An All-White Kitchen Reno Strikes Calacatta Gold (Marble)

A Brooklyn couple who loves to cook creates a waterfall counter as a welcoming perch for friends and family


Project: Open up a tiny kitchen in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Before: Amy and Nick were looking for a new home and wanted a place that was either move-in ready or didn’t need a lot of work. Things changed when they came across a 2-bed, 1-bath condo in Prospect Heights that had a layout that made perfect sense but needed a complete overhaul, so they decided to buy it and put aside money to make the space their own. The kitchen was outdated and enclosed in a small, triangular-shaped nook in the main living area, while the fridge was awkwardly placed outside of it. Because of the narrow shape of the kitchen, there was limited counter space and no room for lower cabinets. Also, the tile floor in the kitchen didn’t match the wood floor that ran throughout the rest of the living area, a look that made the space feel disjointed.

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After: To kick things off, the couple posted their project on Sweeten and were matched with this Sweeten contractor. The gut renovation began with demolishing the walls that made up the triangular nook to make way for a new layout in the kitchen. All of the old molding throughout the apartment was removed and replaced with crisp new trim. The entire apartment was also skim coated—walls, ceilings, doors, and moldings—and given a fresh coat of paint. Moving the sink meant checking under the floorboards to see if the support beams would allow piping to run in the direction needed to relocate it. Most of the support beams ran in the opposite direction, but luckily they switched direction under the kitchen area, allowing Amy and Nick to install the new sink as planned.

The waterfall counter on the island was fabricated in Calacatta gold marble and continued along the rest of the kitchen prep areas. Amy explained, “We wanted the kitchen island to be a centerpiece of the room, and we were looking for a surface that was beautiful to fill the space. The Calacatta gold marble slab we chose was the first slab we saw at the stone yard, and we just loved the contrasting veins and its uniqueness. The inspiration for the waterfall was that we wanted to take full advantage of all the beautiful material we had. We also used the leftover marble for the bathroom—it’s in the vanity, the windowsill, and the threshold.” The marble also has a honed surface, rather than polished, which helps with wear and tear. To complement the marble waterfall counter and countertops, a large, white elongated hex tile was chosen for the backsplash. Storage was added in the form of pre-fab upper and lower cabinets with a glossy, acrylic finish to replace the original wood cabinetry, complete with a custom-made pantry.

All new Bosch appliances—dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, cooktop, vent hood, and microwave—provided a much-needed functional upgrade. Pendant lighting was added over the island and recessed lighting was installed throughout the kitchen and the rest of the living area to brighten up the space. And if you’re wondering how Amy and Nick feel about the results, just ask Amy. “We use the kitchen and joint living spaces for relaxing, cooking, and entertaining. The room has all the things that make us happy.”

Bonus: Amy found the backsplash tile on Pinterest and searched online for it everywhere until she came across the manufacturer, Pratt & Larson.

Style finds: Backsplash tile: Pratt & Larson. Dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, cooktop, vent hood, and microwave: Bosch. Pendant lights: West Elm.

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In Emily’s kitchen, moving the sink to the peninsula not only added some breathing space, it allowed her to extend the length of her cabinets without worrying about having enough clearance below them for washing up.

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