While it's fairly typical for homeowners of older homes to complain about disfunctional living spaces, it was somewhat surprising in this case, as the house had been gut renovated not long before by the previous owner (who was also a developer). While many critical upgrades had been accomplished during this renovation, including new HVAC systems, roofing and siding (and our clients had insulated the walls and attic through Mass Save) the kitchen and the entry way remained unworkable.
The kitchen didn't lack square footage. What it lacked was a thoughtful and functional space plan that could meet the needs of this family of four. A key focus of the design process was the wall between the dining room and kitchen. With two doorways and a chimney, this wall couldn't accommodate much storage or room for food prep. By eliminating one of the doorways and the chimney, and raising the window sill in the adjacent exterior wall to counter height, architect Bill Harper captured a large area for cabinetry and counters. These changes allowed Bill to locate a functional "work triangle" in one corner of the room and redirect traffic around it.
Other notable features of the kitchen include an island with seating for three; an enlarged opening to the backyard patio with outswing doors; and a beverage station with an espresso maker, wine fridge and full height pantry cabinet.
We found our solution to the entry way's lack of storage in the adjacent living room. The living room, which runs the full length of the house, had a center chimney dividing the room into two seating areas. By taking down that chimney we made it possible to create a central, coherent seating area while also capturing the front wall for deep built-in closets and a bench seat.
The end result is functional, livable and gracious spaces that really work.