's industrial-modern vibe. Heavy duty stainless steel appliances (including a gorgeous new range hood) will stand up to years of cooking.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

As a finishing touch, subway tiles, which run all the way up to the ceiling, help to demarcate the kitchen a bit in the open space and lend a classic feel.

Kaija and John found their contractors, Valeria and Eduard, through Sweeten, an online resource that connects homeowners in New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia with a network of architects, designers, and contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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