Showplace Kitchen Focuses on Gourmet Cooking

by WOHe

Showplace Kitchen Focuses on Gourmet

By Daina Darzin


Many upscale professionals desire the ultimate, professional,
high-end kitchen, but they want it strictly for looks and status a
trophy to impress neighbors, rather than a real working
environment. But that wasn’t the case with the VA-based Fairfax
Interiors’ latest design challenge, in which the clients were
genuinely passionate about their hobby of gourmet cooking.

Unfortunately, the existing space in their Arts and Crafts,
charmingly retro home which featured cottage-style doors and woven
art that the wife, Lois, makes on her own loom, as well as
furniture made by her father – left much to be desired.

“They had a small, galley-style kitchen in a completely
different style small, dark, cramped, with heavy birch cabinets and
ugly linoleum floors,” recalls Fairfax president Nancy L. Boriack,
CBD, who redesigned the space with Alison Martin, CKD. “Their goal
was to cook with their three children,” explains Boriack. 

First, a six-foot addition expanded the square footage from 180
to 288, she notes. This turned out to be the biggest headache of
the project, since “The clients’ did not want to have any headers
or columns that would make the space look added-on,” Boriack

To achieve this aim while removing the back wall, all of the
master bathroom plumbing had to be rerouted. In the process of
doing this, it was discovered that, because of the construction, a
beam needed to be buried up in the ceiling. 

“A lot of other people have remodeled kitchens in this
neighborhood to add space, but they all have a big header or
column. We only had to [bring] the ceiling down one inch it’s a
contiguous ceiling, it looks like it’s part of the house. Our
structural engineer cleverly designed a Micro Lam beam to
accomplish that.”

The added space enabled Fairfax to eliminate the biggest problem
with the existing kitchen severe lack of counter space for the
clients’ specialized cooking equipment, which included a big
KitchenAid mixer and a couple of Cuisinarts. “They also love to
cook using a griddle, so they wanted a 36″ stove with an integral
griddle,” she adds. A Viking range with integral griddle filled the
bill nicely. The appliances are all stainless steel, and include a
large GE refrigerator and an ASKO dishwasher. 

“Because they entertain a lot, they wanted a really quiet
dishwasher,” says Boriack. “We chose a European dishwasher that
they love. The kitchen is so large and open, you can be doing
dishes while the company is still there, and still be able to carry
on a conversation.” 

The stainless steel appliances are complemented by Royal
Sheffield cabinets in maple with an antique white wash, with a
combination of a bead and batten door with a simple flat raised
panel. “It looks like wainscotting or paneling,” says

The couple’s particular storage needs included a place to put
their large collection of pots and pans. “We were able to use the
big, deep pots-and-pans drawers, and that’s gotten rave reviews,”
reports Boriack. “There’s also a lot of open shelving in the
kitchen, because they have beautiful pottery mixing bowls, fruit
bowls and the like, mostly in green hues that they use on a daily
basis, but wanted to [also] display.”

The Corian countertops reflect Lois’ desire to have an
integrated sink, while the center island caters to Paul’s affection
for deep granite colors. “They had to take into consideration their
three children, notes Boriack. The center island features a second
sink, this time in stainless steel, with a smaller bar faucet. “The
kitchen has two completely separate food preparation areas  a
real need for them.”

Another concession to the kids was a desk area with a computer,
so the youngsters ages 6, 10, and 13 could do their homework while
the parents prepared dinner. The desk reflects the cabinets with a
similar finish and is located in the kitchen itself. 

The walls are also currently painted a plain antique white,
Boriack notes, but the homeowners eventually plan to add homemade

When the job was over, a party was in order, Boriack reports, as
all objectives were more than reached. “Paul is one of seven
children, so he had his family in and they really used their
kitchen. In fact, they sent us Christmas cookies.”

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