After Rob and Elizabeth Hotaling bought a 1948 ranch house in Eastborough last fall, they gutted only one room — the kitchen.
The house is evocative of the 1950s and 1960s and “Mad Men” – awash in light from big picture windows, charming with a built-in bar, a library and a Dutch door to the sunroom – and they didn’t want to mess with any of that.
“We wanted to honor the house. I didn’t want to change it structurally. I wanted to bring it into the current century,” Elizabeth Hotaling said.
The kitchen was dark, with lots of wasted space and an adjoining laundry room too small to hold modern-day appliances. So the Hotalings filled the wasted space with floor-to-ceiling cabinets, turned the laundry room into a pantry, and brightened it with white subway tile and Carrara marble.
The result will be on the Junior League’s kitchen tour, along with four other houses on Wichita’s east side. Hours will be 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets to the Sunday tour are $40 on Saturday and $50 on Sunday, available at Junior League headquarters at 6402 E. 12th St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Addresses to the houses are listed on the ticket. Proceeds go to the Junior League’s efforts to prevent child abuse.
Elizabeth Hotaling, owner of the Adventurous Babes Society in Wichita, figures her kitchen is not as grand as others on the tour, but she also thinks it may be more attainable for others who are looking to update theirs. She decided, for example, that she didn’t have to follow the open-concept rage and instead stuck with the original galley style.
“I wanted it that if we were going to travel back in time, that it wouldn’t look incredibly out of place,” Hotaling said. “I wanted to try to use some products that you might have seen during that era.”
The brightness of the classic white subway tiles on the walls and Carrara marble on the countertops makes the space feel light and airy. Adding to that are white cabinets and the flooring, said the interior designer who worked on the house, Pam Fruhauf of Finishing Effects.
“I used 12-by-24(-inch) gray field tile,” Fruhauf said of the floor. “It gives a really nice clean and modern look.” Larger tiles make a room look bigger and feel more open, she said.
The flooring adds to a sense of expansiveness in that it continues into a transition room off the garage that serves as a sunroom, laundry room, office and mudroom. Using the same flooring creates a natural flow from one room to the other.
To add a bit of color with subtle green and blue, “behind the stove we did a really fun glass Moroccan tile,” Fruhauf said. “It was fun to be able to add a little pattern to the inset behind the stove.”
Hotaling said she is happy she stayed with the galley kitchen, because it allows her to shut the doors on a mess, keep out the pets, and create an intimate space.
“When I’m in there, it’s my space. When my husband’s in there in the morning, when he’s getting ready, he closes the door. It’s his space. It gives the option.”
Floor-to-ceiling cabinets make the most of the space. And while the original remodeling plan called for even more cabinets along one wall, the Hotalings instead opted for a countertop and a couple of stools where people can sit.
“Even though it’s a galley kitchen, there’s a tremendous amount of counter space,” Hotaling said. “It’s very functional.”
Perhaps the most intriguing element lies behind what appear to be tall cabinet doors. When they’re opened, they reveal a secret room that used to be the laundry room. But since modern appliances can’t fit in there, the Hotalings turned it into a pantry.
Visitors to the house also will be able to go into the living room — which has new furniture that looks like it was made in the 1960s — as well as into the dining room and library.
Hotaling chuckles at the idea that they have a library, but that’s what they call the “Mad Man”-esque room that includes a fireplace, a built-in bar, a telephone nook, and built-in bookshelves with an accompanying built-in bench. The top of a Dutch door in the library swings open onto a sunroom.
Fruhauf said she enjoyed decorating the space in modern, clean lines.
“The growing trend is transitional versus traditional or the Old World ... the cleaner lines, a little bit more modern light fixtures, side pieces of furniture to give a more updated transitional look, not necessarily contemporary. ... You can mix a style called luxe glamor with more traditional clean-line pieces and some old vintage pieces to get a more transitional look. So you’re mixing styles a little bit.”
For people who want to move in this direction, they can start with chandeliers and a few accent pieces such as buffet tables, side tables or lamps, she said.
Plaid Giraffe will stage the kitchen, dining room and sunroom. Junior League cookbooks will be sold during the event; the ticket price includes a discount on one book.
If You Go
What: Tour of five kitchens sponsored by the Junior League of Wichita to benefit its efforts against child abuse
When: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Two houses in College Hill, one in Country Place, two in Eastborough; addresses on tickets
How much: $40 if tickets are purchased from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Junior League headquarters at 6402 E. 12th St., $50 if purchased from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at headquarters
After-hours at The Hill: If you eat or drink at The Hill, 4800 E. Douglas, from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday and mention the kitchen tour or Junior League, 20 percent of sales will go to the Junior League.