Kitchens

Photo gallery

DC Penthouse Kitchen

A new condo being built in downtown DC was chosen as their home in the city. The building was great, but the layout and finish materials proposed by the developer did not meet my clients' standard.

I redesigned a unit with 3 bedrooms, a den and 2 1/2 baths into a 2-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath luxury penthouse and upgraded finish materials and details. Close coordination with the building architect, developer and builder was critical, since the floor and the ceiling were post-tension concrete slabs and the walls my clients and I wanted to relocate contained common plumbing and electrical risers.

The empty space had a long wall and floor to ceiling windows. I separated the cooking area with a 17-foot long island, which contains 2 sinks, 2 dishwashers and a wide prep area. This large island, used from all sides and levels, serves well in large parties. In order not to show obvious seams of the island counter top, I divided it into 3 different materials: granite, stainless steel and reverse-painted glass. Introducing different levels to the island add an interest and define areas. Stainless steel top with integrated sinks and drain boards is the main cooking and cleaning area, while the granite and glass tops serve for more entertaining purposes. Initially, the glass top was designed to have more interesting curves and angles, but unfortunately at the end, the size of the elevator dictated the size.

In order to increase the storage, we have incorporated various cabinets on the back of the island and under the bench along the window, and built a pantry at the end of the bench run to disguise the odd angle. These efforts produced an amazingly well-integrated great room -- the kitchen, dining, family room, bar, and storage are in a single functional space. Walls and doors are not necessary for the semi-public spaces in our modern life.

The kitchen cabinets, varying slightly from front and back, also reflect this design concept. The refrigerator and freezer are integrated and the powered appliance garages hide the small appliances. The cabinet doors are divided to match the drawer fronts to emphasize the horizontal lines of the design. Equally horizontal are the glass back splash with LED under-cabinet lights, and uplights above the wall cabinets.

This is a kitchen that works well for a single cook, a couple of gourmet cooks working together or a large party caterer.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

Building Developer: Faison Associates; Charlotte, NC

Building Architect: Esocoff & Associates; Washington, DC

Kitchen cabinet installation: Metric Home/Andrea Cassela

Interior Finishes: Beane & Co. / Dennis Beane; Silver Spring, MD

Cabinets: Eggermann

Cabinet hardware and accessories: Eggersmann

Appliances

Refrigerator: Gaggenau (RC462 700)

Freezer: Gaggenau (RF 411 700)

Wind refrigerator: Viking (VUWC 24“)

Cooktop: Gaggenau – Induction (CI492 600)

Wall oven: Gaggenau

Steam oven: Gaggenau

Warming drawer: Dacor (IWO 27S)

Range hood: Faber (Matrix 630003947)

Dishwasher (2): Gaggenau (DF241 760)

Disposer (2): Insinkerator Pro-XL

Air Switch (2): Mountain Plumbing (MT951 BRS)

Faucet 1: Hansgrohe

Faucet 2:

Filtered water hot/cold faucet: Mountain Plumbing (MT1401DIY/SS)

Water filter: Franke (FRXS2)

Soap dispenser (2)

Sinks: Custom by AK Metal Fabricators

Clothes washer: ASKO (W6461T)

Clothes dryer: ASKO (T731T)

Counter tops:      Stainless steel by AK Metal Fabricators

Granite from R. Bratti Associates

Reverse-painted glass from Hutchison Glass and Mirror

Back splash: Reverse-painted glass from Hutchison Glass and Mirror

Pantry shelving: ELFA from Container Store

Floor: Porcelain tiles from Best Tile

Lighting fixtures:   Halo (Recessed lights)

James Moder (Linear chandelier)

Jesco (Uplight)

Hera (Under-cabinet lights)

Photographer: Dean Evangelista

Photo gallery

Glass Counter Top Kitchen

The owners, expecting their first baby, were looking for something different, modern and unique in this new, but rather typical “Craftsman Style” house in a quaint Northern Virginian neighborhood. They contacted me to redesign the kitchen which was proposed by the builder.

