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A very old and small NYC kitchen space: What would YOU do with it?

3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Hi all!

We're about to embark on a much-needed demo for this 35-40 year old kitchen and could really use some advice on what to do with this frustrating, awkward space.

There are several issues with the 100+ year old building but our biggest concern is that our contractor has just informed us that, due to plumbing, the dishwasher cannot be moved. This derails our entire design plan as it means the dishwasher must remain opening out into dead space we had originally hoped could turn into new cabinet and counter space. This was a heart-breaking discovery.

Here is our current kitchen:

The culprit, a dishwasher that, even downsized, will need to open parallel to the wall:

We already plan on downsizing ALL appliances to compact versions. (Our apartment is 700 sqft and full size appliances feel like overkill.) To maximize space and keep it from looking so hodgepodge (with the range sitting weirdly in the the middle of the kitchen), we plan on moving the range perpendicular, as part of a new, deeper bar area, facing out into living room. There is one other unit in our building with the same layout and this is what they did. Here was their kitchen when they moved in...

... and here it is after their renovation:

Personally, I preferred the "before" version of their kitchen (save the color scheme) but my concern is about the cabinets along the side wall. I'm no expert, but to me it looks very strange and obtrusive to have a wall of cabinets hanging above dead space and in such a small kitchen. That said, the storage would be really nice to have.

What would YOU do with this space? We're considering installing some long OPEN shelving along that side wall so it doesn't look as heavy up top. (I know open shelving can have dust issues and it's just not as useful in terms of storage, but we're out of ideas.)

We're total renovation notices and have no idea what we're doing now that our original plan (to put countertop and upper cabinetry all along that side wall) has been rendered useless. Our contractor is a bit elusive and hasn't really given us much input. Any advice, especially from those with experience, would be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you!!

PS—Below is our floor plan....

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