Kitchen Renovation in Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC
The kitchen was actually in relatively good condition. However, the homeowners had recently purchased the house and the low-end cabinets and black granite countertops did not suit their tastes. They liked the heart pine floors that were original to the house, but wanted make the rest of the kitchen warm and inviting.
Design and Layout
The footprint of the original kitchen was galley style, similar to most of the row houses in the neighborhood. At some point someone had converted the old screened porch at the back of the house into living space, which served as a sort of breakfast nook at the back of the kitchen. It was not well integrated however, and looked more like an afterthought. One popular option for these narrow kitchens is to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create an open kitchen that flows into the adjoining room. The homeowners were not interested in this – they wanted the kitchen to be its own separate space (in the galley format), but we needed to find a way to alleviate the cramped feeling. This was achieved by installing custom open shelves (as opposed to upper cabinets) with accent lighting at the main wall, and extending the kitchen around the corner of the breakfast nook to include a hidden coat closet. Because the ceiling at the add-on had been bumped down for HVAC ducts, we designed a curved soffit that made the transition look deliberate. The backsplash was installed in a herring-bone pattern and extended from the counter top to the bottom of the soffits on the main wall.
Style and Finishes
Going into the project, there was never a question as to the style the clients desired. They wanted a farmhouse kitchen with white cabinetry (shaker style doors), butcher-block countertops, large white sink, and the original heart-pine floors.
Construction and Final Product
Construction went as smoothly as can be expected in a house that is one hundred years old. We removed the original lathe and plaster and sistered the framing at the walls and ceilings to make them plumb and level. We did uncover one surprise. The original cast iron waste stack was badly corroded in several places up the wall. Obviously we anticipated “cracking the stack” for the new sink hookup, but ended up replacing far more of the original (with PVC) than we anticipated.
What the Customer Said
“We had a pretty particular idea of the feel that we were going for, and what stood out about Four Brothers was the way that they listened to our thoughts and found ways to implement them better than we had figured out ourselves — and then added tremendous value by suggesting all sorts of practical ways to help us enjoy our kitchen more in a very small space. And then we actually enjoyed the construction phase, partially because it was fun to see real craftsmen at work, and partially because they are great guys to have around for a few weeks.”