Best Kitchen Under $75,000
At 63 square feet, the footprint of the kitchen in this Brooklyn, NY brownstone was the main challenge for designer Kimberly Neuhaus of Neuhaus Design Architecture, PC. The clients desired a kitchen with a design and finishes more in keeping with their taste, and a large range to keep up with cooking and entertaining.
Neuhaus needed to maximize storage within the tiny kitchen, as well as increase the sense of light and openness to make the space appear larger. As part of a larger renovation of the brownstone, the designer also wanted to improve the connection and integration between the kitchen and the adjacent room.
Large vertical cabinetry and a soffit that previously closed off a portion of the kitchen from the adjacent dining area were removed, allowing for both a visual and physical connection. The cooktop was also removed from the peninsula so that the barrier of a hot stove no longer stopped guests who wanted to visit across the counter with the person cooking. Instead, a Wolf range and hood were installed along the back wall, providing proper kitchen ventilation via a concealed duct running to the rear wall of the row house.
The back wall also featured a Wolf drawer microwave to the right of the range, and paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator to the left. European-style, full-overlay custom cabinets in a soft blue provide a clean and colorful element, finished with Bass knobs, cup pulls and spindle appliance pulls from Emtek. The Ceramic Davenport White Gloss tile from Ann Sacks adds a classic touch, while keeping the space bright.
Across from the range, the new island now incorporates the prep area, complete with Blanco Cerana Apron Front Sink and Fairfield Satin Brass faucet from Newport Brass. The Miele dishwasher and double pull-out garbage bin from Rev-A-Shelf simplify clean-up.
Countertops throughout the kitchen are Olympian White Danby Fleuri Honed. The flooring – Balsatina Honed from Stone Source – also projects a non-shiny finish, keeping the space from looking too modern.
California Dream Kitchen
Not only did this once dark, cramped kitchen need to be brightened up to go with its California location, it needed to meet the needs of various members of the family. The client is only 5′ tall, so accommodations were made to help her reach storage areas and work at the countertop. The client’s daughter, meanwhile, needed sufficient counter space and top-of-the-line appliances for her small baking business.
Sarah Robertson not only had space constraints in the 148-sq.-ft. kitchen, she had a tight budget and the challenge of working remotely from the opposite coast. In fact, while design sessions were held weekly via Skype and FaceTime, the designer only visited the site upon completion of the project.
Custom cabinets from Studio Dearborn by Schrock’s of Walnut Creek feature Shaker inset doors in white along the perimeter, with a custom island in turquoise for a distinctive California vibe. The perimeter backsplash, an arabesque mini tile from Pratt and Larson, features a coordinating shade of turquoise. A clean white Carrara stone countertop from Pental Quartz adds brightness, as does the brushed nickel hardware from Top Knobs. The custom island features a solid wood countertop, providing ample workspace.
Along the perimeter, cabinet storage abounds – including a custom compost bin, spice drawer, Docking Drawer charging station and Kesseböhmer LeMans corner pull-out. In the toe kicks, pull-out steps were provided to allow the homeowner to gain 4″ of height to reach into wall cabinets and use the island more comfortably.
The back wall includes an integrated refrigerator/freezer, induction cooktop, chimney-style hood and 30″ oven, all from JennAir. Around the turn, a 30″ Kraus sink and Brizo pull-down spray faucet sit below the relocated window, along with a panel-ready JennAir dishwasher.
Though the client first approached designer Krista Agapito of S&W Kitchens about a master bath remodel, that project quickly changed to a kitchen renovation when a tree came crashing through the house. In keeping with the client’s request, the designer got to work creating a kitchen that would be light and bright and offer lots of storage, yet work with the Mediterranean style of the home and its Saltillo floor tile and wood accents.
Agapito notes that the original kitchen ceiling was high and vaulted, with lots of angles. A decision was made to straighten out the walls and flatten the over-angled ceiling to simplify the space and provide a cleaner design with intentional lines. The designer removed high transom windows and oversized archways, as well as a large drywall pantry to make room for a bar area with a full-height Sub-Zero wine column with wood panel, white and glass-front cabinetry and hand-painted Italian tile that tie into the Mediterranean style of the home.
Around the room, Omega Cabinetry stacked cabinets in white with the Blair door style reach to the ceiling and showcase closed mullion doors. Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer columns are completely integrated, with oversized wood panels to align seamlessly with the tall adjacent cabinetry. An extra-deep appliance garage in the corner can house many counter appliances. Wolf double ovens are located here as well, while around the turn, a Wolf cooktop is paired with a custom range hood. White subway tile and a Silestone Calacatta quartz countertop from Cosentino help brighten the space.
The large island that provides an ample seating area and prep space also features the Blair door style, this time in Meteor, a complementary gray finish. A desk area in this gray shade was also incorporated into the space, and can be tucked away behind large barn doors when not in use.