Kitchen Renovation: Greenwich Village

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I am thrilled to share some photos from a recent kitchen renovation I completed downtown just prior to the holidays. We actually cleared the paint cans, hauled away the brown paper and blue tape, and vacuumed up the dust just in time for my client's annual Christmas party in early December. My client loves to entertain, so having a new kitchen ready for her biggest gathering of the year was key.

My client lives in an amazing cast iron building in Greenwich Village that once served as a dry goods store and was restored and converted into a coop building in the early 70s. Her apartment is set up like a loft with her bedroom and closet space nestled over her entryway, kitchen, and bathroom. The over-sized entry way opens up to an impressive living space with double ceiling heights that provide absolutely gorgeous light.

Like in most New York City apartments, this apartment was converted during a time when kitchen space did not have the importance that it does now, so the kitchen is functional but small and closed off by a load bearing wall supporting the loft space above.

Our first priority was to do exactly what they said we couldn't do and take down the load bearing wall to a half wall and add a butcher block breakfast bar to really open up the space. Of course, nothing is ever easy in New York! That structural wall also served as the chase for electrical and call box wiring to all apartments above and below my client's, so we had to safely re-route those wires, junctions, and connections under the floor, up the wall, and through the ceiling to accomplish this. We also had to add blocking to safely reinforce the sleeping loft.

Beyond all of that, we wanted to re-tile the floors and back splash, salvage the existing cabinets with paint, swap out all the hardware, replace the lighting fixture and stove. We kept the existing refrigerator and the absolute black honed granite counter tops that were still in great shape.

It is difficult to appreciate the 'after' photos without looking at the 'before' photos and really seeing what a transformation these changes made. Also, it is not the easiest thing to live in your apartment without the use of your kitchen for the several weeks it takes to complete work like this. While not the simplest of facelifts, all of this work in such a small space was worth it to really open up the kitchen and provide functional and attractive adjustments that now allow the kitchen to serve as an extension of the living space.

Emily C. Butler

Emily C. Butler, 1153 3rd Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA

Emily C. Butler is a New York City based interior designer + decorator.