With our New Year’s resolutions afresh penned, January at Domino is all about change—the audience and architecture kind. Welcome to Renovation Month, in which we cull aback the blind on the highs (mood-boarding!) and lows (finessing the budget—again) that appear with creating the home you’ve consistently wanted, whether that involves a top-to-bottom acclimate or a rental kitchen facelift. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t absence a thing.
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When guests appear over to artist Kate Hamilton Gray’s 500-square-foot Brooklyn apartment, they’re greeted aboriginal by her, again by her refrigerator. By best standards, accepting to airing through the kitchen to get to the active allowance and bedchamber is an anarchistic setup. But in New York City, the adapt isn’t all that abnormal for a one-bedroom rental. What agitated Gray best wasn’t that the affection of the home is additionally her entry—it was the wonky cabinetry, arid gray floors, and anachronous backsplash that annoyed her.
Convincing her freeholder to accomplish some updates to the amplitude was a nonissue: The buyer of the two-story architecture is a acceptable acquaintance who saw the amount in advance in the property, as continued as Gray would baby-sit and administer the makeover. “I alive on my own, so I had chargeless rein to be playful,” she says. “It was a acceptable befalling to aloof go for it.”
“Going for it” doesn’t alike activate to call the project, which she pulled off in aloof two weeks (!) for $7,500 (including $2,000 for labor). The tin beam and floors were the alone appearance Gray adored during the annihilation phase. What came afterwards was a accomplished lot of wallpaper, salvaged countertops, and a few able DIYs. Here, she reveals what she abstruse from designing her dream kitchen in beneath than a month.
We didn’t move any accouterments or accomplish changes that appropriate permits, which adored us time and money. Simply by demography out the high cabinets, we opened up the baby area. I capital to booty advantage of that bank while additionally accepting as abundant adverse amplitude as possible, so we confused the fridge to the adverse bend and installed preassembled cabinets from a bounded abode in Brooklyn that amount $1,200. Truth: They were cheaper than IKEA cabinets!
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“I alive on my own, so I had chargeless rein to be playful.”
The affair I debated the best was accepting a bigger pantry. But I capital the allowance to feel as big as possible, so I ultimately prioritized that over maximizing accumulator space. Accepting a dispersed kitchen has kept me in check. I like to accumulate the shelf and adverse tidy, and I don’t buy any nonessential accessories or cookware. I accumulate dry appurtenances in the added drawers by the stove and beginning aliment and basics in the fridge.
In the bend area I had advised putting a full-height pantry, I army a amphibian $90 IKEA chiffonier and added best knobs to it that I begin in London. I use the top drawer as a catchall for keys and abundance added affable food below.
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I anticipation about replacing the aboriginal attic tiles, but at the end of the day it seemed gratuitous—they get bedraggled appealing fast. Instead, I active them up by painting them a hardly darker gray and abacus splatters of white to accomplish the marks that were already there assume purposeful. The final touch: a large, bendable sisal rug.
“I capital to booty advantage of that bank while additionally accepting as abundant adverse amplitude as possible.”
I salvaged this Caesarstone adverse from an old assignment activity (my applicant capital to alter it with marble). I had it in my above accommodation tucked abaft the daybed for the longest time. I knew I would acquisition a abode for it someday—it’s a acceptable admeasurement in that it has a bore agent with 24 inches on either ancillary (the ambit of a accepted dishwasher or cabinet). I try not to be a hoarder, but it was one of those things that I couldn’t let go of. Typically, this apparent would amount about $40 per aboveboard foot.
The chiffonier pulls was a fun DIY: The knobs are absolutely fabricated from lamp genitalia that I bought for a absolute of $100. I absorbed the assumption assurance to a threaded nipple (basically a ribbed aqueduct that connects to fittings) and busted a nut assimilate the added ancillary to defended it. They are the absolute size—not to acknowledgment a lot cheaper than acceptable handles.
Rebecca Atwood is not alone a acceptable acquaintance of mine, but she additionally lives in the accommodation beneath me. I knew that I was activity to do an accessible shelf beyond the accomplished bank to accessible things up, so I capital to accept some fun with a book from her collection. The accession amount $400. The backsplash is fabricated of five-inch-high marble tiles (another account from an old project; they’d amount about $15 per aboveboard bottom IRL). I’ve had a few affable splatters, but so far there are no stains (I clean any crud off with a sponge). I accept the aforementioned attitude against wallpaper as I do marble: Alike admitting it’s this aboriginal thing, it should be a allotment of your life. The marks that advance over time accomplish it added interesting.
See added belief like this: We Transformed an Old Porch Into a Laundry Allowance for $6KWhy We Decided Against IKEA Cabinets for Our $48K Kitchen RemodelIt Amount Us $25K to Turn an Old A-Frame Into a Scandi-Inspired Getaway
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