My design concept was to totally integrate the Family Room and Breakfast Area into the Kitchen, making a truly multi-purpose Great Room. Today’s busy family requires a central space where most activities happen. This is the Great Room, the heart and hub of the family, a command center. It is a cozy space that allows daily activities to take place separately or simultaneously, individually or together, and not cause interferences or traffic jams. I wanted to create a space where a person cooking a meal could also observe children at play, carry on a conversation, and watch the same TV program as the others.

A truly Great Room can also accommodate family gatherings, children’s parties and even an extensive party. Casual parties usually start in the kitchen and end up in the kitchen. If a host is serving a drink to a guest, this activity should not interfere with the last-minute food preparation being carried out by someone else.

Though the Kitchen area is physically fixed in terms of cabinets and appliances, this Great Room is expected to evolve, accommodating the ever-changing needs of a young and growing family.

LAYOUT SPECIFICS

Two sinks were a must, the large one intended for cooking and cleaning. The dishwasher is placed next to it. The smaller one on the island may serve as a bar sink or as a prep sink for a secondary cook. The wine refrigerator is close by for convenience. The angled island serves as a barrier for the cooks to avoid traffic congestion, as well as keeping the guests a short distance away from the hosts. The cantilevered glass bar counter is over seven feet long, but its transparency gives an illusion of floating and does not conceal the gorgeous exotic granite top.

The primary cooking area along the window wall has the large sink and the cooktop in line for maximum efficiency.

The daily dishes are stored in the tall and shallow cabinet between the dishwasher and the breakfast table, a practical and functional solution for people of all heights.

Completed 2005

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Terry Showman

Cabinets: Woodmode cabinets from Creative Kitchens

Cabinet hardware and accessories: Häfele

Appliances

Refrigerator: Monogram

Cooktop: Miele

Wall oven: Miele

Warming drawer: Miele

Range hood: Miele

Dishwasher: Miele

Microwave Oven: GE

Microwave cabinet: Miele

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Sinks:

Counter tops:      Granite by International Marble and Granite

Back splash:         Granite

Stainless steel from AK Metal Fabricators

Floor: Hardwood

Lighting fixtures:  Tech lighting (Pendants)

Lightolier (Recessed lights)

Kichler (Under-cabinet lights)

Photographer: Richard Nowitz

Photo gallery


"Before Images"


Historical House Kitchen

This historically-designated mansion in Rockville, MD, started in 1864, had two separate kitchens next to each other. The large one used by the professional cooks and servants and the small one for the family. To create a more open space with easier flow, the wall between these kitchens was removed.

This design created a smooth flow of space at the same time, maintaining the feel of 2 kitchens. The main kitchen was completed in stainless steel for the commercial-type serious cooking, while the eat-in area was more relaxed, and finished in warmer tone cabinets, suitable for light cooking. Each area is equipped with a sink, dishwasher and cook-top or range-top. The owners are serious gourmet cooks and they use the stainless kitchen daily, while the small kitchen is used for small breakfasts and tea time.

The stainless steel island cart moves between the two kitchens, carrying dishes, serving foods and unloading shopping bags. It serves as a bar counter during parties. When a large group of guests are present, the small breakfast table is raised to bar height so the hanging chandelier and the guests’ heads are protected from each other, therefore providing the guests another place to “hang out’.

The small peninsula opens up to a glass-enclosed family room, looking out to a large garden. This was added in the 1950’s. We replaced all the windows doors, their treatments and installed new lighting.

