Uncategorized March 7, 2024

Kitchen of the Week: Stylist Brittany Albert’s Cosmetic Kitchen Upgrade, Trade Secrets Included

Brittany Alberts’s lament is a familiar one: “If budget hadn’t been a consideration, we would have loved to expand the footprint of our kitchen. And we would have loved to put in new cabinets and appliances. Instead, we had to stick with—and enhance what—was already in place.”

The wrinkle? Brittany is a stylist who works with interior designers and home design brands, so she approached her own home with a ready arsenal of accessories and tricks.

The narrow kitchen in question—an L-shaped galley probably last updated in the 1990s (scroll to the end for a Before shot)—was built as an addition to an 1880 farmhouse in Litchfield County, Connecticut, that Brittany and her husband, Sanders Witkow, a lawyer, bought as a retreat from their base in Brooklyn.

Taking a cosmetic tack made sense: the couple had a whole house to pull together and the existing kitchen, if not exactly to their taste, was in good working order. Come see how an interior stylist makes do—and where she ponies up.

Photography by Kate S. Jordan (@katesjordan), courtesy of Brittany Albert (@britt_albert). See disclaimer at end.


Above: The kitchen is situated just off the living room, which has its original hearth and beehive oven, and is likely where the kitchen was originally situated. As a link between the old and new—and an extra work surface—Brittany introduced an antique pine table from Plain Goods in New Preston, Connecticut, and hung a catchall Shaker peg rail over it.

For peg rail inspiration, go to our posts Instant Order and 16 Design Ideas to Steal from the Shakers.
Above: Brittany simply painted the cabinets and kept the existing dishwasher and other appliances. But she splurged by replacing the sink with a Shaws fireclay basin and deVol bridge faucet; read about the one she chose in our post Found: The Perfected Aged Brass Kitchen Faucet. Equally significantly, she swapped out the red granite counter.

How was she able to swing the new Calacatta Gold marble counter? “We found a slab at a local stone yard that had been sitting for months—it had been reserved by another customer but never purchased—and they gave us a big discount. Still, it was probably our biggest expense.”
Above: “I was tempted to take out the upper cabinets and have open shelving,” Brittany tells us, “but we were wary of hidden costs: when you rip out something. you don’t knowing what you’ll find behind it.” Instead, she painted the upper bank Benjamin Moore White Dove “to bounce more light around.” Not wanting a chilly, all-white kitchen, she used Farrow and Ball’s Elephant’s Breath on the lower cabinets: “I chose this light taupe for bit of contrast and interest—and because it works so nicely with the palette in the rest of the house.”

The light over the sink is deVol’s Small PlainSkullcap Porcelain Light; $290.
Above: Another easy upgrade: Brittany replaced the existing cabinet hardware with A57 Plain Knobs from Optimum Brasses in the UK: “I couldn’t find any sources here that had that same nice patina and handmade quality. It was a very easy process and they didn’t take long to come.” Unlacquered brass, she notes, “brings warm light to the room.”
Above: The existing range and microwave stayed in place. So did the lovely but damaged wooden floor: a natural fiber mat, the Ralph Lauren Carena Weave Solid Jute Rug from Overstock, covers a problem area and “brings in some really nice texture.”
Above: The work table is next to the fridge (not shown), which is tucked into an existing cabinet.
Above: The stylist at home: Brittany’s restrained touch is a reminder that a tight space calls for simplicity.
Above: There’s a pantry in the hall right off the kitchen: it leads to the dining area in a large converted barn. Note the Lewis Double Switchplate, $25, from Rejuvenation—Brittany replaced all of the white plastic switch covers with brass updates, a tiny detail that makes a difference.
Above: The pantry doors are also painted Farrow & Ball’s Elephant’s Breath.


Above: The kitchen was painted a pale gray and had a red granite counter, cabinet knobs in a satin silver finish, and recessed ceiling lights.

Thinking of a cosmetic upgrade in your own kitchen? Take a look at:

* How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets: 5 Tips from a Master Painter

* 10 Paint Colors with Cult Followings: Architects’ All-Time Favorite Paint Picks—Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, included

* 13 Favorite Cost-Conscious Kitchen Remodels from the Remodelista Archives

N.B.: This post is a favorite from our archives; the original ran on February 9, 2023, and has been updated. The photographs in this post are licensed for Remodelista’s use and cannot be repurposed or used on any other website without the photographer’s permission. | BidBuddy.com