Kitchen of the Week: Bright Addition for a Tudor-Style Home
An architect couple in Bend, Oregon, tie their new kitchen to their 1927 house with thoughtful details
Architects Karen and Mark Smuland were charmed by this 1927 Tudor-style home in Bend, Oregon, but they knew it had limitations. The house didn’t have a strong connection to the beautiful backyard; the floor plan was full of chopped-up, small, dark rooms; and the kitchen had old appliances, limited storage space and a dining nook that was a little too cozy for the whole family to gather in. While they gave the space a cosmetic makeover to brighten it up as soon as they moved in, they waited until their kids were out of the house four years later to build a kitchen addition that opened up the first-floor plan.
Photos by Cheryl McIntosh Photography
Kitchen at a Glance Who lives here: Architects Karen and Mark Smuland, plus dog Jack and cat Otis Location: Bend, Oregon Size: 210 square feet (19.5 square meters); 10 by 21 feet Architect: Karen Smuland
The new kitchen addition is outfitted with lots of special storage, something the old space lacked. Here, Karen Smuland and dog Jack are using one of their favorite new features: a pet feeding station. The bin is lined in sheet metal and holds half a giant bag of dog food; the drawer with built-in bowls pulls out at feeding time. Smuland estimates that Jack needs this latter option for only about 60 seconds before he’s done eating. (His all-day water bowl is in a new entry area in the addition.)
Before: The kitchen was cut off from the other rooms and was too small and inefficient. The range and fridge were crammed in across from the sink and had no counter space around them.
“The original kitchen did have cabinets that went to the ceiling, but our ‘pantry’ was in a converted linen closet in the hall,” Smuland says. “All of the cabinets were small, so many of our small appliances were kept in the basement, including a KitchenAid mixer, waffle maker and Crock-Pot.” And it was dark. “It wasn’t Christmas — we needed the extra light!” Smuland says of the string lights seen here.
The area shown here now serves as the dining room, with the addition behind the wall of cabinets.
We’ll head outside and work our way in, because it’s easier to understand the interior architecture after seeing the addition’s exterior. An important component of the project was making sure the kitchen addition fit in with the home’s lovely period architecture. The addition is somewhat hard to see from the street — it’s on the left side and has a curved roofline.
Curved dormers on the back of the house inspired the addition’s roofline. Smuland cantilevered the roof to extend into a covered porch over French doors, providing protection from inclement weather and creating a nice entry experience.
This photo shows how the addition relates to the rest of the yard. The couple park in the detached garage (back left) and enter the house through the new French doors. Smuland lined up these doors with the pergola off the garage. They saved the concrete pavers from a patio that used to sit where the addition is and used them in front of the addition’s entry and down the side path.
A New Entry Experience
The French doors let in light and provide easy access to the backyard.
Because this is now the family’s main casual entry, the architects added a drop-off area just inside the doors. The white cabinetry and walnut on the custom bench and coat rack coordinate with the new kitchen design. This area also has cubbies and a closet. Otis the cat likes the sunlight and the view, and there’s also room for the pets’ water bowls here.
A Hardworking Layout
This is the view from the entry. The new kitchen is L-shaped and the work area is a wide galley. It’s separated from the dining area by a two-tiered island split into a work side and a social side. “I wanted the cooktop and prep areas on the island so that I could interact with the rest of the family in the dining or living rooms,” Smuland says. The cooktop is induction.
The refrigerator, microwave and pantry storage are at the far end of the kitchen. Smuland made space for the toaster and coffeemaker underneath the microwave so they would be concealed from view by the panel-front fridge. “This lets family members use this area out of the main prep zone,” she says.
On the social side of the island, the raised walnut countertop is 6 inches thick. On the island’s end are cookbook shelves, a charging station and a wine rack with another walnut detail.
The island also contains this pots-and-pans drawer with lid rack, a drawer for spices next to the range, drawers for spatulas and oven mitts, a tall drawer for oils and bulk spices, and a compost bin.
