A spacious island topped with oiled walnut centers the kitchen.
A cabinet-to-ceiling glass-tile backsplash makes a strong visual statement.
Clever cabinetry placement added function throughout.
Clever cabinetry placement added function throughout.

Casual Elegance

NKBA Awards • MEDIUM KITCHEN—Second Place

In a Northwest DC home, casual but elegant interiors were at odds with a dated, 1980s kitchen. The owners hired Meghan Browne of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd., to design a stylish new kitchen within the same footprint.

A load-bearing wall and peninsula separated the kitchen from the breakfast nook in the original layout, creating a cramped, inconvenient U shape. Browne was able to remove the wall, substituting in its place a structural support column decoratively clad in oiled walnut. The peninsula became an island, allowing a more direct traffic pattern; Browne topped the island with the same oiled walnut to unify the space.

Clever cabinetry placement added function throughout. A 24-inch-deep cabinet between doorways conceals counter space that works as a desk area or charging station, with a wine bar beneath it. Open shelving in the breakfast nook was replaced with tall cabinets for extra storage, and a cabinet-to-ceiling glass-tile backsplash makes a strong visual statement.

DESIGN: Meghan Browne, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd., Chevy Chase, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: M.R. Thornton & Sons, Woodbine, Maryland. CABINETRY: Premier Custom-Built, New Holland, Pennsylvania. COUNTERTOPS: R. Bratti, Alexandria, Virginia. BACKSPLASH: Architectural Ceramics, Rockville, Maryland. APPLIANCES: Sub-Zero, Wolf, Miele.