APT: Downtown Brooklyn + Food + Drink

Kitchen island + coffee station.

coffee station

The kitchen in the new (ahem, “new”) apartment is more of an area than a designated room. You can see what I mean in the floor plan and photos from the real estate listing. It’s got a great stove, a decent fridge, a dishwasher drawer (LUXURY!), and about 14″ of counter space. It’s small. I need my prep space, so the obvious solution was to add an island. I went with the STENSTORP from IKEA. I was a little worried that it would look kind of country-ish with those tapered legs (ankles?), but that detail is really not noticeable in context. This thing is GREAT. Solid oak top, stainless steel shelves, built like a tank. It even has space for a couple of stools, so it doubles as a dining table. A+.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters. I bought it on clearance for $30, so I’m not surprised they don’t have it anymore, but this one and this one are from the same line and appear to be the same weave style. I was a little worried about putting a cotton rug in the kitchen, but I took a chance for the price. It’s turned out to be a great rug! It’s very thin and not the kind of thing I’d want in, say, a living room, but for a kitchen or bathroom where you really just want to cover up some tile, it’s perfect. Very easy to vacuum since it’s so flat, and I haven’t had any problems spot-cleaning minor spills with plain water.

coffee station

Wherever I live, setting up a coffee station is a priority. Pre-coffee, taking sugar out of a cabinet is just too much to ask of me. Because counter space is really at a premium in this apartment, mounting a couple of shelves above the island seemed like the best solution. These are LIMHAMN shelves from IKEA, and I can’t find them on the US website. That’s usually a bad sign, so…I’m sorry. Damn, IKEA. You really do discontinue the best stuff. Sigh.

I did some poking around, and it’s really hard to find stainless steel shelves that are deep enough hold decent-sized jars but narrow enough to fit in a tight space. These LIMHAMN shelves are only about 16″ wide, but they’re almost 8″ deep. Pretty perfect. If you have more wall space you could go with something restaurant-grade, or maybe this double-decker from CB2. It’s still not quite as deep as the IKEA shelf, but at least it’s more substantial than a picture ledge.

That coffee maker is almost a decade old, and it’s still chugging along! Cuisinart has been making the DCC-1200 for about 15 years now, and it remains popular with good reason: It’s a super-solid, affordable machine that makes a great cup of coffee. The salt and pepper grinders are from Menu, and they are GREAT. Easy to fill, easy to grind, and since the opening is at the top, they don’t leave little piles of spice on your countertops.

Coffee and sugar are stored in KORKEN jars from IKEA. The porcelain spoons are from CB2. They don’t have the exact same style anymore, but these are very similar, just a bit shorter.

coffee station

And finally, coffee station artwork! The drawing on the left is by Jen Ray, and the print on the right is the work of Lisa Golightly. Both frames are vintage.

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  • Reply Nikki July 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I’m seriously always in awe of the stuff you manage to do to customize a rented space! I bought a condo a few months ago and am at a loss as how to cheaply make it my own, currently a lime green wall and all birch cabinetry are hurting my heart. I think I’m going to have to browse your archives for some inspiration.

  • Reply Grumble Girl July 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Looks great, lady! Our Cuisinart coffee maker just bit the dust a few months ago (it had been a dozen years, I think) and I do believe I’ll buy it again. Good machine – looks pretty clean, too. And I love your framed pic with the bit of blush washi tape…

  • Reply Paul July 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    What will happen to the beautiful island/work bench from your Newburgh house?

    • Anna @ D16 July 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Paul, the island at the house is considered part of the kitchen in real estate terms, so it’ll stay there. It’s too big for the apartment, anyway. Hopefully the new owners will love it as much as I have. 🙂

  • Reply mommy July 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    High time for a house warming party.

  • Reply Madeline July 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Looking good!

    What’s the plant in the foreground, please?

    • Anna @ D16 July 28, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      HI Madeline, that’s a “zamioculcas zamiifolia,” better known as a ZZ plant.

  • Reply Clarissa July 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Is that a radio with am/fm? I’ve been on the hunt for a good one.

