Sally and I have been looking forward to the appearance of the kitchen in the 1804 Federal Period home in Kitchen Trends magazine. Last week it hit the news stands and the web. Here’s the link to the current issue of Kitchen Trends magazine. Volume 29, No. 3. As excited as we were about it’s publication, the back story of the kitchen’s planning was worth sharing and we recieved permission from our client to share highlights of the planning process.
Photo by Michael J Lee
While we normally don’t get involved with exterior work, in this case we designed a new entry to the back of the house and kitchen area as a much simplified version of the original formal front entry.
Before… So welcoming…
The house was built in 1804 by a successful Manchester merchant, Israel Forster. His holdings included two coastal trading ships, a grist mill and a large warehouse located on Manchester Harbor. The house remained in the family for over 200 years. Our client purchased the house from the second owner, who had begun a full renovation of the house. Now, on to the kitchen!
This is what the kitchen area looked like the day of our first walk thru.
View to the hearth room from the kitchen. Lovely fireplace… (That”s another story…)
Here’s the plan of the ground floor and kitchen. The kitchen was terribly inefficient. The entry at the kitchen was constricted and very unwelcoming with the powder room opening right at the entry door.
Oh, see the red line? That’s where the new addition to the house was actually built… Not as drawn. See the column, too? A flurry of field measuring ensued and it quickly became apparent that the kitchen had issues. Adding complexity to the program was the need for access to the second floor in a manner that accommodated aging in place requirements – possibly a small elevator. A series of sketches and meetings ensued.
I did a series of 4 sketches that were reviewed with our client.
Sketch One tried to salvage some of the existing conditions, but we moved the door from the garage to the front of the garage, consolidating circulation space, moved the powder room to the back to the kitchen and put the elevator by the relocated garage door. This plan had far more unresolved issues than good points. (There are times when you need to draw something up, knowing it will be rejected, but in the process, it will help clarify parameters, priorities and requirements.)
Sketch 2 shows the powder room relocated off the front hall, the elevator in a more logical location and a new stair, replacing the old existing winder stair with a wider stair. (Neither existing stairs would accommodate a full size mattress/box spring without dismantling the handrail and balustrades.)
Sketch 3 looks at the possibility of framing for, but not installing the elevator. The space begins to open up and connect with/relate to the adjacent hearth room…
Sketch 4 explores the question, ” Can we do elevator, stair, powder room and visually open kitchen all at the same time?” Things were getting a little cramped and the diagonals just don’t relate to the architecture of the rest of the house.
Out of the meeting came this composite sketch. At some point, it was agreed that we did not need an elevator in order to accommodate a wheel chair. That a chair lift located at the stair would work fine. That’s when the plan really opened up!
Shortly thereafter, we had our final plan (including a schematic section proving the stair wold fit in such a tiny space) and elevations and we began construction drawings.
It’s aways satisfying to see a project begin to come together.
And the finished project. Photo by Michael J Lee.
To read the Trends article on the completed kitchen, click here.
Have a wonderful week!
To visit our website, click here.
To follow us on Facebook, click here.
To follow us on Pinterest, click here.