The client: A couple with one adult child who love to cook and entertain—and wanted a more open space to welcome guests.
The project: The home already had an open floor plan with a kitchen, family room and sunroom all connected, yet it still felt cramped. Co-owner of Bowers Design Build, Wilma Bowers, and senior project designer, Lori Shaffer, worked with the family to create a light-filled, functional kitchen to fit their needs.
The requirements: The family “loves to cook and finally decided to make the kitchen what they wanted it to be,” says Shaffer. Must-haves included a place to make and enjoy their morning coffee while they watch the news, and rework the space to make it more welcoming for cocktail parties and other get-togethers. Plus, the original kitchen felt dark. They turned to Bowers and Shaffer for a plan to bring more natural light into the space.
Highlights: No flat screens on the wall here. Shaffer brought the television into the kitchen in an ingenious way. With the flick of a remote, a flat screen rises up from a countertop that overlooks the eat-in sunroom. For entertaining, the design team added an entertaining bar to a counter that separates the kitchen and family room. Features include a wine fridge, a second beverage fridge, storage space and plenty of space atop the counter for setting out barware.
Challenges: Let there be light. The existing sunroom was letting in plenty of light, but a structural column and oversized bulkhead in the kitchen were blocking the views and darkening the rest of the space. They took out the load-bearing column and added a structural beam that spanned the opening and allowed for light to get through. It also made the sunroom’s pretty tray ceiling visible from other parts of the space. Shaffer also added a transom over the door from the foyer, rear hall and dining room to let more light in, along with recessed lighting, pendant lights and under-cabinet task lighting, all of which can be dimmed, to create different ambiances dependent on time of day.
The final reveal: The refreshed space created a light, bright kitchen. Touches like a waterjet cut marble backsplash with soft blues and grays complemented the custom millwork of the white kitchen cabinets, while walnut countertops on the entertaining bar and TV cabinet offset the bright white quartz island. “I’m hoping this kitchen is classic in 10 years,” says Shaffer. “We really tried to be timeless.”
Top Kitchen and Bath Designer: Bowers Design Build
Wilma and Bruce Bowers co-own the nearly 30-year-old company and they offer full service projects with a team of architects, designers, site managers, carpenters and more on staff to coordinate projects from concept to completion. // McLean; 703-506-0845