Country Living September 2005

Revamp Your Kitchen

A galley kitchen in a cozy Tudor-style home gets a bright new outlook, thanks to a thoughtful renovation that added windows, storage, and counter space–and efficiency.

By Lisa Siglag

Tudor Inspired House
Set in a charming 1929 home in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., the kitchen was nevertheless outdated. Says the owner, David Bowen, “I wanted it to fit the style of the house but include modern conveniences for a growing family.” Bowen, who runs a New York-based event management consulting company, loves to entertain at home too. Needless to say, he had ideas for his galley kitchen, which included more light, counter space, and storage. With the help of architect David Bers, Bowen got it all.

Airy Kitchen
When asked what he dreamed of for this kitchen, David Bowen replies joyfully, “You’re looking at it.” Sunlight beams into the once-dark space through the new windows in the breakfast area, offering light and views. Pale green walls and slate floors bring the outdoors in–and the revamped layout makes the kitcen feel twice as big, although no significant square footage was added. And when the sun sets in the evening, the room remains bright due to a trio of new pendant lights, as well as recessed and under-the cabinet fixtures. New cabinets, which extend to the ceiling, provide better storage than the old ones and show off a collection of colorful dinnerware.

To create a more efficient — and open and airy — layout, architect David Bers removed two non-load-bearing walls that previously enclosed a hall space.

Plate Rack
Opening up this area allows the addition of a storage-filled peninsula. Topped with a butcher block, the peninsula is a handy spot for prepping. It also serves as a gathering place when having company over. A plate rack gives easy access to dishes and mugs that were out of immediate reach before. A pendant light directly overhead provides the necessary task lighting.

Must-Have Feature: Pendant Lights. Set at three different heights, the period-appropriate light fixtures from Holophane suit different tasks in the now-efficient kitchen.

Built-In Seating
Bowen, his partner, Bennett Rink, and son, Leo, love their new “country modern” kitchen and particularly enjoy having meals in the cheerful nook now outfitted with a built-in storage bench and plenty of comfortable pillows. It’s a dream come true.

Must-Have Feature: “Built-in Look” Refrigerator. Install cabinetry around your refrigerator to get a built-in look minus the added expense.

Bright Kitchen
The new layout has a streamlined look. Moving the stove to the other side of the long wall creates a continuous run of counter space — terrific for a family who entertains as well as cooks. “I often use the counter as a buffet,” admits Bowen. Ordinary subway tiles become extraordinary when arranged in a herringbone pattern for the backsplash. APPLIANCES: KITCHENAID. SINK AND FAUCETS: BLANCO STAINLESS.

Must-Have Features: Deep Drawers. “These are one of my favorite features,” says Bowen. The Brookhaven units provide convenient access to oversize pots and pans.

Interesting Surfaces. CeasarStone counters, made of engineered stone, allow for an integrated drainboard, keeping counters free of unnecessary clutter and making them simple to maintain.