Before & After: Vanessa's Mini Chef's Kitchen

Before & After: Vanessa's Mini Chef's Kitchen

The Kitchn
Jul 22, 2014

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New York, NY
United States
About my kitchen reveal:
My husband and I purchased this totally original unit in a 1955 New York City co-op apartment. Everything was covered in layers of hoarded belongings, water damage, rodent poop, and a few bonus (live) roaches. It all had to be replaced, starting with the kitchen! The enclosed 7x7' space may have been enough for some New Yorkers, but I always dreamed of a (mini) chef's kitchen. So we petitioned the building to let us knock down a wall and extended the kitchen into the dining area. This gave us a very precious additional 21 square feet and allowed us to convert the coat closet (visible on the left side of the first "before" photo) into my very first pantry! Another first for me was tiling a backsplash... this arabesque shape definitely wasn't the easiest choice. But in the end, I absolutely love the way it turned out... tears and all.

Click through to see more After photos!

My best tip for a successful kitchen makeover::
Get creative and keep an open mind! The space above the microwave was a huge challenge. We had to squeeze it in between the building's air duct and an oddly placed ceiling soffit; and although IKEA cabinets fit perfectly for the rest of the kitchen, there was nothing short enough to fit that space. I was walking around the renovation debris one day when I noticed that one of the stray cabinet doors looked exactly like the size I needed! I bought an extra upper cabinet and cut it in half, then mounted it sideways and attached a single door so that it flips up toward the ceiling. It looks perfectly built-in!
My favorite meal to cook in my kitchen::
I love using the built-in griddle on the range to warm up homemade tortillas for my fresh fish tacos!
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