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The Teeny, Tiny Kitchen

This tiny 170 sq. ft. project was challenging in that the homeowner desired a modern kitchen in a historic house. Requests included space for a new eat-in area, a myriad of modern appliances that didn’t exist at the time the home was built, lots of storage areas, and a respectful homage to the house’s heritage and character.


For inspiration, we reflected on the original character of kitchens during the early 1900s. Grandma’s kitchen was typically limited to a few necessities like an icebox and wood stove, a single pantry for dry goods, and a sink counter. The effect was a collection of ill-fitted “appliance furniture” that doesn’t support the technological features available to modern cooks. Furthermore, old kitchens were not places to gather over a glass of wine at the end of the day as they often are today; they had one function, and that was to get the meal to the table.

Our design efforts respected the individual elements of antique kitchens by treating each “zone” as its own piece of cabinet furniture complete with custom-turned, furniture-grade table legs. We selected a Wolfe Range stove because of the design’s masculinity, high heat output, and fine-tuning capabilities. We also added a Subzero Refrigerator. Its low noise level, professional grade hardware, and physical size made it the perfect choice. Specifically, its height aligns with the other doors, allowing for continuity of the trim bands.

To further the quality of daylight entering this small space, we added a bay window flush with floor. That way, the family can sit at a bistro table and enjoy the illuminated view of their backyard before, during, and after meal preparation. We also infused the walls and floors with a traditional material palette of quarter-sawn white oak, custom-laid travertine stone floors, and marble countertops crafted from handpicked slabs.

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