Before & After: Doubling the Storage Space in a NYC Kitchen


When Jessica and her husband, David, moved from Westchester to New York City for work, they were lucky to find a spacious apartment in Hudson Heights with a breathtaking view of the Hudson river and the George Washington Bridge. One thing about the apartment that wasn’t so great: the kitchen. It was in decent shape, but its layout — a single row of cabinets and appliances, arranged along a single wall — left a lot to be desired when it came to counter space and storage. And the fluorescent yellow paint on the wall and orangey tile on the floor meant that visually, the kitchen was a bit of a mess.

Lots of people, when remodeling their kitchen, want to make it more open to the rest of the home, but Jessica and David took things in the opposite direction. Before, one wall of the kitchen was almost completely filled by an opening to the dining room, which prevented the addition of any cabinets on that wall. Closing off the kitchen from the (now united) living room and dining rooms means that storage space in the kitchen can be doubled by adding an additional wall of cabinets. A pocket door separates the kitchen from the dining room, but can be opened to unite the two spaces.

Adding the wall wasn’t the only change made to the kitchen. Jessica and David chose to keep the old stove, but all the other appliances were replaced with sleek stainless-steel versions. New white Shaker-style cabinets go almost all the way to the ceiling, which adds storage space.

In place of the sickly yellow, the walls were painted a calming beige, which coordinates nicely with the neutral tones in the rest of the kitchen. The countertop is made from recycled glass, and the cork floor helps to muffle sound — and feels great to stand on.

Concentrating all the appliances on one side of the kitchen frees up the other side for storage. On the opposite wall there’s a bank of cabinets, with shelves above, and a niche that’s just the right size for spices. To the right of the niche is a new pantry.

The doorway to the dining room, which was narrowed significantly and moved to the left to allow for more cabinets, can be closed off, with a pocket door, or opened up to connect the kitchen to the rest of the home.

Jessica and David found their contractor on Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with local general contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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