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Maximizing Space in a Historical Home

Similar to many other bungalow kitchens, this kitchen was cramped and cut off from the rest of the house (though no fault of its own). History paints a picture of how these kitchen designs came to be.

In Bungalow Kitchens: Changing with the Times, Sandra Vitzthum writes, “The bungalow movement was part of the populist movement of the end of the 19th century, when the American middle class flourished. At the same time, women flourished. In this light, the kitchen was a laboratory for the modern woman, and it was a place to work with focus. It was kept separate from the more social rooms of a house…”

So how did the team transform this once small, dark kitchen in St. Anthony Park? Space planning was challenging, but designer Mary Ellen Rantanen managed to make the most out of every inch.

Before & After

Move the slider to see the transformation.

Knocking Down Walls

New light is brought into this home after the construction crew knocked down the wall that once butted up against the stairs. Another construction win: the staircase! From the newel post to the maple top rail, these details tie in throughout the rest of the house.

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From Top to Bottom

A nice mix of floor-to-ceiling closed cabinets, glass-door cabinets and drawers are installed. These clients have the best of both worlds, as they can hide the messy and  display the beautiful. Last, but not least…our unsung hero: a paneled tall and narrow refrigerator that fits its allotted space perfectly!

Before & After

Move the slider to see the transformation.

Practical, Bright Window Style: The Double-Hung

Equipped with a new double-hung window, this style of window is perfect for letting in fresh air. Feel the breeze as you rinse out those large pots and pans in this deep farmhouse sink. 

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Used in Tandem: Kitchen and Dining Room

The peninsula cabinet and breakfast bar are perfect for a light meal. They also offer extra storage and act as a subtle divider between the kitchen and dining room. With the narrow layout,  it’s important that the peninsula does not impede the functionality of using both rooms. So grab your favorite bottle of wine and then ease into the dining room  for a glass from one of the custom-made hutches!

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Design Continuity

An interesting detail included in this project is the furniture-style feet on the peninsula, dining room hutches and the sink base . Replicating a design detail in multiple spaces creates a sense of continuity and the illusion of it always being there.

Team Credits

Designer: Mary Ellen Rantanen
Project Manager:
Paul Gorton
Lead Carpenter:
Leif Enz
Photos: Troy Thies

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