A re-done kitchen-dining-study area brings a family close to each other and to the outdoors.
When architects Gregg and Jennifer Lewis bought a 1950s vintage home in 2006, they began to update it to better fit the lifestyle of a young couple with two active children. The ranch, in one of Salem’s older communities, had a back porch that ran the length of the house and overlooked the woods.
The kitchen, however, was small – about 150 square feet – and inadequate as a gathering place for the family, which includes Audrey, 11, Charles, 9, and two golden retrievers.
Jennifer, who has designed kitchens for many clients, took the lead on the project. The couple wanted to integrate the area with the outdoors. In doing so, they ended up with a kitchen-dining-crafts-homework area that connects to a three-season porch. The redone space also includes a small home office and a half-bath.
The design for the area was driven by the lines of an existing wall that included a large fireplace, special furniture the Lewises wanted to incorporate into the space, and the desire for a multi-use room.
The wall-containing fireplace that opens into the new space was built at a slight angle by the original contractor. That angle was continued on the wall between the kitchen area and the home office by the contractor for the kitchen project, Pittman Construction. The angled wall also informed the offset in the bookcase-counters in the dining area.
An alcove was added to house a custom hutch built by Gregg’s grandfather.
The writing height of the bookcase-counters in the dining area provides space for homework and craft projects. The bookcases also serve as a divider from the kitchen work space.
The dining area features four Stickley Craftsman chairs around a table that was built to match by Bowman Woodworking in Ferrum.
In the kitchen, awning windows by Marvin open to the outdoors. Light maple cabinets built by Bowman with Craftsman lines frame the microwave, oven, and refrigerator, and continue under the windows, giving an excellent view to outdoors for someone preparing food. Counter heights were varied to include a baking counter suited to rolling out dough and to enable the kids to participate in the kitchen-centered activities. Counter tops are Silestone quartz, which is manufactured from natural quartz and highly rated as scratch- and stain-resistant.
Flooring in the kitchen is porcelain tile. Pegged oak was used in the dining area to match the floors throughout the house. Wall colors were painted Gardenia and Harvest Gold.