Completed in 2001

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Great Falls Builders

   David Friend

Cabinets:             NEFF Kitchens from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens

Custom Stainless

Cabinet hardware and accessories: Häfele

Appliances

Refrigerator: Monogram

Range Top:

Cooktop: kitchenAid

Wall oven: Thermador

Warming drawer: Thermador

Range hood:Thermador

Dishwasher: Bosch

Microwave Oven: Thermador

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Filtered water faucet: Franke

Sinks: Custom by Custom Stainless / Elkay

Counter tops:      Silestone by Counter Intelligence

Stainless steel by Custom Stainless

Stainless cart: John Boos

Back splash:         Stainless steel from Custom Stainless

Silestone tiles

Floor: Silestone tiles

Lighting fixtures: LBL (

George Kovacs (Pendants)

Tech lighting (Chandelier)

Lightolier (Recessed lights)

Hera (Under-cabinet lights)

Photo gallery

"Before Images"


Mongolian Scene

The oldest part of this home was a vintage Sears and Roebuck mail order kit house. Before the current owner purchased the house, however, a family room had been added and some alterations had been done. But the kitchen was old, small and did not suit the modern life of this highly-educated and well-traveled academician couple.

Their interest was in the Mongolian folk paintings and in the collection of horse statues. The antique Blue Canton china pieces needed to be displayed. The architect for this addition designed a cathedral ceiling with a skylight, a perfect setting for a display area above the cabinets all around the kitchen. The owners now enjoy their horse collection everyday with lighting that changes as the day progresses.

A local tile artist copied the Mongolian paintings to the backsplash tiles, that cover the entire kitchen and extends along the wall toward the door. She painted the wall tiles, baked them twice and numbered each one so the tile setter would be able to recreate her scenes on site. We planned the intricate backsplash very carefully, so no major picture would be covered up or cut off.

Between the new kitchen and the dining room, we created a Butlers Pantry with a display case for the antique Blue Cantons. Below the counter is a lockable pull-out shelf specially made for their antique silver chest. The tile backsplash here was also painted by the same artist to reflect the Blue Canton china patterns.

Along the window is a planter box trough, where the owners like to grow herbs and keep flowers, even in winter. A drain is provided from the water-proofed and granite-covered trough, a very special feature.

The opposite wall has bi-fold doors made by the cabinet maker that opens to the family room to serve as a bar at a party. Stemware glasses are readily available above, while the beverage refrigerator is under the counter. The deep, tall oven cabinet and appliance garage cabinets separate the bar from the main cooking area.

The Mongolian theme is also found below counter level. The owner had the island brackets carved while in Mongolia. They are typically used in the temples and painted in traditional bright colors. They integrate the island to the perimeter cabinets with the Mongolian theme.

Near the entrance to the kitchen is a dog niche with two bowls easily accessed by the pooch, but away from the guests' kicking range.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

Architect: Jon Kline, AIA

General contractor: Steve Hayes, Hayes Group

Tile Artist: Pat Bergeron

Cabinets:     Cherry Cabinets by C. Hess & Son Cabinets

Cabinet hardware and accessories: Top Knobs

Appliances: From Appliance Distributors Unlimited

Refrigerator: GE Profile

Range: Dacor

Range hood:

Dishwasher 1: Bosch

Dishwasher 2: Existing reinstalled

Microwave Oven: GE

Sink: Elkay

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Counter tops: Granite by R. Bratti Associates

Back splash: Painted ceramic tile by Pat Bergeron

Floor: Hardwood

Lighting fixtures: Dominion Electric Supply

Pendants: Tech Lighting

Photographer: Dean Evangelista

Photo gallery


Azur Bahia Kitchen

The old kitchen space was a combination of odd angles and a circle, and rather small for this up-scale Washington, D.C. neighborhood. Developing an aesthetically pleasing and functional work space was challenging. The number of appliances to be incorporated kept growing, while the space was not. Double wall oven unit was chosen for its hinged doors, to accommodate the space limitations and short stature of the owner.

To minimize wasted space and to use standard size cabinets to the extent possible, I placed a narrow tall broom closet to adjust the wall angle, so the rectangular cabinets and the cook top can fit nicely. To accommodate the non-standard angle, an open shelf unit was built on site by the capable installer.

