Marc Janecki admits he was initially “afraid to take the job,” when called upon to overhaul his clients’ outdated 200-year-old Alexandria home. The cramped kitchen, untouched since the 1950s, especially cried out for help.
But Janecki finally accepted the challenge. To make the modest rooms appear larger, he kept the walls white and the color scheme neutral throughout the property. In the kitchen, his goal was to design a clean-lined, functional space while preserving the home’s traditional fabric. He selected limestone floors and paired gray lower cabinets with white cabinets above “to create a little psychological height in the room.” A custom, gray-taupe island with traditional detailing “added a bit of age” against the glossy modern cabinets, Janecki explains. “It’s an older-looking piece that someone could interpret as being reclaimed or reused.”
A former Washington resident now based in Florida, Janecki often collaborates with kitchen designer Jennifer Gilmer on projects in the DC area. In this kitchen, Gilmer designed the geometric, stainless-steel hood as well as the cabinetry. “We made the cabinets a little deeper than the usual 14 inches; we’ve had to do that a lot lately as dishes are getting bigger and bigger,” she says. The clients are “ecstatic” with their new kitchen, which includes a breakfast area set against a wall of staggered pencil tile. Says Janecki, “We married traditional and modern design, updating it but respecting the personality and architecture of the house.”
INTERIOR & KITCHEN DESIGN: MARC JANECKI, Marc Janecki Design, Palm Beach, Florida. CABINETRY: JENNIFER GILMER, CKD, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Chevy Chase, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: KEVIN MAGUIRE, Murphy & Maguire LLC, Washington, DC.