Old World, European Style

Experts transform an outdated kitchen

When the time came to update their 28-year-old kitchen, Potomac residents Kelly and Steve Schorer turned to interior designer Linda Steimke and kitchen designer Lois Kennedy to design a highly functional space using the latest appliances and technology. Yet the look they envisioned was Old World, rustic and homey.

The designers gutted the original kitchen and devised a new floor plan that would include plenty of cabinet and counter space, a large center island, a breakfast bar and a separate desk area for Kelly Schorer.

The island is equipped with two refrigerated drawers and two dishwasher drawers on either side of the prep sink. Kelly has found this is the ideal set-up for making lunches for her two teenagers, while the adjacent round table with stools is the perfect spot for a quick breakfast before school.

Kennedy was instrumental in detailed cabinet design throughout the kitchen. She carved out a dedicated space for small appliances on the main countertop and concealed pull-out spice racks in the columns that flank either side of the range. The carved hood incorporating griffins and other mythical creatures is a replica of a similar one Kennedy designed for an NSO show house; the Schorers saw photos of it and requested one of their own.

Kennedy and Steimke worked together to select finishes and colors in the kitchen. “It’s Old World elegance with ease,” says Steimke. “It’s not stuffy or formal.” They honed in on rustic materials that would suggest this kitchen had withstood the test of time, such as the wide-plank, hand-scraped floors and the custom copper farmhouse sink that will develop a rich patina over the years. The designers varied the cabinet colors to avoid monotony. “I enjoy working with different colors,” says Kennedy. “It’s a way to create rhythm and movement and keep it from being too boring.”

KITCHEN DESIGN: Lois Kennedy, CKD, Portfolio Kitchens, Vienna, Virginia. INTERIOR DESIGN: Linda Steimke, Steimke & Associates, North Potomac, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Lydia Cutter, Arlington, Virginia.