Project Info

Designer/Contractor: Halsey Platt / Platt Builders, Groton, MA


• Incorporate a recycling center in a kitchen remodel for a historical 1669 house.
• Find a convenient spot for the recycling without changing the room’s footprint, traffic flow, or fenestration
• Create a hutch that blends with the home’s period style


The best place to capture space for a recycling center in this home was under the stairs leading from the kitchen to the second floor. But the client had been using the existing deep under-stair closet to store small appliances and large serving dishes and was concerned about losing that storage space.

Remodeler Halsey Platt says that the closet was “very deep and inaccessible,” so he came up with the idea to shorten the closet and build an 18-inch-deep custom hutch along the wall — but one that captures the 48 inches of storage space under the stair triangle. The shallower closet has shelves on three sides that are more easily accessed from the side door.

The furniture-look hutch does double duty, both displaying the homeowners’ dishware and also housing the recycling center. The clients were unsure about how well such a deep drawer would operate, but Platt assured them that the heavy-duty full-extension drawer glides would be sturdy enough to smoothly operate fully loaded drawers. Though he had never used glides this long before, Platt had confidence in the heavy duty hardware.

A designer at Platt Builders worked with the company’s specialty painter to come up with the color and distressed finish that blends so well with the kitchen and Colonial period of the home. “He’s a real artisan,” Platt says of the painter, “and they figured out the right combination of antiquing and glazing.”

Judges’ Comments

The judges praised the project’s clever use of the under-stair space and appreciated the small details in the design, including the blended outlet covers and matching stair spindles. They commended the remodeler for successfully creating a kitchen and hutch that both maintain the integrity of the historical house but are practical for a modern-day family.


Cabinets: custom
Drawer hardware: Accuride
Surfacing in recycling container: Corian