Before & After: A “Generic Hardware Store” Kitchen Sizes Down & Opens Up

published Apr 13, 2016
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Photos by Jean Nicholas )

Oh, Scandinavian design. It truly is a small space inspiration. After Eric saw it first hand he came back revitalized and ready to rennovate.

(Image credit: Photos by Jean Nicholas )

From Eric: I bought a small condo in 2001 when I was a student. I was a single dad and going back to university was a crazy move. But it was cheaper to buy than to rent so I went for it. When I walked into this 1923 building that had just been turned into condominiums, I thought “what is this place…?” I walked around, it only took a few seconds, and turned to my agent and said “it’s small and ugly, let’s make an offer.” My son and I moved in a few months later and we didn’t do anything to it as I couldn’t afford to.

In 2006, I moved abroad. But I kept the condo and came back in the summer of 2013. Living in Europe and finally visiting all my favorite Scandinavian cities really had an impact on my design taste. So when I came back, I simply couldn’t live in that generic hardware store renovation.

The first weekend I was back, I gutted the kitchen and bathroom. It wasn’t even 15 years old, yet it looked dingy and dark and sad. So we took everything out and had a cement floor put in. The new kitchen had to be smaller than the old one. The apartment is only 665 square feet, so having such a massive counter with cabinets seemed too much. The way things were set up didn’t make much sense. So we decided to have fewer cupboards and open the whole room. Instead of having the space divided in three; kitchen, dining-room and living-room, we decided to make it one space and the concrete floor helped achieved that. When we decided to go with marble for the backsplash, we weren’t sure in what pattern to install it. In the end, a herringbone pattern seemed to fit our desire for both modernism and elegance.

Thank you, Eric!