South End Brownstone Renovation
The time had finally come to kill my Husband's Bachelor Pad and renovate it for family life! After moving in with my husband to his Brownstone, it was time to put my history in Interior Design to work.
Most importantly was making the kitchen not only a more functional space, but one that we would actually enjoy cooking in. This meant removing the walls that defined this galley kitchen that made it like cooking in a walk-in closet. These 2 walls were non load bearing, thank God, making for an easy demolition. The first time I saw this open space it took my breath away. Finally, an open flow to the Dining and Living areas. I only wish I could find the construction photos.
Isn't is crazy how removing 2 simple walls can transform a space from dark and dingy to, light, airy and a joy to be in?! Next time you walk around your house, imagine how a simple re-arrangement could transform your space!
As you can see in this Before and After photo, it really made this condo come Alive. The light from the outside now flowed into the Entry and Dining areas, breathing life in to a once dark and unwelcoming enclosed space.
We gutted the entire space including the bath, kitchen, floors, and light fixtures. In this project, it was all about getting the most for my money in the large surface areas and splurging on smaller items to give the space an overall High-End feel.
I chose IKEA for the Kitchen and Bath cabinets and splurged on the appliances and lighting. I wanted to give the entire condo a light, airy feel so chose an overall White palette.
For the flooring, I went with a hand scraped Walnut from Home Depot. It looks like an expensive wood floor and the texture really adds visual interest tying the new open plan layout together. Pro tip: darker woods always have an inherently more classic and smart feel to them. Sourcing cheaper alternatives for a rich dark wooden floor can make any space look expensive, even on a budget!
In the Kitchen I chose white counters with open glass cabinets above the marble mosaic backsplash. The counters are quartz, which I have to say is a very nice soft surface for plates and cleans up very easily, and looks just as nice without the continued pressure of not chipping an expensive marble worktop. I extend the slab over the lower cabinets to create a breakfast bar area which we actually use more than the table. I widened the workspace width to 4.5 feet which made a huge difference when both of us are cooking. I also splurged on an under counter microwave to continue the spacious, minimal feel for the place.
The most important appliance was the stove vent hood and cooktop. I went with a minimal white induction cooktop and a rectilinear self venting hood as required to compliment the rectangles in the cabinets. Choosing appliances that compliment the aesthetic of your space will give an overall more designed look to any room, and actually work with the design rather than alongside it.
Let me tell you one of my secrets, shop at the warehouse outlets to find the best tiles, but cheap! Good ceramic tiles are very expensive, but you can find ones from jobs that were returned or discontinued for a fraction of the price! I chose our Kitchen mosaic backsplash and slate Bath flooring this way.
For the Bath, I chose a small railroad pattern glass tile from Home Depot and kept it consistent throughout as it is a very small bathroom. I ran it behind the sink and toilet as well. For the fixtures and furniture, I chose the Hemnes range from IKEA. It's a great minimalist looking selection for the bathroom that's not only super functional, but also has a High-End feel to it. The mirrors double as huge medicine cabinets and make the space feel double the size. The flooring was small lot of slate that was previously returned that I scored at the tile warehouse. We switched the swing of the door to out from in to make the room feel larger, which is a great trick and easy fix to give any room the illusion of a bigger space.