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A social kitchen with considerable geometry to it.

A mirror image of its original shape allowed this kitchen to double in size. The former kitchen's triangular floor plan seemed almost an afterthought--small, cramped, tucked off to the side of the house. Owners Susan Shirk and Sam Popkin of La Jolla, California, were able to expand their diminutive kitchen into the little-used side yard. The resulting blunt-cornered triangle gives them just what they wanted: a bigger kitchen where family and friends can congregate for chatting and meals.

At the center of the kitchen is a 13-foot-long island with angled wing walls. On one side is the cooking area; the other faces a table and a built-in bench seat. The side of the island facing the eating area is 46 inches high to mask the sink, stove, and work counters. The island's black plastic laminate top forms a buffet counter for informal meals, and though the house has a formal dining room elsewhere, the kitchen is so inviting that most guests end up here.

The old kitchen was dark, but in the new design, two skylights above the island and sliding doors to the side-yard patio bring in plenty of light. White walls and cabinetry bounce light around the room, and the ceiling is punctuated with recessed downlights.

Although the kitchen is quite open, cabinets on the long wall behind the cooking area provide plenty of storage, in addition to two big pantries at opposite ends of the room--one for foodstuffs, the other for plates and kitchenware.

In remodeling, the owners got help from designer Deborah Zvaifler and kitchen consultant Nancy Raulston.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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