    • Anna @ D16 July 28, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      It’s an internet radio thing. Unreliable, not recommended.

      If you just want a regular old AM/FM, Tivoli radios are great!

    • Jules July 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

      I’m disappointed to hear it’s not great. Tivoli is $$$. Why is it so hard to find a reasonably priced, nice looking (and not huge) radio? My dream version has charging capabilities, blue tooth and is less then a month’s rent.

    • Anna @ D16 July 29, 2015 at 10:20 am

      My Tivoli recommendation was based on their regular old AM/FM radios. The Tivoli iPAL radios are about $200, and they get GREAT reception. They don’t charge devices or have Bluetooth, though—they’re really just radios. You can plug your phone/iPod in to it, but that’s about as fancy as they get. I don’t know anything about other stuff in their line.

      I’m waiting until this thing dies completely before I buy something to replace it, but I have my eye on the Aether Cone:
      (I don’t know how much your rent is, but the Aether Cone is $400.)

    • Clarissa July 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Awesome, thank you so much!

    • Myles July 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Hey Anna,
      I actually got to test out an Aether Cone for 3 months and as good as it looks the rdio service is a huge let down. The idea of it is rad, the sound quality is really good for its size, and the design is incredible. But as far as it figuring out what you want to hear and at what times of the day it definitely fell short. I would maybe recommend it for someone that doesn’t really care about music or someone that doesn’t like obscure bands, groups, singers. But I know you are a music “head” and you would be bummed for sure. Save that 4 hundred for sure.


    • Anna @ D16 July 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Myles, thanks for this feedback!! Question: Is the Rdio service any different from a regular Rdio account? Because we use Rdio in the car, and it actually works out pretty well. Every now and then there’s something I can’t find, but I don’t sweat it—I can listen to that stuff on vinyl or MP3s I’ve ripped from CDs (no more CD player). My main thing is being able to listen to internet radio, mostly NPR stations. I know…that’s SUPER boring, hahaha. $400 might seem crazy to listen to the radio, but I listen to public radio ALL DAY LONG. I don’t even turn it off when I go out, because the dogs listen to it. 😉

  • Reply Giulia July 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    We’ve been dreaming of adding a coffee station in our kitchen. Even though it’s a large kitchen we don’t seem have a natural place to put one. Love your set up. If you by any chance follow Design Mom, you might have noticed that she uses the same island (2 of them) to separate her kitchen from her living space. She has a post in the room and notched her counter top to slide islands together – could yours be notched to slide in more?

    • Anna @ D16 July 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

      Hi Giulia, I don’t, but I’ll look it up! There’s definitely not enough room for a second island in my apartment, though. That’s OK—just the one is working out fine. 🙂

      EDIT: I think I found what you’re talking about. Is this it?

      Those are actually pieces from IKEA’s freestanding kitchen line (VÄRDE), but I understand now that you meant that I could push it a little closer to the wall, not that I could add a second island. I don’t think that would work well with this island. There’s very little overhang on the STENSTORP top—less than an inch. VÄRDE looks like it has more like 4-5″ of overhang.

    • Giulia July 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Yeah, that’s what I meant. I thought it looked like the same one, sorry ;/ And yes, without the overhang it wouldn’t work.

    • Myles August 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      I think they are the same. And yeah for NPR and talk radio it’s definitely cool. My biggest issues with it were this: you speak into the Aether Cone and sometimes it doesn’t understand you so for example you could say “Cameo” and it could play something else like “Chromeo” but then that is in your history and you can’t go in and delete it. So the account thinks you want to hear some band you don’t actually want to hear and it works that crumby band into your rotation (not saying Chromeo is crumby but you get the idea). Also it seems like it works similar to Pandora in the sense that it’s playing the more popular radio friendly tracks by that artist, very rarely did I hear an album cut. I also only had the cone for 3 months and I didn’t really dive into it and try to figure out all the ins and outs on the device. But if you want something simple that is going to be super easy to use or awesome out of the box I don’t think the aether cone is the move.
      Also just noticed that great brick detail above the window in your kitchen area, it looks great!


