A sprawling home in Fairfax Station beckoned a couple in search of a kid-friendly environment for their four young children. After considering the draw of its expansive swimming pool and outdoor sport court, they decided that an outdated, poorly laid out kitchen was no obstacle. “We bought the house for the outdoor spaces,” the wife says. “We knew we wanted to redo the kitchen from the moment we moved in.”
The couple, a veterinarian and a stay-at-home mom, waited about a year, then contacted Sonny Nazemian of Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes, who had worked on a number of other homes in the neighborhood. The wife was more than prepared, having browsed Pinterest for a year. “She was after certain things and knew the look she wanted from the get-go,” Nazemian comments. “I just did the fine-tuning.”
At the top of the priority list was a kitchen that would comfortably accommodate the whole family. “I wanted the kitchen to be where my kids hung out because I knew I was always going to be in there,” the wife explains. She also wanted a convenient laundry room, a computer station and a mudroom with plenty of storage for sports equipment.
To gain space without enlarging the home’s footprint, Nazemian converted a bay in the three-car garage into a mudroom featuring kids’ cubbies and cabinets that conceal sports paraphernalia; a large niche for laundry with built-in cabinets and sink; and a pass-through to the kitchen with a built-in computer desk.
The kitchen was enlarged to encompass an adjoining room that formerly held the washer and dryer. In place of one small island, two large ones provide ample room for work, storage and family members. “The original space didn’t allow for all four kids to be in there at the same time, but now they can all do homework there while I’m making dinner,” the wife says.
Since she loves to cook, top-of-the-line appliances and a functional layout were a must. The previous cooktop, located on an island without adequate ventilation, had to go. Nazemian replaced it with a six-burner, dual-oven Wolf range which is now anchored on a wall and paired with an imposing, custom stainless-steel hood.
Two Kohler farmhouse sinks are conveniently situated—one on the island closest to the range and the other in front of a window. The other island is designed with seating space on comfortable upholstered benches; it also houses a steam oven, microwave, warming drawer and—the wife’s favorite feature—a built-in cappuccino maker. There are two Miele dishwashers and a double-door Sub-Zero fridge. On one wall, a drinks station includes a full-height beverage refrigerator as well as wine storage. A nearby “nugget” ice machine comes in handy.
With the wife’s vision for a stylish, transitional look in mind, Nazemian installed custom maple cabinetry by Decora throughout the kitchen and the adjoining spaces; peripheral cabinets are crisp white while the island cabinets are stained dark. Cabinets are topped with stunning quartzite counters, which, measuring three-and-a-half inches thick on the islands, gives them extra visual mass. Carrara marble subway tile adorns the backsplash. Nazemian extended the quartzite counters and marble backsplash into the mudroom, laundry room and computer station, unifying the spaces.
Large pendants from Restoration Hardware hang above both islands and wood-like porcelain-tile floors were chosen to conceal dirt. The wife selected benches for the island from The Nest Egg in Fairfax and opted for clean-lined window treatments. And she asked Nazemian and his team to match the imposing, nearly-six-inch crown moldings that adorn the rest of the main floor. “Sonny made everything work,” she says. “I would come up with an idea and say, ‘Sonny, this is what I need,’ and he would make it happen.”
Photographer Greg Hadley is based in Fairfax, Virginia.
KITCHEN DESIGN & CONTRACTING: SONNY NAZEMIAN, principal, Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes, Fairfax, Virginia.