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Kitchen Remodel in DC: Ingredients Matter

Take an 1880s Queen Anne townhouse just a half-block from the Historic Eastern Market, mix with a sunny new kitchen, and you can whip up a blissful home.

The Project

Kitchen Remodeling Capitol Hill

A long-term State Department employee purchased a townhouse on Capitol Hill decades ago. Because she was unable to live in the house due to overseas work assignments, the house became a rental with some normal neglect.

Finally, as 2007 approached, it became clear to the owner and her new spouse that they would be posted back to Washington, DC, and the couple had an opportunity to make a new home in their charming Queen Anne townhouse.

Progress ensued when Wentworth was hired for the design and construction of a new kitchen. The homeowners set out specific design parameters for upgrading the old 1970s kitchen:

  • Open the kitchen to the adjacent dining room for informal living
  • Take advantage of the sunny garden views
  • Include a breakfast bar in the new design
  • Provide ample storage
  • Create a place for a laptop
  • Maximize every bit of space

Kitchen Remodeling Details

Meeting these goals required that the wall between the kitchen and the dining room be opened and trimmed with molding to match the 1880s style home. The new opening allows for communication between spaces, visually expands the space, and introduces more natural light. Heart pine flooring was specified for the kitchen to further unify the new and old spaces. The dining room now serves double-duty as both a family room and a dining room. A drop-leaf table pulls-out for formal dining occasions, and two upholstered chairs are nestled up to the fireplace for relaxing.

At the kitchen’s rear wall, a larger opening was cut for new French doors with transom, which opened sight lines from front-to-back in the house. And the large glass area captures morning sunlight for a happy kitchen environment.

Like many older homes throughout Washington, the new kitchen space was narrow; it measured only 11′ 4″ wide x 14′ long. The new design accommodates a long center island with a breakfast bar. The island, capped in a cherry wood top, is highlighted with three hand-blown glass pendants that lead the eye to the garden view. At the side of the island is a wall of tall 12” deep storage cabinets with central cubbies and a stone counter for a laptop. Electrical outlets for the laptop and phone chargers, concealed within the cubbies, are accessed via grommets. The opposite wall is fitted to be the true work area—with cabinets, sink, and appliances. With a grid of limestone and frosted glass mosaic, the tile backsplash is given aesthetic prominence.

Kitchen Remodeling in DC

A custom coffered beam ceiling unifies the design by reinforcing the kitchen’s plan layout. The rectangular shape, mirroring the island, gives direction to the space and accentuates the garden view.

The End Results

The overall result is perfectly suited to the modestly scaled historic row house. Spaces flow front-to-back, with the kitchen acting as a visual link to the garden. Although it’s a small-scale townhouse, it feels spacious with the new design. The new kitchen was carefully planned with upscale detailing that gives the home a sense of understated practical luxury.

Do you want to remodel your DC home’s kitchen? Visit our kitchen photo gallery to see the numerous kitchens Wentworth has remodeled in the area, and contact us for an initial design consultation to get started!

“ How good it was to hear that your firm has been awarded two COTY grand prizes. What a skilled designer and architect you continue to be. Your work is as earnest as it is beautiful! ”

Dave M.
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