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Before and after Kitchen: A Kitchen Makeover that Lets the Light In

Open-plan success is dependent on flexibility. This can lead to rethinking the way you have used certain rooms over time. Christy MacCormack realized that the 1970 Federal-style home in Bethesda was the one she grew up with when she renovated the kitchen. Christy states that she wanted a space everyone could enjoy. She is referring to her husband Mike and three generations of their family have shared the home. “The 1980s dark, cramped kitchen needed to be remodeled in order for it to work and flow well.

The MacCormacks were helped by Colleen Shaut, of Case Architects & Remodelers to reimagine a large portion of the first floor. A peninsula with storage cabinets was installed and the wall between the dining room and kitchen was removed. This opened up the space. The adjacent formal living area was replaced by the dining room. This created a space with a sitting area and an office nook for family members to catch up, while still being connected to the activities in the kitchen. The family room at the opposite end of the kitchen is still the main gathering place.

Five large windows were installed on the sink wall to let in more light and allow for better views of the backyard. The appliances were moved closer together to make it easier to cook and free up space for countertop preparation. Stainted-wood elements are balanced with crisp white cabinets and countertops. This includes a handsome hickory vent Hood and the table-style island which replaced its clutter-prone, clunky predecessor. Christy states that the kitchen is both elegant and practical. There’s more storage, and there are no corners cluttered. It’s bright and cheerful, well-equipped, and bright!

Expert Advice

When designing an open-plan kitchen design, consider traffic flow to other rooms. “Make sure there is enough space for everyone to move freely, without getting in the way of the cooks.” Colleen Shaut from Case Architects & Remodelers

Floor Plans

The kitchen was made more functional by removing a wall and moving it to the new location.

  1. Demolished the wall that was shared with the old dining room. Added a peninsula to the kitchen and gained 2 feet.
  2. Five large windows were installed to allow for views and natural light to flood in.
  3. The cooktop was added to the wall that is shared with the family area. We also moved the doorway slightly to make a wider aisle for easier traffic flow.
  4. A pantry closet was removed and a built-in desk was removed, making space for refrigerators and wall ovens.
  5. A built-in island was replaced with a narrower, table-style model.
  6. A beverage area was installed with wine fridge storage and cabinet storage.
  7. The dining room was moved into the living room adjacent to it. A sitting area was created in its place, with a built-in desk as well as a larger opening to the new space.

Get the Look

These reno-worthy finds are industrial meets refined, inspired by these pages.

1. Library-style sconce / HINKLEYBlack-finished steel gives the articulating classic a graphic, modern slant.Arti Black Joint Arm Wall Lamp, $249; Lamps Plus

2. ELKAYStainless steel modern apron sink, Crosstown 18-Gauge Single Bowl Farmhouse Sink, $691 Elkay

3. Movable island/POTTERY BARNThis sturdy island with lockable casters can be used as a kitchen centerpiece or outdoor serving station. Its durable acacia top and concrete top make it a great choice for any budget.

4. Pared-down pot washer / MoenThis sleek pull-down features Power Boost technology to speed up filling.

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