Home & Design

Gourmet Grandeur
Granting a client’s wish list for a renovation with little room for expansion can seem like a daunting task. However, for kitchen designer Jennifer Gilmer, it was a challenge that was easily met. To make the kitchen larger in both appearance and measurement, the dining room wall was pushed back and its single doorway was replaced with a double. The appliances requested by the client, including a prep sink, built-in refrigerator and second oven, fit on the wall opposite the large island. To avoid overcrowding, a convection oven was placed in a tall cabinet, creating extra pantry space.

Kitchen Design: Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Bethesda, MD. ARCHITECT: Gilda Marinho, Bethesda, MD. CONTRACTOR: Paul Lappas, Lappas Construction, Inc., Bethesda, MD. CABINETRY: Premier Custom Built, New Holland, PA. COUNTERTOPS: Caesarstone and Wenge Butcher Block. APPLIANCES: Gaggenau, Best Hood, Miele, Franke, Grohe. PHOTOGRAPHY: Bob Narod, Sterling, VA. PHOTO STYLING: Priya Gupta.

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The owners of a DC rambler wanted to transform their small, outdated 1950s kitchen into a large, open space full of light—contemporary but not cold. They called on Design Studio International to do the job, which involved doubling the size of the kitchen by combining it with the former dining room, which allowed access to more natural light through the dining room windows. The designer added more workspace, along with a partition to separate the kitchen from the new dining area. Splashes of bright, unexpected color, clean-lined cabinetry and modern finishes complete the effect.

KITCHEN DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: Savena Doychinov, CKD, Dimiter Doychinov, project manager, Design Studio International Kitchen & Bath, LLC, Falls Church, VA. CABINETRY: Adelphi Kitchens, Inc. COUNTERTOPS: Granite, curved glass, stainless steel. APPLIANCES: Thermador, Wolf, Miele, Zephyr, GE Monogram, KitchenAid. PHOTOGRAPHY: Bob Narod, VA.

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Ahead of the Curve

The cabinets and glass doors are curved.

The toughest challenge facing the design team in this kitchen renovation was undoing an unfortunate 1980s addition. The addition, which had a different ceiling height than the main space, formed an L shape with the original kitchen. “Trying to integrate these two spaces was a key to getting the kitchen right,” says Gilmer. “This L-shaped space was very broken up and disjointed from floor to ceiling. It took many, many meetings working on preliminary ideas to get the design to where it ended up.”

Jennifer Gilmer and interior designer Maureen Daly collaborated on integrating these two rooms into a more open and unified kitchen. Because space was limited, they came up with the idea of creating a cozy banquette instead of using stand-alone furnishings that would require more room.

To preserve adequate counter space near the banquette, Gilmer decided to trade in straight lines for curves. “Getting the booth to work with the counter was a struggle. When I drew an ‘S’ shape, everyone seemed to let out a sigh of relief followed by an ‘ooh’ and an ‘aah,’” she recalls. The unit houses a curved prep sink by Franke and storage below the Jerusalem stone countertops. In the cabinets with curved glass doors overhead, the homeowners display their collection of decorative glass. In a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, the designers juxtaposed darker matte-brown stained maple cabinetry around the perimeter of the kitchen with quarter-sawn glossy sycamore, a more contemporary look, in the curved area.

The refrigerator was placed in a centrally located spot on the opposite wall. “We ended up putting it pretty much in the middle of the kitchen between the prep and clean-up sink,” says Gilmer. “Here, it’s very accessible.”

The hood and cooktop called for something dramatic. Daly proposed a single slab of marble with blue colorations providing a textural contrast to the sleek cabinets and stainless-steel hood. “The piece of marble was just the thing to set this off, a one-of-a-kind piece that gives it the ‘wow’ effect,” says Gilmer.

Maple panels conceal the refrigerator.

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