Creative tinkering and a spiffy new look deliver major style and function to an outdated cook space
Adding on can be very tempting. But Kevin B. Kelly and Rosanne Lufrano were determined to keep the original footprint of their 1907 house, in Montclair, New Jersey, despite its dark, uninviting kitchen. To get a more free-flowing space where they and their two teenage daughters could easily gather, the couple gutted the kitchen and the adjoining powder room, working with architect William Figdor, interior designer Tracey Stephens, and general contractor Jerry Niebrowski. Walls opened up for improved plumbing, wiring, and insulation invited fresh thinking about the layout, including door and window placement. New energy-efficient windows now channel sunlight in winter and enough cross-ventilation in summer to forgo air-conditioning. A radiant-red range, Rosanne's find, inspired matching base cabinets, balanced by white upper cabinets and open shelves. "Finding tile in just the right shades was a challenge," Rosanne says. That, and wrestling over whether to squeeze in an island. "We thought about creating an eating nook on the far wall," she says. "But all four of us prefer hanging around right at the center of this sunny new space."
After: A new bay window from Marvin brings in more natural light. Other draws include a gather-round island and a mood-enhancing palette.
The sink was jammed into a corner, and the look was dated-drab.
The pale gray island complements a floor made with limestone tile in three sizes. The tile—honed, distressed around the edges, and sealed—provides texture and pattern while hiding spills.
A backsplash inset of custom-cut marble, onyx, and limestone ties together the color scheme.
TOH Pro Tip: "If you're not sure about an island, live with a table in its place for a while. If you do decide to go ahead, mock it up in cardboard first to get the shape and size just right."
—Tracey Stephens, interior deSigner, Montclair, N.J.
The space was cramped, the sink was cornered, and the fridge had drifted away from the range.
The 260-square-foot space was gutted and reorganized, with new spots for the powder room and back door, and new windows.
1. Shifted the sink from the corner to a roomy cleanup zone under a new bay window.
2. Relocated the powder room and back door, opening up the kitchen and permitting a long run of cabinets and countertop.
3. Opted for one small window on the range wall so that the stove could change position slightly.
4. Removed the other window and invited the fridge into the new prep zone.
5. Replaced the breakfast table with an island whose wedge shape eases traffic flow.
6. Moved the powder room to a less obtrusive spot.