Before: Drywall Prep Space

Another year went by before Claudia drew a kitchen plan on graph paper and Chuck collaborated with woodworker Cathal McGreal to make cabinets and a faux-icebox fridge front to match the dining room's quartersawn-oak woodwork. "It took forever to find another craftsman to make the icebox latches," says Claudia, not to mention the time spent tracking down salvaged stools and a cafe-au-lait–veined marble top for the island. Meals were prepared on a slab of drywall "for at least a year," she confesses. But that made returning the dining room to its original purpose all the sweeter. Says Chuck, "It was slow going, but now we have a kitchen that truly honors the house."

Shown: The already-plumbed pantry area was gutted and opened up. A new range moved in; the old fridge sat in the dining room.
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