Before & After: Alexandra's Paris Skyline Kitchen

Before & After: Alexandra's Paris Skyline Kitchen

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)
(Image credit: Submitted by Alexandra)

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(Image credit: Submitted by Alexandra)

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(Image credit: Submitted by Alexandra)
(Image credit: Submitted by Alexandra)

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New York, NY
U.S. Owner
My room makeover::
I bought a 1 bedroom in the East Village and entirely redid the kitchen as the washer dryer and oven did not work, the countertop was pretty damaged, and the cabinets were really not my style. I went for Ikea cabinets - mostly white to contrast the hardwood floors and the brick wall but added the yellow for color! For the counter-top, I went somewhere far out in New Jersey to find Ice Drop Silver quartzite. I found a display Miele washer at PC Richards almost half off, bought a panel ready 18 inch Bosch dishwasher, and splurged on a Bertazzoni 24 inch range from Plessers. My contractor Doug was recommended by a friend, and he stayed on budget. The kitchen took about 5 weeks, and would have been ready sooner had there not been an issue with the counter top which had to be two thirds redone as it was initially too short (but GraniteTops did this for free). Total costs - $8.5k for contractor, $3k for Ikea cabinets and shelves, $2k for countertop, $4.5k for appliances = $18k total.
My makeover advice::
1. Shop around for the counter top - it took about 20 phone calls or emails to get quotes but for quartzite, some people quoted me 4000-5000 dollars and instead I ended up paying less than 2000.
2. Spell out everything in the contract with your builder.
3. If you can afford to, do the work before you move in.
4. Keep the costs down by avoiding moving the appliances and sink. It would have costs thousands more to re-route pipes, gas or electrics.
5. Accept that even if you are very good at planning, there will be issues. E.g. I failed to realize that European countertops are 32 inches high, where as US ones are 34 inches high so my European appliances were too short. So there is a gap with the washer and the counter top, but I filled that nicely by placing a gold tray there. The Bosch dishwasher required a piano hinge so that the standard Ikea 30 inch door did not bang against the dishwasher and could open fully.
What I love most about my new space::
The white quartzite counter-top especially in the sunshine where it becomes transluscent - it has diagonal grey stripes with some flecks of purple and green, hard to describe but it's really gorgeous and unique. The beautiful Bertazzoni range which gives straight away an expensive look to the place as it's the first thing you see when you walk in. The Paris skyline gold wall decal as a backsplash.
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