Before & After: Gray Cabinets and Patterned Floors Give This Dated Kitchen a “Dark, Moody” Look

published Dec 9, 2023
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Kitchen with white cabinets
Credit: Brad Stein

Sometimes, a complete kitchen renovation in a new space isn’t an option — but postponing a remodel doesn’t mean living with a dysfunctional or unsightly kitchen. Jason Saft, who founded and owns the professional staging company Staged To Sell Home, knows this all too well concerning his modern Brooklyn apartment

When Saft purchased the home in 2022, he wasn’t ready to commit to a full-scale renovation. But the state of the kitchen, which he describes as “beyond busted,” wasn’t going to work for him and his daughter, Liora. 

Credit: Brad Stein

The fridge had interior holes and black mold, the faucet leaked water, the linoleum floors were peeling, and “the overhead light had a layer of dust and grease so thick it had to be removed with a scraper,” Saft recalls. He had one goal: to update the room while not doing too much before the full renovation next year. 

Credit: Erin Derby

Saft worked with a painter to give a facelift to the space — and even with minimal tweaks and effort, the transformation was astonishing. “The rest of the apartment is quite bright, so I wanted to do something to balance it out, so I made it a dark and moody kitchen, which is a good trick to hide the age and condition,” Saft shares.

To transform the space, the pair added RoomMates removable wallpaper, laid peel-and-stick floor tiles, and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s “Kendall Charcoal” and the cabinets in Benjamin Moore’s “Coventry Gray.” The update took only two days to complete and cost Saft around $1,400 (including the new fridge he bought!).

Not only is the kitchen now a functional room in the 475-square-foot studio apartment, but it’s also a space to display art, decor, and collectibles. “The kitchen is my proudest moment,” Saft said. “It’s clean, and I can cook in it! I’m really proud of doing light cosmetic work to make the space feel functioning and welcoming.”

While Saft’s reimagined kitchen is dramatic and moody, the rest of his home is light-filled and calming. Visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy to see more of his gorgeous space.