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It's a kitchen-and-more.

It's a kitchen-and-more

The friendliest room in the house is a product of evolution. It started as what we used to call the kitchen, but now it has grown to become more of a gathering spot where family and guests can eat, sit, relax, watch or help with meal preparation, and enjoy being together.

On these 10 pages, we show nine expanded Western kitchens that incorporate sitting and eating areas--and, in a few examples, elements from a family room: fireplaces, library walls, stereo and television centers, and comfortable couches and chairs.

All of these rooms share an informal atmosphere that celebrates food, family, and friends. Out of necessity, the cook has been brought back into the center of attention --because, in these busy times of two-income households, the expanded kitchen also is the logical gathering place for those compressed hours between work and sleep. As one homeowner puts it, "When I get home from work, it seems I have to spend most of my time in the kitchen, and I refuse to feel cut off from my family.'

These new-style kitchens are also space efficient. It's as if a one-room cabin had been constructed in the middle of the house--there's less and less need for separate living and dining rooms. Instead, their functions overlap around the kitchen. In all of our examples, interior walls were removed or space was added to make the kitchens more expansive.

In our cover house, three separate rooms became one

The walls came down between a kitchen, family room, and attached garage to create the 47-foot-long space at Sue and Mark Morris's house in Tiburon, California. Although the remodel works within the existing shell of the house, new windows and glass doors to the rear garden make the room seem bigger and brighter.

"It completely changed how we use our home. We spend all of our time here,' say the owners of the two-level room.

In the upper kitchen and eating areas, the warm tones of the Mexican paver tiles and the maple top of a 10-foot-long island add a unifying richness.

The 15-inch change in level occurs along the former wall between house and garage. The carpeted lower area now functions as family and game room. A low, two-sided bookcase and a fireplace imply a separation of space without blocking views. Once part of the wall, the fireplace has been wrapped in a shell of gypsum board. Its angled corners and the brass-plated chimney surround add distinctive form and metallic sheen that echo the glass-shaded lights above the island.

San Francisco architect Kenneth Kurtzman, of Kurtzman and Kodama, Inc., teamed with his wife, interior decorator Caryl Kurtzman, on the remodel.

A winner from the AIA-Sunset Western Home Awards program

From a dark, dingy, low-ceilinged complex of rooms, Penny and Greg Gallo's expanded kitchen grew outward and upward. Now lofty and bright, the richly detailed room was conceived as one space with different facets: eating alcove, family room with library wall, office area, and long kitchen. Changes in ceiling planes and lighting delineate each area within the room, but the repetition of off-white walls, white-stained wood, and a quarry-tile floor give it unity.

Designed by Cody Associates of Palo Alto, California, the award-winning remodel strikes a balance between natural and artificial lighting. Above a soffit ringing the room are small end windows, clerestory and roof windows, and skylights. The soffit fixtures direct light up and down. Slender horizontal windows fit between wall cabinets and the countertop for additional daylighting and garden views. The fixed windows in the popped-out dining alcove are really standard glass-paneled doors set between posts.

Opposite the kitchen, a 12-foot-high library wall houses books, television and stereo equipment, a fireplace (with wood storage below), and a rolling ladder for access to the highest shelves.

More walls come out in Portland

For a busy mother with young children, an attached family area lets her keep an eye on them while she prepares meals. That's what taking out the walls between rooms allowed in the house shown above.

Architect Jerry Ward turned a complex of three small rooms into one that combines dining nook, family area, and updated kitchen. Incorporating a 10 1/2-foot-wide storage room brought light and garden views into a kitchen that had once been closed off to the outside. A 13-foot-long counter, a change in floor material, and a deep overhead beam separate the two zones.

On the other side of the counter is a 13-by 13-foot space that is half kitchen, half breakfast nook. A diagonally running island divides the tile-floored room and helps direct traffic to the family area.

At one end of this kitchen, a slender new family room

The most-used room in Mary Lee Hunter and Scot Rybar's house combines a new family area and an old kitchen. A hillside that sloped down toward the house meant that there was only one place to expand the kitchen: the narrow corridor between house and hill. Because of the slope, the addition had to be three steps up from the kitchen's floor level--but Rushton/Chartock Architects of Fairfax, California, turned the narrow transition space into a focal point, as you see at right.

