Case Study: Kitchen + Bath

Island Fever: An expanded kitchen delivers a new look and separate spaces for work and family

An Annapolis couple with two children wished to transform their inconvenient kitchen into a comfortable space that would accommodate everyone, while giving the adults room to cook without little ones underfoot. They hired Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens to create a more practical layout as well as a timeless, inviting style.

The new plan expanded the kitchen into the adjacent dining room, which now occupies the seldom-used formal living room. The wife “wanted a separate island where the kids could gather,” designer Hedy Shashaani explains. In the enlarged space, a central island houses a prep sink and dishwasher while a smaller one, where the children hang out or do homework, holds a microwave and an under-counter beverage fridge.

Shashaani positioned the GE Mono-gram appliances, including a professional range and double ovens, near the central island, and recessed the 42-inch refrigerator in the spot where the pantry closet used to be; a wall of cabinets now provides necessary storage.

The couple, who loves to entertain, wanted “as many seats as possible in different areas,” Shashaani says. Stools pull up to both islands, while a breakfast area beyond the kids’ island has a built-in banquette. A bar near the dining room boasts a wine cooler and shelving for glassware.

Working with interior designer Kristin Peake, the wife honed in on a transitional aesthetic with white cabinetry, granite countertops and a glazed ceramic-tile backsplash. An improved lighting plan includes recessed lights and drum shade pendants that create a focal point.

Kitchen Design: Hedy Shashaani, Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens, Rockville, Maryland. Interior Design: Kristin Peake, Kristin Peake Interiors, Rockville, Maryland. Builder: David Carlisle, Bayview Builders, Annapolis, Maryland. 

Hedy Shashaani’s Trade Secrets:

  • While the refrigerator should be easy to reach for everyone, it should not impede traffic. Take accessibility and flow into consideration during the planning stages.
  • Appliances should be accessible to the cook but not interfere with his or her movement.
  • A custom or professional-grade hood will provide much better ventilation—and if you’ve selected a professional gas range, a pro hood is a must.
  • If possible, it’s nice to have separate prep and cleanup zones. I also recommend two dishwashers, especially for people who entertain frequently. They will prevent you from having to wash things by hand.
  • Think about lots of drawers for storage. They are easier to access than shelves and are more functional.