Scott and Amy Rahl love the neighborhood where they’ve raised their three children, but they had become tired of dealing with a cramped kitchen where clutter appeared to multiply on its own. “We love to host family gatherings,” says Scott, who is a stay-at-home dad and the family’s main chef. “When we have all five of us, both sets of grandparents, and other extended family members all at once, we’re unable to have everyone at the same table and that’s not what we wanted.”
The couple did not want to leave their home of 17 years because they loved its perfect location in Ashmoore, near Meadow View Park, where the family can walk for ice cream and every street is filled with friends who are also frequent guests. The solution was to add just over 200 square feet to create a nearly 300-square-foot gathering space that includes a gourmet kitchen, large L-shaped island with seating, and dining area all in one open-concept space. The expansion project also included enlarging the existing laundry room, and creating a new pantry and mudroom.
Passing the test
“Our oldest daughter’s high school graduation was the inaugural event, and with more than 30 people in the kitchen we had more than enough room for everyone,” Scott recalls. “The new island is perfect–we had a taco bar on both sides and people could circulate easily.”
Open sightlines from the six-burner range to the three-panel sliding patio door ensure that no one feels boxed in. Natural light, seemingly spilling from every direction, highlights the warmth of the hardwood flooring. Laura Watson, ASID UDCP, interior designer with The Cleary Company, the design/build firm that completed the Rahls’ project, explains that the family’s desire for ample light drove the design, resulting in an elegant, sophisticated, but family-friendly space.
“With all new windows throughout the area, we had the opportunity to be creative. In addition to transom windows, we installed a deep window box behind the sink and eliminated the under-window backsplash, so the entire area is flooded with light,” she notes.
The family was very involved with every step of the design, Watson says, especially the oldest daughter, whose keen interest was helpful throughout the design process.
By using a custom cabinetmaker, Watson was able to accommodate a support column post, concealing it as part of an additional storage area with see-through cabinets that serve both the main kitchen and a convenient beverage center in the dining area. The additional countertop expanse is perfect for serving platters that can be passed through to the table.
“We all love this gathering space and my wife and I are so happy that we were able to stay in the home we love,” Scott says. “I especially enjoy being able to watch sports while preparing meals and having fun with all the new gadgets, including a steam oven, convection broiler, and space for warming,” he adds.
“It seems no matter what time of day or whether we’re hosting a huge celebration or just having breakfast, everything is always so clean and open–just what our family needs,” Scott says.
RESOURCES Designer Laura Watson ASID, UDCP; Contractor The Cleary Company; Cabinetry Schaad & Sons Custom Cabinetry; Flooring Hallmark Floors Ventura Collection in Tide Pool Maple, America’s Floor Source; Countertops Cambria quartz, Skara Brae on island and backsplash behind range; and Newport on the perimeter; Countertop fabricator Konkus Marble & Granite; Backsplash Ragno Eden in Greige, Hamilton Parker; Sinks Blanco, Ferguson; Faucets Moen, Ferguson; Pendants Amelia by Hinkley Lighting, Capital Lighting; Hardware Top Knobs
Article by Jaron M. Terry, APR/Photos by Daniel Feldkamp
Article originally appeared in Housetrends Columbus – October/November 2019