Balaton Builders overhauled a Capitol Hill row house kitchen, creating plenty of space for entertaining.

Best in Show: Easy Entertaining

Medium Kitchen—Third Place

The choppy kitchen in a Capitol Hill row house was compartmentalized, with wasted space and inadequate storage. The owners, who love to entertain, asked Kamila Kvitkova and Javier Baldiviezo to open up space and make congregating with guests easy.

Anchoring the kitchen between the open-plan dining and living areas created a central gathering spot. A wall of cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances lines one side of the room, while a 14-foot island, housing the sink, offers the seat at one end and plenty of storage. With its openness, the island fosters ready communication between hosts and guests.

The style of the kitchen is transitional, with dark-gray base cabinets and white upper cabinetry and pantry cupboards that keep the room light. Modern touches include Cambria quartz waterfall countertops and a row of frosted-glass cabinets near the ceiling. West Elm pendants over the island and stools from Room & Board complete the space.

The Details   KITCHEN DESIGN: Kamila Chase Kvitkova, Balaton Builders, Washington, DC. CONTRACTOR: Javier Baldiviezo, Balaton Builders. CABINETRY: design-craftcabinets.com. COUNTERTOPS & BACKSPLASH: cambriausa.com. APPLIANCES: thermador.com. PLUMBING FIXTURES: grohe.com