The New Bungalow Kitchen

February 17, 2014 | Peter LaBau

My books are some of my most treasured possessions, and my architecture and design books serve as major sources of my design inspiration. I’m ever mindful of the old adage: “Originality is the art of concealing your sources”. That said, I’m going to be leaking out some of my favorite sources in the hopes that you’ll be as inspired by them as I am. For book #1, I’m starting with my own first book, as the shameless self-promoter that I am. Here it is, it’s titled “The New Bungalow Kitchen, published by The Taunton Press:

You can find this book at any good bookstore, or on line from here:

Or from Barnes and Noble on Line:


While I had my firm The Classic Group, Inc. (formerly Classic Restorations, Inc.) in Boston from 1986 through 2005, I was frequently asked to contribute photography by Taunton Press. Various of the editors would call and ask for images of my firm’s projects that had application for particular books and magazines that Taunton was in the process of publishing. So it didn’t seem surprising that I got a call back in 2006 from one of the editors there asking if I’d be interested in writing a book on Arts and Crafts and Bungalow Kitchens. My friend and interior designer/author Treena Crochet (now Treena Llewelyn, her married name) had originally been asked to write the book for Taunton, but as she was tied up on other projects, I was her first choice as someone knowledgeable in historic architecture to fill in for her.

I’ve done a lot of writing over the years, have designed many kitchens in historic houses, and certainly have no shortage of opinions, so it was an easy leap for me to agree to the project. Part of the fun was undertaking such an endeavor was that it got me in touch with architects and designers across the country, and exposed me to a number of great projects as I made my final choices for the projects I highlight in the book.  A few of the architectural firms I profiled were known to me, and some were new discoveries. And there was one great coincidence.

My family spent a few weeks on a secluded pond near Camden, Maine several summers ago, and my brother and I spent a bunch of time paddling around the lake looking at the houses that ringed the shore. One beautiful little cabin in particular caught our eyes, and caused us to beach the canoe, and explore. Clearly this was the work of some inspired designer, and we took photos and spent a good hour checking this place out. A few years later as I was compiling candidates for the book, I got a list of potential architects from the Maine chapter of the AIA. I asked for scouting shots of relevant projects from a number of these firms, and lo and behold, I spied that same sweet little cabin among the entries. The cabin was owned and designed by Meg Barclay and her husband John Scholz, of the architectural firm Scholz and Barclay in Camden, ME. The cabin is of course included in the book, and can be seen in several of its chapters. And Meg and John are as fabulous as their work, a theme that was often repeated as I made my way around the country gathering information and meeting other architects and designers and seeing their work. Marco Prozzo was the photographer assigned to work with me, and he was a delight to work with. He also rides BMW motorcycles as I do, which gave us even more to talk about.

If you are planning a kitchen project in an Arts and Crafts style house, by all means check this book out. It’s also quite useful for doing this kind of work in any historic or traditionally styled house, my methodology of respecting the original design intent and creating a seamless whole holds

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