After a long year of renovations, we’ve made it to the other side of our Jersey City Home project. If you are new to this space, here is a little background on my last post. I can’t wait to share all the spaces with you. Stay tuned for more! And, now on to our Ravishing Kitchen Reveal!
Let me concede, during the process of House-Hunting, my crucial priority was a Modest sized Kitchen. Some family gathering space where we can cook, narrate our stories, dine in, simmer chai, eat kabobs, entertain, and do school homework while baking a cake in the oven. And with a table that can transform from a Casual Weekday Breakfast to an intimate Friendsgiving dinner. By the way, when I mean Modest size, my square footage size comparison is with that of New York Metropolitan Urban Apartment Kitchens. Also, I have had primarily open kitchens before here, but to have Kitchen open up as part of the Living Space was undoubtedly a thumbs-down. It is an apt concept for a bachelor pad or Studio living, but not for me.
The Existing Before Kitchen could have been a more efficient layout, utilizing only one wall of the Kitchen and a partial footprint. So, we had a replan of the layout. We turned around the refrigerator and relocated the Sink at the Window. This move allowed us to add an extended L countertop and a central Island to our Kitchen space. Great News! We replaced the Existing Window with a Modern Black Metal framed window and, on either side, added Kitchen cabinetry volumes. We also replaced the Existing Back door with a Full Vision Panel door to open the Space more and trickle in more views and light.
Before Renovation Pictures
From the onset, we visualized a pristine, crisp, and minimal interior against a backdrop of exterior brick, cedar fences, and greens. We always hoped for White cabinetry on Grey Stone Tiles. Our Flooring is Porcelain tiles with a perfect Concrete/ Cement Grain, and we love that it appears seamlessly inherent in a Large format (which it is not). We went with White Frameless Flat Slab/ Panel cabinetry for the Kitchen cabinetry. We have impugned a lot on Modern Shaker versus Flat Slab doors, but we concluded that Modern Shakers tend to visually add more lines to the Space. No doubt, a sturdier material, and quality construction. But, our goal was to adopt a clean, minimalistic approach and avoid adding too many extra lines in the Design. We wanted users to focus just on the overall design volumes. So, we stayed true to our vision and chose the latter.
It took a lot of work to find Flat Slabs, especially Matte finish, on a decent budget because many European Kitchens with Flat Slabs end up in a higher range. And the few Condo market developers typically use high-gloss options. We eventually went with a local New Jersey manufacturer, the lead times were attainable, and we are happy with the look.
We always liked White Stone look for countertops, but not too dense on grains. So, Quartz is an excellent material that gives options to pick the granular quality (since it is engineered) as opposed to a natural stone. Again, on a budget. If we could splurge, Quartzite was something we would have gone for a luxurious countertop. Within our budget, we have Quartz from a local company in NJ manufactured and exported from Southern India, and we are happy with the results so far (think Indian Spices).
For additional texture and dimensionality to complement the Flat slab, we added a Backsplash of White Ribbed Ceramic Tiles. Then, we picked Black Matte Cabinetry hardware and Faucets for high contrast. Quality Materials such as High Weight Metals for Hardware make a lot of difference to the look and feel.
When selecting appliances, they were intentionally quietly diminutive in the Space. The hood was intentionally a sleek rectangle that disappeared in Design, and I love it. I have seen a lot of designs where people make hoods the centerpiece, but we preferred for them to blend in with the cabinetry. So, Bosch was mostly our go-to splurge worth the dollars.
The Central island is a perfect example of a Multitude of Trades and Materials converging. It houses Kitchen Cabinetry on the Sink Side along with a Drawer Microwave. Quartz countertop on top and then book matched to fall on one side as a cascade. On the other two sides, we went with Blackened Steel Metal cladding that was custom-made to dimensions from a local Metalwork workshop. Finally, the Dining table is our Design, bespoke by our Millworker and attached to the Island pieces. We used a Quarter Cut Walnut Wood Veneer to add warmth and tonality to a monochromatic space. Proportioned aptly with the Grey Concrete tiles, primarily Cool scheme, it splashes a tidbit of Warm Color wood grain texture. An intentional move to bring equilibrium.
Lighting plays the most integral part in the Design, if not the only one. A Variety of lighting with some Dimming controls can aid in various mood lighting. In addition to ambient ceiling lighting, we introduced a few Spotlight fixtures over the Sink, 2 Ceiling sconces over the Island, and a Pendant Ceiling Light over the Dining.
In essence, this Space will be the Pivot of our new home. We hope to have friends and family visit us, host them, gather around, cook and bake with them, pour those wine glasses, have conversations, support one another, and share laughs. Really, it is this sort of chit-chat that begins to build our social being and, after all, proves our very existence.
~ Budgetary Constraints are very REAL, and there are painstakingly tricky choices!
~ Behind every Pinterest, Instagram, or Blog Image is an insane matrix of decisions!
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Step inside! Enter our Living Space! The inception of this space was a desire for a positive, peaceful, and light-filled space. We believed in intentionally understated architecture with a minimalist design language. We drew inspiration from Brutalist and Scandinavian styles or even, say, waiting to be transported to Marfa, Texas.
We chose a crisp, white backdrop for our wall with accents of mid-toned hues for warmth, texture, and tactility.
Okay, we are calling this the Design Story of our Guest Bath. But this is to be shanghaied by our kid, who is mainly fascinated with Pink and Lilac hues. For now!
Our initial predicament was creating a guest-friendly Bathroom in a Fuzzy Plush Pink Cotton Candy Gumball Squishy Blush SquishMallow Unicorn World. Meet Cement Tiles!
Ta-Da! Peek into the tiny-teeniest room of our home, the beloved Powder room. Arent tiny things most precious? Yep, this was the most expensive area of our house since this is a new additional room and incurred all the Plumbing costs.