A resourceful Osterville homeowner helps an architect and a builder design her multi-generational kitchen.

Photo by Dan Cutrona

The stove is a duel-fuel (gas and electric) AGA model and on its burners are hand-crafted ceramic pots from Scargo Pottery of Dennis. Above the stove, a pot-filler faucet prevents cooks from having to carry heavy pots of water from sink to stove while cooking lobster, steamers, or summer corn.

In addition to her creativity (which can also be seen in her original artwork around the house), Peacock says the homeowner was great to work for because she provided good, clear instructions delineating what she wanted. She knew, for example, that she wanted a double-sided fireplace, and she wanted it to serve as a connection between the kitchen and the porch. Peacock says he could have built more cabinets on the kitchen’s rear wall, but the homeowner decided to keep the space open for more windows—and more light. “She knew just what she wanted,” he says.

The client was also flexible. During construction, builders often face the dilemma of what to do about the homeowners moving around, sleeping, and eating in the home. “You have to make the house as user-friendly as you can,” Peacock says. Because this project was completed in the summer, the client was not overly inconvenienced. Peacock says she was even unfazed by the work going on around her, grilling outside often and sometimes washing dishes in the bath tub.

As the project neared completion, there was one small, yet complicated issue. A metal vent extending from the rear of the stove jutted awkwardly into the top corner of an adjacent room, creating an ugly blip in an otherwise thoughtfully designed space. The team went with a ‘safe’ approach; they covered the vent with a plywood box and hired local painter Michelle Amoral of Osterville to transform the vent into an old-timey looking safe. This whimsical faux-feature—dreamed up by the homeowner—has a combination lock, a custom logo, and bills of varied currency that spill out from within.

Seated in her kitchen and looking at the finished work around her, the homeowner recalls the times when she would look out across this same space—once her backyard—and dream. Today, she walks into that same space every morning, and before making her coffee, she starts a fire in the fireplace. Looking back, she says, “there is nary a thing I would do differently.”

Matthew J. Gill is managing editor of Cape Cod LIFE Publications.