According to Jennifer Gilmer, award winning kitchen designer and principal of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath in Chevy Chase, Maryland, “designing a kitchen [in Georgetown] can be a challenge due to a lack of space or poor original overall floor plans.” A quick look at the redesigned kitchen (photos below) one can see that Jennifer was up to the design challenge posed by the long and narrow kitchen space of this classic Georgetown row house.
Jennifer’s client required that the new kitchen accommodate some typical kitchen appliances (range, microwave, refrigerator) as well as “a second oven, ice machine, wine cooler, prep sink, large hood, eating area and a desk.” Her client also wanted the option to close off the kitchen from the dining room yet keep the kitchen feeling light and open.
Jennifer details her design process for us:
|Jennifer optimized the narrow space adding a writing desk at the far end of the kitchen and a built-in eating area that easily accommodates seating for three.||Jennifer’s design allowed artificial and natural light to flow throughout the kitchen via the addition of a tall, narrow pass through (by the sink) and a large window looking out to the client’s garden.|
Jennifer Gilmer: We left a tall narrow pass through to the left of the sink in order to maintain a more open feel and to allow light to come through. The existing window was too small because this is where a lot of light comes in (a precious commodity in a row house) and because it overlooks her patio and garden. We replaced this window with a much wider and taller three paneled casement where the main sink is centered. Where there was a door which interfered with the kitchen design, we put a narrower window in, and, it’s near this window that we placed the built in eating area, large enough to accommodate three chairs.
|Jennifer added pocket doors from the kitchen to dining room. Creating an open airy kitchen while allowing the client to close off the kitchen, if so desired.||The pullout pantry optimizes space while providing additional functionality. Adjacent to the pantry is the Sub Zero refrigerator.||To the right of the refrigerator and pull-out pantry is the client’s writing desk.|
Jennifer Gilmer: The space still needed some work by building a wall to separate the living room and dining room from the kitchen, but, in order to keep it feeling open, the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room had to remain wide and high. Because she [the client] wanted to have the option of closing off the kitchen from the dining room, we added large pocket doors in that wall (a classic design element in Georgetown row houses).
On the opposite wall when coming into the kitchen, to the right is a built in "hutch" for additional storage and to serve the dining room. We placed her desk in the corner and then to the left of this, the Sub Zero refrigerator, combined with a narrow pullout pantry looks like an old fashioned armoire which is easily viewed from the dining room.
|Built-in microwave and stove.||Focal point created by centered range & hood.|
Jennifer Gilmer: The ice machine is just to the left of the refrigerator, making it easy to get ice when preparing a beverage, and, the wine cooler and small sink is there too in order to create a wet bar when needed. At the other end of this wall, we combined the oven cabinet and microwave with some open shelves and appliance garage for her toaster.
Finally, the range and hood are centered between the refrigerator and the oven cabinets for a gorgeous focal
point complimented by carved wood and open areas for display items. An antique fireplace summer cover was used under the hood to add more character and to blend with the carvings. Three cabinet finishes were used to add interest and intrigue and we found the perfect granite countertop to blend it all together.
About Jennifer Gilmer
Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, is an award-winning expert on kitchen design. She has won more than 15 national awards for her work including this year’s “Pinnacle of Design” award for the best overall design in 2009 and swept two other categories from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has created designs for more than 1,000 kitchens in styles that range from classic to contemporary.
Her work has been featured on TLC, in The Washington Post, Veranda, Trends, Washington Spaces, Home & Design, Southern Living, Remodeling and more. She is the principal of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath in Chevy Chase, Maryland and in 2009 launched KitchenDesignOnLine.net to bridge the gap between high-end showrooms and home improvement stores.
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