Cabinet Reshuffle

This AIA award-winning modern kitchen remodel in Bethesda, Maryland relied on thoughtfully managing proportion, flexibility in stylistic language and a facility with color. A refreshed look, relocated appliances, and a spacious island were the goals of this kitchen makeover. As Donald Lococo Architects surveyed the space, a new ambition was added to the list: to try to repurpose the existing outdated cabinets out of consideration of both waste and budget. The culminating result was a dream kitchen makeover. The heart of the luxury kitchen remodel is derived from reimagining the wooden namesake cabinetry with heavy crowns into an all-new modern composition.

The reimagined cabinetry is not unlike the reshuffling of a parliamentary cabinet at the beginning of a new term. Accenting the refinished and relocated cabinetry, a new clean-lined wall of built-ins seamlessly bridge the space effortlessly to modern elements of the remaining home. The savings on the cabinets were spent on a series of floor-to-ceiling flat panel wall cabinets bordered by a subtle reveal that housed a coffee area, refrigerator/freezer units and a series of upper cabinetry for trays, coffee mugs, breakfast cereals, and a small microwave. This cabinetry was also used in a family room bar beyond the reveal detail edges the drywall producing a pattern of pencil line rectangles and squares. A third language of cabinets hidden in the trim surround of the entry to the mudroom are used for slide out cabinets for pantry supplies, imperceptible to guests.

This sleek kitchen remodel excels in contrasts. A feature that reinforces the intent of a juxtaposed space is the horizontal break in color at the countertop line. The low and heavy dark-stained existing cabinetry of the back wall helps distinguish the much lighter & loftier upper portion, which features counter-to-ceiling flanking white-painted cabinetry, thereby avoiding the object-like upper-cabinetry which previously held that space. The white marble countertop appropriately exaggerates the horizontality when paired with the darker, charcoal-grey granite island countertop. There are also three different door types, two different counter top types and four different styles of handles. Even though a variety of languages was used in cabinetry, the subtlety of refined details and complementary patterns produce a quiet and simple environment while at the same time saving money and unnecessary waste in discarding the revived cabinets.

Architecture/Interior Architecture: Donald Lococo Architects
Interior Designer: Ella Scott Design
Structural Engineer: Linton Engineering
Contractor: Block Builders
Photographer: John Cole

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