Project Case Study: Historic Kitchen Remodel
Preserving the Historic Charm of a 1929 Home
Constructed in 1929, this Seward Park residence showcased the typical architectural elements of that time period, including coved ceilings, arched doorways, and lath & plaster walls.
The kitchens of this time were designed for efficiency, accommodating only a small stove, an icebox, a sink, and perhaps a breakfast nook. Although the homeowners appreciated the historic charm, the kitchen itself was unimpressive, lacking sufficient storage and illumination.
In order to address the constraints imposed by contemporary appliances, we needed to make significant changes.
Combined Rooms for Added Square Footage
To create a larger kitchen layout, the breakfast nook, and covered back porch were combined, allowing for the necessary square footage.
Transformed the Space with Added Natural Light
The client expressed a desire to increase the amount of natural light in this area. By rearranging the plumbing, we were able to move the sink to the left, creating space for a bigger window and accommodating a dishwasher, which was high on their wishlist.
Additionally, we installed a full lite exterior door leading to the deck, which not only brings in more light but also provides convenient access from the kitchen to the outdoor dining area.
Preserved Unique Historic Details
By removing the dividing wall between the kitchen and the adjacent dining room, we created one large open space that could be enjoyed by all, cooks and diners alike.
At the same time, we were able to bring in the visual space and natural light from the living room. The added bonus was the inclusion and reveal of the arched passage leading to the living room – an architectural detail now shared in all three locations.
The demolition of the dividing wall was relatively easy. The challenge was to retain the coved ceiling detail on the dining room side. This was achieved by carefully removing the cove on the dining side, preserving it, and reinstalling it after the spanning header was in place.
We were then able to proceed in installing two posts hidden in the flanking walls (interior and exterior), which would support the load from the main floor down to the existing foundation at ground level.
Reimagined the Space for an Open and Airy Expansion
An even greater challenge was presented with the takeover of the covered porch to create the kitchen bump out. The covered porch was cantilevered from the main floor of the house. Footings were added, and post and beam framing were installed in its place to accommodate the larger kitchen floor and fully enclosed bump out. This enabled us to expand the usable square footage of the kitchen significantly.
To finish, we installed cedar lap to match the rest of the exterior siding and our painters matched as closely as possible the existing color – buying our homeowners time before their scheduled whole house paint in 2019.
The Final Result: A Spacious, Well-lit, Modern Haven
Our homeowners now have a spacious, well-lit, modern kitchen with all the amenities. Life and lifestyle for them are simpler yet more energetic and definitely more inviting than ever before!