Measuring just shy of 2,000 square feet, this 1940s bungalow had neither the frame, nor the personality to support a large, overblown kitchen. But the owner did want something a little bigger than the postage-stamp–sized nook she’d been cooking in. The solution, which lives happily inside a modest addition, is a culinary space as quirky and charming as the rest of the house, with appliances cast in leading roles in the design. The touchstone is a vintage, refurbished Roper stove, capped by a custom metal range hood with scalloped edging. “The Roper has a pretty grounded, mechanical expression to it,” notes architect Jean Rehkamp Larson. “Before electronics made everything sleek and smooth, appliances had their pieces and parts on display, which the client really liked.”

Complementary elements include a retro-faced Elmira fridge and matching dishwasher, metal grille cabinet doors topped by a farmhouse sink, a handy butcher-block island top, Eastvold custom Shaker-style cabinets, Caesarstone polished countertops, oak flooring, and a liberal allotment of marble subway tiles.

This is old school design at its finest, minus the kitschy avocado and harvest yellow color scheme. Instead, the clean lines and neutral tones allow whimsical details such as beadboard soffits and cut-out millwork in the island base to stand out. The dropped beadboard soffits hide a jog in the ceiling plane and reduce the scale of the room to create a feeling of intimacy.

Entrant/Architect:Rehkamp Larson Architects, Minneapolis; Builder:Artisan Renovations, Minneapolis; Interior designer: Kate Grussing, St. Louis Park, Minn.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.