Lois Kennedy replaced an original window with a new, arched version in the freshly redesigned kitchen.
Cabinets topped with leaded-glass panels are conveniently located on either side of the Wolf range.
A snack center near the main sink conceals a coffee maker and toaster.
Pull-out spice racks keep the cook's staples close at hand.
BEFORE: With its builder-grade cabinets and finishes, the original kitchen was inefficient and drab.

5 Cool Kitchens: Middle Ground

Lois Kennedy creates a classic kitchen with a touch of modern


It is not uncommon for a designer to play the role of diplomat when a husband and wife don’t share a common aesthetic. Such was the case when Herndon, Virginia, homeowners approached kitchen designer Lois Kennedy to revamp their bland, white builder-grade kitchen. “It was really a matter of balancing his taste and her taste,” says Kennedy. “He would’ve gone very contemporary. And she would’ve gone Old World traditional. They left it up to us to make the transition.”

Kennedy’s design created a functional and efficient layout without changing the footprint of the original kitchen, which she describes as “dysfunctional to the nth degree.” The main sink wall now features a 36-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator above freezer drawers, a clean-up area and coffee and snack center. The perpendicular wall houses a six-burner Wolf range flanked by pull-out spice cabinets. A multi-level island serves many functions, with its prep sink, round serving table, sit-up bar and hidden appliance lift. 

In terms of detail, Kennedy walked a fine line between her clients’ preferences. Warm wooden cabinets, an understated hood and leaded-glass cabinet doors are traditional without being too ornate. Natural materials, including granite counters on the periphery and island, rich woods and copper sinks, focus on quality and craftsmanship rather than show. Cylindrical pendants made with hand-blown glass and wrought ironwork are “modern and whimsical all at the same time,” says the designer, who enjoyed the couple’s give and take during the design stage. “They negotiated in a wonderful, good-natured way,” Kennedy explains. “She would have liked a little more fuss. He would have gone more sleek. But I am very pleased about how it all came together.”

Photographer Lydia Cutter is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

KITCHEN DESIGN:  LOIS KENNEDY, CKD, Portfolio Kitchens, Vienna, Virginia. CONTRACTOR: VINCE LOPARO, Still Waters Group, Lovettsville, Virginia.

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