I. Michael Winegrad

The Kitchen

When I. Michael Winegrad and his wife, Roz, grew tired of living in their traditional colonial home in Darnestown, they bought a house high on a hill in Bethesda’s Carderock neighborhood, tore it down and built a contemporary home Winegrad designed himself.

“As an interior designer, I built it from the inside out,” he says, recalling how he considered the function of the rooms and their elements before focusing on how the exterior looked.
Winegrad, sought by clients for his sophisticated, clean designs, says many people equate “contemporary” with ultramodern glass-and-chrome spaces. “People come to our house and say, ‘I don’t like contemporary, but I love this,’ ” he says, attributing the compliment to his use of other elements, such as natural wood and artwork, for warmth.

An interior designer for 25 years, Winegrad dedicated more space to the rooms that he, his wife and their 10-year-old son, Aaron, live in most—including the kitchen.

“Roz is a certified chef, and as a family we spend a lot of time in here,” Winegrad says. “We had to have a large kitchen that functions well and looks great.”

The kitchen was configured with lots of counter space, two sinks and a massive BlueStar stove so two cooks could work without colliding. Winegrad says the stove is uglier than other high-end brands, such as Wolf or Viking, but more functional. “You turn it on, put a pan on it and whoosh,” he says. “It’s a joy, and [it] makes cooking easy and fun.”

Winegrad had to convince his wife to agree to some of the elements he envisioned for the kitchen, such as dark, 2-by-4-foot Italian porcelain floor tiles with a leathery texture. In the end, he won out.

“Roz doesn’t necessarily share my design aesthetic,” Winegrad says, “but she has faith and trusts when I’m done it’ll look good.”