Kitchen Karma Letting in the Light

Jennifer Wagner Schmidt turns a traditional kitchen into an elegant refuge

Kitchen Karma Letting in the Light A dark, cramped kitchen underwent a dramatic overhaul in the hands of Jennifer Wagner Schmidt, who followed her clients’ mandate for a “luxury kitchen” in pristine white. The original space “was all brown and half the size it is now,” the designer recalls. “We took out a load-bearing wall that separated it from a small eating area.”

The change facilitated a new floor plan allowing Schmidt to create a second island and substantially enlarge the existing one. The central island, with a sink and dishwasher, is for food prep, while the new peripheral island, with a beverage fridge and space for six stools, is earmarked for entertaining.

To keep things “light and pretty,” Schmidt says, she traded closed cabinetry for open display shelving around the range and hood. The upper cabinets are concentrated on the left wall, where a paneled Sub-Zero fridge, Miele coffee system, and Wolf oven are built-in.

“There is tons of storage in both islands,” the designer explains. “The drawers are deep enough for pots and pans, plates and serving pieces.”

A quartz surface called Polarstone in marble-look Calacatta Manhattan creates a clean-lined appearance on the counters and backsplash. Schmidt selected brass-finished lighting and hardware that add the hint of glamour her clients wanted; rustic stools in rich wood tones pick up the warmth of the metal.

Interior + Kitchen Design: Jennifer Wagner Schmidt, JWS Interiors, Ashburn, Virginia. Kitchen Planning & Cabinetry: AKB Designs, Ruther Glen, Virginia. Contractor: Wedge Construction Inc., Manassas, Virginia.


Cabinetry: through Countertops + backsplash: through
Appliances:,,, through Faucet, sink, pot filler: Lighting: Bar Stools: