A Small ‘60s Kitchen Gets Star Treatment

Original flooring sets the color tone, while hidden storage provide max capabilities

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Project: Adding storage and style to a haphazard kitchen in Manhattan’s Upper East Side

Before: When Treanna embarked on the search for her new home, she knew that apartments within her budget would probably require a remodel of some kind. She set out to find one in which she would only need to redo one of the two big-ticket items—the kitchen or bath—but not both. When she saw the kitchen in her current apartment, located in a 1960s co-op building on the Upper East Side, she spotted a lot of underutilized space and a lot of potential. There was enough room for a full galley, while the current owners had only one wall of cabinets and appliances with a lone undersized fridge on the other side. All the appliances were rental-grade, and there was no dishwasher—a must for this enthusiastic home chef. The few cabinets that existed were mismatched, and the space flow was not good. As she closed on the apartment, Treanna reached out to Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with vetted contractors, and selected her Sweeten contractor.

After: While almost everything in the old kitchen had to go, Treanna found charm in the existing checkered black-and-white flooring, and it became the basis for the new color palette. She envisioned a calm, serene space in white and gray—anything dark would make the galley space feel too confined. “Open, inviting, and warm,” were the operative terms for the updated kitchen design.

With the guidance of her Sweeten design-build contractor, Treanna chose white cabinets, a light-colored Caesarstone countertop with a bit of marbling, and a backsplash in clear and white tile (although the gray grout tinted the look of the clear tiles). Minimalist hardware in stainless steel finished the look. Working with just 42 square feet, Treanna and her contractor outfitted the space with ample storage by adding four custom pull-out racks in addition to numerous drawers. The stainless steel range and dishwasher were installed on one side, while the microwave and refrigerator went on the opposite wall. Although the remodel took much longer than expected due to delays with co-op approval, Treanna is loving her new space—especially the pull-outs and the handy Delta touch faucet.

Bonus: Instead of wasting the dead space behind the cabinet toe kicks, the Sweeten contractor added additional drawer space and an ingenious pull-out step stool on wheels. Treanna had trouble reaching the top shelves in the kitchen and this was a way to keep a step ladder out of sight but easily accessible.

Style finds: Cabinet hardware: Simon’s Hardware & Bath. Caesarstone countertops: Marbleworks. Spirited Calacatta Stone and Glass Mix Mosaic backsplash: Tiles Direct. Touch 2.0 Faucet: Delta. Range: Bertazzoni. Step ladder: Hailo.

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Ursula’s kitchen remodel adds a high-gloss finish to a white and gray palette while a dresser-style island increases storage.

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