The dining room, adjacent to the kitchen and connected by an existing swinging door, was hardly touched: The walls, beams, and heart-pine floors are all original. To improve the flow of light between the dining and living rooms, Palumbo wanted to remove an interior wall—a controversial call, since it served to enclose an original inglenook flanking the house's fireplace. In the end, the wall directly above one of the built-in benches was opened up, with the supporting posts left intact; the revision not only lets light shine through from windows on both sides but also successfully unifies the two rooms.
Shown: An original built-in cabinet was refreshed with white paint, and new shelving was added behind the base-cabinet doors. The swinging door between the dining room and kitchen is also original.