A Tiny Kitchen Gets a Big Makeover – Sweeten on the Upper East Side!

We have a new contender in the tiny urban kitchen competition! A half galley in Brooklyn Heights has held the honor up to this point, but a 25-square-foot Upper East Side kitchen looks like it might edge out all competitors. With an eye on re-sale value, the owner of this Manhattan studio came to Sweeten to make the most of a small space with new finishes and a delightfully scrappy use of modern materials.

kitchen renovation

“My contractor made my kitchen renovation a painless experience. He has an excellent eye for design and materials and is willing to work with your budget. His brother and the rest of the renovation team are incredibly hard-working and left the work site immaculate at the end of every day.”

Renovate to live, Sweeten to thrive!

Sweeten brings homeowners an exceptional renovation experience by personally matching trusted general contractors to your project, while offering expert guidance and support—at no cost to you.

Start your renovation

– Upper East Side homeowner

After settling into her studio apartment in the Yorkville section of New York’s posh Upper East Side, this new homeowner saw opportunity in what felt like a “disaster”. The kitchen floor and subfloor were cracked, appliances were dated, the small sink and stove had no backsplash protection, and the nook was starting to look as if it hadn’t been cleaned in years. The tiny L-shaped kitchen soon became the main focal point for a makeover. Set on keeping the project within a specific budget, the studio’s owner posted her project to Sweeten and we matched her with a Sweeten general contractor, a contractor with two decades of experience helping homeowners achieve quality renovations at every budget.


The project post called for some specifics and laid out a few materials to avoid: yes to new white cabinets, Caesarstone counters, and subway tile, and no to floor grout that would attract grime. Her contractor got to work right away, removing all of the existing kitchen finishes to make way for more modern selects–without having to change the footprint. Charcoal-hued porcelain floor tiles replaced every bit of the dingy, broken originals, setting the tone for chic black and white all around. The original cabinets were torn out to make way for more modern Shaker-style white cabinets, maximizing additional storage space and finished with brushed silver metal pulls. The laminate countertops were swapped for a more luxe black Caesarstone with a stainless undermount sink and coordinating faucet that mimics the modernity of the cabinet hardware. The Sweeten contractor installed a gleaming subway tile backsplash in black glass, and crisp white paint brightens up the new space.

porcelain floor tilesblack glass backsplashstainless undercount sinkblack caesarstone

The studio’s owner went for stainless appliances in lieu of the older white originals, and she particularly wanted a vented hood for the oven range. The contractor saw to it that these accessories were incorporated in the design. A sleek new fridge took the place of the former, plus a gas range, coordinating hood, and a compact microwave right above it—a much better location than before when the microwave was oddly stuck between the fridge and sink. With contrasting black and white throughout the new space, and alternating matte and glossy surfaces, the new lighting pendant casts a gorgeous glow.

subway tilewhite cabinets

Kitchen selects >> floors: Urbatek / counter: Caesarstone / sink: Dowell / backsplash tile: Daltile / stove and hood: Summit / fridge: Blomberg / pendant: West Elm

Sweeten handpicks the best general 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, start your renovation on Sweeten.

You may also like

Renovate with Sweeten!


We’ll match you with vetted general contractors and offer support until your project is done — at no cost to you!

Start your renovation

Customer review 5.0


“Working with Sweeten was amazing, they matched me with amazing contractors and the work was done quickly. It was the easiest way to find quality contractors!”

— Tara G. from Brooklyn, NY

Read more reviews —>
Start your renovation

Subscribe to our
renovation newsletter