Kara had waited a long time to renovate the main space of her apartment (we’d previously tackled the bedroom and bath) and it was the biggest challenge. An awkward 1970s renovation had resulted in what most 1970s renovations did: a dark brown kitchen, exposed brick, and lowered ceilings intended to save on heating costs during the oil crisis. The brick, we could work with – everything else had to go. We went for an eclectic look and a budget renovation, made all the more important by surprise infrastructure repairs that came up just as this project started.
Above and below: The biggest change was to move the kitchen out into the main space, using Ikea cabinets and butcher block counters to create a large center island backed with shelving. The sink counter was made from a stone yard scrap, a cost savings that balanced the expanse of slate used to clad the fireplace and hearth.
Below: Adding a transom to the atrium opening helped balance it out with the shorter doorway to the bedroom. The black David Trubridge light fixture was flat-shipped from New Zealand and assembled by the whole family. The grey sleeper sofa and black rattan chair pick up the palette. A long towel bar mounted to the end of the island is perfect for drying herbs.
Below: A new dining set is lit by a large wall-mounted drum shade. The vintage armoire was found in a thrift shop and painted black.
Below: A set of mismatched doorways on the south wall was reworked with a unifying wood frame and tomato red sconces. The fridge tucks into a recess where the old entry closet had been, and the old kitchen is now a laundry room. Boldly patterned wallpaper is a bright accent both in the laundry and at the back of the glass kitchen cabinets.
Below: Embroidered drapes hang from a ceiling track in the atrium; a rustic bench and hooks replace the coat closet at the entry.