The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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« Kitchen Week At Design Hole Blog | Main | More With Martha Stewart »

The Kitchen Walls Came Down! My Apartment Remodel

I met my husband at the apartment in the city on Friday. I drove in, unloaded my stuff, my son loaded his stuff in the car and drove the car home to Long Island, to return sometime on Sunday, at which time we returned to the Island (yesterday evening, car in front of the building, he again unloaded tons of laundry, still undone.)

So, my husband walks in the apartment door at 2:45 pm on Friday, I had just arrived a little earlier, and we both look at each other and know that noisy work in the building has to be done by 3 pm, Monday to Friday, no weekends. He has 15 minutes to cut through the kitchen walls with his sawzall, or whatever it's called. Twenty minutes later (so shoot me!) the wall is cut in half, via horrible noise! Yay!

Just enough time to get cleaned up and go off to see Martha Stewart, in person, at the NY Times Talks series, her biggest fan (HE is.) The walls remained in place until the next day, Saturday, at which time he removed the sheetrock, twisted out the studs and cleaned up the mess. That's all relatively quiet work.

Me? I was out on a girls' day with my daughter...one she owed me for my birthday from July! MOMA, lunch, walk through the park, it was lovely. Trust me, my husband prefers to be alone so he doesn't have to tell me what to do. I'm fine with that!

Upon my return, around 3 pm on Saturday, I opened the door to the apartment, and WOW, what a reaction I had! It looks fantastic...so open! So in need of emergency surgery!

What I felt right away was that this kitchen (obviously) needs to "talk" to the living area in an important way. I want to make the place really flow. In an apartment this size, this kitchen is actually big!  I think that's a good thing. I think, to be able to:

a. have great counter space
b. be able to be at the main counter space and communicate with someone beyond
c. stand at the sink and look toward and out the window
d. watch the tv when desired
e. have nearly full size appliances
is a really, really, great thing in an otherwise tiny New York City apartment!

I won't go into ALL the ideas I have, that's for later...but, I wanted to share this progress with you. A few things I WILL tell you:

a. the tv cabinet goes...a flat screen will take its place
b. the cluttered looking green dining chairs will go...maybe an Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chair?
c. the black sofabed will go...in its place will be a loveseat with legs and arms back a bit, for a lighter look, but we definitely want two sofas in the space, and that's the best place, I think, for them to go.  Putting them opposite one another makes the floor space very narrow, too narrow IMO.

I'm also up for suggestions!  Please take a look at the flikr slideshow for more details.

Here's the before, that's a mirrored wall (came with the apt.) behind the black loveseat:



This is the after:


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Reader Comments (9)

Congrats on big changes in your apt!

Is it too huge to contemplate creating a free-standing island rather than the peninsula? Would sure fix the single cook nature of your present space, and be great for entertaining. Stools at the island?

Thank you for the privilege of viewing your private spaces...

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

Wendy, yes, I was thinking the same thing, but I'm just not sure if it could work. Right now, it's actually a big kitchen with great storage/cooking ability in that space. But, you are on to something there...I'm thinking of bringing the wall below the countertop and covering it with wood panels, same as the kitchen wood (which will be wood) so it looks like a peninsula.

The ideas are not formed yet, but they're getting there. I'm also thinking of painting the floors...!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Part of the point is, I think it would be too much of a sacrifice to make it an island. And, the difference in this apartment, too, is that we really need two sofas in the living area, which is something you really never see in this size apartment. And, that's a good spot for one (maybe an armless one on legs, this time.)

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

How fun!! The after is very exciting.

I'm enjoying your blog and web site. Wish P&A would have taken your advice.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Good thing. You can do a lot with it now. It also makes the place look bigger.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPomegranate

It's fun to watch the transformation. Thanks for sharing it with us.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen

Pamela, thank you for that. I gave all sorts of advice, but they're choosing to keep the advice simple, I think. :) Very nice blog you have..

Pomegranate...saw your blog too, wow, you're from Kuwait! How cool is that! And, thanks for your feedback, it helps to get perspective from others.

Kathleen, always happy to see you. Thank you for checking in. This was a big moment, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. See you!

January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Where does that doorway to the left of the leather sofa go? Can you change the door to swing into the other space? Looks like a wall inside the opening that it could stand against.

Had you considered trying the table up against the back side of the peninsula where the sofa is? Maybe you could do a built-in half-round table there and put some seating where the table was.

You really lucked out that the sink vent wasn't in that wall he sawzalled out!

January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

Thank you for sharing! Great job on the design and it really helped open up the space and made it appear larger. Keep it up!

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