Photography: Bob Narod
Kitchen + Bath: Case Study The owners of a Bethesda home hadn’t touched its outdated kitchen since the house was built in the 1980s. When they were ready for a change, they contacted Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath to create an updated, contemporary space. “They have Pop-Art taste,” Bentham says. “They have a lot of that kind of art and wanted a kitchen that would complement it, with a sort of European feel.”
Bentham designed a more convenient layout by replacing a space-squandering, L-shaped island with a functional, linear one that is longer and wider than the original. He also removed the bulky, freestanding range and hood, which took up too much space, and substituted a streamlined, 42-inch cooktop and 48-inch hood. All the appliances are Miele.
The original cabinetry was clad in a mundane laminate popular in the 1980s. “The owners wanted things bright, but they have a penchant for grays, so though I started out designing with only gray, I ended up introducing red for interest,” Bentham says. The new cabinets from Zonavita are a lively mix of the two colors, made of a high-gloss, acrylic-based laminate that creates a strong sheen. They are paired with honed, Absolute Black granite countertops.
A bank of red pantry cupboards has been elevated and lit from above and below. The light over the island—a Philips Ledalite—is an industrial fixture that the clients chose; made of polished chrome, it adds the final touch to the sleek, modern kitchen.
KITCHEN DESIGN: Paul Bentham, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Chevy Chase, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: Mike Thornton, M.R. Thornton & Sons, Inc., Woodbine, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Bob Narod.
PAUL BENTHAM'S TRADE SECRETS: