A Kitchen Makeover in Chevy Chase

When presented with the possibility of renovating this kitchen in Chevy Chase, I was thrilled. Who wouldn’t want to demolish a pink plastic laminate kitchen? Certainly, the homeowners were ready and I was invited to guide them through an incredible transformation and share in their excitement.

The old Mexican tile floor, although interesting, no longer belonged. The renovation called for the extension of the home’s wood flooring into the kitchen space, to marry the front of the house with the back and realize one important project goal.

Additional changes included small and large integrated elements. The antique-like island and other pieces that became part of the kitchen relate to the clients’ existing furnishings. Behind the range, the fine lattice tile work brings quietness to the large expanse without compromising interesting detail and grounds the portals windows in a spacious wall scape. The eleven foot Hemlock beam, with oversized corbels, creates a dramatic and important visual statement that supports the proportions of the 48” range. Finally, the lighting plan brings warm task and ambient light to a formerly dark and dingy kitchen, and soft highlighting to the architectural elements.

This renovation project was completely fulfilling for the homeowners and me because, after the dust truly settled and the new kitchen was finished, it felt as though the renovated kitchen had always been a part of the home.

The objectives:
• Adeptly integrate the kitchen living space with the décor of the home
• Replace the outdated and unsightly pink laminate cabinetry and white laminate counter tops in the kitchen. Also, replace the built-in white wood case goods flanking the front hall entry
• Fulfill the clients’ desire to create a warm, friendly and inviting kitchen with details that spirit a casual, country style

The design challenges:
• Reconfigure the storage space after having sacrificed a huge, existing pantry wall
• Address the existing portal windows on the cook wall, which the owners chose not to remove or replace so as not to disturb the exterior of the home
• Design a large kitchen island that replicates a piece of antique furniture and reflects the antique décor and style of the first floor furnishings

The design solutions:
• Mirror the existing closet on the opposite side of the kitchen entrance to the dining room to create a formal, balanced entry and recoup lost pantry storage
• Replace the existing bookcases with new, furniture quality bookcases, made from Hemlock, that employs an antique character which complements the kitchen island
• Fashion a horizontal effect to the cook wall and hood using a long mantle shelf above the range, with oversized corbel supports and lattice tile work

The special features:
• Install an eleven foot Hemlock beam as the mantle shelf to conceal the mechanics of the hood on the cook wall
• Carefully craft and detail the antiqued kitchen island table and antiqued bookcases to match the owners’ vision and needs
• Install a chandelier between the closets near the dining room as a transition from the kitchen proper. Additionally, utilize warm and useful light for ambient, task and focal point lighting, highlighting the architectural elements.

My thanks go to the homeowners for the opportunity to work with them on their renovation and to the installation team and vendors for their diligent efforts on this project.