Ellen Silverman

A couple of weeks ago, we started posting about Lydia Wills’ former studio apartment in New York City; the 600-square-foot space had so much going on, we had to make it a series…

Here’s her renovated kitchen which, when she moved in, was the most generic of New York City apartment galley kitchens (there’s a gratifying “before” after the jump). A few years ago she ripped it out and rethought the original space. The question: How to create a pleasurable, efficient kitchen without moving any walls or spending a fortune?…

To keep the kitchen feeling open and airy, she installed  under-the-counter refrigerator/freezer drawers (SubZero) and closed cabinets from Home Depot on only one wall and under the counters, with open shelving of painted wood on the other. She had counter tops made at a Bowery restaurant supply; look underneath and you’ll discover that they are simply stainless steel wrapped around plywood.

Sally Schneider

She enclosed the radiator in a cabinet made of cut-out painted wood.

Clever with fabrics, she sewed a Roman shade for the window and installed a ’70’s Sauze chandelier

Lydia stripped a thousand years of paint off the door jambs herself, to reveal the original Deco-ish steel underneath.


The result is a compact but airy kitchen that works well (she and her boyfriend often make dinner together), and looks good, carrying on some of the themes in the rest of the apartment.

Related posts: Lydia Wills’ Apartment: Before + After + In Between

Hangable, Folding Stools and Chairs

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