One thing I knew my new home had to have was lots of kitchen counter space. I love to cook. I love baking for people. And I make a seriously delicious cheesecake. So abundant counter space was a must. Also a window. You would be surprised how hard it is to find an apartment with windows in both the bathroom and kitchen. Very rare in downtown Manhattan. When I saw what would become my new kitchen, I knew it was a gem:
Okay, this before picture doesn’t look like the shiniest gem. But I knew it would sparkle after renovations. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the gold and navy wall tiles. And the refrigerator and stove. They were both new, but I wanted stainless steel appliances that would be even with the counter. The original stove and refrigerator stuck out too much.
Once they were removed, my team of contractors used the empty spaces to store materials and stick their clothes overnight. This is something I didn’t know about contractors. They totally get changed in the kitchen! Their work clothes stay at the apartment. Kind of like a Mr. Rogers sweater/sneaker thing. During those weeks we were living together, I walked in on more than one guy stripping down in front of the sink. It’s all about the bonding. Here you can see my tile guy’s work shirt and shoes after he left for the day:
The original dark blue floor tiles had to go. Like the bathroom, I wanted the kitchen to be shiny white with pops of color (mainly red, which has been my kitchen accent color of choice for years). My architect wanted to extend the new hardwood floors into the kitchen to create a streamlined effect. I’m so thankful he pointed me in that direction because the results look really beautiful. The cabinets were relatively new, so I kept them and had them painted glossy white. Which required the doors to be removed by my painter. I left my dishes and things wrapped in newspaper so they wouldn’t get dusty from the other work being done. The kitchen looked like this for about two weeks:
The glossy white tiles were in. The new sink faucet was in. The new outlets were almost in. I kept the dishwasher and Corian countertops since they were in excellent shape. And already white!
Here’s the kitchen after picture to the left (featuring my retro snow cone machine)…
…and the kitchen after picture to the right:
Finding that matching Fisher & Paykel stove/refrigerator set was not easy. I was without a stove for a long time during that whole drama. You can read about the stove drama here if you missed my rant last summer.
All this counter space is making me giddy. I had the best time baking Christmas cookies. My building has a staff of 12 (concierge, doormen, super, assistant super, porters) and they all got cookies. Plus I baked some for my friends. Six hours and 200 cookies later, my place smelled like sugar and almonds. It was bliss. I hope you’re having a sweet holiday time, too!