My client owns a historic home built in the Heights in 1921. The kitchen had four doors, five windows, limited counter and storage space and just enough room for a small dining table. Many of the cabinets were original.

My client wanted to remodel the kitchen to add more workspace, cabinet storage space and an eating area in one large room while maintaining the architectural integrity of the house. It was extremely important to my client that all of the materials look original to the house — from the new windows to the brickwork to the kitchen cabinets. She also wanted to add larger windows to the back (east) and patio (north) walls to let in more light and enable viewing of the backyard and gardens.

To enlarge the kitchen space, we removed a small pantry and enclosed the back driveway entry and stoop. These changes added 52 square feet of floor space to the kitchen. The increased dimensions provide ample space for my client to prepare meals and add a large dining table where her growing family could eat. We also built in a window seat for the family members to sit, read and view the gardens.

More About The Project

After

The new sink run features a custom-sized Kolbe & Kolbe casement window designed to look like a double-hung window to match the originals. The dishwasher to the right of the sink is built-in. The countertop is a honed limestone quartz with the soft look of stone and the added durability of quartz.

Before

The existing sink run had been remodeled in the 1970s and featured windows that did not match the other windows in the house.

After

New view of east wall shows space gained from knocking out the pantry, new Dacor stove, larger double-hung window and built-in window seat. The built-in island provides more workspace and storage. The additional schoolhouse light fixtures help lighten the entire room while matching the style of the original kitchen.

Before

The old east wall of the kitchen featured a small pantry and the back driveway entrance. The annunciator box above the back door had to be restored and relocated. Note the stove and old refrigerator on the left (north wall).

After

New north wall features two larger double-hung windows to let in more light and a new custom-sized table to fit the allotted space.

Before

The old north wall features bookshelves, refrigerator, stove and short double-hung window overlooking the north patio. A chimney runs up the outside of the house.

After

The new built-in cabinets look like the original ones but feature convenient interior accessories such as full-extension drawer guides, adjustable shelving, roll-out trash receptacles and appliance panels (dishwasher, refrigerator and warming drawer). The cabinet hardware is original; it was replated by Standard Plating to restore its bright nickel finish. The refrigerator on the right is built-in. Note the refinished annunciator box, relocated above the west door.

Before

The old west wall shows the 1920s cabinets that the client wanted duplicated to match the style of the house. Note that the wall cabinets extend to the ceiling.

After

The stripped clothes chute was repainted and reinstalled in its original place.

Before

We removed the clothes chute from the pantry and stripped it before sending it to the cabinet shop for finishing to match the new cabinets.

After

The new butler’s pantry retains the original glass doors, which were remounted on new cabinet boxes. Underneath the cabinets are xenon luche strip lights that provide continuous light to countertop work spaces.

Before

The old butler’s pantry featured 1920s cabinets with original glass. The client wanted the glass reused.

After

The restored annunciator box was relocated and mounted on the west wall above the door leading to the hallway.

Before

The client requested that the annunciator box be stripped and restored to its original condition. (I did not know how we would be able to achieve this, but we made it a personal goal to make this happen.)

After

The old hardware was removed, replated and reused on new cabinets and windows. I searched the city for slotted screws that we had plated — and replated — to match the original ones.

Before

The old cabinets featured hardware that the homeowner wanted saved and restored. She had salvaged the hardware herself but failed to save the screws.

After

The exterior view of the new east and north walls shows the finished windows, achieving our goal of maintaining the original appearance of the house.

Before

This exterior view of the old east side of the kitchen shows the short double-hung window in the old pantry and the back entrance that we enclosed.

Before/During

The old pantry window was enlarged, and a second window was cut out of the north wall.

During

A salvaged radiator was installed under the window seat to maintain the heights of the window sills. We drove out to Middlefield to contract with an Amish craftsman to duplicate the old windows, placing extension jambs on the outsides rather than insides.

After

The client wanted better, more even lighting throughout the kitchen. We used schoolhouse fixtures to maintain the kitchen’s original appearance and recessed lights for general purposes. We installed under-cabinet xenon luche strip lights for a continuous light source. (See architect’s rendering.)

Lighting Plan

After

The kitchen floor is a select white oak stained in a checkerboard pattern with light- and dark-stained varnish. The dark stain matches the existing oak floors in the rest of the house. While I had never before done this type of staining, the architect suggested it. The client and I are very much pleased with the results.

Floor Plan

Safety

Safety was important to us throughout the kitchen renovation. At all times we had the blue prints, emergency telephone numbers, fire extinguisher, masks, first-aid kit and earplugs. During construction our electrician provided GFCI-protected outlets on dedicated circuit electrical boards. Laminated safety glass was used in double-hung windows to protect children from accidents.