Thanks to an existing built-in hutch, this Florida kitchen now has a true sense of belonging.
Cozy Cooking Space
The right mix of existing features and modern amenities make this remodeled kitchen a perfect fit in this circa 1920s home. Note the simple table, which makes a great island.

There are times when, if you pay close attention, a house will tell you what it needs. Such was the case in this Orlando home.

Hunch on a Hutch
Worn from nearly 80 years of use, this diminutive kitchen begged for a complete makeover. Complicating matters, prior remodeling projects had done little to preserve its innate quaintness. With standard, dingy cabinets and outdated appliances, the space no longer belonged among the home's other inviting rooms.

One item that somehow remained through all of the remodeling projects--a handsome, built-in hutch--provided just enough evidence of the kitchen's past attributes. "It was this piece that gave us the inspiration for renovating the whole kitchen," explains homeowner Lisa Poole. She and husband David were determined to revive the 1920s character of both their kitchen and house while making the place fully compatible for today's living.

Trusting residential designer Jim Ross and remodeling company PSG Construction to uphold this pledge, the homeowners set their goals into motion. First, the design team sought to visually connect the kitchen with living spaces beyond by partially removing one wall. This resulted in a handy bar counter and sink area for informal meals or parties; it also made the kitchen appear larger. Then Lisa and David selected new cabinetry that closely resembles the hutch in construction and finish. For an authentic look, they used nickel-plated bin pulls on the cabinet drawers and matching metal knobs on the doors.

Keeping Up Appearances
To accent the cabinets, green granite countertops with gold and black flecks, a black porcelain farm sink, and an ebony-paneled dishwasher provide further distinction. The stainless steel range, full-panel backsplash, and sculptured exhaust hood add sleekness.

Lisa and David kept the kitchen's existing hardwood floors and also reglazed and refurbished the original double-hung windows to fill the space with sunlight. Instead of a permanent island, they chose a sturdy wooden table. Other touches included pendant light fixtures and picture molding.

Thank goodness that when these kitchen walls spoke up, the homeowners listened.

To read about another great kitchen area, see "Room With Many Functions," on page 128 of the September 2003 issue of Southern Living.