A one-bedroom in a coveted West Village condominium designed by famed architect Emery Roth offered a multitude of positives to a new Manhattan buyer: Impossibly desirable location, soaring ceilings, deep closets, residential amenities, and a quiet retreat for work or play. But this lovely home’s kitchen was relegated to a tight little galley, and though the finishes were once beautiful, the dark and heavy cabinetry blocked light and cut access to the living and dining rooms. Eric, the new owner, came to Alan Michael Carpentry to smoothly navigate the management requirements in this pre-war building and bring a serious carpentry and craftsmanship approach to flow and finishes in the kitchen.


Designing new custom cabinetry to lighten the space was the easy part. Finding a way to incorporate more natural light and reconnect the rooms was the primary challenge. Eric had hoped to take down the entire wall separating the kitchen and living room where the paneled fridge stood, but the building’s interior pipes stood in the way, so the crew decided to open the wall with a large pass-through instead. The team also planned to replace floors throughout the apartment and targeted the old-school linoleum in the kitchen as a starting point.

The black and white linoleum floor was replaced with white oak planks to match the existing floor, finished with a glossy clear stain throughout the entire apartment. The cabinets were torn out and replaced with a detailed custom oak set, mostly constructed and completed onsite. Incorporating a lot of glass into the design, using open, closed, and shelving variations in a combination of natural-stained and painted white finishes. The new pass-through provides light from the kitchen window and the living room windows in both directions, and new light is incorporated with windowed display cabinets above the counter and bar.

To make the partial wall and new footprint more functional, the refrigerator was moved to the adjacent wall and a food pantry was constructed to mimic the rest of his oak cabinetry, finished with heavy metal hardware and pulls. Ivory Caesarstone countertops replaced black granite, and an undermount brushed stainless steel sink with matching faucet were installed. Because the kitchen’s back wall is so visible from the living room, the team went with a neutral, luminous glass-tiled backsplash and open shelving above the sink. New stainless steel appliances, including a hefty gas burner, contrast with the warm wood and are easy to keep clean. A number of under-cabinet and recessed sources were added, as well as a striking ceiling fixture centerpiece. As a bonus, a bar counter was constructed on the living room side of the pass-through, perfect for open entertaining.


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