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Into the 1980s for a 1909 kitchen.

Restoration was the goal for most of this 1909 Portland house. But when it came to the kitchen, owners Linore and Larry Allison wanted to expand the space and incorporate contemporary conveniences without insulting their house's period ambience. "We didn't want a stage set cluttered with fake-antique gimcracks," they explained. "So we took a good look at the straightforward use of materials in the rest of the house and applied what we learned to 1980s kitchen technology."

Remodeled by Benchmark Design, the kitchen with its adjoining breakfast room now covers a generous 230 square feet. A wall between the original kitchen and a small pantry came out, while all other walls were stripped to their studs for new wiring and plumbing. Gypsum board replaced plaster and lath. A bay was pushed out for a small dining space. Along the back wall, seven tall, small-paned windows opened the view to the rear garden. Eastern maple, finished with polyurethane, was used liberally--as flooring and cabinet trim--for durability and for its period look. On the lower cabinet doors, grooved paneling, like that found in the original kitchen as wainscoting, also reflects the past. Tall baseboards, used throughout the rest of the house, have been welcomed into the new kitchen: they now accommodate registers for the forced-air heating system, and here and there conceal hidden drawers that pull out on full-extension glides.

Counters are topped with 2-inch square ceramic tiles, except for a 28- by 32-inch marble slab recycled from a bank and used for pastry rolling and candy making. Details such as the suspended glass-shaded light fixtures and the maple-framed panels around the face of the range hood also recall earlier decades, without looking like period cosmetics.
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Date:Nov 1, 1984
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