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Bright, efficient galley instead of a tunnel.

"The kitchen became a tunnel." That's how Frank McCoy describes what happened when a house was built immediately next to his. "The new house blocked light that used to come from three northfacing windows. Fortunately, my new neighbor was a contractor, and he helped reorient the space and open the ceiling to skylights."

Mr. McCoy, along with designer Douglas Cheng and contractor Kieran Keaney, eliminated two interior walls to create a dining room and kitchen where the old kitchen and two small rooms had been. The sunniest spot, facing east, became a small breakfast area. The owner did much of the construction himself, spending eight months and $11,500 on the project. To increase the light, they removed a 9-1/2- by 17-foot section of the 9-1/2-foot-high ceiling and installed two large skylights in the roof; every other ceiling joist remains for support. Dramatic night lighting in both rooms comes from low-voltage lights along 16 feet of track screwed into the joists. The skylights --one 2-1/2 by 5 feet, the other 2-1/2 by 8 feet--now work with a row of interior transom windows to brighten a dark hallway opposite the dining room. White paint and white textured wallpaper reflect light to create a gallery-like setting in the new dining room.

Defining the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen are two 4-by-4 posts topped by a 4-by-6 beam. In the small corridor kitchen, Cheng pulled one counter in 2 feet from the wall, added a railing 4 feet high, and created a small pantry behind it.

The breakfast area receives full morning sun. When not in use, its custom-built, U-shaped table folds down and out of the way against its wall support of black plastic laminate.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 1, 1984
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