Kitchen update from the '20s to the '90s


May 01, 1994|By BETH SMITH

When Linda Eberhart decided in 1988 that she wanted a microwave oven, little did she realize that her desire to stay on par with millions of other cooks would lead to a complete kitchen remodeling project. But after looking around at their 1920s-era kitchen, with its original stove and inexpensive cabinets, she and her husband, Bill, decided they needed more than a microwave; they needed a new room.

Bill suggested they hire an architect. Linda said no. After all, she said, they were remodeling a kitchen, not building a house. But after searching for months in Maryland and even Virginia for the right kitchen remodeling company and rejecting four proposals, the Baltimore couple decided to turn to an architect. Friends who had been through a remodeling project recommended Baltimore architect David Gleason. "David came over, sat down in our kitchen and drew some sketches," remembers Linda. "In about an hour, he came up with a preliminary design that pleased both Bill and me."

That plan removed the walls separating the cramped galley kitchen, an adjoining breakfast room and a small porch and merged them into one open space. A large greenhouse window, by the Sunspace Design Co. of Baltimore, opened up the perfect niche for a table and a comfortable banquette, a seating arrangement the Eberharts borrowed from their sailboat.

Once the initial plan was in place, Bill and Linda, who both had strong ideas about how they wanted their kitchen to look and function, worked with Unique Kitchens of Timonium to get the appliances and supplies they needed. Bill, who travels a good deal in Europe for McCormick and Co., selected Germany's SieMatic cabinets, high-tech products made with curved edges and painted with nine coats of polyurethane. He also found several attractive accessories for the room, including a stainless-steel paper towel holder and a chrome clock. For the lighting, he chose halogen fixtures.

Linda concentrated on getting double ovens and a microwave, which she found in a Thermador unit with a three-way heating function -- convection, thermal and microwave. Other appliances included a Traulsen refrigerator and a Gaggenau cook-top and dishwasher.

The Eberharts, both perfectionists, took their time finding just the right look and equipment for their new kitchen. Today, six years after Linda first mentioned the microwave, the Eberharts have a one-of-a-kind kitchen that blends sophisticated colors -- black, gray, white -- with high-tech, stainless-steel appliances. Sleek and yet user-friendly, the kitchen consistently passes its most important test. "Just the other weekend, I had a meeting here with over 40 people," says Linda. "You know where most of them ended up? Right here in my kitchen."

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