When Emily, Peter, and newborn Wilder moved into their home in 2000,
the kitchen was already spacious, thanks to a substantial 1991 renovation by the
That earlier renovation had knocked out walls to combine a narrow back hall,
a small breakfast nook, and a small kitchen, and bumped out the rear exterior wall
several feet. To top it off, a striking metal and wood spiral staircase was added to
anchor the kitchen and provide quick access to the upper level.
But the kitchen was showing its age, and Emily and Peter began to think about
updates. They knew what they didn’t like – ailing appliances, an uneven, hard-to-clean
terra cotta floor, fluorescent lights, and dated oak cabinets. But they also wanted to
keep and improve on the things they loved, beginning with that spiral staircase.
It was never a question that the staircase would stay. The Geiers, including the
kids, all insisted on it. “Most of their lives they’ve come sliding down that banister,”
says Peter. They got no argument from designer Dawn, who also considers the stairs
the centerpiece of the kitchen.
There were other must-haves. Emily loved their round kitchen table, and
definitely wanted to incorporate one into the new kitchen. Peter and Emily had
explored the idea of renovation for years, and an early inspiration-seeking trip to
a Chagrin Falls kitchen showroom – well before they’d hired anyone – yielded a
one-of-a-kind sink that the Geiers knew they wanted. The extra-wide stainless steel
undermount sink with two faucets is a cook’s dream.
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