One Big, Happy Kitchen for Family Gatherings
Annexing the dining room gives this mom of two teenagers an open kitchen where the whole gang can gather
When avid cook Janice Gates Kelly bought an early—1900s Tudor in Westchester County, New York, she knew the cramped kitchen would need an overhaul. Together with architect Roz Young, she ended up rethinking the whole first floor, expanding the cook space into the roomy dining room and absorbing the pantry into a new family room. The result: a big open-plan kitchen that's now the official hangout for her and her two teenage daughters, as well as their friends. "We spend 85 percent of our time in here," says Janice. That's partly because she custom-fit the space to their needs, with lots of drawer storage, a peninsula that doubles as a dinner table on weeknights, and a stainless-steel worktable island that she bought as a temporary fix, then fell in love with. "Unlike the marble counters, it's indestructible, which is a boon with kids," she says.
The dated cook space was cut up, with the fridge in a separate butler's pantry.
The fridge wall's gray cabinets incorporate leaded-glass sidelights that the owner bought years ago at an antiques fair, plus a magnetic chalkboard for notes.
The new pro-style range is indestructible. "It gets cranked up to 500 degrees every Friday for pizza night, and friends come over. The more people in this kitchen, the better," says Janice. The new range wall held plumbing for an upstairs bath, so adding the pot filler was an inexpensive upgrade. "It also serves as a focal point, so we didn't need expensive tile above the stove," she says.
The pretty octagonal prep sink was a splurge (even at a warehouse sale) and acts as a hand-washing station for the kids. "Shop for sinks and faucets in person at high-end plumbing stores, then scour eBay for the same exact ones. I saved hundreds that way," says Janice.
The old kitchen was cramped, with a separate pantry that held the fridge.
Extending the kitchen into the former dining room and reworking the basement entry allowed for one big, open space.
1. Created a peninsula with seating, which serves as the dinner table on weeknights.
2. Splurged on a pro-style range; saved by buying an all-gas model.
3. Put in a sink for hand-washing away from the food-prep zone.
4. Built in the fridge, adding a magnetic chalkboard on the side.
5. Placed a 7-foot stainless-steel worktable in the center, which doubles as a serving buffet.
6. Added hutch-like cabinets that incorporate antique sidelights and small drawers for charging stations.