Dating in New York is notoriously brutal, and so is buying real estate, which lends itself to a robust market for fixer-uppers. After living for six years in a rented apartment in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights neighborhood, Jill and Aaron were ready to buy — but everything they could find in their desired neighborhoods, within their price range, was less than appealing. Finally they found a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, with a space that they could convert into a den, in a building three blocks from Prospect Park. The kitchen and bathroom, untouched since the '60s, were definitely in need of a little TLC, but after searching for six months, Jill and Aaron felt ready to take the chance.
For the apartment's kitchen, the couple were working within the confines of a very narrow space. The doorway between the kitchen and the dining room was filled in, so the dining room could become the desired den. On the other hand, the couple's contractor created a pass-though between the left side of the kitchen and the living room, dramatically opening up the space.
Jill and Aaron wanted their new home to be comfortable and beautiful, but, keeping in mind that they might not be living there forever, they didn't want to blow their budget. So they opted for IKEA cabinets instead of custom ones, although they did splurge on quartz countertops and a beautiful glass tile backsplash. Stainless appliances and elegant, minimal drawer handles and pulls enhance the sleek, modern feel of the new space.
Instead of new hardwood flooring, which wasn't in the budget, Jill and Aaron chose to refinish the existing parquet flooring in the living room, and extend it into the kitchen, which helps to unite the two spaces. Cementing the connection is the kitchen pass-through, with an elegant quartz bar top that can function either as a buffet or a dining space — both beautiful and functional.
Jill and Aaron found their contractor on Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with local general contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.