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Gourmet Chef’s Delight

Makeover Earns Michael Nash Category Best In 11 States | By John Byrd

For an inspired cook, there is no substitute for a well-designed kitchen.


To homeowner Philip Breddy, though, his new custom kitchen’s particular relevance is how completely it fulfills a vision that began when he recognized that the 5,000 square foot home he had purchased didn’t adequately support his passion for culinary art.


“I had been thinking about improving the kitchen since we bought the house three years before,” Breddy says. “As a lifelong cooking enthusiast, the restricted space was a problem–but then I didn’t like the aesthetics either, so we were just gathering ideas, looking for inspiration.” As it happened, a chance visit to the Michael Nash showroom in Fairfax soon reignited Breddy’s still formulating plans.


“There were so many relevant kitchen displays,” Breddy recalls. “Before we left, I had scheduled an appointment with the president, Sonny Nazemian.”

“Since our goal is always to outperform the perceived limits of a budget, the Chrysalis really validates the way we have set our priorities as a company. It’s gratifying for the whole team.”

– Sonny Nazemian

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“Once we both saw that the professional-caliber stove and hood I wanted would have to be attached to the wall between the kitchen and the utility room, Sonny developed a plan for moving the rear elevation farther out onto the back deck. I would also need more space for a larger refrigerator and a substantial food preparation island.”


To create the needed square footage, Nazemian proposed expanding the existing footprint in two directions. First, he would remove the home’s west-facing rear elevation and install an I-beam mounted on vertical shafts to support the second floor. The new elevation now extends the back of the house more than 150 square feet.


Secondly, the remodeler deleted the pantry in the wall between the kitchen and dining room, claiming an additional 50 square feet of usable space inside the perimeter of the existing kitchen.


Revising the rear elevation also allowed the design team to remove ceiling-flush bulkheads housing plumbing and electrical. The conduits were re-routed up from the basement and joined to both a pot-filler above the new range oven as well as a work sink in the food prep island. 


Increased headroom permitted space for taller cabinets; in fact, a welcome 20 percent boost in storage capacity.


To improve visual linkage to the backyard, the new rear elevation features a 4’ x 15’ bay window above the sink. French doors with sidelights-–replacing the former picture window–further increase available light and provide inviting access to a back deck.


Meanwhile, the niche formed by the pantry removal handily accommodates a 72” refrigerator/freezer, two new floor-to-ceiling pantries, a beverage center with wine refrigerator and built-in cubbies, and a serving station a few steps from the formal dining room.


Overall, the plan unfolds “generously” in every direction, Breddy notes.

“It’s a place where we can entertain,” he adds, “and it works beautifully for that purpose. It’s also where the kids do homework while meals are being prepared.”


With the food prep island completing one leg in a work triangle that includes a clean-up station and the 6-burner gas range oven, the step-saving configuration facilitates all essential cooking and clean-up tasks.


“I have a griddle on the range and a cutting board that slides left to right on the food prep sink. There’s a drawer microwave in the cook top island. Just standing here inspires cooking ideas,” Breddy says.


Better yet, while all the cookware, food products and spices needed to explore sundry culinary styles are just a few feet from the cook’s work station, there’s an abundance of surfaces for allowing a dish to quietly marinate, gel or congeal.

The Breddy gourmet kitchen began with an analysis of square footage requirements for adding 4’ x 8’ food prep island, a 6-burner gas range and a 72” refrigerator and freezer. Ultimately, Michael Nash proposed relocating the west-facing rear elevation four feet back onto a rear deck, adding more than 150 square feet of enclosed usable space.

The cook’s work triangle is formed by a rear-facing clean-up zone, an interior wall with a 6-burner stove and griddle, and a food prep island with sink and built-in cutting board. The step-saving configuration facilitates all essential cooking and clean-up tasks

The “transitional-style” interior design scheme emphasizes textures and muted tones in conjunction with the stainless steel facings of key appliances. At Breddy’s request, Nazemian found a way to “hone” the Italian granite counter surfaces. The backsplash is a slightly “tumbled” Travertine tile; and Philip Breddy refers to the 6-burner Viking stove and hood as “the queen.” Positioning it appropriately within the space plan entailed re-routing gas and water lines.

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“There’s a place for my cast-iron wok; all the heavier serving dishes have their own drawers; even scrub brushes are independently stored, and out of view.”


Apart from its sublime functionality, Breddy says the new kitchen’s “transitional” style interior design conveys a particularly pleasing ambiance.


“My wife and I spent hours looking at finishwork ideas,” Breddy notes. “When needed, the Michael Nash team was ever at hand helping us shape our thoughts. We got a lot of direction regarding the appropriate shape and size of selected finishwork choices. With a gourmet kitchen, it’s the details that matter most.”


For instance, Breddy credits Nazemian with providing the “honed” granite he had not been able to find anywhere. “It’s a matched finish,” Breddy observes. “We were looking for hints of classic style. It takes a real commitment to meet these design standards, so we are quite pleased with the outcome.”


The Breddy project was subsequently honored with a Chrysalis Award for “best residential kitchen” in an 11-state region ranging from the District of Columbia to Florida.


“Since our goal is always to outperform the perceived limits of a budget, the Chrysalis really validates the way we have set our priorities as a company,” Michael Nash president and CEO Sonny Nazemian observes. “It’s gratifying for the whole team.”

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“Most of our projects are executed by our employees, so we’re able to offer fixedprice contracts; our customers can select finishwork materials from our showroom at-cost”


– Sonny Nazemian

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