After pondering the alternatives, Hinz removed the framing around two of the windows and pulled out the center posts. The island slid through the makeshift entry, and window-framing repairs went onto the to-do list.
Rebuilding this chunk of the house allowed the owners to set off the kitchen with a powder room and a mudroom that frame an opening to the oldest section of the house. This area now holds separate dining and reading rooms, a small office, and an entry with light-channeling interior glass walls. Miraculously, the floating stairs survived, gaining only a bannister.
Shown: A built-in desk helps set off the kitchen from the dining room while offering a perch for recipe grazing.