Kitchen Swap

A change in layout results in a larger, brighter kitchen with better views of Depot Pond.

Photography by Dan Cutrona

When the owners purchased their four-bedroom house in Eastham in 2013, they knew it needed a lot of work. The modified Cape, built in 1971, had an odd layout and looked dated and dark, but the views overlooking Depot Pond were too beautiful to pass up. As part of a nine-month, whole house remodel, the kitchen was renovated—or rather reinvented entirely. “I contacted Cape Associates before purchasing the house,” the homeowner remembers. “Matt Cole [president and CEO of Cape Associates] walked through the house with me and I was impressed with his professionalism,” she says, “so we decided to go with them as our builders.” At the recommendation of Cole, architect Peter McDonald was hired to draw up the plans.

 Layout do-over

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Before: The original kitchen, positioned in an alcove by the front door, was just 100 square feet.

Cutrona-EasthamKitchen-hearth copy

After: Architect Peter McDonald suggested moving the kitchen to the opposite side of the fireplace, allowing for a much larger kitchen and better pond views.

“When you go into a remodel, you want to use what is good and emphasize that,” says McDonald about his design approach. The old kitchen, positioned in a small alcove by the front door overlooking the street, was just 100 square feet and wasn’t taking advantage of the stunning pond views. “It was as if the kitchen was an afterthought,” says project manager April Ducott, “and not the focus or central hub of the home as it is now.”

To capitalize on the water view, McDonald suggested relocating the kitchen to the opposite side of the large, two-sided fireplace, which separated the old kitchen from the family room. That move allowed for a larger kitchen—now 350 square feet—slightly higher ceilings, direct views overlooking the water and convenient access to the back deck.

“The architect did a great job showcasing the views of the pond,” says Ducott, and adding natural light. Two dormers with transom windows were built and can be controlled remotely for ventilation while water sensors make sure the windows are never open in a rain storm. “It helped the feel and the look of the exterior to bring light into the kitchen,” says McDonald, “and it helps cool down the kitchen in the summer, allowing hot air to escape.”

The floor plan was also opened up a bit more by taking down some of the wall between the new kitchen and the new dining room/family area and removing the extra unnecessary masonry around the fireplace. “By taking down some of the fireplace masonry and a bit of the wall, it added air and light into the space,” says McDonald. “With less masonry there is more of a connection between the kitchen and the dining room,” he says, and of course better views throughout.

 Salvaging the fireplace

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The denim blue kitchen island, chosen to contrast with the reds of the fireplace and kitchen accessories, has the look of furniture.

The two-sided fireplace is the heart of the kitchen, says the homeowner, but at first they weren’t sure about keeping it.  “A lot of consideration was put into if it was worth saving [the fireplaces],” says Ducott. To make the fireplaces safe and efficient, they were cleaned, flue liners were installed and the exterior cap was extended. “In the end, it was a lot of work and expense to salvage them,” says Ducott, “but I am glad the homeowners understood and appreciated the character it brought to the home.” The owner says, “The fireplace is beautiful and such a big part of the house. We really love it.” A Cape Associates craftsman carved a cranberry scene into the mantel.

 Color Mix

Working with Dean Sarrasin from Kitchen Port in Orleans, the homeowner picked out light-colored Elite Square cabinetry by Candlelight Cabinetry, Silestone countertops and a denim blue kitchen island with a teak top and an oiled finish. “The contrast in color and materials gives the island almost a furniture feel,” says Ducott. “It seems that almost every kitchen we install nowadays separates the line cabinets from the island with either a different color cabinet or top or both. I really think it brings interest to the space and draws your attention to the island.”

About their new kitchen, the homeowner says, “We love our new kitchen. Basically, we live in it. It is big enough to entertain but cozy and comfortable enough for just two!”

Build: Cape Associates
Cabinetry: Kitchen Port Inc.

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