Kitchen with Breakfast Nook | Bethesda, MD Kitchen Remodel
living room with lit fireplace

Maximizing Space & Increasing Efficiency in a Bethesda Kitchen

kitchen with a chestnut brown table and green chairs

New half-round breakfast bay was constructed to accommodate antique elm wood table and hitchcock chairs

A Washington, DC area couple spent 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service traveling to faraway places such as Iraq, Singapore, Lithuania and other parts of the world—all the while evolving their careers and raising three children. As they moved around the world, they brought along family furniture and heirlooms that provided sense of home and continuity in each new setting. Their Bethesda residence, a 1960 brick Dutch Colonial, was occupied by the family only eight of those past 30 years. So when it was time to return to DC, they felt it was time to make the house a home. Their home represented familiarity, stability, and continuity for the well-traveled family. Not only did the family love returning home, but the house had many practical features as well:
  • Great proximity to DC
  • Solid construction
  • A fine Bethesda neighborhood
  • A charming private site ready for landscaping
  • Ample sunlight
However, after serving as a rental for many years, the house lacked the modern conveniences and layout the homeowners had come to expect. The 12 x 11 foot kitchen was dark, closed off from the living spaces, and too small for their family of five. They needed a larger kitchen.

Bethesda Kitchen Remodeling Project Details

Open Wall Between the Kitchen & Dining Room

When it came time to remodel their kitchen, the family knew they wanted more space, a better layout, upgraded appliances, and more natural light. After several conversations with the design team, it was agreed to open the wall between the dining room and kitchen to make the visual connection while still keeping the definition of spaces. The opened wall makes both the kitchen and dining room feel significantly larger. Replicating the moldings at the new 10-foot-wide wall opening provides consistency and creates a proscenium-like opening to highlight the performance activity in the kitchen.

Breakfast Bay to Fit a Table

The homeowners also expressed a desire to use family furniture in their new remodel, such as their round Elm wood breakfast table with a full set of presidential Hitchcock chairs. The new breakfast bay had to be large enough to accommodate the antique table and chairs. Square bays, angled bays, and round bays were illustrated for the design team. Finally, a segmented-round bay design was chosen as the preferred design. Four new double hung windows and a new glass door capture the wooded views and southern sunlight and create a visual connection to the new flagstone terrace beyond. A pendant light fixture (Annapolis Lighting) of milky white glass and brushed brass marks the table where family members gather for coffee and breakfast. An added bonus of this small breakfast bay is a basement-level storage room underneath—easily accessible from the sloping sight and a perfect home for bikes and garden tools.
kitchen with a chestnut brown table and green chairs

Bar stools at central island provide additional seating

Island & Work Counters

In addition to the breakfast bay, the family asked that a central island be designed to accommodate two bar stools. The new island measures 38 x 81 inches. Capped with dark gray granite, the island has become the centerpiece of the kitchen/breakfast room area. A large SS sink, Maytag dishwasher, pull-out trash, and bookcase for cookbooks make the island functional. Facing the dining room is a shallow cabinet with mullion glass doors where glassware is stored. The interior of the cabinet is painted a deep olive green, lending its more formal aesthetic to the dining room. Wrapping the north and east walls of the kitchen in an “L” configuration are granite countertops and cabinets housing a refrigerator, Sharp microwave drawer, small prep sink, and gas range with a SS range hood. Wall cabinets with clear glass mullion cabinet doors provide visual depth to make the space feel larger. The off-white crackled subway tile backsplash finishes the aesthetic of the transitional style.

Lighting for the New Spaces

Recessed down lights were utilized for general illumination in the kitchen and breakfast room. Under-wall cabinet lighting provides direct illumination on the work surfaces, and unobtrusive plug molding mounted under the cabinets keeps the tiled backsplash uninterrupted. New decorative light fixtures were installed over both the breakfast table and dining table. Traditional in a simple Colonial American style, the hanging fixtures are right at home with the heritage family antiques.

Home Remodeling in Bethesda, Maryland

The good experience with the kitchen remodel spurred the client on the design team to remodel two bathrooms. The long traveling family is home at last—and up to date! Visit our portfolio to see pictures of the kitchen remodel in Bethesda, and if you’re interested in kitchen remodeling in the Bethesda area, contact us today.

“ 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