Rooms We Love: Kitchen

Designed by Jim Rill, a house in bucolic western Maryland boasts a country kitchen with cutting-edge amenities

A couple with a property in Emmitsburg, Maryland, tapped Jim Rill to design a rustic home for them that would fit into its rural, lakeside location. Rill conceived a log cabin-style structure outfitted on the inside with hand-hewn wood columns and beams.

Within two years of the home’s completion, the owners were ready to enlarge the kitchen and called on Rill to devise an addition that would house an expansive new one. The goal was to combine top-of-the-line features with a warm, rustic look.

“The kitchen is supposed to look like it’s always been there,” Rill explains. He employed rough-hewn fir columns and beams to convey a timeworn vibe. Doors and windows trimmed in light-stained fir impart warmth, as does the ceiling made of V-groove fir panels.

Open to the adjacent family room, the kitchen is delineated by varied ceiling heights and an island that the owner uses as a baking station. A larger central island offers a prep sink and plenty of workspace. Custom cabinetry from Quality Cabinets has been painted, distressed and glazed for an Old World look. The peripheral cabinets are sage-colored and topped by leathered black granite with a rock-face edge, while the islands are painted black and topped with slabs of butcher block.

Rill collaborated with kitchen designer Robin Lynch to select the cabinetry and finishes. Oil-rubbed bronze faucets, a copper sink and a custom copper hood add to the rustic country style. ”It’s always fun to do something a little different,” Rill observes of the inviting space. “It’s good to do research and work with different materials.”

Architecture: James F. Rill, AIA, Rill Architects, Bethesda, Maryland. Kitchen Design: Robin Lynch, Robin Lynch Designs, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Contractor: Rob Segal, West Wing Builders, Inc., Warrenton, Virginia. Photography: James Ray Spahn.