Colorful and Cool in Rehoboth Beach, DE

Designed by Jennifer Gilmer. Co-designer Amy Gardner, FAIA, Gardner Mohr Architects. Photography by John Cole.

The clients owned a house on this lot, but, it was older and tired and it didn’t take the best advantage of the view of the canal. They hired an architect to design a new house for them. This house is modern, but, still fits in nicely with the neighborhood. Because it’s modern, we were able to create a warm contemporary kitchen that fulfilled their sustainably-minded agenda with a “modern farmhouse” aesthetic.

Although this doesn’t pop out at you, there were many different materials used in this kitchen. The refrigerator, deeper wall cabinets, cooktop “console” and the island are all made of a horizontal grain barn wood high pressure melamine, which has a wood texture to the eye and to the touch. The other cabinets, including the standard depth wall cabinet, are a calmer, vertical gray wood high pressure melamine which are a smooth texture. We incorporated hot rolled steel in the island and for the cooktop “console”. The wood is a natural fir which was used in the architecture for the doors, windows and floors.

This is a large family that gets together a lot at the beach. The client wanted to have her sink facing the breakfast table and living area, which allows the cook to socialize while prepping meals and while cleaning up, but most of all, allows for enjoyment of the canal view. This left the back wall for the cooktop and hood. A small, modern wood stove helped to set the parameter of the kitchen.

Since there is no strong axis line on which to center the kitchen, we decided to use a creative composition which would span the entire back wall. It made sense to put the refrigerator to the far right, nestled up against the wall, so we used this as the spring board for the design. An exposed duct needed to go across the ceiling of this wall, so, we took this into consideration as we designed the cabinetry to the left of the refrigerator. We decided to have 24” deep upper wall cabinets, which is the same depth as the refrigerator. We then topped these cabinets off with a fir flyover shelf which extended past the kitchen toward the far left wall, ending in a tall box whose finish matches the horizontal kitchen cabinets. This helped to contain the exposed duct and created continuity.

Since the hood is also on the refrigerator wall, it was made out of the same horizontal grain cabinet material and also at the same 24” depth. This created a “niche” between the refrigerator and the hood where we placed a standard depth wall cabinet in the vertical gray cabinet finish and floating shelves in the wood finish. The line of the top floating shelf was continued on the bottom of the hood and as this detail moves to the left, it’s reduced in depth, continues on, and becomes the top of the TV cabinet. There is a sliding door below this shelf, sandwiched by the floating shelves and which conceals the TV when it’s not in use.

The hot rolled steel used to frame out the island and the cooktop “console” makes these cabinets feel more like furniture. It adds a certain sophistication that makes this kitchen even more unique. This same material was used under the wood stove and to the left along the wall where the client can stack fire wood. Steel was also used within the architecture of the house in various areas.

The honed dark stone countertop blends well with the entire kitchen, completing serene and pleasing feeling in this one of a kind kitchen.


Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath are award winning design and remodel experts in DC Maryland and Virginia.

Contact us by calling 301-657-2500 ext. 206 or through the form below. You can also visit our showrooms in Ashburn, Virginia, and in Easton, MD and Chevy Chase, MD. Click the maps below for directions.

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath Showroom in Chevy Chase, MD

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath Showroom in Easton, MD

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath Showroom in Ashburn, VA

We Offer Custom Kitchen & Bath Design and Remodeling Services Nationwide With Showrooms In Baltimore, Maryland, in Easton, Maryland, and in Ashland, Virginia.

We Proudly Serve These Areas For Kitchen Design and Kitchen Remodeling in DC, VA, MD, DE

Entire USA, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Alexandria, Adelphi, Annapolis, Arlington, Ashburn, Aspen Hill, Baileys Crossroads, Baltimore, Bethany Beach, Bethesda, Beltsville, Bladensburg, Chantilly, ChesapeakeChevy Chase, Chillum, Cloverly, Colesville, College Park, Coral Hills, Culpeper, Dunn Loring, East Hampton, East Riverdale, Eastern ShoreEaston, Fairland, Fairfax, Fallmouth, Falls Church, Fauquier, Frederick, Fredericksburg, Herndon, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Glenmont, Great Falls, Idylwood, Jefferson, Kemp Mill, Kensington, Lake Barcroft, Landover, Langley Park, Leesburg, Leisure World, Loudoun County, Manassas, McClean, Middleburg, Mount Ranier, Newport NewsNorfolk, North Bethesda, North Kensington, North Potomac, OaktonOxfordPoolesvillePotomac, Prince William, Poquoson, Purcelleville, Reston, Richmond, RoanokeRockville, Saint Michaels, Seven Corners, Silver Spring, South Kensington, Springfield, Takoma Park, Travilah, Tysons Corner, Vienna, Virginia Beach, WarrentonWoodburnWest Falls Church and surrounding DMV areas.

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