Even though we’re not planning to move anytime soon, I like to keep an ever-watchful eye on the Brooklyn real estate market. I’m not sure why, sometimes it feels like self-imposed torture. For instance, a few months ago I came across a property that had me convincing BC we should forget the big wedding and instead buy this house. It was actually affordable – by NY standards, anyways! The property is not too far from our neighborhood but in a bit of a thoroughfare with less shops and stores than we have now. But that was about the only downside. Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce you to Caton Avenue, the Brooklyn house of my dreams.
Aside from the airyness of the space and the handsome exterior, there’s a garage, 4 bedrooms, outdoor space and a full basement that could potentially serve as a rental income apartment. I can’t stop looking at the floorplan without imagining what I’d want to do in that kitchen. See where I drew the two red circles, those areas are my main locations for attack. And since I’m completely consumed with the idea of renovating this property, I thought I’d show you my “plans” for the space. This almost seems sad doesn’t it? Imagining the renovation of a house that’s not yours – sigh. On the upside, it does get my creative juices flowing…
Let’s start with the floorplan. This gives you a bird’s eye view of what I’d want to do. Mainly I’d make a minor tweak to the structure of the pantry so that you have a better view from the front door out the back and, the big change; to blow out that old school wall/bar and replace it with a huge kitchen/dining island. Since there’s little to no cabinet space, the other wall of the dining room would be fitted with custom floor to ceiling shelves framing a dining area.
Here’s a little more detail and visuals on each section of the space.
First order of business, creating that clear line of vision to the back door. And replacing that old wood framed door with something both heftier and more modern.
The kitchen wall isn’t a large space. I’d want it accommodate a larger fridge and a beautiful stove. I love the idea of tiling the wall with shiny, white subway tiles and then using the space to the left of the stove/oven to hang a gorgeous photograph or painting. I really want kitchens to feel like a room and decorated as such.
I’m not sure about the materials for the cabinets/countertop. Maybe a sleek wood with a white granite countertop? Or a matted black with a butcher block wood style countertop?
The kitchen island should feel almost like a piece of furniture, in fact, it could potentially be a huge, salvaged chest that is repurposed and re-designed to accommodate a sink, dishwasher, a bar, and all kinds of other custom elements. I might use different materials than the kitchen wall, but definitely they’d be coordinating.
Then there’s the wall of the dining room. Since the kitchen is so small, I’d create a lot of storage with a built in cabinet/shelf unit that has a center opening for a dining bench. I’d want the cabinets to almost create a frame for the dining bench and table.
As for the dining table, I could go for a chunky, organic wood slab table or something more modern, like the table below from Arta Vironi that I’ve had a crush on for some time! The dining bench should essentially be a sofa. The idea is that the room be fitting of formal occasions, but also be perfect for BC sitting there with his laptop, comfy while he works.
Then, finally, and I don’t know why I didn’t cover this at the beginning but the pantry would feel flush with the fridge and be perfectly organized and functional.
I wish I’d created a kickstarter campaign to buy that house. Wouldn’t you have liked to see that renovation take place?! We have a great deal on our rent so it makes sense to keep saving a few more years before investing in a house, especially with the wedding coming up. But still… It’s hard to believe a property like this will come to market again!
One final note, Salvaged Grace is all about repurposing and preservation, of course, but I also believe in renovations that keep the integrity of a space while making it more modern and relevant. That’s how I’d want to approach this or any renovation; keep the good bones and repurpose (kitchen island) or salvage (cabinets, appliances) as much as possible, but also bring in the right new elements to make a very lovely, modern traditional space.
Caton Avenue photos and floorplan via Halstead. Back Door: See from the front door to back via Heirloom, Modern iron french doors via You are the River/Vogue Kitchen area: White Tile via That Kind of Woman, Cabinets to the ceiling via House and Home, Impressive hood via Little Green Notebook, Large scale framed photo via The Aestate, Wood cabinets via Brabourne Farm, Black cabinets via Two Ellie Island Bar: Furniture like island via CocoCozy , Wood counter and painted Island via House Beautiful, Table lamps of island via Atlanta Homes, Custom elements via Southern Living Custom Cabinets/Shelves: Custom cabinets via Elements of Style, Cabinets frame bench via The City Sage Bench and Table: High back bench via Cote de Texas, Framed bench via This is Glamorous, Dream Table via Arta Vironi, Chair via Nightwood, Sofa via CS Post and Co Pantry: Flush Doors via Southern Living, Highly organized via IHeartOrganizing