From the category archives:


Visual Comfort

Visual Comfort

~Chapter Five: Wining and Dining~

Old house restoration is often a balancing act between creating a museum and creating a comfortable home.  Just as there are levels of skill based designers and craftspeople today, so it was with the past.  Even famous architects do not always produce great works.

This kitchen was originally design for a staff of well sequestered servants.  My clients on the other hand love to spend time in their kitchen, cooking and entertaining.  Not to mention the French doors that open directly to the courtyard, gardens, koi ponds, grilling and outdoor dining areas

Taking my cue from the French doors with an arched stain glass transom in the adjacent conservatory room, this area gave me lots of opportunity to add graceful arches and curved seating which soften an otherwise utilitarian room.

Photos – clockwise from top left:     1.  Before photo eating and storage area      2.  Tear down and opening up of new dining area      3.   The new French doors and eating counter with a glimpse of the beautiful outdoors.   4.  Custom designed banquet with built-in bookshelves and radiator cover.  The kitchen table was co-designed by myself and craftsman Ed Marris in a unique blend of English and Beidermeir style.  The table was built from an old Walnut tree from the property.

~The finished photos are posted in the Photo Gallery of my website –

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Fitting the Frig

~Chapter Four: The Big Squeeze~

Renovating an historically significant home can be difficult since often times people feel a sense of stewardship rather than a sense of ownership of such properties. Finding the right balance between charm and function usually boils down to sacrificing one thing to gain another. In this chapter of our kitchen saga, my client struggles with removing a “pass-through” that was originally designed to expedite service between the formal dining, breakfast room and the kitchen

Photos shown- clockwise from top left:

1. The Before photo shows the kitchen with 1960’s cabinets from a previous owner.  The kitchen footprint and the counter “pass-through” are original to the house.  My clients wishes were to: keep the pass-through, retain as much counter space as possible, widen the entry between the pantry and the kitchen and have it look like it was original to the house.

2. Framing: The new entry being built which eventually becomes an arch.  General contractor, Gerry Kuebler and his crew created several “mockups” of the new refrigerator using large sheets of cardboard. This was invaluably helpful for my clients to feel the space and eventually they decided to eliminate the pass-through in favor of a more spacious entry area.

3. Drywall: The new arched doorway set on an angle, widens the passage from the kitchen creating better traffic flow through the pantry to the formal dining areas

4. Install: New custom cabinets being installed. Although the length of the counter length is less than it was before, we created useable surface by designing the microwave into the upper cabinetry.

~The Finished photos are posted in the Photo Gallery of my website-

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

East Ave. Kitchen Project – chapter three

February 27, 2010

~Chapter Three: Romancing the Stove~ One of the challenges in designing this kitchen was finding the space to add a center island and additional counter space with stools for casual dining.  The existing kitchen and laundry room were to remain as two separate rooms.  Since we were not building an addition to the kitchen, we […]

Read the full article →

East Ave. Kitchen Project – chapter two

February 6, 2010

~ Chapter Two: No Turning Back Now ~ Let’s face it, some people like to cook, but we all love to eat. As they say: “food is the great equalizer” (I love that expression).   The dining experience is the main event bringing friends and family together.  Not only do my clients love to cook but […]

Read the full article →

East Ave. Kitchen Project – chapter one

February 3, 2010

~ Chapter One: In the Beginning ~ Once upon a time there was a very nice couple who lived peacefully in a beautiful house set into a lovely landscaped yard in Rochester’s prized East Ave historic district.  They loved to cook and entertain their friends but unfortunately the existing kitchen was not up to pare.  […]

Read the full article →