{House} Kitchen Inspiration

When I moved into my apartment over a year and a half ago, I knew I’d renovate the kitchen (and bathroom).  The new layout would be pretty straight forward, as I can’t change the location of the sink or range.  But the aesthetic took a little longer for me to develop.

I’ve always liked the look of white kitchens, as they’re timeless and versatile.  Since this is a starter apartment with (by some standards) a small kitchen, I decided to go with white high gloss cabinets to help bounce light around.

At some point, I stumbled upon an NYC coop kitchen renovation that also used Ikea’s high gloss white cabinets!

Photo by Pablo Enriquez

I liked the clean and modern look of her kitchen, though I’m not fond of some of the details. I then found other kitchens with glossy white cabinetry that I felt were more my style.

Photo by Croma Design Inc

Photo by Natasha Habermann Studio

Photo by JAX Builders Ltd.

Photo by Basic Builders, Inc.

Even though the craze for herringbone tile is mostly over, I’m drawn to this herringbone tile every time I walk into Lowe’s.  In person, it’s much more white and grey than the yellow-ish tone it has online.

For counter tops, I’m going with a light to medium grey quartz.  It’ll tie in nicely with the veining in the marble.

a quick “mood board” with the marble herringbone tile, grey quartz counters, and high gloss white cabinetry

Though I’ve had a tough time finding a place to get the counter tops!  Lowe’s and Ikea both have minimum requirements for square footage (25 square feet), and since I don’t meet that requirement (I’m estimating I’ll need about 17 square feet), I have to pay a penalty (to the tune of $250).  Home Depot just has a minimum charge ($1200) regardless of square footage needed, and the price per square foot for their grey-colored counter tops is about $1200 anyway.  I’m still planning on talking to a few stone yards to see if they’re able to help me out.

In the mean time, I’m still meeting with contractors and sub-contractors to satisfy the board’s requirement of me not doing it alone.  Right now, it looks like I won’t be starting on demo and construction until September.


{House} It’s a Learning Process

I was young, eager, and green at the beginning of the year when I declared this the year of the kitchen.  Even though I had grand plans to do most of the paperwork before my exam, I didn’t get in regular contact with the property manager until June.  Since then, we’ve talked every week, and she’s been my go-between with the co-op board.  While I believe I have the skills, know-how, and can-do spirit to renovate the kitchen myself, the board is not so optimistic.  Now I’m on the hunt for a general contractor to supervise the job.  I’m hoping to find a GC that will allow me to work alongside them.  Then, fingers crossed we’ll be able to start the project sooner rather than later!

As part of the process (both for me and the board), I created a major to do list for the kitchen!  I even published it under “The List” for safe keeping.  I marked it with items I expect to purchase, as well as approximate costs.  I’m budgeting $15-20k for the whole remodel, but it will probably be on the higher end, given that I need to hire a GC now.

In the mean time, I’ve ordered my cabinets!  After some research, I’ve decided to use Ikea’s high-gloss white cabinets, as they’re DIY friendly, and cost effective.  Ikea’s summer kitchen sale ended this past weekend, and after confirmation from the property manager that the cabinets were fine, I plopped down a few grand on half the cabinet order.

I’ll be back soon with more details on the kitchen!

{House} Rotten Tomato

I was relaxing in bed on Saturday morning, when I heard a crash outside my window. I looked over and didn’t see anything amiss, so I chalked it up to someone outside making noise. A few hours later I got up to get more water, and glanced out the kitchen window.

“Wow, I can’t even see the screen,” I remarked to myself. A second later I did a double take and realized the screen was missing! I closed the window since it’s November, and I don’t need the window open anyway.

I walked out the basement in search of the screen, and found it on the ground a few stories below the kitchen window. I picked it up and it was bent.

The super was outside as well, and he suggested putting some screws to prevent it from falling out. Of course, he meant a new one, because this one is broken. I guess add a new screen to the list for next year!

{House} Silver Screen

Like most NYC apartments, mine does not have central air conditioning. However, unlike many New Yorkers, I don’t “need” AC, so I’ve yet to use a window unit. But there was already a window unit in my kitchen when I moved in.

I was content to leave it and figured it would be removed when I redo the kitchen. But then a friend was looking for another unit for his apartment, so I volunteered mine.

There were a few metal bars and screws to take off before the unit would come free from the window.

And that’s how the window sat for a few weeks. But the more windows that are open, the more air circulation in the apartment. I wanted to get one of the original screens, but I couldn’t find the company or it was too expensive to have one custom made. Instead, I got one of these expandable screens for $20 just as the store was closing.

It took a few minutes to position it properly in the window, but it fits perfectly!

Now I get extra air and no bugs. A win-win in my book!