Small Space Kitchen Contemporary Makeover Reveal

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When I sat down to write this post about the renovation of the kitchen at the apartment, I typed "it really wasn't that bad"...and then I thought, Really!? Not that bad!?!?!?  Let's recall the fact that during a winter several years ago when the apartment was vacant,  a window was left open and one of the pipes froze and burst.  Remember that when the plumbing repair was done, they drywalled and put joint compound over the wallpaper?! Oh YEAH...that......sigh.

If you saw the apartment bathroom renovation reveal, by now you know that there's a recurring theme of repairs done poorly or not at all and, in case you wondered...the kitchen was more of the same.

After I removed the chair rail, my son spent the better part of an afternoon removing as much of the wallpaper as he could without doing further damage to the wall. With the wallpaper removed, I patched and sanded...and patched some more... until the walls were tolerable...far from perfect... but better.

When I removed the layers of DUCT TAPE and pink foam insulation  from around the air conditioner in preparation for replacing the A/C unit, I found mold...yeah...mold...due to trapped moisture which had formed because water was getting in from the outside and being trapped by the duct tape.

To repair it, I cut out a section of the wall on the interior and the exterior, reframed the opening for the A/C unit in pressure treated lumber,  then re-insulated, repaired the wall on both the exterior (with caulk to seal the edges) and interior. On the inside, I put up molding to cover the edges. I haven't found a good way to camouflage the A/C unit without impairing the airflow so for now, this is as good as it gets.

The kitchen cabinets and hardware are original to the unit.  We unbolted them from the wall, I removed the scroll-y  piece that used to be above the sink from the smallest cabinet then, sanded and painted all of the cabinets and re-installed them. I was able to  add one 36 inch cabinet by moving all of the cabinets up to the ceiling and to the left corner in a new configuration.

The counter top and sink are also original  but we replaced the faucet, drain, trap...and, of course, the shut off valves because they were leaking...just like those in the bathroom.

Because we moved the cabinets, we had to extend the ceramic tile up to the new cabinet height and, while I was at it (and since the tile was literally THIRTEEN CENTS per tile), I also tiled to the edge of the range which with my careful planning as luck would have it, actually lined up with the upper cabinet. (Don't tell anyone that I didn't plan it this way.) I also sawed out the old blue grout and replaced it with Graphite Gray.

We removed 2 layers of flooring and installed new wood grain laminate. Not an easy job but SO worth it! I painted the steel fire door and added a chalkboard which I framed with some oak trim that was stained to match the rest of the wood in the apartment which isn't painted.

We installed Ikea shelving and purchased a movable kitchen unit to extend the work surface into the "eating area"  as well as a butcher's block  island which gives him a place to sit and another worksurface. As of now, my son now has a fully functional kitchen with enough storage and work surface to be able to prepare meals.  Heck, now that I finally got the oven clean, I may go over his place to do some baking...he's actually got a nicer oven than I do!


Trim and Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore
Wall color:Sherwin Williams White Matte
Laminate Flooring: Pergo
Island, Movable Kitchen cabinet, shelving and utensil holders: Ikea
Towels: Target
Striped Placemat on island and Wire Fruit Bowl: Pottery Barn
Kitchen Rug: Bed Bath and Beyond
Light Fixture: Home Depot

We've still got artwork to hang but I'm so excited that I wanted you to see how far the kitchen remodel has come in the last couple of weeks! We're building some shelving for the living space (living room/bedroom combination because this is an efficiency) and then I'll do a final reveal of of the entire space.