Maximizing Space in a DC Townhouse Remodel

From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 13 “Room to Grow”

Townhouse Kitchen Remodel

Remodeled kitchen is open and spacious

The final outcome of a remodeling project is sometimes very different from the original idea. When I first met the owners of a 13-foot-wide townhouse located near DC’s newly hip U Street corridor, their kitchen wasn’t even on the agenda. Instead, they were eager to gain some living space with an upper-floor addition at the rear of the house. With one infant daughter and another on the way, their city home had gone from snug to much too small.

Since they didn’t wish to move, the addition was a natural choice. They had several ideas for it, including some sketches from an architect friend, and had approached my studio to develop a fully realized design that we could then build. Unfortunately, however, as I soon learned from the city’s zoning office, adding on was not an option. Any addition would interfere with a required setback behind the house.

As I discussed this major disappointment with the owners, I realized just how much they wanted to keep their home, a three-story brick Italianate townhouse from the 1880s. They loved their neighborhood, their street, and even their block. They relished the urban hustle and bustle and saw Washington as a very livable city.

Finding Space, Not Building More

DC Kitchen Before Remodel

Before the remodel, there was hardly any open space

The owners’ real goal, in other words, was not to build an addition. It was to find a way to stay in the house. With this in mind, I proposed a new approach. The ground floor of their small townhouse included just two rooms—a kitchen and a dining room—laid out in a way that wasted an extraordinary amount of space.

Download our eBook to see how we remodeled the home to maximize space, with the kitchen playing a central role!

“ Dear Bruce, We are so pleased with our new room addition, designed and constructed by Wentworth, Inc. Mr. Lach gave us a design that elevates our spirits each day and brings praise from friends and neighbors who have seen the room in actuality or iPhone photos. Steve Barnard has our highest praise for triumph over single-digit temps, record snows, and personal changes to oversee and manage the on-site Wentworth team. His craftsmanship with built-in bookcases both in the new room and dining room will continue to give us pleasure for years to come. Carpenter Juan is a valuable asset to your company and its client-homeowners. Consistently punctual at 7 a.m., skilled in workmanship and explanations to homeowners, good team leader and good team player. With our gratitude for all the meetings here and at your office, for you and your team who worked with us every step of the way, and our warmest regards, ”

C.J., Arlington, VA