Bistro Vibe

Vintage style and fresh flair merge in the redo of a builder-grade kitchen

After living with a run-of-the-mill kitchen for five years, a Fairfax couple decided it was time to revamp the space. They enlisted kitchen designer Tanya Smith-Shiflett of Unique Kitchens and interior designer Alison Giese to spearhead a renovation that would create better functionality and light with a fresh, vintage-chic aesthetic.

The designers retained the existing kitchen’s footprint with its central island and L-shaped plan, enlarging a window and shifting its location to admit more light. The refrigerator, which dominated one wall, was relocated away from the L, allowing the range—which had been crammed in beside the fridge—to take center stage. The range hood is clad in lime-washed white plaster for a textured, airy effect.

The transitional-style cabinetry is part of Giese’s AGI Collection. Smith-Shiflett and Giese collaborated on its design, and it was custom-built for the space by Smith-Shiflett’s husband and business partner, David Shiflett. A bright, turquoise-painted island plays off the white cabinetry. The island is topped with quartz in a marble look while peripheral countertops in dark quartz resembling soapstone add further contrast. “The clients wanted a café-style kitchen,” Smith-Shiflett notes. “We used a four-by-four glazed subway tile on the walls and inside the upper cabinets to create that bistro look.”

An updated lighting plan incorporates multiple ceiling fixtures in aged brass and frosted glass, which contribute to the vintage appeal. An antique bistro table in the breakfast nook completes the space.

Kitchen Design: Tanya Smith-Shiflett, Unique Kitchens & Baths, Great Falls, Virginia; Alison Giese, Alison Giese Interiors, San Antonio, Texas. Contractor: Unique Kitchens & Baths.



Cabinetry: AGI Cabinet Collection through Countertops: through Backsplash: through Faucet & Sink: Lighting: Kitchen Table: