Before & After: A Functional Update for a Cramped Kitchen

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This Park Avenue apartment, while blessed with features that a lot of New Yorkers would kill for, like a gorgeous roof terrace, also had a problem common to a lot of older homes: a cramped, oddly shaped kitchen that was a bit of an afterthought in the original floor plan. The space was small and awkwardly broken up, with the kitchen a long walk away from any dining area.

So the homeowners, who love cooking and entertaining, enlisted architect David Katz to create a brighter, more functional space — all within the constraints of the existing floor plan.

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Katz had a few smart solutions for enlarging the space and making it a place where his client would love to cook and entertain. He opened up what used to be a utility room and made that into the kitchen. (The washer and dryer were moved to another location in the apartment.) The space that was previously the kitchen is now a breakfast nook, where guests can hang out and chat with the cook.


The Floorplans, before and after

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The area that the new kitchen is quite small — only six feet wide — but a few key details make it work. The space isn’t wide enough for a traditional u-shaped kitchen, but Katz squeezed in a little extra storage by adding a row of shallow cabinets along the kitchen’s right wall. This provides a few extra places to stash things, while still leaving room to move around. The mirrored backsplash creates the illusion of a larger space, and the new bay window extends the kitchen into the outdoors.

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The breakfast room also has two bay windows, which bring in light and open up the space to the aformentioned roof terrace. The hallway from the breakfast room leads to a butler’s pantry, which connects the kitchen to the dining room.

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Designer Mario Buatta added the trellis-print wallpaper and the botanical-printed bench seating, which emphasize the connection with the outdoors. The end result is a great example of working within the limitations of a space — while also playing up its best features.

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Seriously, a roof terrace in New York. We can all dream.

(Image credits: Katz Architecture)

Updated: 28.10.2014 — 14:41