Approach Architects had previously done design work for a master suite and second floor bath in Jessen and Julie’s home in Marblehead. When they relocated to Newburyport’s historic district, they once again hired Approach Architects, this time to renovate the kitchen of their new home.
The kitchen was a design challenge because it had numerous elements that could not be removed or relocated. These elements included: entry doors into the kitchen from the backyard, basement, rear staircase, and the dining room, a triple mulled window that looked out towards the backyard, a double hung window that looked out towards the driveway, and a large 24"x24" masonry flue that vented the basement furnace.
The kitchen was designed in the shape of a “U” so as to maximize the amount of work counter available and also to separate the semi-private and public areas of the kitchen. When the kitchen is approached from the main passageway through the dining room one is welcomed by a large sit down peninsula. The peninsula has seating for three and becomes the physical boundary, which separates the entertaining area from the work area of the kitchen.
A new wall was built to conceal the masonry flue and to provide a continuous surface upon which we mounted our upper wall cabinets. We then took advantage of the cavity created between the new and existing walls to recess a pull out storage unit. The new kitchen sink was centered facing the existing triple mulled window to provide a direct view of the back garden. Due to the size of the existing windows and the number of doorways, storage space was at a premium. To increase the storage area within the kitchen, we created a tall pantry storage area that also integrated a built-in bar and wine storage area. Between the entry doorways from the dining room and second floor stairway, we built in a small secretary desk and countertop the provided storage for the house phone, electronic devices and other utility items.
The existing fir flooring was sanded and refinished. The new cabinets were a maple shaker style door that had a wheat colored stain applied. Dark heavily patterned granite was selected to provide a visual contrast between the vertical and horizontal surfaces. Stainless steel appliances were chosen to give the kitchen a modern feel. Stainless steel, glass, and travertine tile backsplash was used to unite the kitchens varied colors and textures and to present a cohesive look.