2005 Watermark Awards
Best Kitchen In A Multi-family House
When this row house was built in the early 20th century, kitchens didn't get much respect. Its original kitchen was an awkward pipe-shaped space walled off from the rest of the main living areas. Architect David Knudson's problem was to improve the functionality, appearance, and flow of the room within the confines of the existing walls.
The kitchen configuration encompassed an 18-by-5½-foot galley with appliances lined up along the party wall and a 10-by-6-foot breakfast area facing the backyard. Knudson moved the breakfast room to an adjacent enclosed porch, capturing the best part of the space for the new kitchen.
A new L-shaped layout makes full use of the old table space. Knudson eschewed wall-hung cabinets in favor of open shelves that make the small space seem bigger. Open and closed base cabinets provide some additional storage, but a 5½-by-8½-foot pantry solves the storage problem while truncating the narrow 18-foot-long “pipe stem” of the original kitchen. At the other end of the kitchen, where two standard windows once shed some light, a big bay window pops out the rear wall, increasing the light and visually expanding the space.
To improve the flow of the kitchen with the rest of the house, Knudson replaced the wall between the kitchen and the new breakfast room with a small peninsula and opened the breakfast room to the dining room. This move “completely changed the character of the house by allowing the living spaces to interact and flow from the front of the house to the back,” he says. “Very clever,” declared the judges.