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Before & After: A Galley Kitchen Reinvented


Before & After: A Galley Kitchen Reinvented

February 19, 2015

Creative director Jakob Daschek is Swedish, fashion stylist Barbara Abbatemaggio is Italian, and their overhauled NYC kitchen, designed by architect Lauren Wegel, an Annabelle Selldorf protégé, caters to both of their sensibilities. “Jakob’s aesthetic is modern, while Barbara often prefers rustic, romantic spaces with lots of warmth and comfort,” says Wegel, “so we took a rustic-modern approach.”

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Above: After nixing the idea of opening up the kitchen to the dining room–”it just didn’t work with the prewar apartment layout,” says Wegel–she transformed the 7-by-11-foot space into a bright, spic-and-span galley. Sink, dishwasher, range, and work surfaces are all conveniently within arm’s reach of each other.

The fridge (a Blomberg) and tall cabinets are tucked on the opposite wall. The custom cabinets have an ash veneer–chosen for its open grain and Scandi vibe–with cutout integral pulls (rather than hardware) to streamline the narrow space. The counters are 1 1/4-inch honed Carrara marble–”a bit of home for Barbara,” says Wegel–and the floor is tiled with honed statuary and black marble in a basket-weave pattern from Complete Tile. The range and hood are by Italian company Bertazzoni–”they make great ovens that have a Wolf look but are slightly less expensive,” says Wegel. See 5 Favorites: High-Style Italian Cooking Ranges for sources. The hood came with the integral pot rack, which Jakob and Barbara love. 

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Above: A view from the dining room. To give the kitchen a clean look, Wegel tiled the walls in inexpensive 4.25-by-4.25-inch white Metro squares (about $3.50 per square foot) from Nemo Tile. They have dark grout to play up the grid and because, Wegel says, “white grout reminds me of McDonald’s and doctor’s exam rooms.” The white farmhouse sink, a Porcher design sourced online, has a classic Chicago Wall-Mounted Faucet, a Remodelista favorite–see 10 Easy Pieces: Best Budget Kitchen Faucets. And if you like the look of the chandelier glimpsed over the table, go to High/Low: Arctic Pear Chandelier.

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Above: Wegel turned a dumbwaiter into inset shelving: “Because of New York codes, we had to fireproof the hell out of that cavity.” 

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Above: Barbara (who owns Sorelle Firenze with her sister) requested the open shelves; they’re supported by Chrome Rods from Hafele. The globe lights are the Luna design from Schoolhouse Electric.


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Above: Untouched for decades, the kitchen had broken-down appliances and faux brick walls. Its galley footprint lives on.

Wegel’s website is under construction. Based in NYC, she specializes in residential work and can be contacted at [email protected].

Wegel worked on another of our favorite New York remodels: A Hardworking Brooklyn Kitchen by Annabelle Selldorf. See more standout galleys in 10 Favorites: The Urban Galley Kitchen.

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Go to Rehab Diaries to explore more kitchen remodels, including:

Also don’t miss our recent Rehab Diary, Parts 1 through 4, in which a young couple in London chronicle their small-house overhaul–it starts here.

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Frequently asked questions

What was the inspiration behind the remodel?

The inspiration behind the remodel was the desire to create a functional, open space that feels timeless and personal.

What were the main challenges of the remodel?

The main challenge of the remodel was working within the constraints of the existing space and figuring out how to maximize storage and functionality.

What materials were used in the remodel?

The materials used in the remodel include custom cabinetry, marble counters and backsplash, and brass hardware.

How long did the remodel take?

The remodel took approximately four months to complete.

What changes were made to the layout?

The layout was completely reconfigured to create an open-concept kitchen with a large island and more counter space.

What was the budget for the remodel?

The budget for the remodel was approximately $100,000.

Did the remodel include any sustainable features?

Yes, the remodel included LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable materials.

What was the designer's favorite part of the remodel?

According to the designer, Lauren Wegel, her favorite part of the remodel is the custom designed, oversized island that serves as the centerpiece of the space.

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