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Before and After: They Finally Got Their Red Hook Country Kitchen

Before and After: They Finally Got Their Red Hook Country Kitchen farmhouse? In Brooklyn? Home renovation fantasizers, take note: When you learn to express your kitchen remodel daydreams, pretty much anything is possible.

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They loved the location. And they hated their kitchen.

Okay, maybe “hate” is a strong word, but the owners of this Red Hook property were swiftly tiring of the dark, Scandinavian-style home kitchen they’d been stuck with since moving day. At one point in decades past, the flat panel kitchen cabinets and light-absorbing backsplash had felt modern, even sophisticated. But as time wore on, says Gallery Kitchen & Bath CEO Aaron, the room aged poorly. And the textureless, once-chic flat panel cabinetry called to mind not just a general sense of the 80s (flat panel cabinets’ heydey), but also, he says, a store “that rhymes with Ikea.”

It was time for a major kitchen renovation.

The owners’ concerns were purely aesthetic. And for a room you’re in every day, multiple times a day, a room that’s meant to nourish you inside and out, aesthetic concerns are pretty darn important. Like, psychologically important. Lighting and color affect our mood in huge ways, even when we don’t realize it, and the Gallery was thrilled to help set a new tone.

The relationship started the way every Gallery client relationship starts: not with whirring buzz saws or crinkling tarp, but with a quiet, sit-down consultation. Gallery’s designers and kitchen contractors asked questions, then sat back and listened, scrawling notes and speaking up only to help the clients home in on their very own vision.

The owners opened the conversation with a declaration of love: they adored Red Hook. They never wanted to move. They felt lucky to live in their dream neighborhood, and now? Well, now it was time to cook in their dream kitchen. They weren’t professional designers themselves, but with the Gallery team’s help, they learned to articulate exactly what it was they wanted.

Over coffee with the Gallery team, the owners landed on the words they needed to express their feelings and goals. Instead of a simple, “It doesn’t match our personalities” they could actually put a name to their fantasy. They wanted a country kitchen, and they wanted it with transitional elements that would temper the warm farmhouse feel with contemporary stylishness.

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And with that, the Gallery team set to work. First, they tore out the flat panel cabinets and replaced them with beveled, shaker-style cabinetry. Because of their classic profile, shaker-style cabinets are “some of the most versatile cabinets on the market,” says Aaron, which is why they’re a must-see during tours of kitchen showrooms. Instead of long handles, these had small, country-style knobs.

Gallery didn’t just change the cabinets’ shape and handles. They also changed the color. Previously, all cabinets, top and bottom, were a deep shade of chocolate. Post-makeover, however, the top cabinets are white and the bottom row is light gray, a juxtaposition that contributes to the room’s transitional feel. (Kitchen makeovers: where sometimes the simplest changes have the biggest impact.)

They also added soffits, which bridged the gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Matching the cabinets themselves in white, the soffits reflect light from the recessed ceiling bulbs, encouraging it to spread across the room rather than become trapped up above the way it did before. Gallery installed downlighting on the cabinets’ underside, too, illuminating what was previously a cavernous expanse. Not only are these lights functional, helping to prevent slicing-and-dicing mishaps, but they also actually help the room look bigger.

When it was time for the finishing touches, Aaron and his fellow kitchen renovation designers replaced the drab faucet with a white porcelain farmhouse sink. Classic and clean, with just a touch of rustic nostalgia, the charming appliance helped anchor the kitchen’s new rural-meets-urban feel. They then matched the sink’s quaintness by changing out the kitchen tiles, replacing the old dark, taupe mosaic with a series of gleaming, classic field subway tiles arranged in a unique herringbone pattern.

Curious to see what your kitchen can do for you? Schedule a consultation of your own with the designers of Gallery Kitchen & Bath.

 

By Rebecca Loeser