Call it a residential hazard, but I will never get tired of seeing the insides (specifically, the kitchens) of other homes in Brooklyn. There's something amazing about getting the chance to peek behind the scenes of the brownstones, lofts, and high rises that make up this borough.
You find lovely surprises — like this well-designed kitchen that has a lot to recommend it to our attention.
And this kitchen, while small by many standards, seems expansive by New York standards. Whichever side of the space perception you fall on, this kitchen puts every inch to good use.
1. Use open shelving sparingly.
We know open shelving is a topic that conjures some strong opinions here at The Kitchn. When done right, it can be fantastic, but it's also important to know when closed shelving is really the better option. This kitchen includes a smart mix of both options. The majority of the cabinets are closed, keeping items dust-free and hiding packaging that might not be the prettiest. But it also includes two sections of open shelving — one above the sink and the other above the breakfast bar. The homeowners have used those open shelves to store decorative objects and cookbooks, which makes the space feel more thoughtful and well-designed.
2. Create distinct stations in your kitchen.
Take a look at the bar above, and then look for it in the previous photo. You'll notice that it's hidden by a retractable screen that in some ways resembles a garage door or window shade. It's hard to tell exactly what material it's made of, but whatever it is, the effect of creating a special bar area that isn't normally on display is one of our favorite things about the space.
3. Go dark on the bottom, light on top.
We've seen this trend a lot with kitchens, but it bears repeating here. Contrasting cabinets can do a lot to open up your space. This kitchen, while well-lit, doesn't get a lot of natural light since it's in the center of the townhouse. The white upper cabinets help the kitchen feel light and airy, even without a lot of natural light, while the darker lower cabinets make the kitchen feel grounded.
4. Keep only the essentials at hand.
We know it's tempting to keep a lot on your counters if you have the space, but the more you can resist that urge the better. This kitchen does a good job of organizing the items they do need to keep out all the time. An edited selection of utensils is next to the stove, so they are in arm's reach, along with a tray filled with olive oil, vinegar, and honey. Don't get sucked into keeping all your oils and vinegars and condiments out, though. Make space only for the ones you use every time you cook.
5. Connect the kitchen to the rest of the home.
If your kitchen isn't a discrete space, make sure it feels connected to the rest of your home. How do you do this? By coordinating a few pieces or repeating patterns or colors. Notice how the armchair and the shade on the pendant lamp are the same color. They aren't in the same room, technically, but they are frequently in the same view, so they tie everything together nicely.