FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

kitchen design

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

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 | Design Vent: More Kitchen Talk

SPACESLauren CaronComment

Can I just say kitchen design is so difficult! And expensive! Piece by piece I have been working on my kitchen and it seems more like $400 increment by $400 increment I'm making progress. From the appliances to the tiles to the hardware everything seems to cost about that much each time. My next step is finding the right microwave oven. I need to purchase one that can live over our oven, not my favorite look but the best solution for our small kitchen. the one we currently have has been dubbed the Devil of all microwaves. It's seriously possessed. Sometimes it just stops working, and other times it will turn on for no reason. Once, it stopped running and all the numbers lit up to 666666! TRUTH. In addition to its satanic ways the thing is ugly and ill fitting. So I'm on the hunt for a prettier and more angelic option specifically in stainless steel to coordinate with the rest of the appliances.

What I've learned through research is that microwaves are typically deeper than their cabinet neighbors. Why is that? Isn't it strange and annoying. What a terrible design conundrum. I understand that microwaves must be a certain depth to house dishes but why do standard cabinets have to be so shallow? As you can see above in the few nice examples that I've found after scouring Pinterest (check out my board for a few more) that other people have learned to deal with this issue so I must too.

I've narrowed my search down to these three options, and probably will go with the Frigidaire even though I wish the Bosch rated a little better, and was a little more attractive because I'm a sucker for brands and labels and we already have a dishwasher by the same maker. It gives me a weird feeling to mix labels in kitchens. I guess it's more important to buy based on performance and the Frigidaire actually has a great rating and is less expensive.  I also have a Frigidaire range which works great. If you have any feedback or suggestions on other brands, I'd love to hear it.

SPACES | Kitchen Updates + New Design Direction

CREATE, SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
Design by: Lauren Caron
Design by: Lauren Caron

Surprise, surprise! Since my last kitchen post I have slightly changed my design direction. I found a fabulous new paper that I fell in love with and decided I would be happier with that than the map wall. The new paper is by Cole & Son and has a Deco feel about it. It's black and white and may I say this, more sophisticated? I'm sure that's a matter of opinion but when I step back and look at both the space and the rest of the apartment I think it's a better direction to be moving towards.

On another note, for anyone who has redone a kitchen or bathroom they've probably hit some road blocks with the addition of plumbing. I can say we've had a tough time making progress on this room, because not only does the placement of plumbing dictate a lot of the design decisions, but also the fact that this is an old building and the plumbers of the past did not do a very good job when they made updates.

Now, why am I going on about plumbing? Well, we really want a dishwasher. It's the one thing (other than a washer & dryer and maybe a second bedroom - which will never happen) that is missing in the apartment. There are a ton of variables that make this simple addition, somehow very difficult. The major issue is that there are these lovely pipes that run behind the cabinets along the wall. They in turn cause the refrigerator to stick out farther than it should and most importantly, the dishwasher too. The pipe that lives behind the dishwasher is a whole 3" thick! The first thing we did was bring in a plumber to review the matter. We were told it would be impossible to do anything. That was definitely not the answer we wanted to hear. So the next thought was to buy new countertops that would extend the farther off the wall to make room for the dishwasher. . . Unfortunately, this seemed like a silly idea and unnecessarily expensive. Lastly, the final option was to put both my husband and father's two heads together. They are geniuses and apparently more skilled than the plumber that was recommended.

pulling cabinet out
pulling cabinet out

They designed a plan of action and worked through the weekend. To shorten the story, they succeeded and we now have a dishwasher in the apartment. How exciting! I've included a few quick shots that were taken on my phone. You can see it's all starting to come together nicely. The dishwasher is by Bosch, it's 18" wide and works like a dream.

The Dishwasher Installed

The Dishwasher Installed

The refridgerator which is also a new addition is by Summit. I discovered the brand Summit, based in the USA and produces appliances at a smaller scale. They're well rated and reasonably priced. Ours was on sale through Appliances Connection, which also offered free shipping. Woot, woot! The fridge only measures 24" deep, 28" wide and 75" tall. The freezer is on the bottom, which I find to be more convenient. The model is also available with an ice maker.  All in all, I'm quite happy with the progress. Next on the agenda, the back splash and the wallpaper. Then the open shelves.

This picture was taken before we put up the upper cabinet.

This picture was taken before we put up the upper cabinet.