Everyday Solutions: Remade 1960s rambler kitchen

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2013 - 4:10 PM

Sculptural ceiling adds artful flair to a remodeled rambler’s kitchen.


Architect Randy Buffie’s design replaced the kitchen’s existing 8-foot ceiling with a higher, sculptural ceiling, which required removing the original horizontal 2-by-4s from the attic.

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The challenge: Create a smooth transition between an 8-foot kitchen ceiling and an adjacent vaulted dining-room ceiling in a 1960 rambler in Roseville.


The designer: Architect Randy Buffie, Randall M. Buffie Architect, Eagan, www.buffiearchitect.com, 651-681-8441.


The solution: Homeowner Betsy Wilson wanted to expand her small galley kitchen and open it up to the dining room.

Architect Buffie knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and designed two new spaces. During the remodeling, he discovered that the roof was constructed of 2-by-4 boards and not trusses, which are common today.

The builder, Streeter & Associates, removed the horizontal 2-by-4s in the attic that formed the existing 8-foot ceiling, hung drywall and painted the new higher ceiling. “That simple move gave us an interesting inverted V-shape over the kitchen area,” said Buffie. The redesigned ceiling was also a much better fit with the existing dining-room vault.


Sculpted space: The new ceiling structure makes the kitchen feel more open and airy and adds a sculptural element. “It’s a more artful gesture than a flat ceiling,” said Buffie.


First impression: “People always notice how unique it is and ask us how we did it,” said Wilson.


Reinvented rambler: “There’s a lot of design possibilities when you’re updating a pre-truss, pre-early 1960s rambler,” said Buffie. “The existing structure can be a springboard of ideas.”


Best part: Wilson loves many of the remodeled kitchen’s features, such as the walk-in pantry and two-tier island. But the geometric-shaped ceiling gives it a distinct style. “It’s not just a plain angled ceiling. It has composition and is warm, inviting and pleasing to the eye,” said Wilson. “Our home went from a 1960s rambler to a modern ranch.”


Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619


  • related content

  • Before the remodeling, the dining room had a vaulted ceiling and the kitchen had an 8-foot ceiling.

  • star tribune/aia everyday solutions

    Everyday Solutions appears once a month in the Homes section as a showcase for projects, by AIA Minnesota member architects, that solve a homeowner’s everyday design challenge. The program is a partnership between the Star Tribune and the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

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