FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

kitchen

SPACES | Kitchen Is Finished, For Now...

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Better late than never! I finally feel as though I've completed the kitchen enough to photograph it. It's wonderful how you can add little details like new knobs and pulls, shelving and decorative elements like paint and window treatments, swap out a few appliances, and the space will go from feeling sterile to homey. 

I still haven't wallpapered the section when you enter but I think for the time being, it all looks finished. The wall to the right although maybe a little cluttered for some, is a great space to hold all of our dry goods, vases and containers, that we often use. I find myself making flower arrangements more often than baking, so I have set the mixer way up top. It's so pretty yet, sadly isn't used too much. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm not much of a baker. I cook, and I sauté but I don't bake.

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

The shelves were a super inexpensive and surprisingly easy answer to storage. I found the brackets online [here], I purchased the 9" deep ones at $8.49 each (model no. CB809), and the planks are 1" thick x 10" deep pine boards from Home Depot. Home Depot, kindly cut them to size at no extra cost. Making the final cost of these shelves to be around $160.00, not including the paint I already had lying around. 

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | Open Shelves | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

I purchased the runner from ECarpetGallery.com, they have a wonderful selection of new and antique rugs at really great prices. This one is so soft and was only about $240 with free shipping. I wanted something that would pull out the warm tones of the copper and brass elements through are dispersed through out the space, but also ground wit with the black and navy blue background. For the most part there aren't any colors in in this space accept for accessories. The shelves have touches of yellow and turquoise which are all represented in this rug. It truly ties the whole space together. 

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

I spent a long time talking about adding a back splash and this spring I finally went for it and paid a contractor to do it. We definitely did it on the cheap, not the "correct" way, ignoring the step of straightening the walls, which could have required a gut reno..... It's an old building and the walls certainly aren't straight. But I had to take into consideration the resale value of the home, it's a starter apartment having only one bedroom, so a $75k kitchen would not pay off in a sale. I'm not going to replace the Ikea cabinets or the Corian countertops that were installed before we moved in, so I don't see the value in spending a ton of money on a backsplash. The end result looks great and I think only myself and a few select nit-picky people can see the imperfections.

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen |   By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

Brooklyn Galley Kitchen | By: Lauren Caron © Fourth Floor Walk Up 2015

For appliances, we've definitely made some upgrades. By replacing the refrigerator with a taller, leaner and more proportionately appropriate one, adding a dishwasher - which has been amazing, replacing the microwave with one that fits better, and replacing the faucet, the entire space is more functional and looks so much better. Last but not least, I'd love to bring in a better oven range, but it's not entirely necessary and as I mentioned earlier, I'm not much a of a cook, so it would be purely for aesthetic reasons.  

To give you a little perspective, here is the space when we first moved in. 

Materials List + Sources

SPACES | "New" Kitchen Sideboard + Bar for the Apartment

SPACES, VINTAGELauren Caron2 Comments

Our kitchen has been a slow going process. Taking months at a time for little tasks to be accomplished. Take our backsplash that I created a whole bunch of hubbub over when I finally had it tiled a few months ago. One of the last projects for this room is the hallway/niche that leads into the kitchen. It's the next space you see when you walk into the door of our apartment if you continue straight rather than turning right to go into the living room. 

Dahlia's from the Farmer's Market | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Dahlia's from the Farmer's Market | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Last winter, Jack and I replaced the glass panels in the cabinets of this niche, to mirrors to bring in more light and to also bring it up a notch in style. We can't afford to replace the cabinets nor do we want to remove them, they're so useful for a small kitchen like the one that we have. We did want to add a little extra storage and to define this space as a place for a sexy bar and perhaps a better showcase surface, so up until recently there was a butcher block bar mounted to the wall below the cabinets. Last weekend, we replaced it with a very exciting "new" piece of furniture!

The new Sideboard installed |  Photograph by Lauren L Caron

The new Sideboard installed | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

For months I wanted a credenza or sideboard for this space, but the depth that could fit was less than 21" and it had to have tall enough legs for our dogs to fit underneath. With the bar, we placed their beds underneath when we left them at home. This has become their safe space that acts as a crate. We also replaced the kitchen door with a screen door that we close, so that they have visibility of the entry, living room and front door. This makes them especially happy when they hear a noise at the front door. Which means it's very important to maintain that space as a place for the pups. 

