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My wife Kathy (aka Babs) and I have owned our 2 bed/2 bath coop (with WBF and small terrace) in Chelsea for almost 8 years. The kitchen, while adequate was showing it's age. Our coop consists of 9 units carved out of 3 brownstones glued together back in 1981. The kitchen is original equipment. Particle board cabinets and countertop, ugly tile floor and 2 decade old appliances.

Early on we started replacing the appliances as they died. We have a pretty good collection of high-end stainless gadgets and always figured that we'd do the rest if we ever had the money. Here in NY that means something around 40-60 grand; at least that what our neighbors spent.

One thing that really bugged me was the pass-thru opening. When we have parties or guests I usually do most of the cooking. This, of course, means spending a lot of time in the kitchen. With an open arrangement this isn't a problem but pass-thru was clearly designed for chefs of small stature. Being six feet tall meant I had to bend over every time I wanted to interact with anyone in the other room.