Arts & Craft Style

Experts transform an outdated kitchen

Dan Mesches had a kitchen that hardly reflected his profession as a restaurateur and the chief executive of Star Restaurant Group (Zola, Indigo Landing and formerly Red Sage). Its outdated cabinets, baseline appliances, Formica countertops and linoleum floors had to go. “It was a dark and unwelcoming space,” he recalls.

The Mesches family turned to interior designer Melissa Broffman to renovate the kitchen, breakfast and family rooms; add a mudroom and butler’s pantry; and relate these spaces to the dining room and living room. “The goals were to unify the space of the four main rooms both physically…and aesthetically, to more clearly articulate the Arts and Craft movement reflected in the rest of the house,” says Mesches.

Broffman set out to design a 21st-century kitchen steeped in period charm. She was able to gain space in the layout by combining the former kitchen and breakfast room, once divided by a long bar/countertop, into one large room. Contractors were able to remove a large ceiling soffit that also had divided the space. Broffman integrated a layered lighting plan that includes period pendants, recessed cans, task directionals, under-cabinet pucks and tabletop and floor lamps, all of which are on dimmers. “We do not like harsh, artificial light and the combination of xenon and dimmers allows us to mimic daylight while still providing important wattage for kitchen tasks that require it,” says Mesches.

Broffman emphasized the Arts and Craft aesthetic, utilizing fabric and  wallcoverings in William Morris designs that she discovered at J. Lambeth in Washington, DC. Oil-rubbed bronze and nickel faucets, a hammered copper sink and a custom 3.5-inch-thick maple butcher block with a distressed finish by Brad Mizell complete the au naturel look. “There are layers of texture and detail,” says Broffman. “Plenty for the eye to see.”

INTERIOR DESIGN: Melissa Broffman, Allied Member ASID, Melissa Broffman Interior Design, Arlington, Virginia. CABINETRY: Judy Bracht, Stuart Kitchens, McLean, Virginia. CONSTRUCTION: Merrill Contracting, Arlington, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Lydia Cutter, Arlington, Virginia