Before & After: One Smart Change to a Very Little Kitchen


When Giovanni purchased his Brooklyn condo, the kitchen had barely any cabinet space — and almost no workspace to speak of. His kitchen was just a drab row of appliances stacked next to each other, adjoining an alcove where a combination washer/dryer sat, visible to the rest of the apartment. Sure, having a washer/dryer in New York is a huge privilege, but it’s probably not one you want to look at all day — and since this is a studio apartment, with the kitchen open to the rest of the space, aesthetics are particularly important.

Giovanni envisioned a much better use of the space — a renovation that would combine the kitchen and the tiny laundry alcove, while adding much-needed storage and counter space (and maybe even a little bit of color).

The reimagined kitchen is much larger, thanks to the incorporation of what used to be the laundry nook. The new cabinets are a glossy white, which helps the windowless space feel much brighter, with stainless appliances and a grey subway tile backsplash for a bit of contrast. The countertops are black-painted butcherblock, an unusual choice that is cheaper than stone and adds a little warmth and texture.

A clever addition to the new kitchen is the breakfast bar, which helps to establish the kitchen as a distinct space (an important consideration in a studio apartment) while also providing a spot to eat, and a great deal of extra workspace. The deep blue accent wall wraps the front of the kitchen and adds a bit of color.

You’re probably wondering what became of the washer/dryer. It’s still there, neatly tucked under the breakfast bar. So the new kitchen retains all the functionality of the old — while adding a lot more counter space, and a lot more style.

Giovanni found his contractor on Sweeten, an online resource that connects homeowners with local design and construction experts for home renovations. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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