Before & After: A Classic Kitchen Update 40 Years in the Making

Before & After: A Classic Kitchen Update 40 Years in the Making

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Nancy Mitchell
Mar 12, 2017
(Image credit: Sweeten)

I've heard it said that it's helpful to live in your home before renovating, to get a feel for how you actually use the space and what you really want from the renovation. Well, this Upper East Side homeowner lived in his apartment for 40 years. So he had a pretty good idea.

What he did want: A fresh new kitchen, but one whose traditional feel would integrate seamlessly with the rest of the apartment. What he didn't want: a completely open-concept kitchen.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

In the end, the best solution was to remove a couple of doors that separated the kitchen from the main living space. The resulting open entryways establish a connection between the kitchen and the living room, while still preserving their identities as distinct spaces.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

The kitchen itself saw a complete transformation from a sad, dated space with aging, crooked cabinets to a bright, updated kitchen that has, thanks to careful attention to detail, a much more classic feel.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

White custom cabinets and a snowy white quartz countertop brighten up the space, while the dark, wide-plank wood floor provides a welcome bit of contrast. A new trim profile runs along the top of the room and gives the cabinets a much more finished look. The awkward bump-out above the cabinets was removed. Replacing the double wall ovens with a single standard one opens up extra counter and cabinet space.

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

The eagle-eyed among you might have already noticed that the sink, previously just a teeeeny bit off-center, has been moved to align perfectly with the window. Another little detail that makes a big difference: the custom beveled countertop edge, which is a lovely classic detail. Custom corner drawers — an interesting alternative to a Lazy Susan — make the most of an awkward spot.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

And that's just part of the transformation of this Upper East Side apartment. Designer Samantha Stein wrote a full account of the renovation, including photos and sources, which you can see on the Sweeten blog.

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