6 White Kitchens | Page 2 of 2

6 White Kitchens

White kitchens are in--and it's easy to understand why

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THE KITCHEN IN THIS contemporary Potomac house had been renovated piecemeal over 20 years with builder-grade cabinets, standard granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. “It was functional, but not particularly interesting or welcoming,” the homeowner says.

Photo by Anice Hoachlander of Hoachlander Davis Photography

Bethesda-based Carnemark was called in to help create a bright, functional space with unique materials—from polished glass countertops and glass tiles on the floor to two types of cabinets: matte glass and polished lacquer.

To break up the white, the owners chose a mocha lacquer finish for the island and added black countertops made from a paper-based surface called Richlite.

Photo by Anice Hoachlander of Hoachlander Davis Photography

“Doing just the black top and a white island and white floors would have been too much contrast,” company owner Jonas Carnemark says, adding that using organic materials is one way to tone down the starkness of a modern kitchen. An angular and playful faucet from Kohler adds a touch of whimsy.



THE OWNERS OF THIS Gaithersburg townhome knew they wanted a white kitchen that showcased their collection of colorful art and furniture. But it couldn’t be just any white.

“They had a paint chip from Duron,” says Dave Vogt, a director of project development at Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda.

Photo by June Stanich

Case had 10 shades of white in its collection, including an antique white with a brown undertone that was a close match to the client’s chip. The warm color complements the cabinets they chose, which were made by Crystal Cabinets in a finish called bisque.

Next, the designers brought in white subway tiles with beveled edges and white marble for the countertops. Vogt says hickory hardwood floors help to tone down all the white.

The neutral kitchen acts as a backdrop for several splashes of color: blue and white stools around the island, dining chairs in a rainbow of colors, a glossy blue Asian-inspired sideboard and colorful wall art.

Photo by June Stanich

Art, furniture and paint could easily be swapped out to change the look of the space. Says Vogt: “You can just come in with an all-new paint scheme on the walls and really affect the look and feel of the kitchen.”


ALLAN AND LINDA DALLAS Reider wanted a white kitchen that complemented their 1926 center-hall colonial in Chevy Chase Village—but they didn’t want anything too fussy. “Even though we don’t like contemporary kitchens, we do like clean lines,” Linda says.

Photo by Geoffrey Hodgdon

Chevy Chase architect Bruce Wentworth says the Reiders had plenty of space, but it was poorly laid out. “In the old kitchen, if you were preparing a meal, you felt isolated because you were not open to the family room.”

Wentworth gutted the entire space and reorganized the interior, opening it up to the family room and creating a butler’s pantry and a walk-in pantry. Featuring its own window, the butler’s pantry offers storage for collectibles such as crystal and silver, while the walk-in pantry has pocket doors that conceal food and supplies.

He also removed the upper cabinets and replaced them with two large windows that flank the range. “The more unattractive functional things are tucked to the side, and the working space is open and bright with lots of windows and skylights,” he says.

Recessed cabinet fronts and three-dimensional tiles add texture to the space. Linda says the bold light fixtures from Rejuvenation complete the room. Inspired by fixtures made from 1910 to 1920, they feature large glass globes and industrial-style metal accents. Wentworth says he often uses light fixtures as a sculptural element over islands or peninsulas: “They help to mark the importance of that work area.”


CATHERINE NICHOLAS AND her family love to entertain and cook large meals together, but the kitchen in their Luxmanor home couldn’t handle the kind of dinner parties she wanted to host. “The space was very cramped and dark,” says Karen Hourigan, a designer at Kitchen and Bath Studios in Chevy Chase.

Photo by Bill Bauer Photography

As part of a whole-house renovation and addition, Sterling Custom Homes of Potomac gave Hourigan space to create a larger kitchen. A new walk-in pantry cut the rest of the kitchen off from daylight, so Hourigan chose white-painted maple perimeter cabinets to help brighten the space. Several dark accents add contrast: a black-painted island with a veined granite countertop and dark leather bar stools, a black built-in hutch, and solid black granite countertops next to the cooktop and refrigerator.

Hourigan didn’t want to let the kitchen’s many appliances dominate the space, so she hid some of them behind cabinet doors. The refrigerator and one of the dishwashers have white panels that match the rest of the kitchen’s cabinetry, while another dishwasher is tucked beneath the island and covered in a black cabinet door. The rest—two wall ovens, one steam oven, a tall wine refrigerator and an under-counter refrigerator—are stacked neatly on a far wall of the kitchen.

Photo by Bill Bauer Photography

“I have a very large family—12 nieces and nephews, and six brothers and sisters—so our gatherings are between 20 and 40,” Nicholas says. “We needed a kitchen like this.”

Freelance writer and blogger Nigel F. Maynard lives in Hyattsville and has a white kitchen.

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