Screen, vinyl floors add spice to 'Pullman kitchen'


August 18, 1991|By Rose Bennett Gilbert | Rose Bennett Gilbert,Copley News Service

Q: We have what I think is called a "Pullman kitchen," that is, it's long and narrow with all the cabinets, sink, dishwasher and refrigerator lined up on one wall. We can't afford to remodel, but I would appreciate any ideas you can give me to add some personality to the space. The rest of our house is country French.

A: You need to pull some of the attention away from that strung-out work space and onto the other wall. If there's floor space, bring in a mobile butcher block counter to create the kind of triangular work arrangement that saves steps and the cook. A narrow table, perhaps a drop-leaf, will also do the trick, even fTC though it may be too low, at dining height, for comfortable use standing up.

Designers TuttoBene of Warrenton, Va., faced the same challenge when they did over the show house kitchen in this photograph: All the work and storage space was lined up against one wall. Some of their antidotes might work well in your kitchen:

A table-cum-desk brings activity to the other side of the room. Adding a lamp makes it especially important, visually speaking, and balances the line of wooden cabinets.

A wall-hung shelf of colorful accessories also draws the eye without consuming floor space. You could use such a shelf for practical storage, as well.

The standing screen is always a brilliant addition where you need a decorative touch that takes very little space. This one works especially well with its almost life-size trompe l'oeil painting adding a "window" to the lifeless wall.

The custom vinyl floor, inset with bright red squares (both from Armstrong) punches up the color scheme without being intrusive.

Other personality-imparting ideas include the curtain fabric repeated inside the glass-fronted cabinet and such Mediterranean-flavored accents as the copper molds, hanging herbs and exposed brick-and-stucco walls.

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