My options were limited but I know that federal style sideboards often have tall legs and are typically narrow in depth. Their original purpose was for formal dining rooms to be used a server, they have drawers to store silverware, serving items and linens. Which is exactly the sort of items I would like for my bar. I also have noticed that there are sometimes really great deals on these pieces since not that many people have formal dining rooms these days. 

Max napping under the new sideboard. A success!  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Max napping under the new sideboard. A success! | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

One day I happened upon just the right server, just out of my price point at a consignment shop in Massachusetts. I decided, what the heck, I'll put it on watch and if the price comes down to an amount I'd like to spend, I'll figure out how to buy it myself. Two months later I received an email at midnight on the dot, that this server's price had dropped down to $350! Immediately I emailed Momma Judes (my mother) to ask her if she would please, please, please pick up this item if I were to purchase it. We called in the morning and they put the item on hold and my parents drove to outside of Boston to pick it up - I know, they're so nice!

One month later, they finally were able to bring it down to the city on a visit. The three of us, my father, mother and I, with a broken arm spent most of Saturday afternoon drinking rosé and pulling out the bar. It was a little stressful as it always is doing anything in the city. But in the end, it turned out beautifully. Now my mother has #FOMO and is on the hunt for her very own sideboard for her home.

One last improvement I made was to purchase a mildly attractive radio for the dogs. I wanted something that was unapologetically a radio, but also looked pretty good on the counter. This one by Crosley had great ratings on Amazon and fit the bill for size and look.  

Crosley Radio  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Crosley Radio | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Ultimately, I want to wallpaper the back wall with a fun pattern which will really set it apart from the rest of the kitchen. In a previous kitchen post [here] I created this rendering to show what I was planning do at the time. I'm still thinking along the lines of a fun classic paper, but now I'm narrowing in on the Queen of Spain pattern by Schumacher in silver and white. This paper is so chic and I just love the scale in both large and small spaces, designed by Michael Taylor in 1963 it still feels very modern today.  

Kitchen Rendering  | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Kitchen Rendering | Photograph by Lauren L Caron

Another thought is to paper this space with the removable paper from Hygge & West. I'm really loving the Diamante patten since I used it in a project at Bergdorf's. They have just the right color way also. It would make so much more sense if I put this in because it would be so much less work, but we'll see if I can come to a decision.

Diamante Pattern in Grey and White | By Hygge & West

Diamante Pattern in Grey and White | By Hygge & West

Thanks for reading!

TREND | Coveting Copper & Kitchen Updates

TREND, SPACESLauren Caron4 Comments

I've recently had several discussions with friends and acquaintances about how the rosy metal finish of copper is creeping into event design and interiors (mostly in seen kitchens and decorative accessories). Copper pots have long been a standby but the once too rustic or country finish is making a comeback in a more sophisticated and appealing approach. I would credit some of this comfort of the finish to the recent love of brass that came about over the past few years. With the quick turnaround of trends recently, people are clammering for the next best thing, which in turn leaves us to pine for something different. But when you really think about it, there are only so many metal finishes, and most importantly there are really only two tones - warm or cool. Luckily, going forward, I don't think any can be entirely out of fashion as we once projected. My mother loves to use the example of how, when they moved into their house in 1987, Stainless steel was so OUT and looking back over the last 10 years, Stainless Steel appliances were EVERYTHING. I think now it's about a mix. It's not necessarily in fashion to go with all one or the other but to create a smart mix of materials that pair well together. Adding subtle accents of copper will add an extra layer of warmth to your existing cool toned stainless steel appliances, or a touch of romance to table setting at parties and events. 

COPPER.jpg

KITCHEN UPDATE TEASER

My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The new tea kettle and mills. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

My Kitchen - The recent update of my kitchen, with the almost finished backsplash, and the new copper accessories to bring in a touch of warmth. Photography by Lauren L Caron © 2015

As I'm slowly finishing my kitchen (if you follow any of my social media platforms you've seen that I'm unapologetically obsessed with my 35 sq. ft marble backsplash that was installed last month - still not finished, the grout is awaiting it's set) I've also started to slowly invest in 'over 30' accessories, which include an English Simplex copper tea kettle & brass and copper mills (happy finds on Amazon). I'm really excited about how the progress of this space, the back splash gives it a more sophisticated look and the copper accents are warming up all the stainless steel, grays and whites. it's taking an especially long time, I know. I am more eager than anyone to finish it!

