Remodeled open kitchen
Photo: Helen Norman
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Relocating the Cook Space

Start rejiggering a home's layout and almost anything may seem possible‚ including swapping the locations of the family room and the kitchen. For Matt Totaro and his wife, Connie Eiseman, moving the kitchen was one of several improvements made during the remodel of their 1909 house, in Catonsville, Maryland. With two kids‚ joined later by a third‚ they craved an open eat-in kitchen situated at the center of the household. The existing family room presented just the right spot.

So, after a work crew gutted it, taking down a wall to annex a side porch as well, the couple worked with kitchen designer Steve Fair to finish one large space with an eating area at one end and plenty of room for entertaining. Today, traffic flows from the kitchen to the new family room (located where the old kitchen stood), skirting an island that delineates the cooking-and-cleanup zone. Pendant lights, soapstone counters, an apron sink with a wall-mount bridge faucet, and refinished pine flooring reinforce the home's period look. "Starting from scratch meant weeks without a place to cook," says Matt, "but the payoff is having an eat-in kitchen that really serves as the heart of our house."

Shown: Relocated to where the family room once stood, the new open-plan kitchen has plenty of room for family and friends.

Oven range: GE
Range hood: Kobe
Microwave: Frigidaire
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