1. Removed doors to eliminate their space-hogging swings, easing traffic flow. Archways patterned after an original one between the kitchen and the breakfast nook give the new openings added character.
2. Opened up the wall that had separated the kitchen from the rest of the house. On the dining room side, a curved shelf 9 inches above the range and its flanking countertops provides a resting place for serving dishes. The raised half-wall allows light in but screens cooking messes from the dining area.
3. Scaled down and rearranged appliances to squeeze in more storage and counter space. Switching out a full-size range for an 18-inch GE model opened up 12 inches to its right, now filled by a base cabinet with a tiled counter. Replacing the 27-inch fridge and moving it across the room to where a skinny pantry cupboard had been allowed for 2 more feet of cabinets and workspace. It also made space for an 18-inch dishwasher.
4. Shortened the cabinet run perpendicular to the sink wall by a foot. This further eased the path to both the dining room and the stairs to the driveway.
5. Changed windows over the sink to maximize natural light. Two easier-to-open, crank-handled casements flanking a fixed window replaced the old aluminum double-hungs divided by a section of wall.