What needed to be done The remodel was sparked by an uncoordinated series of small, first-floor rooms. Down went walls that partitioned off a patchwork of odd spaces: mudroom, closets, a study, a bath and a breakfast room, which Wolf says "was almost unusable. It was a very narrow space—so tight it was difficult to get around the table." Zitsman remembers a couple other less-than-sparkling details about the original kitchen. "The countertop— some kind of a yellow linoleum— was to die from rather than for.
Also, the lighting was pure workshop: four fluorescent bulbs in a rectangular box." The demolition was swift — "as if some alien force had come and taken the kitchen apart, but very neatly," recounts Zitsman. Within two or three days, the work crew had tapped into gas and plumbing lines and set up a temporary kitchen in the dining room, complete with range, sink and refrigerator. Once the demolition was complete, a space on the order of 30x20 ft. was revealed. "The size and location gave us two possibilities," says Wolf. "We could put the kitchen next to the dining room, or move it to the back of the house. We opted for the latter because of the great natural light and the fact it was a more convenient connection to the backyard." Placing the kitchen in the back meant creating a link between the kitchen and the dining room. The solution was a corridor lined with about 25 lin. ft. of tackboard. These walls can talk: Covered with reminders, calendars, photos and artwork, the space is part gallery and part family-communications center.The pinup material is a dense, pressed-cork product from Forbo that is "self-healing" (holes from pushpins don't show). A 6-in.-deep wood shelf runs along the bottom of the pinup area. It's a great spot for keys or outgoing mail. Off the hall are a closet, a bath and office.
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