How to Make Kitchen More Homely & Functional in DC
living room with lit fireplace

Improve Daily Living with Kitchen & Family Room Remodeling: Pt 2

Homeowners frequently ask how to make their kitchen and family room more functional so that they can be as efficient as possible. They also look for the added charm of comfort that makes these spaces the important hub of the home.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we discussed built-in upholstered breakfast area banquettes and benches as well as family room comfort. In this part, we’ll go into more detail.

Kitchen Islands with Sinks, Cooktops & Bar Stools

Homeowners love kitchen islands that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Ideally, the kitchen island is placed adjacent to an informal living area to provide a gathering space for friends and family. Most of our clients love having the sink, dishwasher and pullout trash/recycling in the island, with countertop work areas to the left and right of the sink and countertops with knee space that allow people to sit on bar stools opposite the work areas.

Homeowners who love to demonstrate their cooking skills may ask for the cooktop to be placed in the island capped by a powerful range hood. Kitchen islands require more floor space because of the circulation around all sides of the island, but they become much loved gathering places in the home.

Kitchen Island with Sink
Kitchen Island with Cooktop

Kitchen Peninsula with Storage

For clients with smaller homes that require a galley kitchen, we often design peninsulas, frequently with a new opening at the kitchen wall (often 9 or 10 feet wide) that links the dining or family room. The same features used in an island (sink, dishwasher, and pullout trash) can be designed into a peninsula, which requires less floor space because the circulation is on three sides instead of four.

Many of our clients who own townhouses have narrow galley kitchens with a modest amount of space where we find that peninsulas, fitted-out with ample storage, are a good use of space. Many of our peninsula designs make use of base storage cabinets on the dining room side where china, linens, and table mats can be stored. Bar stools can also be accommodated with this design when a homeowner feels it’s appropriate, but in most instances, we find that our clients prefer not to have bar stools in their dining room.

Kitchen Peninsula with Storage
Kitchen Peninsula with Storage

Desk Area in Kitchen

Desk Area in Kitchen

The popularity of a desk area in a kitchen ebbs and flows and is a personal preference, often driven by work habits, children, and space needs.

Occasionally a desk will be set up for children to do homework. But more frequently it is an adult homeowner who uses a desk area for a laptop to pay bills, keep up with work, look up recipes, and have easy proximity to a computer. Files and drawers are always handy in these areas as well. A desk’s adjacency to an island or peninsula countertop for larger paperwork projects is also desirable.

custom built cubbies with electronic docking station

The need for charging stations and electrical outlets in the kitchen, but tucked in out-of-the-way spots, are also sometimes requested. Many of our kitchen designs have cubbies or cabinet niches for electronics.


Creating a Focal Point in a Family Room

Homeowners love fireplaces (both gas and wood burning) as a focal point of the family room. It’s a personal preference, with gas logs being easier to live with, but it’s certainly a comfort factor as well.

Family Room Focal Point

Typically, a flat-screen TV is also a default focal point—so as designers, we find ways to integrate the fireplace and TV into a single wall assemblage that includes a built-in with the added benefit of storage. This design approach provides a family room with one focal point sharing multiple uses.

Ready to Remodel Your Washington, DC Area Home?

If you’d like to remodel your DC area home to improve its functionality and comfort, Wentworth is the only name to know. Our award-winning team has remodeled and built additions to all types of row houses, townhomes, and single-family houses.

Visit our portfolio and contact us today to schedule an initial consultation!

I hope you are doing well. Three years on, we love our kitchen and the entirety of the design and renovation that your firm did!

We have recommended you to several friends who admired the work you did in our house.

T.P., Washington, DC