Case Study: Kitchen + Bath

Bright & Airy: A kitchen by Studio Snaidero DC Metro combines form and function with minimalist style

A couple building a custom home in Arlington turned to Studio Snaidero DC Metro to create a warm, contemporary-style kitchen with plenty of storage and space for a family of five. The open plan encompasses the kitchen’s work area, centered around an island, and a pantry tucked behind it that opens into the airy breakfast room.

Working with Snaidero’s Shawna Dillon, the wife—who designed the home’s interiors herself—opted for flat-fronted white cabinetry punctuated by rustic, gray-stained oak modules that prevent the space from looking too stark.

“The challenge was to provide solutions for cooking and food-storage needs while maintaining an open, streamlined feel,” says Dillon, who supplied storage in the pantry, breakfast area and island to ensure surfaces would remain uncluttered.

Silestone countertops and a complementary backsplash in Nara Basic Blanco tile from Porcelanosa keep the room crisp and bright. A niche in the work area contains a Miele gas cooktop and oven, while the Best hood maintains a low profile tucked within the niche’s ceiling. A paneled Sub-Zero column fridge is concealed in the wall of cabinetry to one side, between the Miele microwave and convection ovens.

To suit the husband’s more traditional sensibilities, Dillon selected glass-globe pendants over the island. In the breakfast area, an inset, exposed-wood ceiling is treated in rustic style and paired with an ultra-modern Moooi pendant. Calligaris counter stools, Eames-style chairs and a Saarinen Tulip Table from Design Within Reach enhance the contemporary vibe.

Architecture: Devereaux & Associates, McLean, Virginia. Kitchen Design: Shawna Dillon, NCIDQ, ASID, Studio Snaidero DC Metro, Alexandria, Virginia. Builder: Great Jones Developments, McLean, Virginia. Photography: Jennifer Hughes.

Shawna Dillon’s Trade Secrets

  • Using the same product lines for all the rooms will help ensure that everything wears at about the same rate.
  • Varying finish options can help make the budget work across several rooms. For instance, a high-gloss lacquer can be combined with a more cost-effective gloss laminate.
  • Show your designer your aesthetic using images. Discuss what does and does not work in your existing kitchen.
  • The most successful projects happen when the client and designer collaborate closely. This partnership guarantees a space customized specifically for your needs/desires while taking advantage of your designer’s expertise.