Home & Design

A custom matte-black range hood is offset by white Prevo cabinets.

Top Knobs pulls, a Blanco sink and a Brizo faucet are all in black. The roomy island accommodates two dishwashers.

A wine column and beverage sink complete the space.

Christina Simon, ASID, CKBD C|S Design Studio. Portrait by Tim Coburn

The kitchen’s black-and-white palette is punctuated by stained white oak cabinet doors in a chevron pattern beneath the island, framed by waterfall quartz countertops.

Practical Magic

Designer Christina Simon combines elegance and kid-friendly efficiency in the kitchen of a custom McLean home

When it came time to design their home in McLean, a couple with three young kids opted for clean-lined elegance with an emphasis on practicality. While Rob Zimmermann of Zimmermann Homes spearheaded the construction, interior designer Christina Simon masterminded the interiors—including a versatile kitchen that would suit everyone’s needs.

The plan started with the range hood. “The wife had seen a photo of a dramatic hood and she wanted one like it,” Simon recounts. “We designed a matte-black hood with polished stainless-steel accents as the room’s focal point.”

An expansive island provides space for supervised snacking. An adjacent breakfast bar sits between the mudroom entrance and the butler’s pantry—a niche housing a wine column, bar sink, glass-fronted cabinets and hanging glassware. At the other end of the room, a breakfast nook hosts family meals.

Kid-friendly features abound. To the left of the breakfast bar, says Simon, “a drop zone” offers easy-access open shelving, an undercounter fridge full of snacks and a chalkboard outlining family schedules. The island eating area boasts extra leg room for kicking feet.

The wife envisioned a chic white kitchen with black accents, so Simon combined crisp-white cabinetry with a backsplash and countertops in marble-look Cambria quartz; a black-tile backsplash in a chevron pattern embellishes the butler’s pantry. Noting that “black-and-white kitchens can seem sterile and cold,” Simon softened the look by introducing touches of open oak shelving in the kids’ zone and quarter-sawn-oak cabinets on the island base, which repeat the decorative chevron pattern. Wide-plank oak floors in a natural finish keep the room light.

Architectural Design & Building: Rob Zimmermann, Zimmermann Homes, Falls Church, Virginia. Kitchen Design: Christina Simon, ASID, CKBD, C/S Design Studio, Clifton, Virginia. Styling: Charlotte Safavi.  

Ask Christina

How are Kitchen trends changing?
White is still classic, but we are shifting towards a clean, modern vibe using dramatic cabinet finishes such as charcoal combined with wood. It’s fun to mix it up!

Share Techniques for conveying timeless style in the kitchen.
Using neutral colors and natural materials such as marble and wood is a great strategy. We add flair with trendy, less permanent items like hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

What Do you do to create interest and originality?
We like to incorporate at least one “wow” element as a focal point. This could be a statement hood, backsplash or even unique hardware.

How do you begin a kitchen project?
We always begin with a questionnaire, then schedule an interview on-site where we discuss how the space will be used so we can create a functional, cohesive design.

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