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East Village Kitchen Update

Posted by Susan H. in Gramercy
Brief description

Our Ikea galley kitchen has seen better days. We replaced the counters and cabinets in 2001 but didn't make any structural changes. Now we want to open things up a bit and, budget permitting, remove some bad 80's soffits that were put in by the previous owners. We are in a prewar combined coop that had already had the kitchen somewhat opened to the rest of the apt. before we bought it.

We have always done renovations DIY (other than the basics of the breakthrough to combine the units), so this will be our first start-to-finish project that we hire out. Hopefully we can afford design/build!

Project details
  • Space

    Kitchen

  • Services

    Design and Build

  • Style

    Haven't decided yet

Before Conditions

A little worn


Top cabinets in better shape than bottom, which are very worn and scratched. Countertops are shot. Formica laminate flooring is decent after 20+ years but recently we had a flood that caused some bubbling.

Scope of work

1. Remove narrow wall between kitchen and dining area, next to the window with the bar counter, referred to by the previous owners as the "service column" because it has a phone jack, outlet, and light switch on it.

2. Replace cabinets, countertops, sink, dishwasher, and range. Refrigerator is new.

3. Replace flooring in kitchen.


Santi is super responsive, totally responsible, and an all around good guy. His crew was always on time - in fact they were often early! - and the whole team was warm and friendly to all of us, dogs included.


We didn’t have many, but when something came up - like a pipe blocking a slide out cabinet under the kitchen sink, or a beam right at the top of the cabinets on one side - the crew modified the boxes so everything fit. Santi clearly enjoyed figuring out how to make stuff fit, and how to maximize our design.


Santi was super helpful with decisions on what was splurge-worthy (a quality range) and what wasn’t (non-Ikea cabinet fronts) for our needs. He also rolled with a couple of mid-job design changes that we were almost afraid to suggest. Despite our relatively tight budget, Santi was exacting: there were a couple of minor issues, e.g. one spot on some new floorboards didn’t line up, and he insisted on a redo rather than letting it go. The plastering is perfect; you’d never know we started out with four different ceiling heights.