Before and After: Black Walls Bring Serious Drama to This $6,400 Kitchen Reno

When Stasia bought her flat in 2016, she liked the kitchen—it was “big and bright and airy,” she says, and certainly on-trend. But it also “felt bland,” with “bleached white walls and cupboards that made it feel cold and clinical. I didn’t want to feel like I was cooking in a science lab.”

When she decided to renovate, she was aiming for “industrial yet cozy, somewhere [she] could relax with a glass of wine.” Stasia started by ditching everything—except for the oak worktops, which she transformed into shelving and a bar table. Her and her family use the chalkboard wall for grocery lists, notes, or cute drawings.

Black walls are certainly bold, but in this galley-style space the color works beautifully—and doesn’t make the room feel dark, even when paired with the shiny black appliances. (Although the super-sized and super-bright window certainly helps, too.) Bricks add warmth and a “New York loft effect,” Stasia says, and the orange IKEA VÄKSJÖ is the perfect complement.

Open shelving may be controversial, but in a skinny kitchen like Stasia’s, it’s the ideal solution. Swapping closed cabinetry for exposed wooden shelves allows light to flow through the room unhindered, and the wooden bar top beneath continues the warmth through both sides of the room. Stasia spray-painted the black bar chairs herself.

The room’s final touch—literally, because the materials arrived about eight weeks after the rest of the kitchen was completed—are the green Bert & May tiles. The color “adds in a bit of extra depth and color,” she says. Stasia added greenery throughout the space to complement the tile.

Besides those tiles, the kitchen renovation was quick, lasting only two weeks—but not without drama. “Keep your pets well away from renovations!” she says. Her Jack Russell terrier escaped through the back door during renovations, creating “a massive drama as me and four builders tried to find him.” (The pup was quickly found).

In total, Stasia spent £5,000 ($6,400) on the space, including a damp treatment on the back wall.

Thanks for sharing, Stasia!

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