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Open shelves and a long peninsula bring old kitchen into today.

Out of a maze of doorways, corridors, and chopped-up spaces, SAnta Barbara architect John Vrtiak created this open kitchen where cookware is within reach and light and work space are abundant. In a double play, he also retained or re-created detailing to keep the remodel at one with the style of this 1918 bungalow.

When work began, all interior partitions were clear redwood board-and-batten paneling, painting white in an earlier attempt to brighten the dark rooms. Vrtiak recycled the paneling and kept the original ceilings wherever possible.

He installed a 10-foot-long work peninsula between dining area and kitchen. Set in the chop-block counter is a gas cooktop with warming oven below. A step away, out of diners' view, are two wall ovens and a niche for spice storage.

On the opposite wall, a shallow new bay window brightens the tiled counter and double sinks, and creates counter space behind them. Above all work areas, canister lights are recessed in the ceiling.

Vrtiak decided against overhead cabinets in favor of open shelves. He also outfitted a 3- by 8-foot pantry at one end of the kitchen with adjustable floor-to-ceiling shelves.
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Date:May 1, 1985
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