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Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?


In the kitchen, to fulfill the homeowners' request for a larger, brighter, more transitional space, we incorporated a breakfast area and removed the cabinetry separating the kitchen from the eating area. We replaced it with a wide open space utilizing a new box bay window over the kitchen sink and new floor-to-ceiling windows and doors in the eating area.

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									 DESIGN L A B

        Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?
        By Michael Menn AIA, CGR, CAPS

                  he highest compliment                   • Open the house. In houses
                  a remodeler can receive                 built in the ’70s, the kitchen was
                  is when a competitor                    frequently closed off. The client
        recommends him. We recently                       wanted the kitchen to be integrated
        completed a project where a local                 into the flow of the home.
        builder, and the best friend of the               • Make the kitchen more conducive
        client, recommended us. The cli-                  to entertaining.
        ent, a couple with four children                  • Brighten the house. Specifically,
        aged 11 to 19, resided in a tradi-                the kitchen was dark.
        tional home in Chicago’s north                    • Make the laundry room more
        suburbs built in the 1970s.                       functional, with both the space                To make the kitchen more
             As with most projects, we start-             and modern equipment to accom-            functional, we incorporated an
        ed by asking the clients about their              modate a family where everybody           island to separate the cooking,
        goals. The couple stated they want-               was active in sports and generated a      preparation and cleaning areas.
        ed their house to feel like a home                great deal of laundry.                    Even though the island is large              Since our clients and their
        and not simply the place where they                   The client had lots of ideas. We      (54 by 126 in.), our clients move       four children were very active in
        live. We found the clients’ wish list             believe that part of our job is to tell   comfortably throughout the space,       sports, the laundry room was a
        was typical for homeowners of a                   our clients which of their ideas are      never running into each other as        busy spot, and the clients wanted
        house built in that period:                       good and which are not. We took           they perform their own specific         enough room to work within the
                                                          our clients’ wish list, analyzed it and   tasks.                                  space. We incorporated two sets of
                                                          then helped them understand that               To fulfill the couple’s need to    full size stackable washers and dry-
                                                          the latest trends might not always        make the kitchen more conducive         ers and a very large, single-bowl
                                                          work in every situation.                  for entertaining, we expanded           laundry sink in the work area.
                                                              This traditional residence          
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