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Remodeler's dilemma: how to deal with the cellar door.

How to deal with a cellar door was the problem confronting designer Molly Martin in this turn-of-the-century house in Palo Alto, California.

Like so many older homes, it had a

ground-level cellar door lying immediately outside the old kitchen. Martin's challenge was to retain basement access while adding a pair of symmetrical rear wings, one of which would expand the remodeled kitchen.

Her solution was to build over the old cellar door, incorporating an L-shape hatch into the new kitchen floor by wrapping it around a cooktop island (see photographs on page 122). When the hatch is closed, a thin break in the floor is the only hint that part of it lifts up, moving on oversize scissor hinges. A metal bar props it open.

With that problem solved, Martin could

reorient the kitchen, which originally ran across the back of the house. She rotated the new kitchen 90 degrees running it along one side of the house. This freed the middle of the house for a central dining area that opens, through French doors, to the new

trellis and rear-garden deck.

While cabinets and windows in the tallceilinged kitchen and dining area respect the -house's architectural period, owners Mary Mackiernan and Robin Clark have chosen thoroughly modern appointments for the kitchen: recessed overhead lights, granite counter surfaces and backsplashes, a down-venting cooktop, and two sinks in a contemporary style.

The house's other new wing contains an 8by 10 1/2-foot lean-to greenhouse with an oversize bath tub. This airy space captures some of the sun's heat and helps warm the master bedroom and bath.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1988
Words:265
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