When Tom and Rachel Kraft first moved into their beautiful 1970s colonial-style home in Vienna, they loved it. But as time went on, they realized the closed configuration of their first-floor living space just wasn’t working for them.
This large home with five bedrooms had practically a galley kitchen with very little counter space, and it also didn’t take advantage of the backyard views.
“Instead, there was one small window that overlooked the AC unit,” explains Rachel Kraft. “The dining space was fine, but it also felt very closed in and had little room for expansion.”
With a family of six, it didn’t take long to for them to feel extremely cramped when having friends and family over.
“It should have been the place where we all hung out, but it was so cramped and unpleasant that everyone just stayed in their own corners,” Kraft says.
By 2019, plans for a full lower-level reconfiguration were drawn. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began the following year, the Krafts were forced to push the timeline back.
And the timing of everyone working and schooling from home further highlighted the need for the other important piece of the renovation — a new home office.
“Rachel had recently started her own business and really needed a dedicated space to work from home,” explains Laura Hildebrandt, owner of Vienna-based Interiors by LH, who worked on the project.
Kraft says the addition of glass pocket French doors has made her office space her own little sanctuary away from the hubbub, with just enough view of the front yard garden to keep an eye on her children while staying on task.
Interiors by LH also worked to combine the kitchen and breakfast rooms and opened up the space into the family room, which became the new dining room.
“When we opened up the walls, we discovered that there was a very expensive HVAC in there that we couldn’t move,” says Hildebrandt. “We had to work around where it was in the center of the room.”
Hildebrandt turned this into a positive by adding chalk paint and making it a spot to write lists for shopping or what’s for dinner.
“It then became something fun for the family versus this monstrosity,” she says.
The kitchen revamp incorporates beautiful white and blue cabinetry as well as a visually impactful backsplash that is made of white and gray marble, complementing the gray marble counters on the perimeter and the Calacatta Laza quartz island.
“It’s also been a game changer having two sinks and two ovens, especially around the holidays,” says Kraft.
The home has a large backyard that they really wanted to highlight in the renovation.
“It’s really lush and green and just makes them happy, so they kind of wanted to bring that nature feeling inside,” says Hildebrandt.
They achieved this feel through applying a blue and green color scheme as well as adding a big picture window showcasing the view — one of Rachel’s favorite additions.
“Sometimes I get stuck there just staring while washing dishes,” she says. “Now that it’s all done, we all love it. It is sometimes hard to believe that this space is ours.”
The large island is a great family gathering spot now, perfect for weekend pancake breakfasts and weekday homework sessions.
“It now feels like the space fits our family, and it’s hard to imagine it any other way,” says Kraft. “Everything just makes sense now.”
This story originally ran in our August issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.