Clients with four children were looking to improve storage and functionality in their Alexandria kitchen while also giving it a facelift. “With four kids, a regular kitchen was not going to work,” observes designer Zoe Feldman, who spearheaded the transformation. “And the look of the existing kitchen was not [the wife’s] aesthetic.”
Borrowing from an adjacent utility closet and the garage, Feldman carved out a butler’s pantry that features additional storage, kid-friendly open shelving and appliances, including a wine fridge. The pantry flows down two steps to a mudroom with built-ins, hooks for backpacks and convenient seating.
While the layout of the kitchen didn’t change, nearly everything in it did. Honing in on the client’s preferred Palm Beach vibe—think bright colors and a sense of whimsy—Feldman painted existing cabinetry in saturated Farrow & Ball hues. Deep-gray base cabinets ground the kitchen and pantry while a light blue-green shade on the upper cabinets in the kitchen makes the room feel larger. Brass cabinet hardware and a copper farmhouse sink impart warmth, and marble-look quartz countertops are a classic touch.
For easy cleanup, Feldman covered the walls in white subway tile; it contributes to an industrial vibe, as does the open shelving in the butler’s pantry. Brass-and-glass globe pendants from Rejuvenation take center stage over the furniture-style island. “Lighting is highly important in a kitchen because you have to work there,” Feldman notes. “Globes are great in the center of the room because they give off more light.” Stylish brass pendants add personality in the pantry.
Advice before embarking on a kitchen renovation?
Inventory your items so you know what you have and think about how you use your kitchen. How do you want it to function for your needs?
How do you create originality in a kitchen design?
Consider your “wow” factor: Is it your floor, backsplash, countertops? And hang art—old cutting boards or beautiful pots. As long as it’s functional and not trite.
Do you have a favorite surface material?
I’ve always been a marble girl. It’s been used in Europe forever! I don’t see it as high-maintenance— it’s how you perceive what it should look like over time. I have honed marble in my kitchen and I cut right on it.
What kitchen trend are you tired of?
Waterfall countertops. I think it’s an overdone look, and it’s just for a statement. I don’t think it adds value or function to a kitchen.
Kitchen Design: Zoe Feldman, Zoe Feldman Design, Washington, DC. Contractor: Jason Remodeling, Inc., Woodbridge, Virginia.