They interjected a corner fireplace that projects like a ship's bow into the stairway. Both rooms now enjoy views and a fire. On the kitchen-breakfast room side, the hearth sits almost at waist height; there's space for wood storage beneath the firebox. On the family room side, the fireplace is slightly off the floor. A television recessed in a pocket in the angled brick wall faces the family room.

Fresh, unlabored, inevitable: that's how you might describe the cuisine of noted chief, restaurateur, and author Alice Waters. The same words fit her remodeled and expanded home kitchen. Berkeley architect James Monday designed an informal and practical eat-in kitchen that seamlessly extends the craftsmanship found elsewhere in her 1910 bungalow.

Situated at the back of the house, the original kitchen had been cramped and dark, blocked from the garden by a glassed-in utility porch. Monday removed the porch and extended the kitchen 12 feet into the garden to create a single 14-by 20-foot room.

Like the kitchens shown on previous pages, this one breaks easily into zones. At one end, food preparation takes place on a wooden worktable surrounded by range, sink, and refrigerator. People dine at the other end, near a grand bay window overlooking the garden. Storage cabinets and a butcher-block counter built into the bay form a buffet.

Dominating the kitchen's west wall is a broad chimney containing a fireplace and two wood-burning overs: the upper for baking bread and pizza, the lower for baking potatoes or other vegetables in hot coals and ashes. The two-handled metal grill, designed to fit any fireplace, is based on a type seen in Tuscany.

Monday used natural materials the way a chef uses fresh ingredients, bringing out the "flavor' of each. The rough-edged ochers, grays, and greens within the slate countertop act as foils for the glow of copper on the refrigerator front. He treated the oak flooring with green aniline dye for a striking transparent finish that highlights the grain of the wood.

All the great stars aren't on the stage, screen, or sports field. Throughout the West, many people--as part of cooking well and entertaining friends--love to showcase their presentations. The kitchens on these last four pages were all designed as culinary theaters.

In all four cases, the owners commissioned architects to custom-design their kitchen surroundings.

The result: multipurpose rooms that are stylish enough for company, yet hardworking enough to accommodate an array of utensils and ingredients. And in each you'll find one or more details where the owners spent extra money on something that just looked good--from counter surfaces to post tops to cabinetry.

Dramatic U encloses a stairwell

In some ways, the kitchen pictured above suggests the rich, comfortable look of a library in an English country house. In other ways, it's radically different.

Designed for David Gemes and Richard Westgard by Sortun/Vos of Seattle, the 16- by 26-foot space represents the merger of a bedroom, two closets, a powder room, a hallway, and the old kitchen in a 1910-era cottage.

The remodel required a new stairway to the basement, so the architect turned what could have been a clumsy necessity into an asset. Flanked with books, the stairwell is as useful as it is good-looking. And the rail around the well became both a cooking island and a roosting area for guests.

One one end of the room, a sofa, reading chair and table, and a TV invite settling in to wait for dinner. On the opposite end, a sink, cupboards, and refrigerator serve as backup to the cooking island, while a breakfast table looks out south- and east-facing windows.

Small-paned windows and French doors across the long outside wall open onto an enclosed garden, adding light, extending visual space, and softening the impact of the rich, bold colors and textures.

Where pastry plays a leading role

Visit Ginny and Jim Amphlett of Mercer Island on a weekend morning, and you may well be invited to sit down around a large slab of granite while Mrs. Amphlett rolls out Alaska-size cinnamon rolls and bakes them for brunch. The Italian granite, chosen for its serviceability in baking and candy making, has a bonus: it's a grand piece of horizontal art.

In this remodel, designed by Don Atwood and crafted by John Hall, a wall separating kitchen and dining room came down and a large south-facing greenhouse window was added.

Simple built-in cupboards with hinged and tambour doors close on a vast collection of cooking gear and dishes. The oak cabinets are finished and stained to match the floor and to have the appearance of fine contemporary furniture.

Here the welcome is, "Come try our pasta'

When Heidi Stamm and Tom Mueller invite friends for dinner, it's often for pasta after work. There's no time to dawdle in this busy family, so part of the interaction must come in watching dinner being made.

Seattle architect Cihan Anisoglu added onto an old kitchen to create this 600-square-foot space that's more than a kitchen. The food-preparation area fills one end and flows into a dining area and family room on the other.

Exposed and handsomely finished support beams and columns, the work of artisan Guy Marquiss, seem to frame the cooking stage, and tiles by artist Vicki Halper put real pizazz on the set. While one of the team handles the pasta, the other simmers the sauce; guests can muster on the three sides surrounding the cooking surface.

Glass cabinet doors put a whimsical collection of dishes on display. And out of sight, along the wall to the right out of the photograph, floor-to-ceiling cupboards house staples.

As Japanese and American as baseball

Tomoko Matsuno is as fiercely American as she is proud of her Japanese heritage. "I'm one of the products of the great melting pot,' she proclaims. "And it shows up most in my kitchen.'

The space combines what could seem conflicting values. It's orderly but not simplistic, functional but full of flair, a place where the great traditions of Japanese cooking meet every modern convenience (and new ingredient), and the cook is at the very center of family and friends-- "It's my form of kabuki!'

Seattle architect Roger Williams designed this kitchen with Mrs. Matsuno and her husband, Koji. The space isn't large: 14 by 22 feet. But in it the Matsunos often cook for groups of 10, then everyone moves into the adjoining (but separate) dining room for the meal.

The two large columns flanking the cooktop are nonstructural. Standard porch posts painted white and topped with a decorative lintel, they visually divide the work and performance space from the audience. "The elements are really neoclassic,' says the architect, "but the effect is Oriental.'

Scaled to match Mrs. Matsuno's petite height, the cooktop is a scant 30 inches above the floor. The rear countertops are 36 inches high to accommodate her husband's 6-foot, 1-inch frame.

Open shelves display prized cooking accouterments; more mundane objects are stored behind cupboard doors. Pots hang at the ready, and spices, dry ingredients, and other staples stash in a shallow pantry beside the refrigerator (visible in the photograph at right).


Great for food preparation and display, generous island in this expanded kitchen also houses a cooktop and plenty of storage cabinets

New surround for old fireplace marks end of tiled upper area, start of lower family area with added skylight. Extensive use of down lights keeps room bright but uncluttered

Telescope plan grows progressively wider. Color lines show old wall locations

Transformed two-car garage has views back to kitchen end past half-wall (back side of fireplace and bookcase)


Ten-foot-long island divides kitchen from family and dining areas. End-wall bookcase follows line of gabled roof

Wood-trimmed ceiling gives formal look to the gable. Soffit runs above the island; rest of kitchen opens to skylight

Photo: REMODEL 3: NEW OUTLOOK access to the highest shelves. stove, used to be a separate shed-roofed room. Picture at right shows how a row of windows opens the expanded kitchen to garden views. Doors at each end lead to a generous deck


A few steps up from the kitchen (in background in the picture at right) is the tall, open-beamed family room with a corner fireplace and a narrow, rafter-hung sleeping loft


Natural materials--slate for the counter and backsplash, copper for the sink --create a warmly textured backdrop

Flames shoot above adjustable grill for meat and fish while chef checks pizza in oven

Simple butcher-block worktable and vintage range dominate food-preparation end of the new kitchen. At the back, next to a side door, dining toble and buffet face a new bay

Arched ovens, generously scaled bay, and the timbered ceiling lend echoes of hearth-centered colonial life to this distinctive, yet understated, kitchen

New hip-roofed addition with bay window is camouflaged to match the rest of the house

Wide built-in buffet has space for vases, pottery, and platters, and can double as a work surface


Central stairwell to lower level becomes unusual activity hub and work center in remodeled kitchen--with no intrusion on workspace

Within easy reach of cooking island, appliances, sink, and marble counter fit along walls. Deep green paint adds rich contrast to butcher-block surfaces

As you step down, shelves alongside stairwell give easy access to handsome collection of cook books

View from the range: you look out through windows and a big paned door to the well-tended garden


Handsome granite slab is gathering spot to watch the master baker roll out dough


Homemade pasta is the show, and splashy, artist-designed tiles don't upstage the performance in this theatrical kitchen


She's the cook, he's the backup, in Japanese-American kitchen with countertops scaled to suit the heights of both job-doers

Culinary artist gives stir-fry show to hungry guests in setting that may remind you of a kabuki stage
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:kitchen remodeling
Date:Feb 1, 1988
Previous Article:Espalier.
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