The challenge: Expand the size of the kitchen and ramp up function, while remaining true to the 1923 colonial character of the Minneapolis house.


The designer: Katie Jaydan, Castle Building and Remodeling, Minneapolis, 612-877-8375,


New and improved: The existing compact kitchen was last remodeled in the 1960s and had dark-stained cabinets and floors, poor lighting, small windows and plaster falling off the wall. “It had seen its day,” Jaydan said. Castle Building and Remodeling built a two-story addition on the back of the house to create enough room for a mudroom, powder room and family room — as well as a bigger, brighter modern kitchen with an eat-in area. They also added a guest bedroom on the second floor.


Period flavor: Jaydan took cues from the 1920s house when choosing the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and hardware, lights, wood stain and millwork. She even matched the Shaker-style flush-inset cabinets to the original ones found in the basement. Of course, a 1920s home wouldn’t have had a big kitchen with a center island. “But it has both vintage character and modern-day functionality for today’s busy families,” she said.


Triple play: Jaydan chose three different cabinet finishes, including the deep-red tone used on the tongue-and-groove paneled center island with a butcher-block top. “You have to find a good balance to pull it off, so it’s not overbearing and too busy,” she said of the finishes.


Sunny breakfast nook: The cheery space, painted spring green, contains an L-shaped built-in bench and corner windows that let in lots of sunlight.


Day brightener: “We painted the upper cabinets buttercream yellow because the homeowners wanted something different than white to warm and freshen up the space,” she said.


Hidden command center: To the right of the refrigerator, a cabinet with a pull-up door holds a mini-office for mail, keys and charging and storing electronics.


Multi-functional island: It’s outfitted with storage cabinets, a built-in microwave, bookcase and wine rack.


Layers of artificial light: Canned lights, pendants and under-cabinet lights provide abundant task lighting.


A vent that maintains the view: The homeowners wanted a cooktop on the island, but instead of an obstructive ceiling range hood, they press a button next to the cooktop, and a pop-up downdraft vent appears.


The result: The 250-square-foot main-floor addition is “small in space but big in functionality,” said Jaydan. “And it fits the character of the house.”


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