These three design pros all have something in common: They fell hard for the charm of 1920s cottages, but the existing kitchens in the homes didn’t wo
Interior Designer These three design pros all have something in common: They fell hard for the charm of 1920s cottages, but the existing kitchens in the homes didn’t work for the way they lived. Each designer honored their cottage’s original architecture in their own way. One stayed within the footprint of the original kitchen, one moved the kitchen onto a sun porch space and the last gained the kitchen space she needed with a modest addition. Here’s a peek at how these pros live in their own homes.1. Interior designer stays within the footprint of her 1925 Cottage Kitchen at a GlanceWho lives here: Interior designer Chelly Wentworth of C Change Design and her husband, PhilLocation: Portland, OregonSize: 159 square feet (15 square meters)Interior designer Chelly Wentworth and her husband, Phil, planned to remodel the kitchen as soon as they moved into their 1925 Tudor-style cottage in Portland, Oregon. But somehow 15 years passed by before they tackled it. This gave them plenty of time to figure out exactly what they liked about the original space and how it could function better for them. Preserving the original architectural style was a priority. This included restoring the original rope-and-pulley windows, maintaining the arch between spaces and plastering the walls to match the rest of the home. The kitchen was the first project Wentworth tackled after going into business for herself, and she took advantage of the opportunity to test out options for future clients. With just 159 square feet to work within, she customized cabinets to utilize every inch of space. “By going with custom, we only had to have 1½ inches between the drawers and doors because it’s all built as one continuous run. If we’d lined up off-the-shelf cabinets there would have been 3 inches between them,” she says. The simple Shaker design, flush-inset drawers and traditional polished nickel hardware befit the home’s style and age. Wentworth’s design created cohesion between the dining area and the work area. She specified shallow custom cabinets in the dining room to expand storage without crowding the space. She had them topped with food-grade walnut counters so they could also be used for serving. The vintage look of the light fixture suits the home’s original architecture, while the Globus chairs add a modern touch.Tip: Wentworth had the cabinets painted on-site, which required fewer touch-ups than if they had been painted in the shop, then transported and installed.Other details include a true cabinet-depth fridge (24 inches) by Liebherr, durable quartz that resembles concrete for the countertops, 2-by-4-inch Carrara marble tile on the backsplash, and pullouts around the range for oils, spices and cooking utensils. Unable to salvage the original fir floors due to extensive damage, the designer found sustainable wood from local company Viridian Reclaimed Wood. It’s salvaged from transpacific shipping crates that once carried steel railroad track. The well-worn character of the flooring fits right in with the cottage.Wentworth also took advantage of the narrow space in the back hall. The couple didn’t have enough cabinet space for trash pullouts, so she placed two stylish Vipp bins there, one for trash, the other for recycling. These add another modern touch to the mix. She placed two utility racks for pots and pans on the wall above them. As designers know, the right thing can be worth hanging on to because eventually there will be just the right place to put it. The remodel gave the Wentworths their first chance to hang a limited-edition poster from Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris that they’d picked up in the 1990s. Learn more about this kitchen2. Interior Designer Takes Over a Sun Porch in Her 1920s CottageKitchen at a GlanceWho lives here: Alessia Loffredo of reDesign Home, her husband, their three children and their dogLocation: Glen Ellyn, IllinoisSize: 240 square feet (22 square meters); 16 by 15 feetInterior designer Alessia Loffredo and her family found the kitchen in their 1920s English-cottage-inspired home outside Chicago too dark and small. So she planned a kitchen that took over the space of a bright sun porch and used the original kitchen space for the dining room. This required work beyond a typical kitchen renovation, including new windows, new paneling and flooring, exterior work and a lot of plumbing and electrical, but it was well worth it to the family. Tip: Loffredo recommends taking a complete inventory of everything you’ll need to store in the kitchen and designing the cabinets accordingly. Her cabinets have slat dividers for sheet pans and cutting boards, a pullout spice rack, deep drawers for pots and pans and pullout shelves behind cabinet doors.Loffredo wanted to honor the home’s 1920s cottage style but balance it with modern touches. The hardware and cabinet styles are classic, but she had some fun with the pendant lights. “This was a good chance to add something more modern and eye-catching,” she says. The shades are concrete and have wood accents. By sticking with a smaller size, she made sure they wouldn’t overwhelm the room. Open shelves with a thick, straight-edge profile in the corner add to the updated feel. The Calacatta Crema marble countertop and backsplash are classic, and they bring in a touch of Loffredo’s home country of Italy. She continued them seamlessly across the counters and up the walls. “This is very European,” she says. “And because it doesn’t have grout like most backsplashes do, it’s much easier to clean.” The marble continues across the windowsills that meet the backsplash.Loffredo also loves a walk-in pantry and tries to work them into her designs whenever possible. Here she used birch doors with glass inserts and brass doorknobs that resemble other original doors in the house. The floor-to-ceiling subway tile also suits the home’s style and age. The shelves for small appliances help Loffredo keep the countertops in the kitchen clear, and the pantry enjoys natural light from a window.Learn more about this kitchen3. Architect Adds a Modern Addition to her Bend, Oregon, CottageKitchen at a GlanceWho lives here: Architect Karen Smuland and her architect husband, MarkLocation: Bend, OregonSize: 210 square feet (20 square meters); 10 by 21 feetArchitect couple Karen and Mark Smuland’s kitchen was so small that their food was stored in a linen closet and their small appliances were stashed in the basement. They knew they would need to add on to their 1927 Tudor-inspired cottage and they wanted to create a stronger connection between the house and the backyard. Although they agreed on a modern style for the kitchen, it was important to them to be respectful of the home’s original period architecture.On the exterior, the home’s curved dormer windows inspired the addition’s roofline. And the new windows match the existing windows on the house. The addition also serves as the entry the family uses the most, as their detached garage is out back. So Karen Smuland extended the roofline to create a protected porch outside the new French doors.This kitchen is more modern in style than the previous two we’ve seen, but Smuland made sure it complemented and nodded to the original architecture in subtle ways. The hardware resembles the unlacquered brass hardware seen throughout the house, and the new kitchen’s millwork is matched to the existing millwork. Smuland chose hexagonal backsplash tiles to play off original pointed arches seen throughout the interior.The island marks the spot where the addition begins. The thick waterfall walnut counter and Cherner chairs provide a nice view from other rooms. “I intended this to be a clean-lined sculptural centerpiece element,” Smuland says. She made this side of the island bar-height so it could hide any kitchen messes from the adjacent living room. The kitchen is L-shaped, and just beyond the right side of this photo is a new mudroom area off the new French doors. Smuland worked in personalized storage strategies throughout the room, including a wine rack, cookbook shelf and charging station off the side of the island.