Home Remodel in Bethesda, MD: Pt 1
It’s always a pleasure to meet with prospective clients who are open to new ideas and in search of a good design/build firm to design and remodel their home. A pair of Bethesda homeowners, a couple with two children, loved their 1950s Colonial and had invested in many improvements to make it more comfortable and livable for their family. Although the house had plenty of room for their family, they felt their old kitchen was too small and too isolated from their family room for modern informal living.
Doing their due-diligence, the couple met with a number of design/build firms, many who recommended building an addition at the side of the house to enlarge their kitchen. During an initial meeting with the homeowners, we discussed their needs and goals for the remodeling. Overall, the homeowners were seeking a design that would provide a more upscale home suited to more informal living. We also talked through general design solutions that would not require building an addition—but would involve reconfiguring the existing interior space (the homeowners preferred not to reduce their outdoor space for an addition). Here are the design tips we provided:
- Better utilize the space of the over-sized family room to slip in a new galley kitchen.
- Open the wall between a rear south-facing sunroom and the family room to capture sunlight for the new kitchen.
- Alter existing circulation paths between the dining room and kitchen to make them more direct and efficient for a better flow of space.
- Maximize storage with a new butler’s pantry and wet bar area and pantry storage where possible.
- Remodel an existing full first floor full bath into an elegant powder room accessed from the foyer hallway instead of the first floor den.
- Remove a wall at the side of the basement stair and install a railing to create an open and more elegant foyer area.
The clients enjoyed using their formal living room and dining room to entertain. The design and floor plan alterations needed to enhance the dining room for their entertaining purposes. As serious cooks and avid home entertainers, the clients (both adults and children) were eager to have a kitchen design that fit their lifestyle. They asked to have drawers with built-in pegs that would accommodate dishes rather than wall cabinets, as well as a second sink and a strong exhaust fan (external blower). A six-burner gas cooktop, double ovens, a larger refrigerator, and more useful and unobtrusive microwave was all preferred. The wet bar with a butler’s pantry turned out to be an unexpected space bonus. The homeowners’ goal was to keep the aesthetics of the new kitchen in sync with the house: a bit traditional with a transitional style—updated and elegant, warm but not slick.
The full bathroom (about 5 x 8 feet) on the first floor was accessed via a first floor home office that was in full-time use as an office by a homeowner. It was agreed to change the entrance to the powder room so it could be accessed from the foyer and convert the full bath to a powder room. At the home office, the bath’s entrance door was through an existing bookcase; the door was filled in to close off the entrance, and new cabinets were replicated for the bookcase. The bathroom was remodeled as an elegant powder room with pedestal sink against a tiled projecting wall with a mirror flanked by sconces. Wall with panel molding above a marble tile wainscot enhance the formal aesthetic of the space. An elegant mosaic marble pattern provides a finishing touch for the floor. Crown molding caps off the details.
Kitchen Slips to the Rear of House
At the initial design consultation, it was discussed that the residence had sufficient space to accommodate a larger kitchen and a reconfiguration of existing space would be more practical and cost-effective than building an addition. The family room was over-sized and linked to an under-used sun room; so we recommended that the spaces be merged. The overly large family room impeded an attractive furniture layout and caused the homeowners to use an awkwardly placed tall corner cabinet for a TV. It was felt that allowing the new kitchen to slip into one end of the large space, with a new galley-like kitchen and a new island facing the family room, would be the most successful use of the space.
A custom made oblong -shaped walnut counter fits four bar stools and adds a sculptural-like flourish to the kitchen island. The new island accommodates a large sink, dishwasher, pull-out trash/recycling, and ample storage. Minimalistic pendant lights (by Bruck) highlight the new island. The new floor plan configuration allowed our designers to create a practical butler’s pantry/wet bar next to the dining room for storing cutlery, napkins, placemats, glassware, and more. The new butler’s pantry provides a slightly more formal transition zone between the foyer to kitchen and kitchen to dining room for dinner parties. A walk-in pantry is accommodated in a portion of the space of the old kitchen and double ovens with cabinetry make the area unobtrusive and functional. To minimize the visual impact of the new kitchen upon the family room the wall cabinets were kept to a minimum; a gas range and hood are the centerpiece of the wall flanked by new windows.
Stay tuned for part 2—coming soon! If you need kitchen remodeling in Bethesda or a surrounding area, contact Wentworth.