Condo Kitchen Remodel Project in DC

From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 14 “Colorful Spaces for a Senior Gardener”

DC Condo Kitchen

The garden room (at left) and kitchen are, in effect, parallel galleys that share a common wall. At left, a counter with repainted supports provides space for gardening tasks; at right, the same dark finish, new fronts, and new door and drawer pulls rejuvenated old kitchen cabinets

Seniors often choose a smaller home when they move, but one of my clients in her 80s made the opposite decision for her later years. To provide room for a live-in assistant, she sold her small condo at Washington’s historic Woodley Park Towers and purchased a three-bedroom unit in the same building. The advantages of a bigger space with large rooms became even clearer when she later had a bad fall, requiring her to use a wheelchair as she recovered.

Her new condo, for the most part, was stunning. The grand layout included a long, wide foyer, large living room, formal dining room, and open porch (converted to a plant-filled sunroom in my client’s unit), as well as the three bedrooms and related baths.

Condo Kitchen Remodel Details

Like many older condos, however, my client’s new residence also included some rooms in need of attention. The kitchen and three small nearby rooms—an unneeded pantry, a former maid’s room, and a half bath—were poorly fitted out, dated, and worn, which didn’t fit in with the rest of the home.


Before the remodel: Tiny, inconvenient pulls almost vanish against the old, dated cabinet doors, matched by panels attached to the refrigerator doors. To modern eyes, this washed-out kitchen in pale, once-popular shades lacked even a hint of pizzazz

As I could see during our visit, the existing kitchen and related rooms were “just not doable,” in my client’s words. The kitchen featured linoleum flooring, fluorescent light fixtures, outmoded cabinet doors, old appliances, and faux cabinet-style panels on the refrigerator. Many of the aesthetic problems also spilled over into the other rooms. In addition, the small half bath contained a washer and dryer, making it feel more like a laundry room than a powder room.

The rooms’ drab colors and outdated look were especially ill suited to a highly visual person like my client, who was an avid gardener and a talented painter. Making the space more visually energetic and engaging became a key goal for this condo kitchen remodel.

To see how we made the space more visually energetic and engaging, download our eBook!

“ Hi, Bruce,
I look forward to your articles in Chevy Chase Village Life -- I love bungalows so I immediately read the article in the latest issue that arrived yesterday (as your team was here planning for the photo shoot). I also liked the Sponsor Spotlight this month -- featuring your company. Is it possible to get a reprint or link to your article on porches that appeared recently? I would love to add one to our NC beach home, but so far no one has been able to figure out how to get access from the inside to the outside! I know my sister would love to see the article too. Thanks for ALL of your amazing work. I hope you will feel free (and confident) to use us as references. The only hard part will be communicating what an outstanding job -- beyond our high expectations -- your team did for us. We are demanding, but your team is more demanding in the excellence that they deliver. ”

Linda, Chevy Chase, MD