Kitchens are where we connect. Parents and kids. Family and friends. But the kitchen in Courtney and Ben Jewell’s 1932 Tudor Revival fell short in every way necessary to bring people together.
Bumped out over a basement crawl space, the kitchen was uninsulated, uncomfortable, and separated from the small sitting area where their breakfast table sat. It was also disconnected from the nearby dining room.
The couple, who have a 4-year-old son, assumed they would need extensive structural work to gain the openness, seating, and entertaining space their kitchen lacked. But six years after moving into their Philadelphia home, their sister-in-law hit on an easier solution: Relocate the kitchen. “Once she said it, we couldn’t get the thought out of our heads,” Courtney says.
Enter designer Sean Lewis of Airy Kitchens, who drew up plans to transform the former sitting room into a colorful new kitchen and turn the old kitchen into a laundry/mudroom, preserving its retro pink-and-black tile and boosting comfort by insulating the ceiling and adding a vapor barrier below.
To make the new kitchen appear even more spacious, Lewis suggested dramatically widening the small arched passageway that led to the dining room, keeping just enough wall to retain the original crown molding that frames the ceiling. The attention to detail paid off. “As soon as the kitchen was done, it felt like it had always been that way,” says Courtney. “It fits perfectly into our house—and our lives.”
Magnetic chalkboard paint turns an arched opening into a message center.
Paint: Artichoke (kitchen cabinets) Sherwin-Williams
The kitchen offers welcome workspace for homeowner Courtney Jewell, who grows flowers for a community-supported agriculture venture.
Kitchen sink: Kohler
Kitchen faucet: Danze
Patterned cement tile above the cooktop creates the “big statement” Courtney wanted. Open shelves flank a chimney-style vent hood and provide spots for display; electrical outlets are hidden on the undersides of the lower ones.
Backsplash tile: Cement Tile Shop
Cabinet pulls, hutch knobs: Amerock
Vent hood: Broan
With few upper cabinets, efficient drawers fill the base cabinets. This one is customized to store cooking utensils.
Custom Cabinets: Airy Kitchens
To give the new kitchen additional breathing room, Lewis enlarged the existing 4 -foot-wide arch leading into the dining room, creating a nearly 10-foot-wide opening. Leaving the wall partially intact preserved the dining room’s original tray ceiling.
Pendants: Joss & Main
Floor-to-ceiling Shaker-style cabinets, updated with black hardware, line the wall opposite the cooktop. The French-door fridge and double ovens were high on the homeowners’ wish list for the remodel.
Cooktop, double wall ovens, dishwasher: Thermador
Switching up the color palette with this blue custom-built hutch marks the transition from the kitchen side of the arch to the dining room side. It faces the cookbook shelves on the end of the peninsula.
Paint: Porch Ceiling (blue hutch); Sherwin-Williams
Storage works best when everything that will be needed is near the action. A cabinet above the double ovens stores cutting boards and baking sheets; doors to the right of the ovens conceal four pull-out shelves that provide pantry storage.
Tucked between two archways, the cooktop wall’s display shelves and patterned cement tile create a statement that doesn’t overpower the space.
As luck would have it, existing windows were at a perfect height for locating the sink cabinets beneath them, flooding the room with light and offering views out the back.
The stone house’s 126-square-foot kitchen was trapped in an uninsulated extension. A sitting room hosted the breakfast table.
Relocating the kitchen to the 148-square-foot sitting room next door gave it more space, as did expanding into the old dining room by widening an existing archway and placing a peninsula and extra cabinets under and beyond it.
- Moved the kitchen to the adjacent space (and turned its former quarters into a laundry/mudroom); added base cabinets and a farmhouse sink under the three existing windows.
- Placed the cooktop perpendicular to the sink, with landing space on either side.
- Removed a wall that closed off steps to the basement, and added a pantry cabinet, wall ovens, and the refrigerator alongside the stairs.
- Widened the opening to the dining room to almost 10 feet, allowing for a peninsula with storage and seating, as well as a hutch opposite it.