Three Rooms Become One: After
Open up three spaces arranged like a barbell and suddenly you've got breathing room. For 10 years, Michael and Susan Assadi, serious cooks, parents of two young children, and owners of a 1924 house in Seattle, fought a skinny little kitchen that had a breakfast room stuck at one end and a dismal den at the other. The kitchen had an electric cooktop with a downdraft vent embedded in a traffic-slowing peninsula, and not enough storage or prep space.
Finally, Michael, an engineer, tapped his computer-assisted design skills to help solve the problem, deleting walls at either end and a door to the basement in the middle. Working with cabinet designer Lisa Wilson and her design-build firm Builder Showroom, the couple gutted all three rooms, added insulation, pipes, wiring, and ductwork, and reorganized the layout so that two could cook at once. The den became a dining and homework spot, and the breakfast room an airy walk-in pantry. “The island gives us extra prep space,” says Michael, “and when guests arrive we simply wheel it to one side.” Boom—room for everyone.
Shown: Opened up at each end, the kitchen has a cleanup zone on one side, prep and cooking space on the other, and an island floating at the middle.
Island: Crate & Barrel
Pendant lights: Restoration Hardware
Paint: 2028-30 Tequila Lime (walls); benjaminmoore.com
Refrigerator and dishwasher: kitchenaid.com
Three Odd Spaces: Before
It was a challenge for two people to cook and keep an eye on the kids.
It's a Reach
A library-ladder rail runs between two rows of upper cabinets. Twin wall ovens and a pro-style cooktop with a pot filler and a stainless-steel-tile backsplash make meal prep a breeze.
Wall ovens: GE
Range hood: Vent-a-Hood
Tile: Eden Mosaic
Library ladder and rail: putnamrollingladder.com
On the Surface
A countertop beneath open shelves in the pantry, near the door, catches keys and cell phones. The library ladder slides along a rail anchored just under the top cabinets on 2×4s masked with trim pieces.
Spacious Nosh Nook
Banquette seating and built-in storage maximize space in the eating nook.
Homeowner Tip: “To keep our galley kitchen from looking like a bowling alley, we ran beadboard across the ceiling, perpendicular to the floorboards, to help the room feel wider.” — Michael Assadi, Seattle
Cabinets: Canyon Creek Cabinet Company
Butcher-block table top: johnboos.com
Banquette fabric: maxwellfabrics.com
Flat screen: sony.com
Beautiful from Top to Bottom
New red-oak floorboards blend in with existing flooring. The ceiling was finished with beadboard running in the opposite direction to help visually widen the long, narrow space.
Pantry, Plus Party Bar
The former breakfast room became a spacious walk-in pantry with a hutch-like built-in. During parties it becomes a bar.
Knobs and pulls: Schaube and Company
The mini mudroom has hooks, drawers, and baskets to catch bags and outerwear just inside the heavily trafficked back door.
Coat hooks: restorationhardware.com
Gleaming Ceramic Tile Accent
Bright white subway tile sets off the light-filled cleanup zone.
A niche for the microwave gives it a built-in look. The custom appliance garage has its own outlets and a stainless-steel roll-down door.
Flip-Down Island Countertop
The island's solid-plank countertop mimics butcher block. It has a side that flips down to ease traffic flow when not in use.
Barbell Shape: Floor Plan Before
The kitchen was small and trapped between rooms.
Easy Flow: Floor Plan After
A 360-square-foot open plan holds the new kitchen, eating nook, pantry, even a mini mudroom.
1. Removed a wall to open the space and allow the eating nook to move to the former den.
2. Eliminated the peninsula, making way for a small island.
3. Tucked a mudroom built-in behind the back door.
4. Rejiggered this area, relocating access to the basement and removing a partition wall next to the old fridge.
5. Added prep space (and a gas line) to serve the relocated cooktop.
6. Took out a wall and cased opening to the breakfast room to create a wide-open pantry.