Magazine article Sunset

Art of the Kitchen Addition: Bringing Efficiency, Spaciousness, and Style to the Hardest-Working Room in the House

Magazine article Sunset

Art of the Kitchen Addition: Bringing Efficiency, Spaciousness, and Style to the Hardest-Working Room in the House

Article excerpt

All roads lead to the kitchen - the place where Westerners live, work, and entertain. But most kitchens weren't designed to function as such high-performance "vehicles." They need remodeling help. And kitchen upgrades make economic sense. According to Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel can add more than 100 percent of its cost to the value of a house within the first year, while a major kitchen remodel can bring a 90 percent rerum on investment at resale. Here are eight pages of ideas to get you thinking about how to make your own kitchen more efficient and "vroomy."

More room for the island

Problem. Not enough space for working and breakfasting. Solution. A 4-foot-wide, 15-foot-long sliver addition to the cooking and washing-up area (following the ceiling line) made it possible to widen the circulation space, expand the kitchen island, and reshape the cabinetry along the north-facing wall. A shed roof-shaped skylight washes this wall with diffused daylight. The kitchen opens to a new, octagonal breakfast room, which adds to the feeling of airiness and light.

DESIGN: J. E. Caldwell Architect, Woodside, CA (650/851-3353)

CONTRACTOR: Scott Plemons, Palo Alto (650/328-2392)

CABINETS: San Antonio Cabinets, Palo Alto (650/494-6773)

COUNTERS: Verde Chiara from Clervi Marble Company, San Francisco (415/648-7165)

Big enough to eat in

Problem. "We had an inky-dinky kitchen, and we both like to cook," recall Cameron and Lee Tyler. They wanted spaciousness and sunlight.

Solution. They doubled the size of their kitchen/breakfast room and shifted its location. And they opened up a wall to take advantage of expansive views of downtown Portland. The 8- by 16-foot addition extends from the back of the two-story house and opens to a deck on the view side. Large new windows with an upper band of smaller panes brighten the interior and repeat the style of the original windows.

The interior is a study in natural materials: clear maple cabinets, a backsplash made of black slate tiles, and a tawny-colored linoleum floor. A stainless steel hood, more than 32 feet of laminate counter, and the owner's collection of antique glass (displayed above the cabinets) add contrasting color and texture to the room.

DESIGN: Giulietti & Associates, AIA, Portland (503/223-0325)

CONTRACTOR: David Leech, Brightwood, OR (503/622-5675)

CABINETS: Gresham Door & Cabinet, Gresham, OR (503/663-2991)

FLOOR: Marmoleum, distributed by Forbo Industries (800/342-0604 or 717/459-0771)


Problem. The dated, cramped kitchen was divided into three little rooms.

Solution. An L-shaped addition to Christopher and Sharon Jenkins's kitchen wraps around the front corner of their Glendale, California, ranch house. The addition is just 4 feet wide and adds only 135 square feet to the house, but surprisingly, the remodel feels much bigger inside. That's because what was once a warren of small spaces is now one long room containing a home office, eating area, and kitchen.

A comfortable cottage feeling predominates. Cheerful green paint animates the cabinetry, island, built-in breakfast alcove, and front office. Overhead, false beams echo a detail from the living room. Arts and Crafts-era tiles with Celtic and medieval images punctuate the backsplash; Craftsman-style lights and wrought-iron hinges add ornamental touches.

DESIGN: Kajer Architects, Pasadena (626/795-6880)

CONTRACTOR: Sanctuary Construction Corporation, Woodland Hills, CA (818/346-7646)

PAINT: Custom green by Dunn-Edwards Paints (888/337-2468)

TILES: Mission Tile West, South Pasadena (626/799-4595)

HANGING LIGHTS: Rejuvenation Lamp & Fixture (888/343-8548)

The pop-out booth is back

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