Home & Design

New Frontier

A designer retools her reston kitchen in rich, natural patinas

The traditional kitchen in designer Jan Mengenhauser’s otherwise contemporary Reston home was a renovation waiting to happen. An awkward bank of cabinets cramped the dining area and blocked garden views across the adjacent family room. After tolerating the space for 23 years, she relates, “I finally pulled the trigger.” 

Mengenhauser dreamed up a new, efficient floor plan and a palette reflecting her penchant for warm woods and modern lines. As she explains, “I wanted a minimalist kitchen with a quiet confidence and rich materials.” 

To make that richness a reality, the designer partnered with Amuneal, a Philadelphia-based fabricator, to create custom cabinetry in dark, oxidized-oak and mottled brass. Pale oak floors and countertops and a backsplash in shimmering Cristallo quartzite brighten the deep, moody wood and metal patinas. 

A refrigerator is positioned to the left of the cooktop with a freezer and pantry stationed to the right. On the contiguous wall, two convection ovens flank a built-in coffeemaker and warming drawer—all by Gaggenau. An oversized island boasts plenty of room for casual meals. Exposed ceiling beams in black steel, added for support when the old cabinets were removed, allow for clear views of the landscape. Now that it’s complete, says Mengenhauser, her new kitchen has opened up “a world of possibilities to comfortably cook and entertain.”

Project Team

Interior & Kitchen Design: Jan Mengenhauser, Simplicity Interior Design; Amuneal. Contractor: Reid Construction Group. Photography: Stacy Zarin Goldberg. 

Kitchen Details

Cabinetry, Hood, Hardware & Metal Fabrication: amuneal.com. Countertops & Backsplash: eurostonecraft.com. Appliances: gaggenau.com through abwappliances.com. Faucet: graff-designs.com. Flooring: mafi.com. Stools: fyrn.com. Steel Beams: hpmetalfabrication.com. Paint: farrow-ball.com.

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