Before & After: You Won’t Recognize this Kitchen!

this remodel makes good use of space and family-focused touches!

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Photography by Aimee Ryan

Alexis Aguayo Goldstein lives in Maplewood, New Jersey in a newly remodeled home that caught our eye. The impact of this before-and-after makeover is so strong, you might need to do a double take! This 5-month project completely revitalized a home that had previously made poor use of space. Now it functions beautifully for Alexis and her family.

Photography by Aimee Ryan

What brought this project about? Did you intend to buy a house to renovate or were you unable to find what you wanted already built? 

We looked at both types of houses but ultimately I really wanted to create the kitchen I wanted and not inherit someone else’s decisions. Plus our house is a 5 minute walk to the train and to town and has terrific outdoor space so we could not pass it up! We lived in the house to get a real feel for the space. The house was just really not functioning well for us.

Photography by Aimee Ryan

What part of this project are you most proud of? 

I’m most proud that all my decisions ended up working!  The different colored cabinets, various counter materials, all the light fixtures, using brass as well as matte black finishes. Small changes like keeping the original windows but painting the inside pane moldings black really made them pop.  Really opening up the space, adding a door to the outside and an accompanying deck as well as a huge window over the sink really creates an open, airy, truly livable space. 

Photography by Aimee Ryan

Overall, what inspired you? 

I created a board before the renovation with pics from magazines and Decor Pad, Pinterest, and Houzz. I was inspired by the industrial look, the return of brass and the beauty of black and white. I saw the marble subway tiles with grey grout in a pic of a bathroom online. Also the navy cabinet with butcher block is something inspired by the sites I frequented.   

Photography by Aimee Ryan

Are there specific design elements you’ve always wanted that you now have?

So many. A sink looking out of a huge window to the trees and greenery outside. Easy access to the backyard – being able to see the kids when they play out there.  I love the thick white counters, the butcher block, the navy cabinets, the walk-in pantry. Incorporating brass really refines the space.

Photography by Aimee Ryan

Where does your family tend to spend the most time in this new space? What do they love most about it? 

The large island – kids eat snacks or breakfast while we cook or share some wine. The kids love that they have their very own fridge! Being little makes it hard to open and reach items in the big fridge. This way they can actually reach and easily access their own snacks and drinks. My husband loves the dual zone wine fridge and the filtered water dispenser which provides boiling water and chilled water. I love that one of us can be paying bills on the computer, another can be reading on the sofa, and the kids playing or eating and we are all together.