This Kitchen Renovation Has the Coolest Island That Doubles the Storage (and Seating!)

published Jun 8, 2024
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Gray kitchen before renovation with wood finish cabinets

Sometimes, even your dream home isn’t 100% dreamy all the time. When Beach (@cbeachsilver) and Michael Silver (@mcarlinsilver) bought their apartment in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2020, they were “ecstatic.”

It was a long journey to become homeowners, and the home had most of what they were dreaming of: tall ceilings, a great location, and a private outdoor space. However, there were some changes they wanted to make. Namely, the 182-square-foot basic kitchen needed a definite facelift.

The goal was to “create a transitional look that was interesting and appealing while maintaining our apartment’s old-world charm,” Michael says. “It also needed to accommodate an island and a dining table while adding storage for our absurd stockpile of cookware.”

So, over the course of six months, the couple worked with architect Anya Gribanova to design their dream kitchen that had ample storage space and a cozy dining spot. 

A smart kitchen island added storage and a dining area

Although they had ample time, the new kitchen design took lots of reworking to come up with a final idea. “When planning our renovation, we struggled for a long time to find a layout that would accommodate both an island (which was a must-have for counter space) and a dining table, but we couldn’t make it work,” Michael says. 

Unfortunately, the curved area closest to the balcony door and window wasn’t the best spot for a dining table because the door opens inwards rather than towards the outdoors. So, they found a compromise: Their contractor, Bahar Roudiani of Teoria Interiors, built them an 11-foot rounded island that seats four to six people. 

Credit: Erin Derby

And it wasn’t just the island’s rounded shape that made it perfect for the space. The new kitchen’s focus needed to be on “maximizing storage at every turn,” Michael said, so underneath the dining portion of the island is an additional double-wide cabinet that houses cookware they don’t use often and can be tucked away (like their pasta roller, propane torch, cookie cutters, and more). 

“We have a borderline unreasonable amount of cookware, so it’s always a challenge to find a place for everything while keeping the more-used items at-hand and not lost in a pile of stuff,” Michael explains. “The big under-island cabinet has been perfect for storing items that we love but don’t use every day.” It’s all about working smarter, not harder when it comes to kitchen storage. 

Credit: Erin Derby

And it turns out that the countertop is equally as special as the rest of the island. The couple landed on hardwood as the material of choice because of the potential to “add a softer, organic element to the kitchen design and be more comfortable for dining than quartz or marble,” Michael shares. The couple tapped a friend, Dan Scrima, to design a custom countertop from sapele, which, according to Michael, is a cheaper, sustainable wood that’s similar to mahogany. 

“Two years in, the countertop has been everything we hoped for. It’s both a gorgeous design piece and the functional heart of our apartment — our prep space, dining table, workbench, kid art station, and gathering place,” Michael writes. “And the fact that it was created for us by a friend makes it that much more special.”

Credit: Erin Derby

The cabinets got a bright blue paint job.

But that’s not all! Of course, the other star of the space is the stunning blue cabinets. Refreshed kitchen cabinets (painted in Benjamin Moore’s Blue Danubeand adorned with Restoration Hardware pulls), a new chandelier, and a DIY identical kitchen for their daughter, Cece, add flair and personality to the otherwise gorgeous kitchen. It’s examples like this that really prove how much a pop of color can elevate a space. 

The kitchen isn’t the only room the Silvers have transformed in their Brooklyn brownstone. To see more, explore the full house tour on Apartment Therapy

This post originally ran on The Kitchn. See it there: Before & After: Bold Blue Cabinets Completely Transform a Bland Brown Kitchen