Home Location : St. Paul, MN
Home Built : 1924
Photographer : Heinz Richter, GMP Photography

Summary :

This young professional couple loved their 1924 house and its location, but hated how isolated they felt trying to entertain while in the kitchen. They loved the character of the existing homes details; wide oak edge-banded trim, ceiling coves, hardwood floors, oak cabinets, and subtle details but had new ideas for the kitchen that they wanted to incorporate into the design.

We removed a chimney and wall between the kitchen and dining room to open the layout. This also allowed us to increase storage and functionality of the kitchen by rearranging work stations. We maintained the character of home with trim, base, windows, crown molding, and cabinet details. Unique twists to classic elements were added: such as smaller Talc-colored subway tile, Silestone Leather countertops, Marmoleum “Papyrus White” flooring and energy-efficient appliances. The blend of these materials gives this traditional style kitchen a refreshingly youthful feel that reflects the clients taste and is respectful to the homes architecture.

Scope & Objectives :

The clients wanted classic materials with unique modern twists; for instance we used a subway tile pattern, but smaller 2×4 “Talc” color special order tile. Marmoleum “Papyrus White” flooring was a contrast to the hardwoods throughout the house, and Silestone Leather countertops, in a “Grey Amazon” color set off the painted cabinets. These quartz countertops feature a new leather texture and built in antimicrobial product protection. The blend of these materials gives this traditional style kitchen a refreshingly youthful feel that reflects the clients taste and is respectful to the homes architecture as well. While we introduced many new items, care was taken to match existing features in the home. For example the 3 piece base and divided lite upper window sashes in the kitchen.

Functionally one can’t do better than the new working triangle with generous maneuvering space. We also directed focus toward the range area by a detailed wood hood with recessed tile niche below. All the cabinets were painted to create a fresh new look. Features particularly important to the client were the light fixtures (pendant school globes), the hood (reminiscent of English Country style, with its moldings, brackets and recessed tile niche below), and cabinet doors (routed top rail and side stiles with a waterfall bottom rail). The clients love the increased storage space, and are amazed that they finally have a place for everything, such as spice racks, baking trays, divided cutlery drawer, and trash pullouts.

At the side door entrance and stairs to the basement we installed a multi function cabinet with broom storage and recycling center on one side, and on the other side a coat, boot, hat, and bag cubby. We wanted this area to augment the view from the kitchen and at the same time make our clients lives a little more convenient.

Additional functionality and energy efficiency is reflected in the new appliances that include a Faber Smart hood, Electrolux slide in range with controls on the front for easy access, and an LG french door refrigerator with freezer drawer on the bottom. These match the Elkay stainless steel Avado under mount sink and Grohe pull down spray faucet.

Challenges & Solutions :

A brick chimney ran from the basement through to the 2nd floor roof creating an obstacle where we wanted to remove the wall and add a new arch opening between the kitchen and dining room. Fortunately, the chimney was unused, as it had previously been modified to direct vent to the exterior. With the wall and chimney now gone we created an immediate link between the rooms and introduced a large graceful arch to define the spaces and create interest. The approximately 2’ long end walls on this same arch wall allowed for electrical switch placement and areas to abut existing dining room cabinets and new uppers in the kitchen. Once the wall was opened, we were able to remove the cast iron and lead plumbing and reroute the plumbing, electrical and HVAC to their new locations. Structurally we also reinforced the floor joists of the kitchen as they had previously been cut thru to accommodate plumbing pipes.

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