A Kitchen Connected
With a better entry, a small addition, and a lounge, a great room is born.
Synopsis: Abbie and Jonathan’s Seattle home had a kitchen characteristic of the 1920s: isolated from the first-floor living spaces. Architect Howard Miller designed a remodel centered on two key elements. The first was the addition of a lounge—a small living area close to the kitchen. The second was an 8-ft. by 20-ft. addition that allowed for an uninsulated pantry to be brought inside the thermal envelope; expanded the space available for the kitchen, lounge, and dining area; and improved the connection between the kitchen and the living room.
It was fun to discover that Abbie and I had gone to the same high school — Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts — even though I graduated 10 years earlier than she did and we only met recently, here in Seattle.
Abbie and her husband found me on the website of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects when Jonathan’s work brought them from the Northeast to the Northwest. After living in a small apartment in New York for many years, they bought a 1920s Tudor-style home in Seattle. Though the kitchen had been remodeled in the 1970s, it was still isolated from the adjacent living spaces, a common characteristic of these homes.
There was a time when people wanted their kitchens to be separated from the rest of the house. The work of making meals — and the potential mess — was kept private from the area where friends and family ate and socialized. This is exactly how Abbie and Jonathan’s house had been designed. The kitchen was hidden from the dining and living rooms behind swinging doors. Though it was not small, it was poorly organized and felt cramped. The location of the peninsula made for a tiny workspace, the refrigerator restricted traffic flow, and the range and…