Additionally, I'm dreaming of the day when I can finally invest in a new oven and range. I'm not quite sure what that will be, but there are some dreamy options that are not all one finish of stainless steel, black or white. I especially am loving the Lacanche ranges that pair brass knobs, stainless details with a solid colored cooker (I'd go with white, black or anthracite for my kitchen).  Hopefully soon I can do a full kitchen reveal but for now you'll have to enjoy the above teaser.


Want to see the before photos of the apartment, follow this link to what it looked like when we purchased this apartment. 

Or these links of kitchen updates over the years...

Kitchen To Do List

Kitchen Updates: New Microwave 

Kitchen Updates: New Direction 

Kitchen Plans

TREND | Favorite Decor Trends of 2014

TREND, SPACESLauren CaronComment

A lot of people are talking about the best trends of 2014 and the list seems to be quite long. Which I find interesting, considering home tends to be slower than fashion with trend turn around. Some of the featured trends are design characteristics that have been around for a while and will remain for the next several years. In 2014 there were a few very strong stand outs and Domaine Home compiled a good list. Have you seen it? After reading through would I definitely say that I had a few favorites - I assuredly have felt myself swoon for some trends and have even had the inkling to incorporate them into my home. Below are my top three. Do you have any favorites?

CLASSIC PORTRAITURE

I'd have to say at the very top of my list is the new found appreciation for classic portrait paintings. For centuries portraits have been around. They're the original family photo or in some cases, selfie -  just so much more elegant.  Someday I hope to have a few precious portraits of my own for our home, until then I'll have to continue to saving and swooning. 

The Apartment of Cindy Greene from Libertine

The Apartment of Cindy Greene from Libertine

BLUE GRAY KITCHEN CABINETS

I have to say, this makes me a little sad to learn that it is actually considered a trend. I guess it's a good thing that I can't paint my cabinets because I for sure would be doing a version of this, with white Carrera marble countertops and backsplashes, brass hardware and lets throw in some chevron oak bleached floors... Dream kitchen can I say?

NEON LIGHTS

I first started falling for neon signs when we made a trip out to Portland and Seattle several years ago. On the east coast neon storefront signs are far and few between, at least up until recently. So for us to see stores with the quirky and sometimes clever signs glowing in neon was a real treat. Just recently, they've made their way inside the stores as new uses for signage as well as inside residential interiors. I'm not sure if I would put any into my home, but I definitely still enjoy the look. 

I'm curious about what this coming year's trends will be. I wonder if the Pantone color of the year will have any effect on interior trends? I doesn't seem like last year's Radiant Orchid found it's way into the top trends. I would say, possibly the mood of the color more so had an effect on trends - it's bright, feminine and young, which were similar to characteristics of other trends - take neon for example. Perhaps this year's Marsala will spike a trend in moodier, more mature and masculine interiors?  

SPACES | Kitchen To Do List

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment

I've gone off on a tailspin recently focusing on major projects at work, making sure the store is as it's best. At home I have several projects started that still need finishing. The number one thing on my To Do List... my kitchen. It's a very slow and steady transformation. If you're sick of reading about it, you can be sure I'm sick of talking about it. All the while, I'm remaining positive and hoping I can finish before winter is here!

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

Kitchen Rendering

On that list are:

Tile - Purchase tiling accessories & tile Back Splash

Floors - Finalize Design, purchase paint & paint

Wallpaper - Purchase & Install

Hardware - Purchase & Install

Mirror for Cabinet Doors - Purchase & Install

Wallpaper Back of Mirrors in Cabinet Doors

Walls - Paint remaining

Shelves - Make, Mount & Paint

Dishwasher - Purchase & Install

Refrigerator - Purchase & Install

Ceiling Light Fixture - Purchase & Install

Accessorize

As you can see, there's still a lot more to do.

Thanks for reading.