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FOUR KITCHENS TO DELIGHT A COOK : A STARTLING REJUVENATION : A 'disaster' is remodeled into 'one of the prettiest kitchens that I've ever seen'

September 15, 1985|JOAN DEKTAR

This kitchen is notable for its detail--from the mellow finish of the wooden cabinets to the functional-yet-decorative wine rack that's really a niche of its own; from the art nouveau design sandblasted on glass cabinet doors to the borders of cheerful, imported tiles; from cupboards that showcase fine china and stemware to diamond-paned, leaded-glass windows.

But even with all the decorative touches that meld the room with the rest of the house--a brick, English period-style home built in 1929--designer Arline Pepp has created a contemporary kitchen. It's up to date, with performance-oriented appliances placed where they're convenient to use, and space enough in which to be comfortable and efficient.

To understand how much a kitchen can change within the framework of a house, visualize the original room: It was smaller, had a low, flat ceiling and was partitioned into two rooms--a butler's pantry and a conventional kitchen with the standard small window over the sink. With that dark, cramped picture in mind, it's easy to sympathize with the owner's dream of brightness and freedom from a "disaster without any counter space at all."

Working with Pepp, architect Aleck Dugally extended the space four feet (the beam above the sink in the photograph at top left was the original wall) by pushing out the front wall of the house and devised a plan for a new room that included skylights to flood the space with daylight. Now it's a large, open room that encompasses all basic cooking and serving needs. That it functions, in its owner's words, "like a small kitchen, because it doesn't seem as big as it looks" is a credit to the designer's feel for the relationship between work space and storage, work flow and traffic patterns.

Nothing was left to chance; every inch of space was planned to fill the needs of an active family of five--people who like to cook and entertain. "I love the feeling of the room," the owner says proudly. "It's warm and inviting, and--even though I'm biased--it's one of the prettiest kitchens I've ever seen."

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