Home Tour—a Before-and-After Case Study of a Modernized Urban Pre-war Apartment in New York


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We came across an article on Architect Digest this morning talking about the renovation of a prewar apartment channeling old-School New York. We fell in love with this newly remodeled NYE home immediately thanks to its muted pearl-on-pearl color palette. This soothing off white color palette with subtle shimming pearl  undertone creates a very calming and elegant atmosphere through the house. Because the home owner and design team have kept some of its classical bone, we are please to see  eye-pleasing classical design details at the mantle, bathroom and kitchen …etc. So, today, we are going to use this NYE pre-war apartment makeover as a before-and-after case study to share our take-aways on small-space makeover.

1. Choose a warm light neutral color palette.

The colorful books on the white bookcase, the dark brown and black on the dining furniture and light fixture anchor and elevate the space.

2. Dining and Living Area.


Before: dining room and living room are 2 separate small rooms without smooth flow.


The design team combined the dining and living rooms  to form one larger space.


This is a small apartment about 1,200-square-foot s featured a restrictive layout, and lacked the unique character. So the  design team decided to focused on simplifying the home’s layout by combining the dining and living rooms  to form one larger space. Additionally, three elegant archways were installed to encourage a sense of symmetry. And you can see one of the archways from the above picture. The pearl-on-pearl color palette here reflects the classic vibe of the apartment and also serves as a perfect backdrop for modern furniture and furnishings. We love several textures inter-playing at this space—elegant marble, wool area rug , soft linen fabric on the sofa, wood frames on the furniture and polished chrome metal legs of the marble dining table.  The oversized black artwork anchors and elevates the space while an one-of-the-kind mid-century modern chandelier over the dining table is a huge wow factor.

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2. Kitchen


A tiring and dated small kitchen


An  custom Moroccan  Tadelakt plaster backsplash adds a touch  of old-world charm to this newly modernized light-filled space.
Storage was shifted to one side of the kitchen so the other side could remain airy.


You can tell that the old kitchen was tired and dark. So one of the successful strategies to renovate a small and dark kitchen to make it bigger and brighter is to streamline the layout first.  We have done that many times. The design team for this NYE project got rid of wall cabinets on the stove side which really helps open the kitchen and keep the storage on another side with adding tall cabinets. We love the old-world charm Tadelakt plaster on the stove side. And the French vintage range adds a dose of glamor  to the kitchen. in order to enlarge the kitchen visually, lighter wide oak planks replaced original narrow busy wood flooring. So our suggestion here is L: don’t be afraid to use large wood planks or large-format tiles in a small space. They actually  dramatically make the space looks a lot of bigger and UN-fussy.

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3. Bathroom


a cramped bathroom with a French classical bone.



The issue for the old bathroom is that  the space is a little bit cramped. In order to guarantee the comfy of usinh this bathroom, the best strategy in this kind of situation  is propally to re-figure the layout if the budget is allowed. The design team created a wet zone with separated shower and tub.  Then, we feel this bathroom is a breathable space.  We love the idea of changing black frames of the window to white.  The white window frames together with   newly added white-framed panels open and light  up the upper space of the bathroom while the black hexagon mosaic tiles anchor this space.

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4. Fireplace.


We don’t have the before photo for the fireplace.  But we really love how the design team did this fireplace—the beautiful Calacatta marble on the surrounding of the fireplace, a muted color palette, and a custom artwork that actually hides away a TV. We are usually not a big fan of any cabinet or panels that are designed to hide away a TV. But this project is different. The artwork  quietly seamlessly blends in the wall. It is so minimal and sleek. You couldn’t tell it actually hide away a TV if you  are not told so.

And you can read the original article by clicking here

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Happy Tuesday


8 Tips to Refresh Your Small Spaces

The beginning of the new year is a great time to create a new look for your home. How excited it is! Today we are going to  share 8 tips to fresh up your small spaces. But first of all, we will need to have a right mindset—a small space can have a big style.  We guess you are with us. So please read on and see if any of the following advises can be of  help to you.


Step 1:  Choose a small space that you use daily and need an update to make this space organized and stylish so you feel your life can be on the track in 2020. They can be your kitchen open shelves, your pantry, your powder room, your entry,…etc.  And of course your dress room. You may say that I don’t have a room for dressing up myself. That is ok. It can be a corner of your bedroom or your closet or your master bath.  What ever it is, we will need some essentials to make things happen. All right, so today we are going to use dress room or dress space as a case study.


We actually just re-designed this dress room from  a closet. A good thing about this closet is that it has a tall window. So step 2 to  transform any small space is to bring in a lot of natural light if you are lucky. If that is not your case, you always can throw in some table lamps, floor lamps or indirection LEDs to create pretty cozy atmosphere.



Step 3 is to have a fresh paint for your small space. A new coat of paint will change your space in a second.  If your small space has a lot of light, we recommend to go for light color just like we did for this small dress-up room. And if your small space is a complete dark space without any window, we recommend to use rich tones to create an enveloped jewel box. So you can totally relax there with your weekend home-made cocktails or Kabucha tea.


Step 4: Upholster anything you have in that space, it can be a vanity chair , a makeup desk or a bench. You can even add some trims for your upholstered piece just like  the way we added  Grace key trims for the below makeup desk.  The trim detail will uplift  your small space in a big way.


Step 5: Layer up different styles and different elements to make your small space fun and interesting with your personality. We add a pretty modern pillow in this dress room to break away from the dressy style and still have the pillow in blush color to keep the cohesive vibe.


Step 6: Have sparkling crystals to make your small space dazzling.

Step 7: Have some fresh flowers or preserved flowers to make your small space alive.

Step 8: Yes, art please.



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Hope you find the above resources helpful. If you would like us to put everything together for your project, please contact us at info@khkdesignsinteriors.com



Happy Friday


Dining Room Decor Ideas for Small Spaces

What if you don’t have an extra room for a formal dining room.  Here are some ideas.

  1. Design the space as a whole rather than a single room.  Therefore, you are able to arrange everything in a open space, mind  the work flow and leverage the every possible space for your dining area.


2. Multi-funcationalities.  The following space can be served both as dining room and be reading nook.  It’s versatile, chic and interesting.Best-Modern-Dining-Room-you-won_t-miss

3. Add banquette against wall for more seating space and cozy vibes.cantinhos-da-cozinha_2_310117

4. Why not put your round dining table to the kitchen.  It’s easy to access to everything and fun to live with.



Happy Tuesday