Home & Design

Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve

The cabinets and glass doors are curved.

The toughest challenge facing the design team in this kitchen renovation was undoing an unfortunate 1980s addition. The addition, which had a different ceiling height than the main space, formed an L shape with the original kitchen. “Trying to integrate these two spaces was a key to getting the kitchen right,” says Gilmer. “This L-shaped space was very broken up and disjointed from floor to ceiling. It took many, many meetings working on preliminary ideas to get the design to where it ended up.”

Jennifer Gilmer and interior designer Maureen Daly collaborated on integrating these two rooms into a more open and unified kitchen. Because space was limited, they came up with the idea of creating a cozy banquette instead of using stand-alone furnishings that would require more room.

To preserve adequate counter space near the banquette, Gilmer decided to trade in straight lines for curves. “Getting the booth to work with the counter was a struggle. When I drew an ‘S’ shape, everyone seemed to let out a sigh of relief followed by an ‘ooh’ and an ‘aah,’” she recalls. The unit houses a curved prep sink by Franke and storage below the Jerusalem stone countertops. In the cabinets with curved glass doors overhead, the homeowners display their collection of decorative glass. In a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, the designers juxtaposed darker matte-brown stained maple cabinetry around the perimeter of the kitchen with quarter-sawn glossy sycamore, a more contemporary look, in the curved area.

The refrigerator was placed in a centrally located spot on the opposite wall. “We ended up putting it pretty much in the middle of the kitchen between the prep and clean-up sink,” says Gilmer. “Here, it’s very accessible.”

The hood and cooktop called for something dramatic. Daly proposed a single slab of marble with blue colorations providing a textural contrast to the sleek cabinets and stainless-steel hood. “The piece of marble was just the thing to set this off, a one-of-a-kind piece that gives it the ‘wow’ effect,” says Gilmer.


Maple panels conceal the refrigerator.

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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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