Kitchen Remodeling: Traditional Ties

Remodeling this kitchen brought it back to its historical roots, but savvy planning ensured every modern convenience was implemented.


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This kitchen is nestled inside a historic home. But the space lacked any sort of charm -- vintage or otherwise -- before an extensive remodel that brought back a historical persona built on decidedly modern conveniences. A compact work zone means the homeowner and her guests never have to take too many steps to reach the sink, refrigerator, or cooktop. Yet the kitchen can still handle a crowd.

The homeowner updated the kitchen's function and style by adding practical elements and stylish materials within the kitchen's existing footprint. To elevate the charm, glass-front cabinets wrap around an existing window and reach the crown molding. The arrangement gives the sink wall character and display space.

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The homeowner thought a glossy countertop would look out of place, so she chose black granite with a honed finish. The same stone is used for the backsplash, which abuts the windowsill and cabinet brackets.

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To create the effect of a past-era kitchen, the cabinets were hand-painted in a way that makes brushstrokes visible. Double ovens are placed in an angled cabinet next to glass-front cabinets that house a built-in microwave above a countertop that's perfect for making coffee or handling hot dishes.

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Designed as a dramatic focal point, the cooktop wall is covered with glazed terra-cotta tile that stretches from the counter to the 11-foot-high ceiling. The wall originally contained a fireplace, and the brick pattern of the tile pays homage to its past function.

Multiple layers of linoleum cast doubt that the original kitchen floor would be salvageable. But to the homeowner's delight, the uncovered heart pine planks now match the rest of the house.

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The island is loaded with storage, including a wine rack, recycling bins, spice drawers, space for dry goods, and a modest-size breakfast bar. Legs and feet give the island furniture style. Although a previous remodel gave the kitchen a small eating area, the homeowner opted for breakfast-bar seating at the island and a pair of window seats, flanking the cooktop.

The Floor Plan

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A peninsula with a range awkwardly divided the old kitchen and wasted space. Working within the room's original footprint, architect Jeff Wilkinson updated function with a center island, a corner cabinet that includes double ovens, and a built-in microwave. A cooktop with counter space anchors another wall.

More for You

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