A 400-square-foot 2-story cottage hidden behind a Greenwich Village rowhouse starts out with a pullman kitchen and a bland white palette and ends up with a open-plan chef’s kitchen and a vibrant and colorful interior design.
This is my current home, and it’s a rental. I designed and built the kitchen myself, putting most of it together in less than a week with the approval of (and some financial contribution from) the owners. It features IKEA cabinetry, high-end appliances (including a powerful induction cooktop), and a custom-designed shelving plan that pairs butcherblock wood with iron gas pipes for an traditional-meets-industrial look.
LIVING ROOM, AFTER: A full view of the kitchen and living room shows just how tight the space truly is. But a new peninsula separates the cooking area from the living, while open shelves keep the space from being too divided. A bright pop of color above the fireplace draws the eye and anchors the room, defining the best feature of the space.
LIVING ROOM, BEFORE
KITCHEN, AFTER: The new galley kitchen boasts an induction cooktop, a 30-inch convection oven, a dishwasher, a full-size fridge, and enough storage to fit a full chef’s collection of cookware and serving dishes. I designed these open shelves to be built from iron gas pipes and IKEA butcher block counters sliced to half their depth (12.5″). Lining up the holes to run through several shelves was a lesson in precision but the payoff was a unique and dramatic design.
KITCHEN, BEFORE: The original Pullman kitchen featured a half fridge under stainless steel counters, a tiny sink, two small electric burners, and a microwave in the closet.
BEDROOM, AFTER: The periwinkle wall color is a calming tone suitable for a bedroom, but dark-wood furniture grounds the design while colorful paintings and pillows add spark to the sun-lit upstairs room.
BEDROOM, BEFORE: The previous tenant’s bedroom was crammed with furniture, including a closet unit on the left, which left her no room for anything larger than a full-sized bed.