Modern Kitchen for a Pro
From: Barney Maier
Architect Barney Maier of Peter Feinmann, Inc. has to maximize limited space available to create a pro-quality kitchen in Lexington, Mass. For splashes of color in the neutral kitchen, he incorporates shades of blue in the backsplash, countertops and drawer knobs.
Describe the homeowners' wishlist.
The goals were to maximize the rear view of the home, improve kitchen functionality and to enlarge and update the space, especially creating a center island where cooking demos could be held.
What were the homeowners' design problems?
A few challenges included the staggered roofline of the split-level home, wetlands that created a limited amount of buildable space, and finally, providing functionality and storage the client desired.
What was your biggest obstacle in this space?
Because of wetlands, expansion was limited to 99 square feet. Creative space planning — borrowing some square footage from an existing deck, for instance, fulfilled the design requirements.
How does the end result match up with your original vision?
There were no real concept changes. The only aspect that changed was extending the staircase railing to the lower level.
What lessons did you learn?
How adding very little square footage can make a huge impact on a space. It made the kitchen much more functional and attractive than before. We have had other kitchens with even less square footage added or worked within an existing footprint, and it is a challenging design dilemma that we like to solve. Also, the wetlands/setback issues taught us about working with conservation groups and the town effectively and knowing what to do in similar situations in the future.
What are the "hidden gems"?
The mosaic tile backsplash with blue theme prevalent throughout. The island countertop is Charston by Cambria, a charcoal quartzite with iridescent flecks of blue. The blue cabinet knobs and glass-paneled cabinets. The large windows with transoms overlooking the beautiful backyard and then the addition of the brise soleil outside over the new windows to mitigate the heat from the sun. The glass canopied Bosch exhaust hood does not obstruct the new view to the rear of the house.