Chris and Margaret hired Approach Architects to remodel the kitchen in their historic home in Marblehead. The goal of the project was to make the kitchen brighter and more functional while staying within the existing building envelope.
The major design challenge was in determining how to capture additional space without making the kitchen any larger on the outside. The existing kitchen was squeezed between the exterior wall, the basement stair, and the mudroom door. It had additional doors that opened into the dining room, a short hallway between the dining room and the family room, and the basement stair.
The existing kitchen had a tight “U” shaped layout with counters on all sides. We gained space by relocating the mudroom door away from the kitchen. The surrounding partitions, with the exception of the basement stair partition, were removed. The counter layout was changed to be an elongated “L” along the exterior wall with another narrow counter against the stair wall. This counter expands into a rounded eat-in section with an over-hang to accommodate three stools. The appliances in the main counter were upgraded to a sub-zero refrigerator and a professional six-burner range. The shorter exterior wall includes a new sink under an existing window.
Another design feature of the new kitchen was the replacement of the flat ceiling with a cathedral ceiling and skylight. The additional headroom makes the space appear larger and allowed for taller cabinets. The skylight added needed daylight without altering the historic façade.
The positions of the family room and the dining room were swapped, so the kitchen became an extension of the dining room. The sitting area in the kitchen became the pivot point between these spaces, affording the chef control over all three spaces while preparing meals - perfect for watching the kids or a room full of guests.
In order to maintain the available daylight in the narrow kitchen, we needed to maintain all the existing window locations. The stove was located below a window to preserve as much available wall space as possible for cabinets. A hood was installed at the top of the window to provide appropriate ventilation. This solution allowed the client to achieve all their goals.
An added benefit to relocating the mudroom door was being able to make that room much more efficient. We added a boot bench, coat closet, and recycling storage without increasing the footprint of the house.