Before and After: Barrin’s Carroll Gardens Kitchen Renovation – Sweetened!


Barrin in Carroll Gardens spent 18 years in his three-bed, two-bath condo before deciding that quick fixes and kitchen appliance swaps were no longer cutting him. The kitchen had a huge advantage: large space anchored by a beautiful original cedar beam. The disadvantages? Formica counters and peeling chipboard furniture struggle hard to make it into the third decade. After a microwave fire during his early years in the condo, some appliance replacements here and there, and some cosmetic work on the floors, Barrin was ready for the first real kitchen remodel in the apartment. She posted her project on Sweeten and we brought Sweeten Expert Evros to revive this kitchen and bring back its simpler industrial roots.

Like many other buildings in Carroll Gardens and nearby Red Hook, the condos had been converted from a former factory with lots of loft and exposed wood majesty. Barrin and Evros went from the bottom up to create more storage space and keep the architectural details center stage. The kitchen floor had black granite tiles installed by a previous owner with tenants, and the cabinets left over from the factory conversion were professional quality. The drawers did not have the full-extension smoothness usually offered by more modern constructions, which limited the accessible drawer space by 30%. And while so many New York kitchens are relegated to just one or two walls (or a galley at best), the entire size of this room needed more thoughtful corner cabinets and some help rethinking a obsolete partition at the entrance.

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Barrin took inspiration from the ceiling for the floors, choosing sturdy porcelain tiles with a light, wood-grain finish to align with the flow of the exposed wood planks. Cabinets presented multiple challenges: Barrin initially banked on IKEA for inexpensive cabinets, but the kitchen ducts and corners made it difficult to go with the standard size. Barrin chose a semi-custom white Shaker option, ordering the furniture bases from a retailer and creating custom doors and modifications. Barrin found neutral granite countertops at a local stone yard in Brooklyn – as the floors were being put together, he considered a black or charcoal gray stone for contrast, but ultimately decided that the natural tones of brown and gray ivory in the granite would integrate better with the kitchen features of the wood.

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Evros’ team removed the partition separating the kitchen entrance and extended the double-height worktop to wrap it up and accommodate food preparation and bar-level meals. The expanded storage space under the counter allowed Evros to customize a section for Barrin’s cookbooks and create a storage nook for bulkier appliances such as baking pans and a food processor. Search for a Sweeten blog first – most of the electrical outlets are tucked under the cabinets, but the few that interrupt the backsplash are the double electrical outlets and USB ports. Electrical sockets + USB ports = yes! I feel stupid for not realizing it was one thing.

Evros also moved the sink from a center point and moved it to the right to open up more prep area near the stove. Barrin chose a glass tile backsplash, alternating clear glass with a painted base and polished glass in the same green hue – a clever way to add texture and some sheen without adding more color. A slim 30-inch GE refrigerator, a Miele dishwasher with three internal drawers, Hansgrohe taps and a Kohler sink complete the best of the new appliances. Barrin loves the combination of under cabinet lighting, sleeker LED track lighting, and blue glass pendants from Manhattan Lights, all dimmable.

Thanks, Barrin, for this tour! Well done to you and your team of experts for this beautiful transformation!

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Sweeten carefully selected contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope and style. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration, and when you’re ready to renovate, post your project on Sweeten!



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