An outdated, clunky space prepares for guests in this Clinton Hill kitchen remodel
Originally posted 2/24/16
Project: Renovation of a Clinton Hill kitchen for entertainment and storage
Before: A the renovation of the kitchen was underway for Sarah, who works in finance, and Becky, who works for a media company. Sarah has lived in the one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in the Clinton Hill Co-ops since 2010 (with Becky joining her in 2013) and had her eyes on the kitchen overhaul from the start. A previous remodel had tiled the kitchen, tearing the open living space apart and giving guests an awkward raised edge to trip over. White appliances and heavy furniture were outdated, and the generous square footage of the kitchen wasn’t all that functional for hosting or entertaining. After successfully seeing Sweeten’s rehabilitation in Apartment Therapy, Sarah posted her renovation project on Sweeten. “It seemed like an easy fix for such a risky kind of decision,” he said. The pair were paired with a Sweeten general contractor.
After: At the start of the project, Sarah planned to limit the closet installation to one wall and contemplated adding an island, but after a design consultation, she decided to rework the game plan. Thankfully, their contractor was ready for anything. “He’s a really good guy, super reliable and very patient,” Sarah said. “He was willing to wait all that time while I was redesigning things.” The new plan was worth the delay – they would tear up the L-shaped line of furniture and use multiple variations of open and closed containers on each of the walls and in a central island. Also, they prepared to create a new entry connecting the kitchen to the corridor, improving the flow around the apartment.
Becky and Sarah found inspiration from a previous project for the striking white-on-wood contrast that now unites the new space. “I had the radiator covers and window sills redone with white plates and thought it would be nice to match it,” Sarah said. His original vision paired white stone composite with gray cabinets, but after looking at Ikea’s photo pairings, a warmer, walnut-inspired wood started to look like a better match.
To give an extra touch to basic Ikea furniture, Sarah chose Semihandmade custom doors. Semihandmade also supplied custom coordinating panels for the new island, a wonderful detail with the hard white waterfall countertop. The island’s additional storage space allowed Becky and Sarah to be more adventurous with other furniture choices. They skipped a top row of cabinets on the most visible wall and went with thin open shelving made from recycled wood. White globe pendants and sconces are anchored to an intricate porcelain tile backsplash; the tile’s folded paper-style pattern adds another level of visual detail in a barely beige.
The finished product looks great and Sarah now has some hard earned wisdom to share. “I probably could have planned the delivery of everything better,” he admits. The process, which lasted all summer, was halted when the lockers passed the door arrival by a few weeks and the delivery of some additional custom pieces was dragged into January. His advice to future restorers: moderate your willingness to start, knowing that your patience will pay off in a more reasonable time frame (and with all your packages in place).
Even though Sarah and Becky didn’t like hiding in their bedroom for much of the summer, the new cohesive kitchen was worth it. The couple not only survived the trial, but thrived: Sarah and Becky recently got engaged! “It could have divided us, but it eventually united us,” Sarah said with a laugh.
Thank you, Sarah and Becky, for sharing the Clinton Hill kitchen remodel with us!
Bonus: The kitchen floor now matches the rest of the apartment’s original tongue and groove parquet, thanks to the contractor’s painstaking work to cut and stain the new floor to match the original (and no longer available) planks.
Style finds: Wardrobes: Ikea. Wardrobe doors: semi-finished by hand. Open shelves: Barnwood Design. Caesarstone Blizzard White Countertops: Galactic Tiles. Cabinet hardware and lighting: Schoolhouse. Stool: homenature. Dishwasher and refrigerator: Blomberg. Oven and hood: Bertazzoni. Faucet: Grohe. Mutina folded backsplash tile: Stone Source.
Sweeten personally selects the best general contractors based on the location, budget and scope of each project, helping them through the completion of the project. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for remodel ideas and inspiration, and when you’re ready to renovate, start your remodel on Sweeten.