A Family Connects in their Washington Heights Kitchen

Small changes, from a banquette and grout to salvaged shelves, make all the difference

Before: Unify a mismatched and inefficient kitchen

Sarah, a managing director at an international nonprofit, WaterAid, and her husband, Eddy, a medical consultant, thought their co-op in Washington Heights, New York, was ideal for raising their two daughters. They loved the location (near Fort Tryon Park) and the design aesthetic of their 1939 Art Deco building. The problem? An outdated kitchen that had been (seemingly) randomly renovated over the years, with one section updated at a time. It resulted in what Sarah called a “hodgepodge” layout and design. 



“Overall, it was dark and dated,” said Sarah. “The cabinets seemed to be original, but we don’t know that for a fact, but they sure looked like it.” The couple also desperately needed more counter space. “There was more space for dining than food prep,” commented Sarah.

After: A united dining area and cook space

Sarah and Eddy posted their Washington Heights kitchen renovation on Sweeten and hired their design-build firm from Sweeten. “The firm was amazing! Both our designer, Ally, and our project manager, Petar, were like on-call doctors,” said Sarah. “They helped me with decision-making around all things—from what size appliances to buy to practical storage ideas.”

Sarah and Eddy decided to keep the original floors to give a nod to the origins of the building. The kitchen received new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. When they gutted the kitchen, they found beautiful brick walls hiding behind the sheetrock. The brick became a focal point behind a newly added banquette bringing a new texture to their streamlined, all-white kitchen. “The girls love to sit at the banquette and read while eating,” said Sarah. “And with an outlet installed in the banquette, it’s become a cozy work-from-home space during the pandemic.”

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