Moroccan Tile Basks in a Happy Kitchen

More storage and work area—and in less space

Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula

Project: Improve a kitchen’s storage and function in Park Slope

Before: The kitchen in Dawn and David’s loft apartment was not ideally configured, and after living in the home for a dozen years, the pair decided that it was finally time to redo the kitchen. The cabinets had seen a lot of wear and tear, and appliances and drawers were not in the best positions. Given their penchant for entertaining, they wanted to make sure that there was adequate and accessible space for their serving pieces. To accomplish this, Dawn tells us that she “spent a lot of time measuring the things we wanted to store so that we had dedicated spaces that were plotted out correctly in the kitchen. I was careful not to over-allocate space.”

The couple also wanted to fix a prior renovation mistake: a contractor had convinced them to go with recessed lighting in the kitchen and living room areas. Dawn found the choice too commercial and wanted to find statement pendants and other lighting options with a bit more character. After posting their project to Sweeten and interviewing several contractors, they chose this design-build firm.

After: Dawn knew that she wanted a large kitchen workspace that would complement the dining and living room areas.

Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula

Her goals were to create more counter space and cabinet storage, but within a smaller footprint by being very efficient with the layout. (This way, the dining and living areas could regain a bit of the square footage.) She said, “We wanted to get the most out of each nook and cranny while not ending up with a lot of nooks and crannies!”

Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula
Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula

An expanded peninsula with drawers on either side—facing the kitchen as well as the entryway—was a key part of executing this vision. As Dawn explains, she wanted “tons of room for prepping and cooking a meal and also allowed some serving space for hor ‘d oeuvres when we entertain. Like many people who live in apartments, I find that people like to congregate in the kitchen when they arrive, and I wanted to have a space that didn’t interfere with the process of making dinner. With a much bigger peninsula, we confine the prep/cooking work to one half of the surface while making room for an attractive presentation on the other.”

Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula
Moroccan backsplash, kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, Park Slope, Brooklyn, kitchen peninsula

Also part of the plan was dedicated spaces for certain items such as serving trays and her largest pots that could be easily found without digging. A good deal of thought went into the best placement of appliances and cabinets; the utensil drawer faces the dishwasher, while the speed oven is hidden in the peninsula keeping the countertops clear.

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Dawn also worked with her Sweeten contractor to add a full-length pantry that had both interior drawers and shelves, as well as a spice rack mounted at eye level to the inside of the door.

For the finishes, Dawn, the founder and CEO of Arcadia Home, an artisan-made home accessories brand, had a vision: “grainy flat-paneled cabinets, beautiful organic pulls, extraordinary color in the backsplash, killer lighting, and a fairly clean white but interesting countertop.” The centerpiece of the entire kitchen was the yellow Moroccan tile, inspired by a yellow Moroccan rug in the couple’s living room—a purchase from their first trip together during their dating days. “It makes us happy every day,” she said as well as the organic feeling of the small details that blends seamlessly into the rest of their home.

SWEETEN Dawn Kikel-Kitchen-10
SWEETEN Dawn Kikel-Kitchen-08

Bonus: The lighting redesign also transformed the look of the space. Now, the peninsula sports two handmade pierced nickel-plated brass shades from Egypt. The light from the pierced holes creates a unique pattern when they are turned on.

Style finds: Rift-cut oak painted kitchen cabinets: Custom designed by Sweeten contractor. Cabinet paint color in Blackberry and White Dove: Benjamin Moore. Schaub and Company Martello #174-N cabinet pulls in natural: Build.com. Pinecone cabinet knobs: Knobs4Less.com. Montclair #AQ501 quartz countertops: Alleanza Quartz. Batha #1-18 yellow Moroccan tile backsplash: Mosaic House. Zenza Bella Filisky peninsula pendants: Zenza Home. Transparence ceiling light: Sonneman Lighting.

This homeowner renovated her kitchen in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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.