Planning on Selling?
If you’re planning to sell your home, Nesbitt Realty can help. Our Realtors are familiar with the real estate market in Northern Virginia. A Realtor can determine the best listing price for your property. We know how to market your home to get the best price as quickly as possibly. Nesbitt Realty knows how the home selling process works, so we are ready to assist you every step of the way. Nesbitt Realty has access to the MRIS (our local multiple listing service). MRIS is the MLS database that agents use to find homes for sale in the area. Our agent will add your property to it. Working with a Realtor will make the home selling process run smoothly and much simpler than if you attempt to do it on your own.
Photos by Alexis Hamilton
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of five
Size: 350 square feet (32.5 square meters)
Designer: Anneka Schranz of Plain English
The owner of this kitchen had a few firm ideas when she met with designer Anneka Schranz for discussion. Seeking a complete overhaul of a gloomy space that just wasn’t working, she already knew she wanted steel windows and doors, direct access to the yard and the sturdy cabinets that are Plain English’s trademark to improve the style. She’d also researched some pretty special flooring. But when it came to arranging the space, it was time for a rethink.
Schranz introduced the idea of a huge island to cope with the demands of this busy room. “The owner spends a lot of time in the kitchen, preparing three meals a day from scratch, and this island makes that possible,” Schranz says. Although it took some time to finalize all the details of the project, designer and client immediately saw eye to eye on the overall look.
“The concept hadn’t really changed from that first meeting, which is nice — we agreed on the bold lines, bulkier cabinetry and [countertop] straight away,” Schranz says.
Contrast is key to the success of the space. Dark brown cabinets and stairs are offset by pale walls. The ornate flooring adds a decorative detail to industrial elements such as the lighting and window frames.
It takes confidence to use a dark, rich color on such a wide expanse of cabinets, but Schranz’s experience meant she had no concerns. “I don’t think dark cabinetry necessarily makes a room dark,” she says. “We are used to working with a lot of strong colors, and usually if people want to go bold I encourage them to go really bold. Sometimes people come in and love the blue or green palette but don’t dare to go the whole way. But it can look too pasty if you tone it down.” In this kitchen, a light-colored oak floor lifts the space, as does the dusty pink paint color used on the walls and on this recessed open shelving.
The space includes a dining area at one end and a sitting area at the other, opening out onto the backyard. The free-standing look of the island (and a discreet ventilation fan above it) gives the impression that the island is a piece of furniture. “The fact that the island is lifted off the floor gives the space a really great feeling,” Schranz says. “It meant we had to compromise on not being able to put the dishwasher in the island — it’s behind the sink instead — but the client said it was not a problem.”
Dining table, benches and Tulip chairs: The Conran Shop; chesterfield sofa in Ralph Lauren velvet: George Smith; extra-large Quad pendant: Davey Lighting; Elica built-in ceiling-integrated Sky Hidden ventilation system: RDO
The owner found the idea for the jigsaw-effect floor in a design book. It combines antique parquet and hexagonal encaustic tiles and adds color and texture while blurring the lines between the dining, cooking and living areas. The exposed pendant bulbs provide task lighting and add an industrial accent in keeping with the steel windows.
A section of open shelving has space for pretty storage jars and a handsome coffee machine. Schranz and her client considered adding bifold doors but decided they would cause an obstruction. “She was really good at making decisions,” Schranz says, “but when it came to choosing the appliances she left it to me. She said, ‘You’ve got all the experience. I just need something that works.’ ” They went with side-by-side standard and steam ovens. “She knew about the health benefits of steam cooking and was very keen to try it out.”
The client had originally hoped for a natural stone surface, but after learning that her chosen material stained easily, she opted for an engineered alternative.