A blended family with ten adults and teenagers reside in a historic 1860 house in Lexington.
Our 2011 remodeling project envisioned a kitchen with large island where multiple cooks could prep a meal, participate in family activities and watch a ball game, or as a perch to chat and work on a laptop. When alone, the parents wanted an intimate spot to have a meal for two.
Pantry wall - BEFORE
- A large walk-in pantry divided the kitchen and family rooms, cutting off conversation and limiting activities
- The breakfast table was jammed into the middle of a hallway, creating a bottleneck where family moved to the rest of the house
- Three pair of porch French doors directed traffic through the family room sitting area. The resulting piles of outerwear blocked circulation and created unsightly clutter
- An oversized window seat was unusable. Generally, the family room space was cluttered, hard to furnish and difficult to heat
- Both task and mood lighting were sub-optimal.
A key project goal was to re-use the assets of the kitchen:
- Ten-year old stained oak cabinets were relocated and reconfigured and new oak cabinets were stained to match. The Sub-Zero was relocated
- A new 4½’ x 8½’ island replaced the dark, cluttered walk-in pantry. Into the island went existing components: Two dishwasher drawers, a warming drawer, a microwave drawer and a black granite farmer’s sink. The custom island cabinetry was painted as were cabinets New beverage counter under oval window
- A charming oval window in the formerly dark pantry became featured over a beverage counter which included a relocated under-counter beverage refrigerator
- Interior French doors with a stained glass transom were re-used in a new pantry closet
- A beautiful tile backsplash was saved
- A painted tin ceiling needed to be partially removed to install structural beam. We re-used the panels we could salvage and located matching panels. The entire ceiling was then painted, to make a seamless blend between old and new.
Challenges encountered began with the careful removal of parts to be saved and reinstalled. Buried in the pantry wall slated for demolition were various lines that fed the second floor master bedroom suite above. We padded the exterior wall to accommodate the re-routed pipe and wire and then custom fabricated casing and jamb so that the saved oval window fit into the thicker wall. A window of trim was saved for the new entry zone. We re-used granite countertop and oak strip flooring.
|After: Kitchen opens to family room with generous center island at its heart|
Here's what the homeowners say about their new open kitchen / family room: "The kids can now prepare and cook two meals at the same time. Or, I can prepare food at the island sink and watch the football game while someon sits at the other end using a laptop. It has become the home office. The island is not too big. It has become the heart of the home."
See more photos of this project at our website portfolio.
Architect: Rick Eifler
Designer: Merill Comeau
Photography: Mori Insinger