All Kitchens Great and Small

Great design means fit and finish, not square footage. Get ideas on how to win consumers in the West - and the rest - with these elegant elevations and intricate interiors.

September 30, 2004


Frosted glass-front cabinets create the illusion of natural light in a windowless room. Right: Counter space was at a premium in the old kitchen. Photos: Andrea Bickum.
The Little Things That Count
See the Winners
Blending the Old and the New
Puzzle-Perfect Remodel
Going Beyond Big
A Simple Spa
Climbing Addition
Commercial Success
Additional Winners
Contemporary style enhances a century-old Boston brownstone.

Remodeler and designer: Lee Kimball Kitchens, Boston

It's not the size of the project that matters; it's the details and the execution. At 75 square feet post-remodel, this was the smallest project entered in the awards program, but it made a big impression on the judges.

This remodel hinged on adding three major components - increased storage space, increased countertop space and new seating space - to the existing 81/2x5-foot galley. While the goal was to give the kitchen a contemporary style, Lee Kimball Kitchens took great care to ensure that the finished project did not betray the character of the century-old brownstone housing the condominium.

Knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room to make the kitchen feel larger was the first step in the solution. Adding an angled peninsula extension off of the new granite countertop gives the family eating space that can center on the kitchen area and its activities or can serve as an "overflow" space when they're entertaining and the living room is full. Shifting appliances from one wall to another allowed Lee Kimball to move the entryway to the existing storage space from behind the old refrigerator to the living room wall next to the peninsula, disguised by a panel.

"The most challenging aspect was finding a way to enlarge a kitchen that was little more than a closet with appliances into an integral part of the home, and opening it up into the main living area, without leaving the client feeling like they lost any of their living room," says Lee Kimball's office manager Maureen White. "By lowering the soffitt and differentiating the floor in the kitchen area from the floor in the main living area, we were able to make the two seem separate, but flow together." The kitchen now has a green slate tiled floor, versus the wood floor of the living room.

The commercial-grade European appliances complete the sleek look. A custom-made built-in knife block gives the kitchen a unique centerpiece, and using frosted glass over the cabinets gives the windowless room the illusion of natural light without putting cabinet contents on display.

"Tremendous imagination gave this family of three, living in less than 1,000 square feet, a kitchen that flows with the rest of the house," says White. "The kitchen is tremendously efficient and adds valuable storage."


Cabinetry: Vermont Custom. Cooktop, oven and hood: Miele. Dishwasher: Miele. Faucets: KWC. Lighting: Lightolier. Microwave: GE. Refrigerator: Sub-Zero. Sinks: Kindred. Tile: Sicis.

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