Blossoming Kitchen in Potomac, MD
Designed by Jennifer Gilmer
Photography by John Cole
This house is a modern split level which had a traditional kitchen in natural maple, raised panel doors. The style of the kitchen definitely did not compliment the style of the house. In addition, the kitchen was contained and closed off from the adjacent nice sized family room. Although there are several windows, the kitchen always seemed to be a bit dreary. At family gatherings, everyone would congregate in the kitchen which would get very crowded and those that were sitting in the family room were cut off from the group. The wall separating the kitchen from the family room was structural but the clients felt it was well worth the added expense to remove it. By eliminating this wall, we were able to put a peninsula in its place. We pushed this peninsula 12” into the family room since this was unusable space anyway – simply providing a path to get from the kitchen hallway to the front foyer. By creating more room in the kitchen, this allowed us to have more space around the island which was more in proportion with the new spacious and open design. We also moved the door to the dining room over so that we could have a longer run of cabinets on this wall. The wall to the left of the door to the garage did not have any cabinets on it regardless of there being plenty of room for them. So we added cabinets on this wall which increased storage and provided a perfect place for a coffee bar right next to the breakfast table.
The light wood cabinets are actually made from a high pressure textured melamine. This material is reasonably priced and much more durable than stained wood. The white painted cabinets have a very slim frame around them, adding a bit of a transitional influence and softening the look from being a completely flat contemporary look. The combination of white and light wood really brightened up the space and it was important to create a balanced composition between the two. The white wall cabinets and appliance garages are all opened on bi-fold hinges so that they can all be left open while cooking without obstructing the cooks ability to move around.
There are a lot of appliances in this kitchen which, upon walking into the room, are masterfully disguised due to cabinet panels. In addition to the refrigerator, there are freezer drawers under the speed oven, combination refrigerator/freezer drawers under the coffee counter and the dishwasher is fully integrated as well.
This design accomplished the goal of creating a bright and socially comfortable space with the added benefit of the storage space practically doubling.