Sarah’s Style File – January 2014

Welcome to Sarah’s Style File, I’m Sarah, Foster Remodeling Solutions Senior Design Consultant and each month I’m bringing to you a feature project for you to experience the remodeling process with us!  For this month’s highlighted project I have chosen a kitchen remodel in Fairfax. The closed off kitchen didn’t provide nearly enough storage and the original cabinets and countertops were ready for an update so this family wanted to open up and upgrade the space!



Click the image below to view this month’s Style video:
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One of the main goals of the client was to remove the wall between the kitchen and the adjacent dining room. With multiple kids and grandkids (with more on the way), the family had outgrown the space and we all know that at family functions somehow everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen. Upon investigation, we realized the wall they wanted removed was a load-bearing wall, so while we could open it, there would need to be some structural work done in conjunction with the kitchen update to make sure we kept the 2nd floor of the house on the 2nd floor. The first floor was built on a concrete slab so we opened the wall, installed a beam and support posts which were then supported by footers that we dug and poured after cutting the concrete pad. The result allowed us to create a lovely bar-height counterspace for extra seating or a buffet and allowed family in the dining area to feel like they were a part of the kitchen space without actually being in the kitchen. It also created a lovely location for new pantry storage and extra cabinets and counters which checked off another item on the clients’ wish list, more storage! Surprisingly, as you can see in the before floor plans, the wall that we removed had no storage on it! It was such a missed opportunity that the client had purchased a furniture bookshelf to try and take advantage of the space. Due to HVAC ducts going across the ceiling where we put the structural beam we didn’t completely remove the wall and left a small full height section allowing the tall pantry cabinet to be placed and then we installed a wide base cabinet with large drawers. These are perfect for pots and pans or even casserole dishes as they provide storage much like a filing cabinet, every square inch can be used and you don’t have to bend over and dig in the cabinet while everything falls out! They have really enjoyed the extra space and put it to good use over the holidays!





For this kitchen the clients wanted more of a traditional look with an accent in the backsplash behind the sink. To achieve this, we decided to start with an arched cabinetry door in Cherry with a medium stain and a chocolate glaze to highlight the detail of the door. To pick up on some of the reddish tones of the Cherry we chose a Giallo Fiorito granite top. This beautiful natural stone has a lot of warm neutral tones and is a great choice for clients who want a natural stone that’s very durable and yet doesn’t vary widely between lots. Lots are slabs of stone that have been mined at the same time so they tend to have similar qualities in coloring, veining, etc. Some stones are very similar looking between lots and some have vast differences in appearance and color which is why it is so important to select your exact piece of stone when choosing a natural product. Given the mid-tone of the countertop we selected a slightly lighter tile for the backsplash, it is a ceramic tile with a beige tone in a 6″ x 6″ size installed on the diagonal and we cut in tile decos as an accent about every other tile. These decos are a natural marble spirals with a red marble dot in the middle. Pulling from these tones we designed the statement piece behind the sink. This was designed by putting together pencil trim, marble mosaic squares and pre-fabricated border pieces and square blocks from Mosaic Tile Company. Sometimes, when you are designing a multi-piece accent like this it can be very hard to visualize how it will turn out. During the design phase with this client I took photos of the tiles we were thinking of using at the showroom and put them together in Photoshop, I then inserted the Photoshop file into our 3-D rendering program so that she could see exactly how it would turn out (see the rendering above). She was so excited she pinned the rendering to the wall and during construction told me she would look at the rendering and see what was happening in construction and felt like the photo was “coming to life”! For the hardware on the doors we went with a satin black finish to contrast against the cherry cabinets and we kept the sink and sink faucet stainless steel to coordinate with the other appliances. When it came time to select a floor material we knew we wanted tile for durability, but since we were also going to install the same flooring in the dining room and the foyer with such a large area we wanted a dynamic pattern. Using Crossville porcelain tile with high shade variation (wide range of shade between individual tiles) in 3 sizes we create a large scale woven look which turned out quite nicely. The warm sienna tone really anchored the space and since we went with a slightly darker color on the floor we chose a lighter tone on the walls which was Benjamin Moore HC-87 Ashley Gray, all in all giving the clients the classic traditional space they wanted.



Thanks for joining me this month on Sarah’s Style File and I look forward to seeing you again next year in Febuary!! As always, if you have questions about a project or you are thinking about remodeling, give me a call here at Foster Remodeling Solutions!

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!