Krista made some pretty stunning lemonade out of old-kitchen-laminate-lemons. She decided to double down on the purple color scheme and the results are crazy impressive.
From Krista: My guiding principles when I realized, that, yes, I really had just bought my own NYC co-op, were no white or stainless steel in the kitchen. I succeeded for the most part, though compromises quickly became the name of the game. Budget-wise, cosmetic upgrades and new no-nonsense appliances were all I had in my arsenal. No reconfiguring cabinets (and there are a ton of them!—19 in a 7.5'x 11' space), no installing a dishwasher due to archaic building rules I was naive about (rather than stewing—ok, I've stewed—I channeled my frustration into a Tumblr documenting dish racks on-screen, "Nice Rack") and no replacing the mauve laminate counters and backsplash dominating the room (it will be butcher block and square plum tiles if I make it to a second round).
The plan was that if I doubled (tripled? quadrupled?) down on the dusty purples that it would start blending and become purposeful. Before I even closed on the apartment, I fell in love with and bought rolls of Graham & Brown's Mirage in damson, a moody, metallic wallpaper patterned with pine trees that felt simultaneously modern and early '80s, a dash of my Pacific Northwest childhood filtered for a Queens middle-age. I then replaced the sad, standard "boob light" with an oak and brass chandelier off eBay to play-up this angle.
I had the warm wood cabinets painted (I'm frugal but not that DIY) in Benjamin Moore Cinnamon Slate on the lower set and Mauve Desert for the uppers. The ceiling, which appears nearly white, is actually Porcelain, a pale lavender in that same colorway. Going with warmer metals, I changed all of the hardware to gold bar pulls and swapped the utilitarian faucet for a simple brass one.
Compromises arose with appliances, and my initial dreams of a Bluestar range in red lilac gave way to the Bertazzoni renovators always gravitate towards to eventually a GE, chosen because of financial constraints but also because it came in slate, which is matte and less obtrusive. A short and narrow opening for the refrigerator limited my selection, and I acquiesced with an apartment-sized, counter-depth Frigidaire in pseudo-stainless steel, also matte. For a relatively sane amount of money, though, I was able to transform something generic into a personalized space I'm proud to call my own.
Thank you, Krista!