Life’s a Banquet

Scope: 1 phase – existing footprint, kitchen, dining (preceded by many whole house projects)

Problem: This 1941 house had a small kitchen and dining area (200 sf combined), making it tight for frequent family and friend entertaining. The kitchen was cut off from the living room’s lovely southern light, additional view, fireplace, TV and people.

Inspiration: Waltons-style central working table, Art Deco and client’s vintage movie lobby posters throughout, seeing the refrigerator as a bigger than life art/poster opportunity and message.

Solution: The ah-ha moment was utilizing a simple but hard-working L-shaped kitchen on the perimeter, a central expandable work table, rolling console table and reorienting the space with window and door changes. On the back wall, a tall shallow furniture-like piece also serves it up.

Having it all, even in small – favorite tricks of the Transformer Designer:

– Refrigerator: “Auntie Mame”, a beloved vintage movie, and “Life’s A Banquet”, her famous quote, was fitting for the clients as well as an art opportunity on their integrated refrigerator.
– Patio Door: Changed from 6′ to 10′ connecting the kitchen to the deck and wooded view
– Ceiling: Haint Blue (think southern porch ceiling), a constant psychological extension of eternal blue skies overhead (even in Portland)
– Pass-through/Relite: Connects kitchen to living room’s southern light, view, fire, TV and people
– Doors: Horizontal bifold, all up during prep & clean-up, down when not used
– Glass doors: 1/4″ painted removable panels allow an easy color block change to suit mood or season (from white to Mame Red to Haint Blue – see photos)
– Tall pantry: Tip-down secretary doors reveal a hidden bar, TV, microwave, coffee maker, toaster
– Toe-kick: Usually wasted space are drawers for special secret storage for grandkids
– Trash/recycle: A nudge of the knee activates the door when hands are messy
– Sink: Trough-style, allows for 3 different heights & multiple functions
– Table: 30″h expands from 6′ to 8′, can turn perpendicular for a change
– Console table: On wheels, 36″h additional prep, serving or display on end or middle of table or roll to other rooms or outside