“What happens when the core of the home is the most congested space imaginable? Quite often this space is an outdated kitchen. The kitchen needs to be efficient, inviting and a connecting point for the entire house.”
By Marcia Lyon
Example (above) of an efficient, modern kitchen.
What a great, traditional, colonial style home with central entrance (A), central stair (B), formal dining room (C) and living room (D). A charming solarium (E) is off the living room and offers a view of charming antique furniture and an interesting Cemetery beyond.
Rendering by Marcia Lyon
Along the back of the house is a long, narrow weatherized back porch (F), lovingly referred to by the family as the “bowling alley”. Through the years this long and narrow space has been tasked to provide space for many different functions. Presently, the left side is used as sort of a ‘kid’ area and houses toys. The center area, which is where the family comes into the house from the detached garage in the back, was the spot for the exercise machine. The right side had a table where the family of four would eat most of their meals. They didn’t like the bowling alley, but space is space and they made the most of it.
The kitchen (G) was smack in the middle of most of the traffic. People pass through, dividing the refrigerator from the other workspace. The sink is on a counter that is opened into the bowling alley to get borrowed natural light from the windows. With this kitchen also the path to the ½ bath and the basement stair, it is even more congested.
An expansive deck (H) extended the back of the house and behind the office(I).
At some point in time, space was added for an office (I), as well as a new side entrance (J). The office was actually too big and therefore collected extra ‘stuff’. The need for office was now minimal and it was decided to create a space for it in the third-floor finished attic. The side entrance no longer made sense because it enters from a narrow side yard or the front yard.
A reorganization of space was needed while retaining, and perhaps adding, charming woodwork and style.
The homeowners main focus was on their dysfunctional kitchen and wanted to perhaps claim more bowling alley space to enlarge it. A good family entry was important, with people coming and going in this small town outside of Buffalo.
Rendering by Marcia Lyon
Focusing first on the family entry, we created a great one (K) inside the existing exterior door. We added a generous coat closet, a bench and a tower for shoes.
Then I relocated the kitchen (G) to the office (I), because there (L) we could have the space to create a true center of the house. The existing box bay bump-out is ideal for the sink counter. To the right are the refrigerator and range counter. A huge island offers all the prep area needed, as well as an eat-on feature, visiting spot, and buffet area for the dining room (C). On the other side of the kitchen is a fantastic closet style pantry, as well as a glass door out to the deck (H) for grilling and serving outdoors. Two openings connect the kitchen to both the dining room (C) and the new casual family area (O). This family area can be concealed when messy with the pocket doors (P). A new hall (Q) was established and now the main traffic doesn’t pass through the kitchen.
Since the side entrance (J) was there and used occasionally, it was improved by the addition of a door (R) making it an air-lock entry.
The remaining part of the bowling alley (F) was turned into a main floor laundry (S) that was large enough to house the exercise equipment. The space is pleasant enough to spend time in because of the windows on two sides.
Marcia Lyon is a professional architect, remodeling designer and freelance writer. She designs projects internationally and locally across the US and Canada. Visit Creating Spaces on Facebook! Contact Marcia via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone 515-991-1300. Her website is www.creatingspacesdesign.com.