Before & After: A Dingy Brooklyn Kitchen Brightens Up

published Oct 24, 2016
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Prior to their renovation, Laura and Matthew’s kitchen had a few problems common to lots of NYC apartments: a tiny footprint, not enough storage space, and cabinets caked with years’ and years’ worth of paint. As you can see, the cabinets in their galley kitchen had taken on an unusual texture, and the oven was positioned about 18 inches from the opposite countertop. Definitely time for a change.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Thanks to the removal of the wall separating the kitchen from the living and dining room, the new kitchen has been significantly expanded. Pearly grey IKEA cabinets with brass pulls have replaced the old paint-caked black ones, and a butcherblock top replaces the previously mismatched countertops (and adds a nice bit of warmth to the kitchen).

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


A support column between the living and dining room defines the position of one of the kitchen’s most unique features: a big square island that provides extra storage, extra workspace, and a place for friends to gather when Laura and Matthew are entertaining. People always tend to congregate in the kitchen during a party, so why not provide them with a place to do it?

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

One of my favorite features of the new kitchen is the hex tile on the backsplash, which is an unexpected touch that adds just the right amount of texture and modernity to a fairly classically-styled kitchen. A dark grout makes the tile pattern stand out — and ensures easier cleaning in the future.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Want to see how Laura and Matthew transformed their bathroom?

Laura and Matthew found their contractor, Santiago, 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.