Alluring and Accessible: A Victorian renovation adds wheelchair access and room for entertaining

MICA ROYAL Award: Residential Addition

Kitchens are the center of action in many homes nowadays. It’s a place not just to make meals, but also to entertain and spend quality time with the family.

With that in mind, Towson’s American Contracting Inc. and 2E Architects Inc. renovated a Baltimore County Victorian home to create more living and entertaining space in a dated 40-year-old kitchen. The nearly $500,000 remodel involved upgrading the fixtures to include stainless-steel appliances, granite counters and a large center island.

The dramatic six-month renovation also called for the addition of a new living room adjacent to the kitchen to form a great room with an added 750 square feet of living space. The living room consists of a fireplace, a sitting area and a dining area under vaulted 17-foot ceilings made from reclaimed wood.

The island in the original kitchen was small and difficult to maneuver around, American Contracting owner Bruce Quackenbush Jr. explains. The old kitchen was not the most user-friendly for someone in a wheelchair,” he says, referring to the family patriarch living in the home.

His son, daughter-in-law and grandson, who share the home, can now cook for large events, including a July Fourth party for more than 100, thanks to the reconfigured kitchen and living space, says 2E Architects principal Peter Twohy. New kitchen amenities include a six-burner range, a second mini-fridge for storing beverages and a large island with seating.

The renovation also transformed the outdoor entertaining area with a large wheelchair-accessible deck that encircles the new addition and takes in the expansive view of the property.


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