A Renovation Grows in Brooklyn

A couple tackles their yellow kitchen at last, making it ready for prime time (as the sign says, “Let’s Eat!”)

kitchen TV

Project: Give an outdated kitchen a media nook and more storage in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn

Before: Rosalind, a business analyst, and her husband, Lawrence, longed to return to Brooklyn after a decade in Long Island. In 2015, they decided to downsize and bought a 100-year-old house in the neighborhood of Cypress Hills. Over time, they renovated two bathrooms, the stairway, and a walk-in closet. “The kitchen was last,” said Rosalind. It was functional, but didn’t suit Rosalind’s taste and the floors were flimsy. “There were holes that had been roughly covered with other flooring,” she said. The limited cabinet space also meant storing larger kitchen equipment, like the slow cooker and cake mixer, in the living room. Rosalind cooks four to five times a week, so heading into the living room to get what she needed grew old, fast.

After: Once she posted her project on Sweeten—a free service matching homeowners with vetted general contractors—the couple’s Sweeten contractor worked fast and completed the job in five weeks. There were only two weeks where the kitchen couldn’t be used (Rosalind and Lawrence went out to eat a lot). While much of the layout stayed the same, Rosalind wanted to take advantage of the kitchen window that looked out over the backyard, so the kitchen sink was lined up with the window to make washing up more enjoyable. The wooden cabinets, yellow walls, and orange backsplash tilessome with sketches of fruit on themhad to go. Instead, Rosalind went with a sleek gray palette with a quartz countertop that looked like marble. The different gray tones she picked meshed perfectly with the hues of gray, as well as sage, in other rooms on that floor of the house. To move the appliances from the living room and into the cook space, the couple added a kitchen island. It now doubles as both storage and as a gathering point when friends and family come over.

Bonus: With plenty of time spent in the kitchen, Rosalind wanted some entertainment. “I like to watch TV while I cook,” she said. The solution: installing a “media station,” which included a 32-inch flatscreen.

Style finds: Floor tiles: Lumber Liquidators. Frosty white kitchen cabinets with PVC finish: Decori Kitchens. Cabinet hardware: Cool Knobs and Pulls. Quartz Calacatta Gray countertops: Decori Kitchens. Dove Gray Ceramic tile backsplash: Highland Park. Stainless steel farm sink: AJ Madison. Fridge, dishwasher, and stove: Samsung. Paint in Baltic Gray: Benjamin Moore.

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Love the look of gray and white? Hari and Kaity’s kitchen provides a modern take on this color combo, complete with LED undercabinet lighting and a fun neon sign.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.