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Curved wall and mirrors create extra space.

Throwing a curve was designer John Krause's solution to the problem of a boxy interior. Part of a kitchen remodel, the curve added room to the adjacent bedroom and gave architectural punch to the sedate interior of a conventional ranchstyle house in Palm Desert, California.

Krause replaced a flat, nonbearing wall with a curved one that begins in the dining room and swoops through the rest of its arc in the kitchen. He covered the unaltered section of the dining room wall with mirrors. Their reflection extends the curve into a half-circle, visually enlarging the space.

In the kitchen, a 1 1/2-inch-thick maple

countertop abuts the curve. Its extra depth lets two cooks work there comfortably at the same time.

A cozy reading nook tucks neatly into the inside of the curve. Overhead, a new skylight brightens the dim bedroom.

The header between the dining room and kitchen marks the midpoint of the curve. To find its radius, Krause first established the points where he wanted the curve to begin and end. Then he measured that distance (9 feet) and halved it.

The biggest engineering challenge lay in fabricating curved top and bottom plates for the stud wall. After scribing the curve on 3/4-inch plywood, Krause cut four 3 1/2inch-wide arcs with a saber saw; these he layered in pairs to make the 1 1/2-inchthick plates. Next, be toenailed 2-by-4s at 12-inch intervals in an arc, and clad the studs with a double layer of 1/4-inch plywood (sheets overlap so both seams don't fall atop the same studs).

Krause primed the plywood with flat latex, taped seams and knotholes to smooth the surface, then papered the wall.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1988
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