Kitchen Remodel in Bethesda, Maryland
This couple had lived in their beautiful brick home in Bethesda for several years and was tired of dealing with their outdated, cramped kitchen. It was small, poorly laid out and the cabinets were ugly. After receiving proposals from several remodeling companies, the clients decided to hire Four Brothers for the design and renovation of their Bethesda Maryland kitchen.
Design and Layout
The clients had three major requirements that steered the design process: make the kitchen bigger, more efficient, and increase the natural light in the new space. The existing (narrow) galley kitchen was connected to a small pantry by a door, on the other side of which was the dining room. Perpendicular to this, and separated from the kitchen by another wall, was a day room with a powder bath and closet. To achieve our first objective our design called for the removal of the walls that separated the kitchen from the pantry and the day room. Since these were load-bearing walls (supporting the weight of the guest bath and office above), our engineer designed a structural post and beam system, and once the walls were removed, there was plenty of room for a spacious kitchen. Because we needed to make better use of the space we had gained, we bricked in the existing door (leading to the back yard) and made an opening in the brick for a new door farther down the wall. This allowed us to utilize the corner space and install a peninsula as well. The existing kitchen had two windows and in order to increase the natural light, we reworked one of the window openings and added a matching second window in the corner (where the door previously was). There is a tradeoff for everything, and keeping this many windows left little room for upper cabinets for storage. To compensate for this, our designer added a row of storage cabinets to the back side of the kitchen peninsula, and designed a large custom pantry cabinet with roomy roll-out drawers at the bottom, and shelves at the top. Permitting a renovation in Bethesda is relatively simple, and once we had ordered the cabinetry, we were quickly ready to begin the remodel.
Style and Finishes
Since light was such a prominent theme in the design, we suggested lighter cabinets than the old oak cabinetry. In the end, we settled on white cabinets with Shaker style doors and drawers. We decided to match the new kitchen floor with the existing oak floors throughout the rest of the house, and selected marbled white and gray granite for the countertops. This added contrasting texture and color to the white cabinetry and white subway tile backsplash.
Construction and Final Product
This was a complicated project considering the significant structural work and the need to match existing elements. When infilling old windows and doors, it is always a challenge to locate bricks that are weathered to match what is currently on the home. If not matched well, the in-filled areas stick out like a sore thumb. After a lengthy search at a local brick yard, we found suitable bricks which we used to brick in the old door and window openings. We faced a similar challenge with the floors. It is often difficult to achieve a perfect transition between old and new hardwood flooring. Older wood tends to have a tighter grain pattern than what is available today, and the finish changes color with exposure to sunlight and age. Fortunately our flooring crews are real craftsmen and were able to tooth the new hardwood in seamlessly. As we were finishing the project, we ran into one hurdle due to a change in inspection policy. As part of Montgomery County, Bethesda requires a homeowner to upgrade smoke detectors throughout the house when remodeling – this was only recently implemented, and we had to retroactively upgrade the bedrooms on the second floor. Even with this small hitch, we finished the project on time and on budget, and the homeowners were thrilled with the end result!
What the Customer Said
“Working with Four Brothers was an all around great experience. Leroy, Liz, and Kent were creative, professional, timely, and budget-conscious throughout the entire project. We had a complicated floor plan that required removal of two walls, reworking an entire corner of our house, and cutting three new windows and one new door. We are so happy with our final product. We have a beautiful kitchen that is perfectly built and fits our family’s needs.”