Reimagining the Open Concept Kitchen
A galley kitchen becomes a part of the living space
Before: After a few years of renting in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Natalia and Daniel were ready to buy a place of their own. They found a two-bedroom co-op with a great location (across the street from Fort Greene Park!), knowing a renovation would be necessary to make the 1950s space feel like home. The to-be remodelers (who were also expecting their first child!) wanted to take advantage of the large windows and natural light, and better connect the dark and tight galley kitchen to the rest of the living space. The TV producer and creative director posted their project to Sweeten and were matched with a general contractor.
After: The Sweeten contractor got to work to modernize and lighten the space. Important, though not visible changes, like updating the electrical wiring, became a high priority. “It’s actually a huge peace-of-mind knowing that the air-conditioning won’t short-circuit the dishwasher,” Daniel shared. From there, they skim-coated the walls and ceilings across the apartment to smooth out years of bad paint jobs and patchwork. The floors were also spruced up, sanded down, and refinished to look brand new.
The renovators decided to extend the counter space into the dining area as a serving surface. It also helps join the rooms. Since the galley-style cooking space was tight, the couple chose a slim refrigerator and narrow base cabinets on one side to improve flow.
The overall timeline was one of the most critical parts of the project. Not only was the couple paying rent and a mortgage simultaneously, but they also had a baby on the way! Their contractor and his team worked hard to meet their chosen deadline and helped the first-time renovators navigate the process from start to finish. “He also was able to fill in the gaps on the small things you don’t think about as a first-time renovator, like the right ways to get the wood and tile floors to meet in the kitchen. He often provided those materials himself, or ordered them for us,” Daniel shared.
They were relieved to have Sweeten by their side, too. “Sweeten was helpful when we had questions about billing standards and really put us at ease. But honestly, the biggest help is just at the beginning—finding a reliable contractor with good reviews. It sounds simple, but it isn’t,” Daniel said.
Now they’re enjoying their renovated home with their little one in tow.
Bonus: Daniel and Natalia’s renovation advice: “It’s easier than you think! Just do as much planning as you can, be firm in your choices, and stick to them when you can, and just take it step by step. Oh, and find a good contractor to collaborate with!”
Style finds: Tile floor and backsplash: Tile Depot. Voxtorp cabinets. oak countertops: Ikea. Custom Corian countertop and Ellington LED lighting: Home Depot. Floating shelves: Custom Floating Shelves.
An experienced renovator worked with a Sweeten general contractor to open up her galley kitchen.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.