A small addition makes an old house fit a young family's lifestyle

Add a little, gain a lot. That’s the lesson Monica and David Stephenson learned when they made a small addition to the cramped galley kitchen in their Seattle home.

Somewhere along the line, the kitchen had been poorly remodeled and “had no relationship to the rest of the house or backyard,” Monica recalls. It simply didn’t work for the bustle of daily life with 2-year-old daughter Sophia, infant daughter Annabel, and two big Akitas.

Although the couple yearned for an updated kitchen with more space, they wanted it to fit the style of their 1918 Craftsman bungalow. Also on their list: a breakfast area with a backyard view, a home office, storage space, and a more generous back porch where muddy boots and paws could be cleaned.

The challenge was to fit all that into an expansion of only 8 feet to the rear and 18 inches to the side. “We agonized over the cost of that 18 inches, but it was so worth it,” Monica says. It visually widens the center of the kitchen and eliminates the galley feel with a curved counter that insets the farm-style sink.

Office and breakfast nooks added to the rear of the room flank the door to the new porch. “The little office was important because when Sophia was born, our office became her bedroom,” Monica explains.

The small addition and remodel ― which includes a former bedroom converted into a family room, adjacent to the breakfast nook ― completely changed the way the family uses the house. “With the kitchen now open to the dining room, I’m not closed off in a tiny space when we have guests,” Monica says. “We spend 90 percent of our time back here now. It’s the best decision we ever made.”

Welcoming palette

Cheerful colors and lots of windows give the new kitchen an open, airy feel.

Wood surfaces, stainless steel appliances and accents, and honed black granite counters provide the perfect balance.

All paint is from Benjamin Moore Paints (800/344-0400). The trim, bench seat, and table legs are Seashell; cabinets are Salisbury Green; walls are Light Khaki.

Design: Kevin Price, J.A.S. Design-Build, Seattle (206/547-6242).

Resources: Black granite countertops with a ¾-inch eased and honed edge from Architectural Stone Werkes (206/768-8305). Custom cabinets from J.A.S. Design-Build (206/547-6242). Gramercy Park 4- by 8-inch field tile in Matte Marshmallow from Ann Sacks (206/441-8917). Marmoleum floors in Papyrus White from Forbo. Bound sisal rug from Pottery Barn (similar $149–$599; 888/779-5176). Small oval cupboard latches in oil-rubbed bronze from Rejuvenation ($24 each; 888/401-1900). Convex stainless steel hood from Vent-A-Hood (800/331-2492). Vinnata faucet in polished chrome from Kohler ($520; 800/456-4537). Shaws Original single-bowl apron kitchen sink from Rohl ($1,095; 800/777-9762). Pacific City wall bracket sconces in oil-rubbed bronze from Rejuvenation ($116 for fixture and shade; 888/401-1900).


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