Nifty Shades of Gray
Open plans, clever storage and sophisticated neutral colors transformed the kitchens of four Bethesda-area homes
Homeowner Mary DeOreo wanted a clean, classic look and practical storage in her newly renovated kitchen. Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg
Mary DeOreo and her husband, Marc Lackritz, have lived in their home in Bethesda’s Sumner neighborhood since 1983, and they don’t have any plans to move. “It was a traditional four-bedroom W.C. & A.N. Miller house, and we did a major renovation in 1990, doubling the size with additions and bump-outs,” says DeOreo, who had three small children at the time. It included a new kitchen, a few steps up from the family room, with a large island and a built-in banquette. “We loved it, and it served our family well,” she says. But 25 years and six grandchildren later it had seen a lot of wear and tear.
Every inch of the fridge wall is storage. Narrow 6-inch pull-out cabinets provide storage space for cereal boxes and spices, and the two larger cabinets are for dishes and serveware. Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg
The retired couple considered downsizing to an apartment, but decided to stay and remodel the space. They didn’t have to expand the 225-square-foot room, they just needed to update the appearance and tweak the plan to be more workable for two people. “We don’t have to do everything in the kitchen. Now we use the dining room to eat with guests,” DeOreo says.
She turned to Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda and director of project development Samantha Klickna, whose team retained the layout but improved the flow by reducing the size of the island and replacing the banquette with a small table. Relocating the wall oven under the counter added 30 inches of counter space. “We didn’t lose any storage and we made everything fit in better,” Klickna says. The island is still ample, at 3 feet by 6½ feet, but notching it out for two counter stools makes it look and feel lighter.
Glass-front cabinets are lighted from within to display glassware. Below, appliance garages with bifold doors conceal the coffee maker and blender. Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg
DeOreo chose bright white for the upper cabinets and an earthy mushroom color for the base cabinets and island. “This color really spoke to me,” she says. “It’s the warmer side of gray,” Klickna adds. A marble and glass backsplash incorporates both colors to create an eye-catching focal point. The color combination is repeated in the truffle color Silgranit sink that punctuates the white quartz countertop.
“Instead of moving, we are taking each room and bringing it up to date to feel like new,” says DeOreo, who is currently working with Case to renovate a first-floor powder room. “We hope we can stay here for 10 more years.”