Kitchen Renovation in Brookland, Washington, DC
The homeowners were looking to complete significant remodeling work in their home in the Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. They wanted to reconfigure their kitchen, living room, and dining room spaces which were all very secluded from each other in addition to being rather dark spaces. Their property is oriented so that the house could potentially receive a great deal of sunlight, but the existing layout didn’t allow for it. They also wanted to redesign their south facing backyard space to create a more inviting and usable area during the hot Washington, DC summers.
Design and Layout
The main desire from the clients was to create one large open area to integrate the living, dining, and kitchen spaces. Frequent entertainers, they wanted all of the spaces to blend together easily. With this in mind, the design called for a full gut of essentially two-thirds of the main floor of the house (as we renovated the bathroom on the main floor as well), demolition of the back deck, reconfiguration of several windows and doors for better light and greater functionality with the new layout, all new cabinetry, and a custom-made island counter and extendable dining table. The clients put a lot of trust in the Four Brothers design team in terms of the overall scheme, but their one “must-have” was an interior wall wide enough to house their piano, which was easily accomplished.
Style and Finishes
The clients chose light-colored cabinets for the perimeter with grey quartz counters in a honed finish. For the island, they wanted contrasting materials, and chose a custom blue color with dark glaze for the cabinets and Sapele wood for the custom-made waterfall counter and extendable dining room table. The same Sapele wood was used on the range hood cover to tie the two areas together. To finish off the statement of the kitchen island, large globe pendants were chosen to light both the island and dining table. The backsplash tile is a marble herringbone mosaic, and the new hardwood floors were laid throughout the kitchen and living room. The rear deck is a combination of Zuri decking for the horizontal surfaces and cedar for the pergola and railing. A cable trellis system was installed on top of the pergola and on the existing garage wall to help shade the deck from the summer sun and hide the less-than-ideal view of the stucco garage wall.
Construction and Final Product
As with many construction projects in older Washington, DC homes, surprises were found once we opened up the walls. One issue was that we needed to do more extensive HVAC work than we originally had planned; another was that the existing rear addition was very poorly built and we could not use the existing foundation walls as we had also planned to do. While all the construction was happening on the main floor of the house, the clients, their two sons, and two cats were living upstairs and in the basement where we helped to install a makeshift kitchen for the duration of the project. We installed Zip Walls at these two junction points to contain the dust and debris to the main floor, and the clients took this new temporary routine in stride.
What the Customer Said
“We had the distinct pleasure of working with Four Brothers from January 2017 to September 2017. We started by meeting with Leroy, and we ineptly described what was bugging us about our 1930s, boxy brick home with lots of little main floor rooms and a poorly built back extension. Leroy listened to us babble along for an hour, and then gave us his impressions — house looked smaller on the inside than the outside, the front hallway tunneled darkly to the guest room, people likely get “stuck” in the corners when we’re entertaining etc. — and seemed to articulate what had bothered us about our home for over a decade. We then worked with Leroy and our Architect Kate, who came up with a design that removed most of the interior walls on the main floor, rebuilt the extension, carried the hardwood floors throughout, created a huge butcher block that waterfalled into a custom made an 8ft dining table (with two 2ft extensions), a new deck with greenwall, and lots of plumbing, AC, window, engineerial “surprises” that our house had in store. The Four Brothers crew was very communicative, proactive, and very protective over our family (we stayed in the house!). Early on in the process, we made clear that we didn’t have much patience for the unlimited universe of home design products and designs. Kate had an amazingly intuitive sense for what we liked and gave us three choices — our request! — for all decisions and almost always, within her curated choices, we found the perfect option, be it paint colors, pulls and knobs, light fixtures etc. The project manager and carpenters were at the house every day, managing all aspects of the project and making sure we were happy. Our day-to-day manager became part of our family, and our kids still ask after him! And, the results were spectacular. We recommend Four Brothers, LLC without reservation.”