Everything finally fit well when I separated the dishwasher from the sink and placed it on the opposite wall. A peninsula was introduced as an element to separate the circular breakfast area from the angular cooking area. It provides the physical separation by the tall faucet and the pendant lights, while visually well connected.

Wall cabinets tend to make the space feel narrower. My intention was not to hang many wall cabinets. Storage space was not compromised due to the tall, easy-access cabinets.

During the construction an unforeseen steel beam was discovered at the location where the ventilation hood’s exhaust duct was planned. We designed an angled bulkhead as an on-site modification, to conceal the re-routed duct.

I have included many varieties of light fixtures as well as light quality: fluorescent up-lights over the wall and tall cabinets, recessed down lights on the ceiling, built-in low-voltage hockey puck lights for under cabinets, and pendants over the peninsula with sink, and the table. These fixtures, many are hidden, give the owners various combinations of lights, depending on their needs, moods and availability of natural light.

When I visited the local stone supplier with the owners to choose the “Azur Bahia” stone for the counter tops and full-height back splash, I noticed the bright blue spot on the slab. Due to the location of this spot on the slab, much of it would have been lost if the slab were cut straight. I modified the design of the back splash to show off this blue . I believe such on-site revisions are necessary to bring out the best possible use of material and space.

Completed 2000

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Marty Geelhaar

Cabinets: NEFF Cabinets from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens

Cabinet hardware: NEFF

Appliances

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Cooktop: Gaggenau

Wall oven: Gaggenau

Warming drawer: Gaggenau

Range hood: Gaggenau

Dishwasher: Bosch

Microwave Oven: GE

Ice machine: Scotsman

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Sink: Elkay

Counter tops: Granite by R. Bratti Associates

Back splash:         Granite by R. Bratti Associates

Stainless steel from NEFF

Floor: Lime Stone from Best Tile

Lighting fixtures:  Maurice Electric Supply

Pendants: Kovacs

Photographer: Yoko Barsky

Photo gallery

"Before Images"


Little Gem

The house looked tilted even from the outside. It was an old Sears and Roebuck kit house built in the 1920’s. The contractor had to reinstall windows and doors, rebuild walls plumb and straighten the trims. The kitchen was barely large enough for a single person.

The appliances had to be small to fit into the 7-foot 3-inch wide room. A 24-inch range and an 18” dishwasher needed to be set in an odd angle. Due to the space requirements of each unit, we rearranged the cabinet locations on site. The pantry under the window is 13 inches deep, and the 9-inch deep wall cabinet proved to be very functional. We could not have achieved this efficiency with any stock or “standard” cabinets.

The counter tops, narrow they may be, tripled the usable work area they needed, and the owners are very happy with the easy-maintenance quartz surface.

A new pass-through was opened between the kitchen and dining room, and a storage cabinet was added in the dining room side. The raised counter top on this cabinet serves as a bar, and the faucet is reachable from here as well.

We designed to run the up-lighted shelf around the perimeter of the kitchen for display, and to give the small space an up-lifting feel. It features the wood trims to match the existing door casing.

The owners told us that after the renovation, 6 people could mingle here comfortably without getting in each other’s way. This was a big achievement indeed.

Completed 2010

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Denny and Gardner Contracting

Cabinets:     Natural Cherry cabinets from C. Hess & Son Cabinets Cabinet hardware: Häfele

Appliances

Refrigerator: Liebherr 30”

Range: Bertazzoni 24“

Range hood: Bertazzoni 24”

Dishwasher: Miele 18”

Microwave Oven:

Disposer: Insinkerator

Faucet: Grohe

Sink: Elkay

Counter tops: Caesar Stone by Fashion Marble and Granite

Back splash: Jerusalem Gold lime stone and Honey Onyx from Best Tile

Floor: Oak planks

Lighting fixtures: Maurice Electric Supply

Photographer: Dean Evangelista



AQUARIUM and STREAM

The home owners had the design criteria set:

