After living with the dark, dated kitchen in his Ditmas Park apartment for a while (and spending countless hours watching HGTV), Blane decided it was time for a change. On his wish list: lighter cabinets, to brighten up the space, and an island with a worktop, to turn the kitchen's less-than-ideal L shape into something more user-friendly.
A couple of big changes make a big difference in Blane's new kitchen: much lighter, more modern cabinets, and a generous new island, which more than doubles the kitchen's prep space, and adds a lot of extra storage, too. Blane's contractors also tore down the wall at the right side of the kitchen, and switched the location of the refrigerator and stove, to improve the flow between the living room and kitchen and improve the usability of the space.
Blane contemplated IKEA cabinets but wound up going with similar ones from the Home Depot: bright, lacquered white uppers, and contrasting lower cabinets in a striated grey laminate. A quartz countertop gives the look of marble, with a lot less maintenance, and a corner cabinet folds out to make the most of an awkward space.
The new island provides a ton more storage, spots for friends to sit, and a place to hide the microwave. It's the hardworking center of a kitchen as functional as it is stylish.
Blane found his team of contractors, Andrey and Igor, on Sweeten, an online resource that connects homeowners with local design and construction experts for home renovations. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.