written by:
August 9, 2010

In 2009, just as architectural designer Chris Greenawalt and his wife, Danielle, completed remodeling their Seattle home, Danielle received word that she was heading to Boston for her job as a research scientist for a pharmaceutical company. They closed the door of their Washington home, handed over the keys, and drove cross-country to Massachusetts. The door they opened there presented another much-needed remodeling opportunity.

Before relocating to the second-floor, 950-square-foot unit in a traditional Boston brownstone, Chris (picture here with his and Danielle's now 14-month-old daughter, Chloe) worked at <a href="http://www.pbelemental.com/index-2.html">Pb Elemental Design</
Before relocating to the second-floor, 950-square-foot unit in a traditional Boston brownstone, Chris (picture here with his and Danielle's now 14-month-old daughter, Chloe) worked at Pb Elemental Design in Seattle. The move offered him the perfect chance to launch his own firm, Bunker Workshop. Renovating his new kitchen was one of his first projects--and challenges. Photo by Kate McElwee.
1 / 8
The existing kitchen had been remodeled in the mid-1980s and "had been pretty hastily done," Chris says. The cabinet joints had started to fail by the time the Greenawalts moved in but worst of all, the layout, with the unit's entrance leading immediately
The existing kitchen had been remodeled in the mid-1980s and "had been pretty hastily done," Chris says. The cabinet joints had started to fail by the time the Greenawalts moved in but worst of all, the layout, with the unit's entrance leading immediately into the wall next to where the fridge was, "made a really small apartment feel tiny," Chris says. "We wanted to take that wall down and open it up."
2 / 8
Chris's original design consisted of only the island, which houses two <a href="http://www.fisherpaykel.com/product/dishwashing/dishwashing/index.cfm?productuid=C8CF35D2-EF9D-E58B-62EC36C047BA7F80">Fisher Paykel dish drawers</a> as well as a 24-inch gas o
Chris's original design consisted of only the island, which houses two Fisher Paykel dish drawers as well as a 24-inch gas oven and cooktop and two under-counter fridges by De'Longhi. Danielle, however, urged him to create a framed kitchen area so the living room on one side (shown here in the background) and the dining room on the other wouldn't bleed into each other as a single space. "That's how the canopy was born," Chris says. In addition to semi-enclosing the kitchen with the lowered, painted ceiling and partial wall, the canopy hides structural elements and the Broan hood for the cooktop. Photo by Kate McElwee.
3 / 8
Chris removed the existing cabinets, microwave, oven, and stove from the cutout in the kitchen and filled it in with <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/">Ikea</a> cabinets to create a flush wall that runs nearly the entire length of the public space.
Chris removed the existing cabinets, microwave, oven, and stove from the cutout in the kitchen and filled it in with Ikea cabinets to create a flush wall that runs nearly the entire length of the public space.
4 / 8
Chris completed the project in April 2010, just six weeks after construction started, with the help of friends, families, and subcontractors (<a href="http://tthardwoodfloors.com/home/">TT Hardwoods</a> for the flooring; <a href="http://www.epspainting.co
Chris completed the project in April 2010, just six weeks after construction started, with the help of friends, families, and subcontractors (TT Hardwoods for the flooring; EPS Painting and Services for the drywall; DiCenso Electric, 617-953-0306, for the electrical work; and Hayes Plumbing and Heating, 781-630-2695, for the plumbing). The new layout and Chris's smart design allows the space to feel far larger than it is--and much more grandiose than its pre-renovation state. Among his maneuvers to open up the area, Chris moved the De'Longhi freezer into the island (hidden behind a panel) and inserted cabinets into the rest of the length. The far two cabinets rest on casters and slide out from under the countertop to create a bar area--to which Chris and Danielle pull up chairs for enjoying coffee. Chris then rolls the cabinets to his desk in the living room to create more surface space. Photo by Kate McElwee.
5 / 8
The element that makes the kitchen pop is the built-in spice row. "Typically every design I do is white so it's nice to have something that adds color," Chris says. He admits, however, that it's more for show than everyday use; "we've only used six of tho
The element that makes the kitchen pop is the built-in spice row. "Typically every design I do is white so it's nice to have something that adds color," Chris says. He admits, however, that it's more for show than everyday use; "we've only used six of those spices," he says. As for what came first, the spice jars or the opening, the size of the gap was determined by the heights of the standard Ikea cabinets used. "From there it was a trial-and-error hunt for jars that would be as big as possible to fill the space but still be able to tilt out." Photo by Kate McElwee.
6 / 8
To access the spices and the cabinets above, Chris added a Putnan rolling library ladder he purchased at <a href="http://www.restorationresources.com/">Restoration Resources</a>, a Boston shop that offers used and vintage architectural artifacts. Though t
To access the spices and the cabinets above, Chris added a Putnan rolling library ladder he purchased at Restoration Resources, a Boston shop that offers used and vintage architectural artifacts. Though the ladder was originally too short for his purposes, jerry-rigging the hardware did the trick and a fresh coat of paint finished the job.

Chris made the counter with a Trespa surface, which costs just $9 per square foot and was available in a large enough size to cover the six-foot-by-10-foot island without any seams. Chris cut the edges with a circular saw and the inside holes for the sink and cooktop with a jigsaw and finished the edges with the help of an orbital sander. Photo by Kate McElwee.
7 / 8
Chris painted the partial wall (above the <a href="http://www.vigoindustries.com/single_bowl_sink.html">Vigo Industries sink</a> and <a href="http://www.cifialusa.com/showproduct.php?sid=293">Cifial faucet</a>) in <a href="http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProd
Chris painted the partial wall (above the Vigo Industries sink and Cifial faucet) in Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint. "It's kind of hokey," he says, "but I actually do use it." Most recently on the board: "bread", "OJ", "milk" (crossed off), and "mayonnaise" (crossed off). "It's convenient when we're cooking and run out of stuff. We write it down and then transfer it to the grocery list later," Chris says. Up next for Chris are a cottage project in Ontario, Canada, and a loft renovation in Boston. But with two of their own kitchen renovations completed within the past two years, the Greenawalts are now ready to rest and stay put in their own home and savor the results. Photo by Kate McElwee.
8 / 8
Before relocating to the second-floor, 950-square-foot unit in a traditional Boston brownstone, Chris (picture here with his and Danielle's now 14-month-old daughter, Chloe) worked at <a href="http://www.pbelemental.com/index-2.html">Pb Elemental Design</
Before relocating to the second-floor, 950-square-foot unit in a traditional Boston brownstone, Chris (picture here with his and Danielle's now 14-month-old daughter, Chloe) worked at Pb Elemental Design in Seattle. The move offered him the perfect chance to launch his own firm, Bunker Workshop. Renovating his new kitchen was one of his first projects--and challenges. Photo by Kate McElwee.

To see images of the project, please visit the slideshow.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016