1. To build an addition to make a truly great room.

2. A large salt-water aquarium is to be incorporated.

3. High-quality appliances for their son attending a culinary school.

4. A kitchen that allows multiple cooks to work simultaneously, yet still remains comfortable for a single cook.

The addition to this already decent-size kitchen gave me nice sunny table space and room to introduce a walk-through pantry behind the main cooking area. This space proved extremely useful by hiding necessary ducts, wiring, recessed appliance garages, pot racks and open shelving. This walk- through pantry also provided a direct passage between the outside deck and the storage area which included a refrigerator. It serves as a temporarily convenient “hiding place” for bulk goods for parties.

Two island options were presented for better traffic flow. The island with mid-height cabinets blocks the direct view of the work areas from the foyer. The other, equipped with a sink and dishwasher serves as a bar with seating before dinner and as a clean-up sink afterwards. The islands act as separations of the working areas from guests without sacrificing visual and verbal communication.

The cabinets surrounding the aquarium allow access to the flowing water and its equipment. The home owners are very fond of water features and the house is full of aquariums, fountains and ponds. They were excited about my proposal of a stream on the counter top.

I consulted with several granite fabricators and specialists to finalize this feature. We tested the granite for water absorbency and water-tightness of the joints. After the granite was set, a pump was installed with a UV light to circulate the distilled water. It is not only a conversation piece but also serves as a humidifier in the room.

Completed 2003

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: RAM contracting

Cabinets:     NEFF Cabinets from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens Cabinet hardware and accessories: Häfele

Appliances – from Appliance Distributors Unlimited

Refrigerator: Northland

Freezer: Northland

Cooktop: Gaggenau

Grille: Geggenau

Wall oven: Geggenau

Steam oven: Geggenau

Warming drawer: Dacor

Range hood: Neff

Dishwasher: Miele

Microwave Oven:

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Filtered faucet: Franke

Sinks: Elkay

Counter tops with stream: Granite by Washington Marble and Granite

Stream installation: Skip

Aquarium: Congressional Aquarium

Photographer: Richard Nowitz




"Before Images"


     
VINTAGE ROW HOUSE OPENS UP

The young couple who just purchased this vintage row house had no plan of unpacking any boxes until their tiny kitchen was renovated. Having no room to expand beyond the existing exterior walls, we decided to go with an open plan solution.

There were many challenges to be tackled. The staircase limited the ceiling height, and the access hutch to the crawl space needed to remain intact. Once the old wall boards and plaster were removed, the messy and unstable structure became apparent. This was caused by 1970’s sloppy renovation work. We were forced to introduce many structural reinforcements and modifications that were not originally planned.

The success of this kitchen design stems from the open plan and the clever use of angles. The layout creates free-flowing space around the island. A pantry fits neatly tucked under the staircase, using the door removed from a former closet.

All the appliances are relatively small, but to scale in this tight space. They are of course energy-efficient: a 30” induction cooktop and a single drawer dishwasher are featured. The open cabinet above the island is lit by LED puck lights, serving as a see-through divider. Placed between the kitchen and the dining room, the angled tall china cabinet subtly indicates the division of the two spaces.

With added glass shelving, the wide window in the hall became integrated into the kitchen, which expanded to the entire width of the house (12.5 feet), and truly became the active heart of the home.

Completed 2009

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Fredy Miranda, M Home Services

Cabinets:     Cherry cabinets from C. Hess & Son Cabinets
                 Cabinet hardware: Häfele

Appliances

Refrigerator: Liebherr 30

Cooktop: Miele Induction

Wall Oven: GE Monogram

Speed oven/vent: GE

Dishwasher: Fisher-Paykel Single drawer

Disposer: Insinkerator

Faucet: Grohe

Sink: Elkay


Counter tops: Caesar Stone by Fernando’s Marble Shop

Back splash: Crackled tiles from Best Tile

Floor: Hardwood

Lighting fixtures: Dominion Electric Supply
            LED puck lights: Hera
            Pendants over table: Tech Lighting

Photographer: Dean Evangelista

Photo gallery


Log House Kitchen with a "Continent"

A heavily wooded lot in West Virginia, overlooking the upper Potomac River and farms of Maryland beyond was the site for this new modern-day log house. The large open space needed to be divided cleverly by function and aesthetics without sacrificing the openness.

