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Supersizing the Island for a Spacious Kitchen Redo

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“If only we could squeeze in one more chair.” It’s a common kitchen refrain, and it certainly rang true for Marilyn and Brian Thompson. The empty nesters first updated their 1880 house, in Chatham, Massachusetts, about eight years ago. But when their posse of grandchildren swelled to seven, they longed for more elbowroom in everyone’s favorite gathering spot, so they went back to the same architect, John Kuhn, and interior designer, Tina Lalonde. Kuhn designed a discreet bumpout that managed to comply with local historic guidelines while allowing for a larger island, more storage, and a kids’ area. Lalonde, who had used a salvaged cupboard door as inspiration for the cabinets the first time around, loaded up the island with period details. Marilyn, a decorative painter, finished the cabinets, using a brush to get a vintage look, and gave the painted floor an updated pattern. A wider opening allows her to keep an eye on activities in adjacent spaces, but usually you’ll find everyone at the island, she says, adding, “All we needed was a little more room.”

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