Architect John R. Schroeder makes over a waterfront kitchen
photograph by jody dole
This home overlooks a lake. How did you incorporate this into the design of the kitchen? The main sink and cooking area are located next to a picture window with double hungs on each side to allow the chief cook and bottle washer to enjoy the view and fresh air. The exterior door is all glass and the band of windows in the adjacent dining room continue the panoramic view. There’s really not a bad seat in the house.
The wife is a gourmet cook. How did that influence your design? After a prominent career in the sciences, cooking became the centerpiece of her dedication to her family. For years she made do in cramped quarters, running around the house to retrieve tucked-away kitchen paraphernalia. She longed for convenient, centralized storage and versatile appliances, not to mention a little panache. The house is petite, but by knocking down a few walls, we were able to expand the kitchen to provide all of this— plus lots of countertop prep space.
How did you create a sense of spaciousness in this long room? Peeling back a wall and opening up the second floor stairway created more of a connection between the kitchen and the upstairs. We also opened up the wall between the newly created dining room and kitchen. And wherever we could fit in some windows, we did.
What does every kitchen need? Every kitchen needs to be true to the house in terms of style, size and configuration. If properly designed, it can be true to the house while still meeting all of the client’s desires.
The homeowners love to entertain. How did you create a space that’s great for parties? The space is relatively narrow, so the configuration is basically a galley style. We shaped the island to follow the available space, thus maximizing opportunities for group participation in cooking as well as feasting. If not standing or sitting at a stool at the island, a built-in bench provides cozy, comfortable lounging.
Give us three rules for great kitchen design. Design from your heart and not from the neighbor’s down the street; think practically, but think outside the box; and incorporate great lighting—it makes all the difference.