The Kitchen-Deck Connection
A small addition with a sunny deck builds a bridge to the backyard.
Synopsis: Architect Lynn Hopkins had her work cut out for her: Renovate a cramped, dated kitchen and create direct access to a sunny backyard with a pool. How did she do it? By bumping out the kitchen wall 5-1/2 ft., she generated enough space to transform a peninsula into an island and accommodate a breakfast table that seats six comfortably. She traded dark interior fixtures for white-painted cabinets. Hopkins also swapped a trio of windows for a set of French doors that open to a cozy new deck with room enough for a small table and a couple of chairs. Stairs from the deck lead to the backyard and the pool, and the area under the deck is enclosed by a latticework panels, providing a place for storage of yard toys and tools.
Not every addition has to be big to make a big difference. Sometimes just a few additional feet of space can make a substantial change.
I recently tested this theory with clients who own a stately colonial in the Boston suburbs. The kitchen was showing the wear and tear one expects from daily life with three kids and two big dogs. Also, the house is built into a sloping site, with the backyard and the pool at basement level. It was almost impossible for an adult in the kitchen to be able to monitor activity around the pool without running an obstacle course through the basement. My job was to design a bigger, better kitchen and to make the connection to the pool more elegant and direct.
New cabinets boost a small increase in space
The first task was to improve the kitchen while keeping its scale appropriate to the house. Although functional, the room needed a face-lift and would benefit from reorganization. At the drawing board,…