This project was one of seven kitchens completed by Peggy and Dave Mackowski, owners of Quality Design and Construction, in 2008 — a banner year for kitchens for the company. These particular homeowners sought out QDC because they were impressed with the quality of finishes they had seen in the company’s house-tour projects.
The clients, owners of a Raleigh, N.C., townhouse, wanted to open the kitchen to the living room and dining room to improve traffic flow and to create a more cohesive space.
This would require removing both the wall between the dining room and kitchen and the knee wall between the living room and kitchen. The homeowners had a photo of an arched opening they liked, and they wanted to use that as the design inspiration for delineating the dining room and kitchen spaces.
To build a structure around the arched cabinetry, Dave had to tap into his engineering background. The homeowners wanted a 42-inch-high counter on the dining room side, and the downdraft range on the kitchen side had venting that had to be hidden, so Dave built a knee wall to support the counter and conceal the venting.
“Then we put down the base cabinets, put on the granite, and built the arch on top of the structure,” he says.
The upper cabinets are attached to only one wall, so the crew had to build sturdy bracing across the top of the structure and at the other end. They installed a wood plate under the 16-inch-high cabinet on the end of the arch wall. A post extends from this cabinet box through the knee wall.
“The granite shelf sits on the knee wall, and we cut a 4-inch-by-4-inch hole under that 16-inch-high cabinet, which allowed us to physically fasten it to the knee wall below,” Dave says. “It required a lot of coordination with the granite people to make sure that all this stuff stacked and lined up.”
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.