Brownstone Boys: Kitchen Week!

The kitchen cabinets have been successfully installed

Editor’s note: Welcome to the 36th installment of Brownstone Boys Reno, a reader renovation diary. We’re excited to publish their tale of buying and renovating a brownstone in Bed Stuy. See the first one here. They also blog at

The past two weeks have been all about the kitchen. We removed walls and had the space prepped months ago, so it’s really nice to see the finishes going in.

The Plan
Our place had a bathroom and bedroom across the back of the building where we wanted to put the kitchen. We removed several walls to open up the space, one of which required replacing with a 14-foot-long beam since it was a structural wall. The space is now open from the front of the building all the way to the back and across either side. The kitchen is 14 feet wide with a 7.5-foot-long island.

brownstone boys

Testing the counter finish next to the cabinets

We’ve had white cabinets in all of our previous apartments. They’re great and can make your kitchen bright and airy, but we wanted to do something a little different this time. It was an easy decision for us to choose gray Shaker style cabinets and we are so happy we did! They are all installed and look so nice. We got them from the RTA Store in upstate New York. They offer a wide range of options for not much more than IKEA kitchen prices especially when you catch one of their sales. We went with a solid wood pre-assembled cabinet. They were delivered with a few scratches but so far RTA has been great to work with to get that resolved.

We saved a bit by designing and measuring everything ourselves rather than having a cabinet company come out to do it. Assembling cabinets is always a challenging job but we got them in pretty easy. The fridge panel was sent out too deep and too short (we got the tallest one and it was still too short). We got a little creative, cut a couple and it looks great.

brownstone boys

Our final selection for the cabinet hardware. Photo via Rejuvination

We could not be more excited about our Fisher & Paykel appliances arriving this week. We love their clean lines, flat panels and handles, and streamlined look. Having appliances delivered definitely means we are in the final stages of the project. We already know they are going to be beautiful.

Pantry and Storage
We have a lot of beautiful cabinets but we are still lacking storage. We always planned on building additional storage on the wall opposite the kitchen, but the plan has changed several times. Right now it’s a blank canvas, but it’s challenging because there is an old fireplace bump-out right in the middle, and a radiator on one side. Our first plan was to build a wall of cabinets and open shelves, but one of the things we needed the most is tall storage. We’ve reconfigured it a few times, but the plan now is to move in and decide how to build this out as a future project. In the meantime, we’re looking for inspiration. Let us know if you have any suggestions.

brooklyn renovation

Three 4-inch recessed lights have been installed between the pendants and the back wall

Our kitchen lighting is already taking shape, and we installed some ultra thin recessed lighting over the kitchen from Nadair. We love it because it sits very flush with the ceiling. It blends in and is very low profile and dimmable. We’re also putting in three pendants over the island that we’re assembling ourselves with parts from Antique Lamp Supply.

brownstone boys

We love the gray Shaker-style cabinets

Counters and Backsplash
The stone slabs are ordered and the template is being taken this week. We’re going with a light marbled quartz from HanStone Quartz called Montauk. The backsplash will be a white 2-by-6-inch handmade tile from Fireclay in a herringbone pattern.

We’ll finish it all off with a farm apron sink from Nantucket Sinks and hardware from Rejuvenation. We’ll update you once we make more progress on that. We can’t wait!

[Photos via Brownstone Boys unless noted otherwise]

Related Stories

Email with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Brooklyn in Your Inbox

* indicates required

What's Happening