Rehab Diaries: Tales from the Hood by

Issue 58 · On the Mountain · February 8, 2013

Rehab Diaries: Tales from the Hood

Issue 58 · On the Mountain · February 8, 2013

It’s not often that a kitchen renovation is designed around the often ignored hood vent, but when Bunker Workshop’s Chris Greenawalt learned that his clients would "do whatever it took to have proper hood ventilation," he decided it was time to embrace it.

When they purchased their family home in Boston’s Beacon Hill, Greenawalt’s clients were determined to reinject an identity into the house after a series of transformations (it had gone from a single residence to a multi-family and then back again). With cooking and entertaining high on their list of priorities, the couple's design focus soon centered on the kitchen and dining area. An existing bathroom between the kitchen and dining room was moved, allowing for the creation of a major space in which the hood vent and island below it have become the main event of the house.

Photography by Matt Delphenich.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, canopy and soffit contain hood over kitchen island, open bookshelves line wall

Above: A canopy and soffit have been built out from the window to create the architecture for the hood vent over the island. Open shelving for books and pottery line the back wall. The existing oak floors were stained a dark brown to contrast with the maple wood on the island.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, maple island looking toward floor to ceiling cabinets

Above: "The client wanted an eat-in kitchen with a lot of storage for small appliances and open shelving for books," Greenawalt says. A large refrigerator, gas cook top, and a double oven all face the island, while a series of floor to ceiling cabinets along the north window wall provide the majority of the kitchen storage.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, maple wood island

Above: Everything, especially family life, is now centered around the kitchen island and vent hood above.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, floor to ceiling storage for small appliances

Above: Small appliances are easily accessible in a floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, pull-out spice storage rack

Above: "The client uses a lot of spices in her cooking and wanted an easy pull-out spice storage solution,' says Greenawalt.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, view of island down to dining room table, orange chairs

Above: "The client was adamant that there be plenty of lighting for the kitchen area," Greenawalt says. "We settled on the Eurofase square recessed adjustable multi-lights for the ceiling and the single recessed option in the canopy." The design team selected fireplace brick (painted white) to match the back wall.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, detail of 4" thick maple wood cantilever off of painted white brick island in eat-in area

Above: Greenwalt's first drawings showed a stainless steel counter top. The clients, however, wanted a warmer material, but were concerned that wood would not be durable enough for their family. Grothouse Lumber Company sent them large samples for testing. Impressed with what they say, they decided on a 2-inch edge-grained hard maple with a clear matte durata finish. "We added a 4-inch thick cantilever to the eat-in area and matched the fireplace brick for the island walls to add a bit more warmth and texture to the scheme," Greenawalt says.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, two pull out utensils drawer under cooker

Above: A busy cook likes to have utensils on hand.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, bar area, open bookshelves

Above: A bar area was created in the passage to the living room. The bathroom, which was previously located between the kitchen and dining area, has been moved to this passage.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation,

Above: The townhouse in the historic neighborhood of Boston's Beacon Hill.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, Greenawalt renderings

Above: Greenawalt's renderings helped the clients decide materials and finishes.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, before image of kitchen

Above: A view of the existing kitchen before the wall on the right was removed.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, before image of kitchen and dining room

Above: A view through to the space that was previously the dining room, after the walls and bathroom have been removed.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, before plan

Above: A diagrammatic plan showing the kitchen and dining room, which became the main focus of Greenawalt's work in the transformation of the house.

Bunker Workshop, Beacon Hill kitchen dining room renovation, after plan

Above: The new plan of the kitchen showing the new position of the bathroom by the bar area. Sliding pocket doors allow access to the living room beyond.

N.B.: The Bunker Workshop are skilled at working out their clients' needs. See Small Space Living for the In-Laws to see their design solutions for a downsizing couple.



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