Tudor Style Meets Modern
The ceiling in the addition follows the beautiful curve of the roof, making the space feel open and airy. One thing the couple liked about their old kitchen was the sink’s placement beneath the window, so they repeated that in the new kitchen.
While the overall style of the kitchen is modern, the couple were careful to complement the home’s original architecture. The hexagonal backsplash tiles nod to pointed arch details seen throughout the house. “The cabinet hardware could have been more minimalist to stay consistent with a modern style, but I wanted to relate to the unlacquered brass hardware that was used in the rest of the house, so I used bronze pulls with clean lines,” Smuland says. The bronze will patina as it ages and look like brass. She also had the new window and door trim milled to match the existing millwork throughout the house and painted it all the same shade of white.
The new windows and doors let natural light into the kitchen. The artificial lighting is layered and includes recessed ceiling lights, a pendant over the sink and undercabinet LED lighting to keep the kitchen bright.
“I didn’t want to break up my beautiful tile with outlets and switches,” Smuland says. Instead she used Plugmold strips that are recessed into the upper cabinets in front of the LED undercabinet light strips. Light switches are on adjacent walls, not on the backsplash.
All of the countertops on the working side of the kitchen are gray concrete. The Smulands chose it for its durability, modern look and warmth. The 3-inch thickness adds a modern touch.
The walnut bar of the island is an important part of the kitchen’s look from other rooms. “I intended this to be a clean-lined sculptural centerpiece element,” Smuland says. It has a strong relationship to a fireplace mantel across the space in the living room, and walnut also shows up on open shelves, the wine rack and the entry bench.
“The walnut bar is 6 inches thick and is made up of 2-by-6-inch pieces of walnut that were laminated like a glulam beam,” Smuland says. “It is mitered to create the waterfall edge that stops short of the lower concrete counter for extra clearance. It hides the messy areas of the kitchen — it’s hard for me to enjoy a nice meal if I can see a messy kitchen!”
The sculptural silhouette of the classic walnut Cherner stools play off the curved ceiling beautifully. “The walnut Cherner bar stools have always been on my wish list, and we happened to be in Portland one weekend when they were listed on Craigslist there, so it was sort of serendipitous,” Smuland says.
Before: This dining nook was cozy but a tight squeeze for the whole family. The Smulands replaced the light fixture seen here with an iconic midcentury modern Louis Poulsen PH 5 pendant soon after moving in, and it became one of the inspirations for the addition’s modern style. “When we did the addition, we wanted to reuse that fixture and chose a similar one for over the sink. Mark and I love the clean lines of midcentury modern design and like the eclectic mix of new and old together,” Smuland says.
The dining area occupies the original kitchen’s space. The couple removed the dining nook’s arch to make the nook larger and flow with the rest of the space. “In choosing the dining table, we opted for a walnut table with a midcentury shape and style,” Smuland says. Their existing PH 5 pendant light is a good fit in the new dining area.
This was the view from the living room into the kitchen before. There was no room for a full-size dining table anywhere in the house.
This is the view from the living room through the dining area and into the kitchen. Here we can see how the island’s walnut waterfall countertop works as a statement piece when viewed from a distance.
Before: The kitchen was closed off and inefficient. The end of the living room closest to the kitchen served as the dining area.
After: The dining room now sits in the former kitchen space and is open to the new addition.
The Smulands planned construction for spring and summer so they could grill and eat outside as much as possible during the work. They also set up a microwave, toaster, coffeemaker and fridge for breakfasts and worked a lot of dining out and takeout into their renovation budget.
Live in a house a while to clearly determine what you’ll want to get out of a renovation. When mixing a modern or contemporary style with period architecture, nod to the original architecture through shapes, millwork, colors, materials and finishes. Thicker-than-standard countertops can help a kitchen lean more modern and make a statement. Layering lighting is key to brightening things up and being able to switch up the ambiance.Prevent breaking up backsplash tile by concealing outlets beneath upper cabinets.
Becky Harris July 19, 2019