Laura and Blake live in a 1954 house in the Allandale neighborhood, known for its wide lots, mid-century era homes and great city parks. Their compact 1260 sf house was built as part of an experiment to determine the effects of central air conditioning in domestic life; the four streets of the development earned the nickname ‘Air Conditioned Village.’ The Allandale Reporter covers this interesting story in detail: How Allandale Pioneered Central Air Conditioning. Here’s a great excerpt from the 1954 House & Home article:
Laura & Blake’s house looks quite a bit like the one in the photo, with long simple overhangs, an open carport, and big casement windows. Our approach to the kitchen renovation would incorporate some of these features and gain inspiration from the colors and openness of mid-century design.
The original kitchen lacked the character of the times: instead of an open plan, it had a cramped, u-shaped work surface that divided the long room into ‘kitchen’ and ‘breakfast area’, neither of which were really adequate for their purposes. New appliances never quite fit their designated spots; the refrigerator stuck out like a sore thumb, and a freestanding range had too much space on each side.
The new kitchen takes on a galley form, with a window ledge and countertop on the outside wall, and an extra deep counter on the range and refrigerator wall. We opened the wall toward the dining room to the ceiling, which allows light to flood the ceiling. New eight-foot long windows give a gracious view to the backyard.
On the opposite wall, we cleaned up the storage closet, pantry and laundry with a new cabinets for a more clean, organized look. The pantry is broken down into upper cabinets, a butcher block work surface, and lower drawers, a configuration that I think works pretty well for the various sizes and weights of dry goods.
Our new range slides in to the new white oak butcher block counters. We deepened this counter to 30″ to wrap around the back of the range, creating a handy spot for spices or bottles of olive oil. The lower cabinets are super deep, with a 28″ long drawer box for an amazing extent of storage. The upper cabinets are also deeper than normal – 16″ instead of 12″ – which just gives that much more room for plates, on-hand cooking items, and glassware.
We used a Kohler undermount stainless sink, Hansgrohe faucet, and a white Caesarstone at the sink side for easy maintenance, since the oak is more susceptible to water damage. I like how the white matches the cabinets for a super clean look.
The additional open shelves under the window ledge bring a little color into the space and provide easy-to-reach storage for everyday dinnerware, bowls, and decorative items.
The cork flooring complements the era of the house and gives warmth to the kitchen. We chose a cool, bright white for the cabinets and walls, and used a ‘Falcon Blue’ tile at the backsplash to bring in a great pop of color.
Thanks so much to Laura & Blake for all the great ideas and inspiration along the way! Michael and Matt of RubyAnne did a fabulous job contracting the kitchen and building the custom cabinets, and Dan Vos built the beautiful oak countertops. It’s always a pleasure to work with a talented team!
Contractor: Michael Winningham of RubyAnne Designs
Cabinet maker: Matthew Herndon-Prine and Patrick Sullivan of RubyAnne Designs
Wood countertops: Dan Vos of DeVos Custom Woodworking
Tile: Clayhaus Ceramics by House + Earth
Photography by Whit Preston