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Kitchen 219 Gallery

PROBLEM: Owner of this Fairfax Station circa-1990’s center hall Colonial production house were seeking a substantial upgrade in both the functionality and aesthetics of the existing 14 x 21 kitchen as follows: [Dropped ceiling—which rests on a load-bearing beam and conceals second floor plumbing– has the effect of making the kitchen’s restricted footprint seem even smaller; The interior lacks natural light. There is a 3’ x 3’ south facing window in the rear elevation bearing wall above the sink but it is too small to exploit a natural opportunity for both light and visual continuum; [floor plan is poorly rationalized; ill-conceived locations of many appliances cause ongoing traffic inefficiencies; lack of useful cabinet storage causes frequent clutter, inhibits working surfaces; Original builder grade cabinets, surfaces, flooring add up to an interior that is noticeably worn and dated; owner’s a seeking to develop style statement that is sympathetic to their period antiques and other fine collectibles; Electric-powered cook top island is inadequate for the owner’s gourmet cooking needs. Owner is seeking gas-powered range; Owners are seeking multi-level cook top island with wider surfaces required for both serving and in-kitchen dining; Overall, owner wants to develop a finely articulated interior consistent with the tasteful appointments in the rest of the house. SOLUTIONS: The challenge is to implement a series of “strategic” revisions within the existing footprint (including critical infrastructure) that will support a broader range of use and interior design requirements. Activities include: Eliminate the dropped ceiling and raise the existing structural beam by 10”. While an ostensibly a fundamental requirement, the solution entails rerouting 2nd level plumbing and ductwork along side walls and into the basement where they must be tied off. This means developing an alternative schematic for all the major infrastructure conduits. Replace undersized south-facing square window in rear elevation bearing wall with 4’x 5’ divided light glazing configured as an arch. This entails penetrating a bearing wall, shifting loads to a new header and introducing the appropriate window cavity bolster by requisite supports. The new view creates a visual continuum to the lushly wooded backyard, which has become a central focal point of the entire kitchen interior. Design and build a food preparation island with substantial overhang that provides seating for 4. Island provides support for several cooking and cleanup triangles, substantially improves meal staging options and provides a locus for kitchen socialization Introduce kitchen design themes sympathetic to the fine furnishings, antiques and other collectibles that characterize the other rooms on the first floor. Cherry wood cabinets, walnut flooring, crown molding in Bordeaux detailing, an island constructed in ivory-hued wood with chocolate glazing are among many finish work details that present a kitchen “of a piece” with the home’s other tastefully decorated rooms. A chandelier, pendant lights under counter lights complete the portrait of a richly burnished old master’s interior appropriate to the owner’s passions. Interior décor includes Shaker-style cabinetry facings, quartz counter surfaces. The new utility infrastructure included a new plumbing schematic and installing gas lines.
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