A Kitchen Sheds Its Deli-Style Quality

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Project: Reimagine a woefully insufficient kitchen for a busy Manhattan family in Morningside Heights

Before: With only a single lonely cabinet under the sink, a rolling island from Ikea serving as extra counterspace, and two white-painted shelves, homeowner Janna resorted to stacking her family’s dry and preserved foods on freestanding shelving. “We joked that it looked like a corner deli,” she recalls. With an inadequately small refrigerator and two stove burners that needed to be lit by match, Janna was ready to reimagine her storage situation along with smart space planning for new appliances.

After: The main hurdle was designing a plan more unique than a galley-style kitchen. Janna and her husband Jeremy credit their Sweeten contractor for being an enormous help in creating a usable space. A large new archway to the living room lets the cook keep tabs on family and guests while also making the kitchen look bigger. Removing an abandoned dumbwaiter contributed precious extra square feet, in which a generous walk-in pantry closet with a red door now sits. “Sometimes I just stand inside and admire it,“ Janna admits. A side benefit was that the extra storage allowed her to comfortably skip upper cabinets in favor of display shelves with integrated lighting for an airy vibe.

New walnut lower cabinets run below the exterior window, flanking the 24-inch Italian range. Not concerned with resale, they chose a teal-colored backsplash for a bold statement. Turning the corner, the L-shape ColorQuartz countertop serves as a pass-through and doubles as a laundry center thanks to a new washer beneath. Janna skipped an electric dryer to save space, preferring instead to hang-dry clothes. Also under the counter is a smaller dishwasher since their previous full-sized one was never fully utilized.

Bonus: Though a splurge, the Elica pendant range hood increases air circulation without requiring wall-mounting like a traditional hood, which would have blocked the kitchen window.

Style finds: Ikea farmhouse sink; Newport Brass faucet; Benjamin Moore paint; Bosch washing machine and dishwasher; Summit refrigerator/freezer; Bertazzoni range; floor tile and Portuguese floral backsplash from Artistic Tile; ColorQuartz countertop; WNL Lighting ceiling fan; Elica pendant range hood.

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Feeling trapped in a half-galley kitchen, this fashion illustrator felt herself drawn to a colorful and creative renovation.

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