A Cramped Kitchen Opens Up to Make Room for the Whole Family
Bumping out provided more light and flow, plus room to gather. Lots of white paint and warm wood gave the space vintage style
There's an art to opening up an old house. Sure, those small hallways and rooms can feel like back alleys and dead ends, but get carried away during demolition and you may sacrifice charm along with the original butler's pantry. Designer David Heide, known for his work on historic houses, likes to solve this problem by cutting and pasting with care while honoring period details. To improve flow in this 1908 foursquare in St. Paul, Minnesota, he added on in back, nearly tripling the kitchen's size. Then he matched new cabinets to those in the existing butler's pantry and gave the space a clean, buttoned-down look.
Homeowners Christian and Alexis DuBois opted for solid cabinet fronts over glass ones, allowing them to hide a desk and a TV in plain sight. "We have two kids, so there is always stuff around, but it never feels cluttered,” says Alexis. Barn-red walls, an oak floor, and a tawny beadboard ceiling warm up a room lined in vintage white. "People come in," she says, "and have no idea it's new."
The dated kitchen had just 3 feet of prep space and one drawer.
Bigger and brighter, it now has tons of storage, plus workspace, with
a peninsula perch for Eleanor, 3.
Just 108 square feet, the kitchen was too small for an eating area or island. A separate butler's pantry held dishes, but there wasn't much prep space.
Adding on in back and moving two interior walls enlarged the kitchen
to 282 square feet:
1. Extended the room 16 feet, allowing space for a light-filled breakfast area.
2. Added a 4-foot-long peninsula for prep space and a
snack bar, and put in a window over the sink.
3. Built in a desk with a
drop front to hide paperwork.
4. Widened the room by 3 feet with space from the broom closet
5. Moved the old closet wall in by 3 feet so that it now lines up with the existing flue.
A flip-up cabinet door slides back to reveal the microwave. To its left is a doorway to the butler's pantry; cabinets along the passageway, made to match the pantry originals, hide recycling bins.