A Tired Kitchen Gets a Jumpstart


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Project: Kitchen expansion in a studio apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Before: Giovanni, a Brooklyn-based doctor was looking to trade in his modern high-rise lifestyle for something with more history. This new studio, in a historic townhouse, offered original wood floors and the promise of exposing structural bricks beneath the plaster. The very basic and uninspired kitchen, however, was a distinct liability. Shoved into a shallow alcove, it had entry-level appliances and only a few inexpensive cabinets.

After: Giovanni’s co-op approved his renovation proposal to combine a small closet and the alcove into an open plan for both cooking and laundry, so he turned to Sweeten for his project. His Sweeten contractor helped shape the vision, and was “very good at telling me what was feasible.” Giovanni says. Breaking the plaster surface off structural brick walls proved an inexpensive way to add texture to the plain-vanilla apartment. Enlarging the kitchen footprint slightly, he added an eat-in peninsula to hide the washer-dryer while keeping pipes in roughly the same position. The backsplash is clad with matte gray subway tiles. To keep costs down, black-painted butcher block countertops offer a warmer temperature than stone. Overhead, a dropped ceiling provided space for new electrical wiring, for the high-tech pendants over the breakfast bar and for recessed lighting.

Bonus: Glossy white cabinets look lush, and using stainless trim above lifts the dropped ceiling by helping it appear to float.

Style finds: GE appliances, LG compact combo washer-dryer, Kichler pendant lighting from Build.com, matte-grey subway tiles for the backsplash.


New cabinets and an eat-in peninsula give this kitchen a much-needed upgrade in functionality. Be sure to check out our kitchen renovation estimator when you are ready to begin planning.

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.

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Customer review 5.0


“Sweeten made choosing a trusted contractor feel easy and less daunting. I also appreciated the support when I had questions or concerns.”

— Julia M. from Somerset, NJ

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