    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      I don’t know who Chromeo is, but I know if I wanted to hear “Word Up” and I got something else instead, I’d be pretty bummed. 😉

      Thanks for all of the feedback! I only use Rdio to listen to specific albums of my choosing, not to listen to playlists. I’ve never used Pandora, so I can’t really compare. I actually don’t really like to use streaming services other than in the car because I know artists get screwed, but pairing with devices via Bluetooth and listening to NPR would be nice. 🙂

  • Reply Lisette July 29, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Looovely result! In case anyone is absolutely DESPERATE for those sexy LIMHAMN shelves, they are still available here, in Barcelona. And if you ask nicely, I may just be willing to get you some and ship them to you… 😉
    Just drop me a line, and we’ll work things out.

  • Reply Yelle July 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I’m moving to Chicago next month and I think I can totally do this in my new kitchen! Love the idea, love Ikea, this is so great!

  • Reply Tony The Painter July 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Anna, I first found your blog two years ago while performing a google search on how to fix cracked tile. I then became enthralled by all of the work you, Evan, Bruno and Fritz had done on your incredible house in Newburg and your apartment. The Kitchen floor solution is one of my all time favorite ideas!!! I love subway tile, and even though I’m a guy, Moonstruck has always been one of my favorite movies.
    My first ever “weekend in NYC” was Memorial day weekend 2014. I fell in love, (though my favorite t-shirt there is “go heart your own city”) I was so hoping that you would have some current “thing” on your blog that I checked it every other hour.
    I’m one of the people that you referred to in your post (which I just read today) about putting your house up for sale; I kind of gloss over all the stuff about make-up etc. . . (though I did like your high heeled rubber boots, not for me, maybe my daughter). I’m sad for you guys and the realization that it’s time to move on, but I want you to know that it’s O.K. Life is not static.
    I’m so grateful that you shared all that you did. I’m in construction here in Minneapolis and I’ve learned so much from you and your invincible willingness to tackle any project. (I especially like your routine for setting tile, it’s almost identical to what I do when I’m working on a side job).
    Please don’t feel bad, take care of your self and get this health thing licked!! You and the love you poured into your “temporary dwelling” (so many analogies) have made a difference in my life which is right at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,(you are a two-percenter!).
    Thank you!!! & I’m not going anywhere, keep on sharing.
    From my two paddle-boarding Australian Terriers, Butters and Lucy-Fur and me, Tony.
    ( “The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.”
    ― Philip K. Dick)

    • Anna @ D16 July 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Tony, what a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I really appreciate the kind words. 🙂

  • Reply Marta July 29, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    We bought that island 5 years ago and I love it. We used to live in a house with a spacious kitchen and since I’ve always wanted an island in my kitchen we decided to buy it instead of a table+chairs. We used it to prep meals but also for breakfast and dinners. I’d say we spent most of the time in that kitchen, even when we had friends over we always ended around the island. Two years ago we moved to a different state and the kitchen that we have now is too small for it. So I’m using it in my studio, as a workbench and also to storage materials. It was a great purchase! 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 July 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Yeah, it’s a versatile piece for sure! I could even see it working well as a desk for someone who likes a higher seat.

  • Reply Suzanne July 31, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Did I missed the house tour on this apartment? It looks so bright and airy.

  • Reply Genevieve Raymond July 31, 2015 at 9:23 am

    i can’t believe no obnoxious person has scolded you for keeping your coffee in clear glass! I will be that person. Get something opaque.

    • Anna @ D16 July 31, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Haha!! I know, I know…but believe me, at the rate we go through coffee around here, it doesn’t really matter.

      I promise I keep my spices in the dark, though. I’m not a monster!

  • Reply Danyelle August 17, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m stumbling onto this post a little late, but I was wondering, how on earth did they fit a drawer under the sink? Do you not have a garbage disposal? Curious, because I’m considering hacking that for my apartment.

  • Reply julie August 24, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    hey, what happened to the matte black coffee maker?

    • Anna @ D16 August 25, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Wow, you’re quite the eagle-eye! The power switch broke when we packed it in a stupid way two moves ago. At that point, we moved this older machine (stainless) from the house to the apartment.

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