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The kitchen was crowded, so they room-shuffled.

The kitchen was crowded, so they room-shuffled

Shuffled like architectural playing cards, the kitchen and several rooms in this Piedmont, California, house now give owners Susan and Bill Epstein a better deal. With three energetic boys jostling for space at mealtime, the Epsteins wanted to open up their cramped, narrow kitchen and add a family room without extending much beyond the existing back wall of the house.

Originally, the kitchen and breakfast nook lined up to form a narrow galley along the east side of the house, with the nook at the front and the kitchen at the rear. San Francisco architect Bernard Stein combined these two rooms, putting the range, refrigerator, and sink where the nook had been. This freed up part of the former kitchen for use as a family room opening directly onto the back deck.

Since the old kitchen wasn't wide enough to accommodate a table and a sofa easily, Stein borrowed space from two adjacent bedrooms. By moving walls (one between the bedrooms, the other between a bedroom and the former kitchen), he added 100 square feet to the family room. New French doors open to the expanded deck.

A short, curved, granite-topped peninsula terminates the kitchen counter, separating the kitchen from the family room without blocking views. Built-in bookshelves and storage cabinets minimize clutter in the family room.

Photo: Interior vista sweeps through kitchen, to family room, and out French doors to back deck

Photo: By moving or removing several walls, architect did away with breakfast nook off kitchen, squeezed space for family room from bedrooms

Photo: Peanut butter banquet takes place in informal dining area--part of new L-shaped kitchen-family room
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Date:Jan 1, 1988
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