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DECOR SCORE- Divider Conquers Kitchen Claustrophobia PDF Print E-mail
Written by ROSE BENNETT GILBERT, Creators Syndicate   
Thursday, 30 December 2010 06:21

PHOTO COURTESY OF WOOD-MODE Way better than a solid wall, a pass-through, double-sided pine hutch enhances the illusion of open space.

Q: Our kitchen is dark and gloomy. It's also too small and confined for gathering the family together. We want to open it up, but I may be the only cook in the country who doesn't want the kitchen to run together with the family room.

But how do we make the space feelmore open and friendly without actually eliminating the wall between the kitchen and family room?

A:Who says a divider has to be a wall? There are other intelligent options, such as the pictured open hutch.

Kitchen designer Bonnie Hufnagel ( removed the wall that separated the kitchen and living roomin the lakeside house that she was remodeling. She then replaced it with a custom-made, ceilinghigh, hutch-slash-bar that works from both sides. The kitchen maintains a modicum of privacy, yet because the hutch is seethrough, the space feels much larger and brighter.

The designer also replaced the original, solid back door with a French door and added new windows, so the cook no longer "had to lean over the counter to see the lake" and the wooded yard. The setting inspiredHufnagel's choice of distressed pine for the cabinets (by Wood-Mode) and the "oldplank" laminate floor (by Mannington).

RoseBennettGilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style."