A “Beyond Busted” Studio Kitchen Gets a Cozy Two-Day Makeover (for $1,400!)

published Feb 24, 2024
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Because they can be pricey, major kitchen renovations aren’t always an option — but forgoing (or postponing) a remodel doesn’t have to equal living with a dysfunctional or unsightly kitchen.

Jason Saft (@stagedtosellhome) lives in a sunny, cozy Brooklyn Heights studio and knows this all too well. When Jason purchased the apartment in 2022, he wasn’t ready to commit to a full-scale renovation. But the state of the kitchen, which he describes as “beyond busted,” wasn’t going to work for Jason and his daughter, Liora. 

The fridge had interior holes and black mold, the faucet leaked water, the linoleum floors were peeling, and “the overhead light had a layer of dust and grease so thick it had to be removed with a scraper,” Jason recalls. He had one goal: to update the room while not doing too much before an eventual full-scale reno. 

Credit: Brad Stein
Credit: Erin Derby

Dark paint and wallpaper create a distinct zone — and hide flaws.

Jason worked with a painter to give the trim (painted Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal) a facelift, and even with minimal tweaks and effort, the transformation was astonishing. “I made it a dark and moody kitchen, which is a good trick to hide the age and condition,” Jason says.

The pair also added a dark gray removable wallpaper, laid peel-and-stick floor tiles, and painted the cabinets a khaki-meets gray color (Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Gray). The update took only two days to complete and cost around $1,400 (including the new fridge he bought!).

Not only is the kitchen now a functional room in the 475-square-foot studio apartment, but it’s also a space to display art, decor, and collectibles. “The kitchen is my proudest moment,” Jason says. “It’s clean, and I can cook in it! I’m really proud of doing light cosmetic work to make the space feel functioning and welcoming.”

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: Before & After: Gray Cabinets and Patterned Floors Give This Dated Kitchen a “Dark, Moody” Look