A Bright Brownstone Kitchen

by Kelley Rowland

Mixed metals and a pop of color create a contemporary feel

brownstone kitchenProject: Create a cohesive and minimalist kitchen

Before: After moving from an apartment in Kensington, Brooklyn, to a brownstone in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, Christina and Aaron were ready to renovate their “new” kitchen. Located in a 2,600-square-foot brownstone originally built in 1901, the cook space was definitely showing its age. The multi-color cabinets and floors were falling apart and the appliances were also outdated. Aaron, a director of child programming, and Christina, a registered nurse, wanted a clean and contemporary kitchen better suited for their family of three (including their son Maverick). The couple posted their project to Sweeten and were matched with a general contractor.

brownstone kitchen brownstone kitchenAfter: Before getting started on the demolition and build, they worked with a close friend and interior architect, Gabrielle Gilbert, who was involved in the early planning and design stages of the process and brought their vision to paper. “When it came time to explain our vision to the contractor, we were able to show those plans, which made everything extremely clear,” Aaron said.

The couple chose ceiling-high custom cabinets, with the bottom units painted in a rich navy and the uppers in white. Aside from the refrigerator and cabinets above, they left one wall open to include a small table and two chairs next to a big window. Just outside the kitchen and right off their separate dining room, they converted part of the hallway into an extra pantry area. The floating shelves match the ones used in the far end of the kitchen built from reclaimed wood from Big Reuse.

brownstone kitchenbrownstone kitchenbrownstone kitchenThroughout the project, their Sweeten contractor ensured they had frequent meetings and progress updates. From the beginning, he provided a detailed plan outlining the timeline, a list of needed materials, and recommended businesses and suppliers. Sweeten Client Services also checked in on the project status and contractor performance to ensure the couple was happy with the progress.

“The biggest challenges we faced with this project were the unexpected discoveries that would often add on to the workload and adjust the timeline of the project, such as the discovery that the floor needed to be re-leveled before tiling,” Aaron said. The electrical also needed to be updated to power the new appliances and the ceiling height had to be adjusted due to pre-existing damage. If you’re renovating an older home, Aaron strongly advises leaving plenty of room wiggle room in your budget because during demolition, issues that weren’t noticeable before can come to the surface.

brownstone kitchenbrownstone kitchenThrough it all, the trio couldn’t be happier with their kitchen. “The new space feels amazing, the whole vibe of the house has changed and we love to spend time in the kitchen together as a family,” Aaron said.

Bonus: Cooking has become so much easier and enjoyable thanks to their new counter space and the bigger stove.

Style finds: Cabinets: Custom. Bottom cabinet paint in Old Navy; upper cabinet paint in Misty Gray; walls in Simply White: Benjamin Moore. Cabinet hardware in Champagne: Amerock. Quartz countertops in White Attica: Caesarstone. Farmhouse sink: LaToscana. Faucet in black with matte finish: Pfister. Refrigerator and dishwasher: Samsung. Stove and microwave: Beko. Circular pendant light: Vonn. Floating shelves made from reclaimed wood: Big Reuse. Patika 2 ivory natural stone floor tile and white subway tile: Galactic Tile.

Bellamy and Zak renovated their brownstone in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

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

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