“There are lots of arches throughout this home, and we wanted to reference them in the kitchen,” explains architect Robert Jackson Miller. Some of those nods are literal (arches frame the range hood and breakfast inglenook, for example), while the transoms add a more abstract, yet harmonious note.
“They tie into the rest of the house and provide a nice way to manipulate the high ceilings,” Miller says, noting that they rest on a horizontal datum line that unifies the space, providing a point of alignment for door headers and other millwork elements. “This house has tons of plank, wainscoting, and chair rail. There’s no sheetrock until you get to the ceiling,” he says.
Although each transom is inlaid with the same intersecting pattern, units capping doorways are paned with clear glass, while those atop cabinets are embedded with reeded glass with a quarter-inch curvature (to obscure objects inside) and backlit for ambiance. “The rest of the house still preserves history rather faithfully, but the kitchen has a unique feeling to it,” Miller says. “It’s like a little lantern that glows.”