The home owners were closely involved in the design and acting as general contractors during the construction. My job as the designer was to guide them through design process which included selecting finishes and materials.

As a visitor entering this home, the expanse of living space is immediately apparent. On one side between the seating and dining areas, there stands the massive soap stone fireplace. Then the impressive 8-foot stainless steel hood hangs over the huge island, better referred to as a “continent”, in that it separates the cooking side of the kitchen.

The owner is a gourmet cook, who purchased a commercial electric range before anything else in the kitchen, and was shortened in height to meet her needs. The working side of the kitchen is all stainless steel – cabinets, counter tops, back splash and appliances.

The other cabinets, visible from the seating area are in cherry. This created a harmonious link with various kinds of wood, which were so apparent everywhere in the house. Special design went into the back splash of limestone tiles with custom, fused glass tiles as accent.

Special attention went into details such as the knife slots on the counter top, anelevated dishwasher, stacked granite counter tops at the stool area to avoid seams, and a niche to store a stool, for the cook who often sits down to chop.

Completed 2003

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Owners

Cabinets: Wayneco Cabinets from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens
              Stainless cabinets by AK Metal Fabricators
              Cabinet hardware and accessories: Häfele
              Knife slots: custom by Mizell Woodworking and Millwork


Appliances

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Range: Vulcan Commercial

Wall oven: DCS

Warming drawer: DCS

Range hood: Custom

Dishwasher: Miele

Microwave Oven: GE

Disposer: Insinkerator

Air Switch: Franke

Faucet: Grohe

Sink w/ counter top: Custom by AK Metal Fabricators



Counter tops: Granite by Washington Marble and Granite

Back splash: Lime stone tiles from Best Tile with fused glass by Varda Avnisan;
                 Stainless steel from AK Metal Fabricators


Floor: Porcelain tiles from Best Tile; Hardwood

Lighting fixtures: Dominion Electric Supply

Photographer: Sasha Barsky

Photo gallery


"Before Images"


CURVY ISLAND

This kitchen shows that even a small space can have an island. This island is rather narrow on one end, but widens with a curve to allow seating. The tall but shallow dish storage cabinet is conveniently located close to the dishwasher and the table. The owner’s painting fits in the back splash area.

Completed in 2001

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

General contractor: Hamilton Construction

Cabinets: Neff from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens

Cabinet Hardware: Häfele


Appliances

Refrigerator: Sub-Zero

Cooktop: Thermador

Wall oven: Thermador

Dishwasher: Bosch

Disposer : KitchenAid

Faucet: Grohe



Counter tops: Granite from R.Bratti Associates


Back splash: Formica, Painting


Pantry shelving: ELFA from Container Store


Floor: Laminate tiles


Lighting fixtures: Tech Lighting
                        Neff Kitchens

Photographer: Gordon Beall

Photo gallery


Shanandoah Retreat Kitchen

This week-end house was designed by an architect with "GREEN" in mind. The house is all open to the great room with the concrete floor and the counter tops.

Completed in 2003

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS

Architect: Jim Burton, Carter+Burton Architecture;

General contractor:

Cabinets: NEFF Kitchens from Jack Rosen Custom Kitchens

Cabinet hardware and accessories: Häfele

Photographer: Sasha Barsky

Photo gallery


Stucco Hood

Photographer: Douglas Mathurin - Converging Parallels 

Photo gallery

Secondary Kitchen

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