Skip to main content

Arts & Crafts Kitchen Addition

Without overwhelming the original house, an addition that went up and back provided much-needed family space—including a period-style kitchen with a nod to the Arts & Crafts era.
white Arts & Crafts kitchen cabinets

Cabinets, finishes, tile, lighting, and hardware all nod to the period. 

The old kitchen in this small 1927 single-storey bungalow was a cramped space enclosed on three sides, with a dropped ceiling and cabinets dating from the 1960s. An addition allowed for reconfiguring interior spaces. Outfitted with white-painted, flat-panel cabinets and bungalow windows, the renovated kitchen is more fitting for the house. It includes storage on every wall.

bungalow exterior

The front of the bungalow is little changed save for the partial second storey perched to the rear.

Countertops are soapstone. The centerpiece is an island large enough for informal dining, placed right under a broad skylight that lets in light even on cloudy days. The owners requested clever solutions
to make small appliances easily accessible, like the mixer that pops up on a sliding shelf. The room opens to both the dining and living rooms, as well as to the newly added family media room.

Upstairs, an expanded master suite gave the couple a sitting area, bath, office, walk-in closet, and well-appointed laundry room. Although this bathroom has just a single pedestal sink, cleverly de- signed cabinets on either side serve well, providing hidden storage and fold-down surfaces for toiletries.

white kitchen addition

Tools and appliances like the kitchen mixer pop out easily on sliding shelves.

It’s All In The Setback
Like so many homeowners, Mike and Cheryl lived in their small 1927 Arts & Crafts bungalow near the beach for years before necessity—in the form of active teenagers—demanded they expand it beyond a single-story, one-bathroom house.

And therein lay the rub. How could they enlarge the kitchen, add a family room, and build a master suite with bath and laundry without spoiling the bungalow’s low-slung gable profile? Oh, and there was the little matter of efficiently how to heat all that new space: the original 1,300-square- foot house was served by an inadequate floor furnace.

For help, Mike and Cheryl turned to Ione Steigler and Joseph Reid of IS Architecture. The design team came up with a plan that included an expansion to the rear and an entirely new second floor, cleverly set back so as not to overwhelm the original roof line. (It’s not a new idea: Period houses like this were called airplane bungalows, and the perched second storey sometimes called the cockpit.)

Although the top-floor addition incorporates period details from the façade—including wood-slat vents—subtle differences keep it from being a copy of the original house. Eave overhang is less deep, for example, and windows are complementary rather than replicas.

White master bath with accents of cobalt blue

In white with accents of cobalt blue, the new master bath is outfitted with a soaker tub and pedestal sink, a towel warmer, and a separate shower.

The addition more than doubled the overall square footage, yet it’s hard to tell that the house was altered. Their contractor, McBreaty Construction, had experience with historic buildings, too: “Those guys understood what full dimensional lumber was,” says Mike, “the kind that was used in the Twenties.”

Rearranging the placement of two of the existing bedrooms and bath on the first floor allowed for maximum use of space and easier flow. The new additions accommodate a larger, more period-appropriate kitchen and adjacent family/media room as well as an expanded master suite upstairs.

As for the heating dilemma, that was solved with a luxurious solution: radiant under-floor heating throughout the house. Now that the work is complete, Mike and Cheryl plan on staying a long time. “I can’t think of a reason to leave,” says Mike. “The problem is, where do we go for vacation?”

Reggio Register underfloor radiator

Radiant heat is under all flooring; the Reggio Register underfloor radiator is supplemental.


Design: IS architecture, La Jolla, CA: (858) 456-8555,
Builder: McBreaty construction, San Diego: (619) 561-0546,
Cabinets: Chris Miller custom cabinetry, El Cajon, CA: (619) 579-2355
Art Glass Window: alpine stained glass, El Cajon, CA:
Lighting: rejuvenation
Ext. Lighting: Old California lantern co.
Windows: Kolbe windows & doors heritage series
Grilles: Reggio Register
Rugs: The Persian carpet
Paint: ‘Palladian Blue’ (kitchen); ‘Brittany Blue’ (bath) Benjamin Moore
Tub & Sink: Bain Ultra
Tile: Daltile
Hardware: House of Antique Hardware
Towel warmer: Myson

Art + Craft - this week's picks