For this 1930’s brick colonial, the owners wanted a large kitchen with dining area that would accentuate their vistas of Archibald Glover Park just behind the house and be compatible with their more informal lifestyle. We moved the kitchen to an area of the 1st floor where we could make a much larger, more open kitchen.
The only structural work that had previously been done on the house was the original garage had been converted into a family room with a rear glass wall. The original kitchen was interior and only about 8’ x 8’ in size. We took the existing 1st floor space that was a small kitchen, family room, half bath and entry foyer and moved the kitchen so we could expand it.
The new kitchen and dining room captured and incorporated the family room with the rear glass wall. We removed structural bearing walls and replaced them with a steel structural beam to create the 20’ x 20’ space that became a kitchen and dining room area. The previous small glass family room had a rear wall using single-glazed glass windows and door. We rebuilt it with double-glazed glass windows and doors when we incorporated it into the new 20’ x 20’ kitchen and dining space. The double-glazed glass make the room much more energy efficient, as does the spray foam insulation that we used in the walls and ceiling.
The biggest challenge was opening up the floor plan–taking the existing numerous small rooms and the former garage space to create one large open space with a flat ceiling. We were working with different floor elevations and had to bring them to one level. After leveling the floors we installed new 2 ¼” white oak floors. The oak flooring was installed on concrete so leveled the various areas, waterproofed it, put plywood down and then installed the new hardwood floors. Opening the space required removing a bearing wall running through the middle of the house and replacing it with a very large and heavy steel beam and headers. The glass family room had a dropped ceiling. The ceiling height is 8’ 1”, set by the height of the existing steel beam where the glass wall had been built. The original steel beam dictated the height of the room. All of the ceilings also had to be leveled to make it look as if it had always been that way. We used recessed lighting with dimmers throughout the room combined with under counter lighting. Where we relocated doors, we had to in-fill the brick to match. Finding brick to match with the original was a challenge. We installed two new HVAC forced-air systems to heat and cool the entire house and removed all of the radiators and gas boiler. All of the new duct and HVAC lines had to come through the space. Hiding these was challenging.
We custom milled two arches that mimic the existing arches in the foyer and matched all of the interior moldings. The single-glazed glass window wall had to be fabricated and replaced. Kolbe supplied the sliding doors and windows and we fabricated the steel structure and wood infill around them.
The kitchen cabinets were all custom-made by Old River Cabinetry. The perimeter cabinets are all painted maple. The hutch is also painted white maple with glass doors. The hutch is built into a wall that separates the kitchen/dining room and what was originally the formal dining room and is now becoming a family room. The interior of the hutch is stained dark to match the dark cherry wood of the island. The kitchen island is made of cherry wood with a dark stain.
All of the appliances are built in adding to the appearance of furniture, rather than cabinets in the kitchen. We used an Asko stainless steel fronted dishwasher, a pull-out drawer style Sharp microwave, a stainless steel 42-inch wide KitchenAid refrigerator, and double Thermador wall ovens. The farm sink is made by Julien farm –30inch wide with a single bowl. The faucet is a single hole with a pull –out spray.
The final result is a beautiful and functional kitchen and dining area that the owners can enjoy, not only as a kitchen but also as a gathering space. The views of the park through the rear glass wall are unrivaled and we created site-lines that the owner wanted from other rooms in the house. The structural aesthetic of the exterior was not changed. All construction was done within the original footprint of the house.
September 10, 2013