Modern Kitchen Remodel in DC
Sometimes you just have to break out of the box. Our client’s brick end-unit, a three-level row house, was part of a 1960s urban revitalization in Southwest, Washington, DC. After 50 years, it was time for a change. The middle level of the home consisted of a galley kitchen (isolated behind walls) and an open plan living and dining room; bedrooms and baths were located on upper and lower floors. It was time to take the next step in terms of opening the floor plan and removing the kitchen walls
The Client’s Goals
The goal was to satisfy the functional requirements of a modern kitchen, within an open plan, and also enhance the overall aesthetic of the space. The former kitchen, its walls, and an adjacent coat closet were removed.
Kitchen Island & Cabinetry
At the entryway, a new coat closet forms a vertical module that is both functional and sculptural. The block-like shape of the closet is wrapped on two sides by base cabinets for storage and open shelving above for ease of access.
Adjacent to this is the new island measuring 78 inches x 41 inches. Wrapped on three sides with white Danby marble (resistant to staining), it forms an elegant stone block that visually anchors the space. A gas cooktop takes center stage where the homeowner can perform her feats of great cooking for guests and family. Above the island, a stainless steel range hood—in its style and dimension—echoes the proportions of the adjacent open shelving. A built-in oven sits discretely below the cooktop within the island. At the traffic path side, a recessed area in the island’s stone countertop unobtrusively accommodates a pair of backless stools.
Along the opposite wall is the serious work and storage area. A tall cabinet unit houses a built-in Viking microwave and deep storage. Adjacent to this is the stainless steel, counter-depth Liebherr refrigerator to maintain a streamlined look. A sink and stone countertop completes the 18-foot-long run of cabinetry. The final 12-feet-deep base cabinets slip to the end of the cabinet run and transition to the dining room for practical storage. This working area utilizes a dark, unobtrusive manmade stone (Silestone) so as not to detract from the glamour of the white marble island.
Custom cabinets were fabricated (by Black Creek Workshop) with a Rift-cut oak veneer with its grain applied vertically to cabinet boxes. Painted with a taupe/gray pigmented stain, the beauty of the wood grain’s texture is enhanced timeless appeal.
Open Layout, Ceiling & Flooring
In mid-century modern fashion, the open plan is defined with floor materials and ceiling height changes. A dropped drywall ceiling curves to mirror the floor tile. The dropped drywall ceiling area accommodates ductwork for heating and cooling, the ductwork for the new range hood, and recessed lighting. At the south-facing window, the ceiling design pops up to accentuate the natural light. A large format floor tile provides an updated aesthetic, defines the kitchen space without using walls, and cleanly transitions to the existing oak floor of the home. The staggered joint pattern of the tile was laid to accentuate the linearity of the space and it provides a neutral coloring to complement the homeowner’s Turkish rug collection.
Backsplash & Lighting
Handmade backsplash tile, limited to the sink area, was a luxury item custom made for the homeowner; each tile is unique. A bit of rust coloring complements the gray cabinets and adds spice to the neutral color palette. The incised tile pattern has orthogonal, diagonal, and radius geometric designs that show off the rectilinear quality of the kitchen cabinetry.
Recessed lighting (Lightolier) provides unobtrusive illumination and under-wall cabinet lighting (CSL) provides additional task lighting. Concealed plug molding eliminates the need for any wall plugs which would detract from the backsplash.
Throughout the design phase, it was determined that the space would receive a new dining table to better suit the new design. After much thought and experimentation, it was decided that the existing rectangular glass and metal table worked best when placed in the opposite direction of the island, the two rectangular forms complementing each other and the glass table being light scale and unobtrusive when opposed to the stone island. The homeowner also invested in a large-scale modern light fixture (by Flos) that carries the glamor of the island into the dining room and beautifully anchors the table.
The New Modern Kitchen
The new kitchen achieves a more dominant character among the main public spaces in both uses of space and aesthetic importance. It is now a beautiful feature of the home—whereas before it had been an unattractive, hidden space.
To see more pictures of this Washington, DC kitchen remodel, visit our photo gallery—and contact us if you want to learn more or are ready to discuss a remodeling project for your own home!