Home & Design
Kitchen - Kitchen Cabinet
Kitchen - Kitchen Cabinet

At the far end of the room, large picture windows overlook the backyard.

Kitchen - Countertop
Kitchen - Countertop

A built-in desk provides a spot for working or watching the flat-screen TV.

Kitchen - Countertop
Kitchen - Countertop

In the new kitchen, bright green cabinetry adds a lively contrast to the white CaesarStone countertops.

5 Cool Kitchens: A Bold Change

Architect John Heltzel expands a kitchen to create a sense of openness and modern style

5 Cool Kitchens: A Bold Change JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012

Homeowners in Oakton, Virginia, needed help with their small, lackluster kitchen and approached John Heltzel to design an expansion. “Their previous kitchen didn’t communicate well with the rest of the living space and was hard to move around in,” Heltzel recalls. “It didn’t take advantage of the views and was isolated from the rest of the house.”

Heltzel studied dozens of possibilities, creating both three-dimensional models and sketches. Eventually, they decided on a plan that would bump the existing footprint out about 10 to 12 feet to create a large kitchen that opens to the dining room. “It has a central presence to other parts of the house and people when they entertain,” Heltzel says. Picture windows frame views of the wooded backyard.

Jay Huyett and Robert Templon of Studio Snaidero DC collaborated on the layout of the new kitchen. Plenty of workspace atop a long, central island and a parallel bank of cabinets create efficient areas for cooking and casual dining, while copious cabinets and drawers provide plenty of storage. Sleek cabinets juxtapose high-gloss lacquered fronts in brightly hued cedar green with base units in a brushed-wood matrix finish. “The color really helps lead the eye through the space,” says Huyett, “and makes it more lively and fun.” 

A built-in desk by the windows allows the owners to enjoy the view while they work. From here, they can also watch the flat-screen TV that hangs on the opposite wall of their new light-filled kitchen.

“It took a lot of time and thought to get it right,” says Heltzel. “But in the end everything fell into place.”

Photographer Greg Hadley is based in Fairfax, Virginia.

ARCHITECTURE: JOHN F. HELTZEL, AIA, John F. Heltzel, AIA, PC, McLean, Virginia. KITCHEN DESIGN: JAY HUYETT, AIA, and ROBERT TEMPLON, Studio Snaidero DC, Washington, DC. CONTRACTOR: HELZTELHAUS INC., McLean, Virginia. 

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