Spotlight / By Jennifer Malise / January 10, 2018
A Kitchen Shows Off Its Dazzling Side
Once relegated to a single wall, a true working kitchen comes to life
Photos: Kyle Knodell
Project: Update and enlarge a small kitchen in downtown Brooklyn
Before: Looking for more square footage in downtown Brooklyn led this couple to a 3-bedroom, 2-bath 1,230-square-foot loft in a 1920s Art Deco building. The kitchen was an unusual shape, with all of the appliances huddled together along one wall, not so suitable for avid entertainers.
After: To expand the space, the couple wanted an L-shaped layout with a six-foot-long island and floor-to-ceiling cabinets for storage. They posted their project on Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, and chose their Sweeten contractor. Condo approvals were a lengthy process due to the building’s landmark status and paper-thin walls, but once they were complete, the renovation itself took two months. Their contractor encouraged them to keep cooking as a focus, meaning no TV in the kitchen and leaving the “binge-fests for the den.” The couple eagerly agreed on a modern look mixing closed cabinets and open shelves while pairing white and gray shaker-style cabinets with custom black walnut slabs. One of the black walnut slabs acts as a desktop in a built-in—a workspace ideal for the husband, who is usually up before dawn checking email.
You could agonize over the exact CMYK breakdown in your grout, or you could choose one that’s a reasonable shade of gray, order it online, and get on with it.
A white subway tile backsplash with dark gray grout and white quartz counters serve as a simple backdrop, while brass hardware adds a modern touch. To splurge on Caesarstone countertops, known for their durability, the couple passed on a farmhouse sink, which the husband had been dreaming about, for a more affordable stainless steel one. Durability was a priority for the couple. “This kitchen was built to be used,” said the homeowner. With its greatly increased prep space and extended bar seating, we couldn’t agree more!
Bonus: After hosting their first dinner party in the space, she received a thank-you from a friend who said, “I could spend all my days in that kitchen.” The hostess’ response: “And that’s exactly our plan.”
Style finds: Cabinets: Fabuwood. Brass cabinet hardware: Semihandmade. Subway tile: Home Depot. Statuario Maximus countertop: Caesarstone. Custom black walnut slabs (open shelves, island countertop, desktop): 3 Dot Design. Light pendants: AllModern.com. Refrigerator: LG. Dishwasher: Bosch. Profile microwave: GE. Profile range: GE. Faucet: Delta. Chair (at desk) and Slope counter stools: West Elm.
Love the floor-to-ceiling cabinets with a built-in workspace? Take a look at our cost guide on custom built-ins and create your own.
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