An L-Shaped Kitchen Checks Every Wish-List Box

Once kept to a single wall, a true working kitchen comes to life with an L-shaped layout and island

“After” photos by Kyle Knodell

  • Homeowners: Sweeten homeowners posted their kitchen remodel in a landmark building
  • Where: Brooklyn, New York
  • Primary renovation: Enlarging a small kitchen into an L-shaped kitchen with an island
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and secure deposits—for free.

    Written in partnership with Sweeten homeowners

    Flexibility within the renovation

    Due to the building’s landmark status and paper-thin walls, condo approvals were a lengthy process. Once they were complete, the renovation itself took two months. Their contractor encouraged them to keep cooking as a focus, meaning no TV in the kitchen and leaving the “binge-fests for the den.”

    two images of a room that is demolished during renovation
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    Finding something modern

    The couple eagerly agreed on a modern look mixing closed cabinets and open shelves while pairing white and gray shaker-style cabinets with custom black walnut slabs. In the L-shaped kitchen, one of the black walnut slabs acts as a desktop in a built-in—a workspace ideal for her husband, who is usually up before dawn checking email.

    l-shaped kitchen layout with island

    You could agonize over the exact CMYK breakdown in your grout, or you could choose one that’s a reasonable shade of gray, order it online, and get on with it.

    kitchen renovation, Brooklyn

    What to splurge and save on

    A white subway tile backsplash with dark gray grout and white quartz counters serve as a simple backdrop. The couple also used brass hardware to add a modern touch. They also planned to splurge on quality countertops, which are known for their durability. To afford this, the couple decided to pass on a highly-desired farmhouse sink for a more affordable stainless steel sink. Durability was a priority for the couple. “This kitchen was built to be used,” said the homeowner. With its greatly increased prep space and extended bar seating, we couldn’t agree more!

    l-shaped kitchen layout with wood topped island

    Hosting in their renovated kitchen

    After hosting their first dinner party in the space, she received a thank-you from a friend who said, “I could spend all my days in that kitchen.” The hostess’ response: “And that’s exactly our plan.”

    Renovation Materials

    KITCHEN RESOURCES: Cabinets: Fabuwood. Brass cabinet hardware: Semihandmade. Subway tile: Home Depot. Statuario Maximus countertop: Caesarstone. Custom black walnut slabs (open shelves, island countertop, desktop): 3 Dot Design. Light pendants: AllModern.com. LG refrigerator: Appliances Connection. Bosch dishwasher: Appliances Connection. GE Profile microwave and range: Appliances Connection. Faucet: Delta. Chair (at desk) and Slope counter stools: West Elm.

    Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

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