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Galley Kitchen Gets an Update

Kitchen & Family Room Remodeled in a Bungalow-Style Home

Many older homes found on Capitol Hill, and in the Washington metropolitan area, have outdated galley kitchens that don’t suit modern lifestyles. Today’s homeowners desire open floor plans with up-to-date cabinets, finishes, and appliances, where they can easily cook and entertain or just enjoy a more informal lifestyle.

Such was the case for a couple who had owned their 1920s bungalow-style house for 21 years. With children grown and living on their own, they wanted to proceed with a kitchen and family room remodel. They also expressed their intent to age in place at home.

The house had been remodeled and enlarged prior to their purchase. Although that remodel had opened up some walls to give the interior a more contemporary livability, the couple wanted to update the galley kitchen and family room by using the existing footprint, removing walls between the kitchen and family room, and maximizing the space.

Their kitchen is one of the most used areas of the house. They rarely go out to eat, preferring to cook healthy at home, and they entertain frequently, requiring ample storage and an open environment. Because the couple intends to age in place, the new kitchen had to be workable and low-maintenance. They also wanted more (and better) windows to let in sunlight and highlight the view of their backyard.

Aesthetically, they preferred a European-style modern kitchen. They also wanted a white or neutral color palette, some color contrast between cabinetry and countertops, and some accent colors to enhance the overall design. The cabinet handles below the counter needed to be flush and smooth (to avoid catching clothes), with a simplicity that would suit an aging-in-place design.

The couple wanted a simple, clean backsplash, nothing elaborate or eccentric. At the gas range side of the kitchen, we installed a white, back-painted glass with minimum joints and easy-to-clean surfaces. Along the sink and window wall, we created an unobtrusive backsplash from a white manufactured stone. The continuous band looks like painted woodwork but is actually easy-to-clean Silestone.

Because the homeowners seldom use the microwave, which was (unnecessarily) front and center in the kitchen, we installed a new microwave drawer below the counter top. They also wanted more counter space and were willing to eliminate an awkward peninsula so we could raise the window sill and run the counter along the sun-filled south wall. A new appliance garage, housing three countertop appliances, also helped maximize space and is cleverly hidden behind a flipper door with white back-painted glass, providing a seamless, clean appearance when shut.

Family Room
In addition to the galley kitchen, we remodeled the family room. The homeowners opted for a large flat-screen computer that doubles as the TV, with a custom corner-sectional providing comfortable seating. It was space-efficient to create a multipurpose built-in serving as a desk area, bookcase, TV viewing station, computer location, pantry storage, and broom closet.

Integrated into the built-in and adjacent to the desk area is a bank of drawers used for pots and pans, and above are tall vertical doors that serve as additional kitchen and pantry storage.

The family room is defined by custom wainscot paneling with crisp reveals and a continuous cap painted white to blend with the window, door, and base trim. The clean-lined detailing continues into the kitchen area for a seamless look.


Bruce Wentworth, AIA, is a licensed architect and contractor. Learn more about Wentworth Inc.’s design-build home remodeling services by visiting www.wentworthstudio.com or call 240-396-0705 ext. 200.

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