Kitchen of the Week: Paring Down and Styling Up in a Pennsylvania Tudor

Jill Unruh’s 80-year-old Tudor was designed by renowned Philadelphia architects Wallace and Warner, but you wouldn’t have known it from the kitchen. Dark granite and other 1980s touches belied the property’s style legacy, which Unruh was eager to restore.

With help from contractor Kyle Lissack, Unruh stripped the kitchen of all of its finishes and began from scratch. The new space concentrates on streamlined ease, together with the contents restricted to what the family uses on a daily basis. “The more room for crap which you have, the more probable it is that you’ll maintain it,” Unruh says.

Kitchen in a Glance
Who lives here: Jill Unruh, her husband and their two young sons
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Contractor: Kyle Lissack, Pinemar
Size: 308 square feet

Pinemar, Inc

Straightforward subway tile covers the whole back wall from floor to ceiling. Even the stove hood is wrapped in tiled and drywall over. “I didn’t need to have the attention to view all of this stainless steel,” Unruh says.

The tile makes for simple cleaning, particularly around the cooking area.

Backsplash: Daltile; stove: Wolf; countertops: statuary marble; cabinetry: habit by Pinemar

Pinemar, Inc

Regardless of the kitchen’s spaciousness, Unruh and Lissack restricted themselves into nominal counters and counters. This simple approach to storage motivated Unruh to eliminate all unnecessary items.

The spacious shelves have been painted a custom made navy blue to add dimension into the neutral room.

Pinemar, Inc

Unruh keeps her most-used things on display for simple accessibility; everything is tucked away in cupboards and the mudroom pantry. Pullout shelves next to the refrigerator store after-school bites; the sliding function makes it simple for the children to get what they need without getting in the means of dinner prep.

Sink: Cotswold, Just Sinks; wood countertops: edge grain walnut, Grothouse Lumber; floors: flat-sawn white oak; faucet: Waterstone; refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Pinemar, Inc

The kitchen cabinetry used to loop all the way round the kitchen, leaving just a small spot to get a 30-inch oven. Eliminating the cabinetry within this corner created room for a little workspace with appliance garages and an area to get a Wolf range.

Pinemar, Inc

This nook on the back wall after opened into a servant’s staircase to the next floor. However, the steps were so narrow and steep that Unruh understood her loved ones wouldn’t use them. She and Lissack shut off the surface of the stairs and replaced the door in the bottom with a custom made pub. The cupboard beneath opens to show the steep original stairs, which the family uses for pub storage.

Wine cooler: Liebherr

Pinemar, Inc

Additional navy-blue shelves and clear glass jars allow Unruh to maintain everything at hand and assess what she’s using on a daily basis. “I always need to determine where my stock is at,” she states.

Pinemar, Inc

The breakfast nook gets plenty of light from two new windows — just one of those few structural adjustments made to the kitchen. Storage space under the banquette holds winter boots and equipment, so they do not crowd the adjoining mudroom. The custom zinc-topped dining table, classic bar stools and coffee-sack pillows complement the kitchen’s warmer elements.

Table: Groundwork; clock: Restoration Hardware

Pinemar, Inc

This bite station across from the breakfast nook includes a microwave and two refrigerator drawers for condiments and drinks. The place makes it simple for the children to catch something to drink while doing homework in the dining table, and for the family to access condiments while they’re eating.

Granite Automobiles: Sub-Zero

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