Update the kitchen, relate it to a formal dining space, bring in as
much light as possible, and retain some of the 1925 spirit of the house.
These were the challenges Pat and Steve Wong put to Seattle architect
Structural changes were minimal. Kato removed the nonbearing wall
between kitchen and dining room. Closing up a kitchen door leading
outside to a deck (still accessible through the dining room) gave space
for a 11-1/2-foot-long greenhouse window that brings in morning light
and a view of the Cascades.
Between kitchen and dining spaces, a rounded peninsula–one end of
the kitchen’s new U-shaped work counter–houses a cooktop on the
kitchen side (at a height of 36 inches), then drops to 30 inches on the
dining room side to form a tailored bar for informal dining or buffets.
Light-colored paint and wood tones help brighten the area and make the
counter a focal point. Built-in stove vents keep cooking odors from
invading the dining space.
Upholstered benches fit neatly under the peninsula. Solidly built
and covered with a commercial-grade fabric, they are stain-resistant and
can stand up to rugged wear without detracting from the dining
area’s formal look. Light now enters the kitchen and dining room
on three sides. To supplement the custom-made greenhouse window and
existing exterior windows, Kato replaced heavy, dark wood interior doors
and side panels with glass-paned ones. The result is a 1980s light
level with a period look.
For evening and unusually dark days, the area over the work counter
has ceiling soffit lights; under the hanging cabinets are fluorescent
Old fir floors covered with linoleum and carpet were replaced with
white oak with a Swedish finish. Light, durable, and easy to clean, the
new floors also lend a 1920s ambience.