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Bold, Bright Kitchen Satisfies Needs of Multiple Cooks in a Petite Footprint

Tom Nardini Construction



  • General Contractor: Tom Nardini
  • Lisa Wilson-Wirth

Project Status


Year Completed



225 sq. feet

Construction Cost


Room or Space




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Project Description

Purchased in a foreclosure, this once-glorious stick-style Carpenter Gothic Victorian home presented more than the usual challenges, including its most recent use as a three-apartment tenement house. This phase of its renovation focused on the 225-square-foot kitchen, which was not the heart of the home but “the left elbow,” says designer Lisa Wilson-Wirth.

For instance, besides having three doorways and full-height windows on two walls, the kitchen was (and is) the sole access point to the floors above and below. The 7-foot 10-inch ceilings were problematic for the 6-foot-tall owners, who love to cook and entertain. Complicating matters, the kitchen’s petite footprint could not change.

In this gut remodel, Wilson-Wirth and contractor Tom Nardini accomplished what the judges called a “skillful insertion of the unexpected.” Instead of a kitchen triangle, there are four work zones — wet work, storage, cooking, and dining — to accommodate multiple cooks. A 36-inch-high peninsula table creates a second work counter, and sliding door pantries, a roll-up appliance garage, and a pull-out breakfast bar limit obstructions.

Judges also admired the “cool juxtaposition of materials” and “bold use of color,” including reflective products that enhance a sense of expansiveness.

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