Sarah’s Style File – October 2014

032113__sarah_forWebWelcome 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 to experience the remodeling process with us!  For this month’s highlighted project I have chosen a kitchen remodel in Mount Vernon. By reworking the layout of the space we were able to enlarge the island and brighten the room with fresh new finishes.





The main goals of this project were to modernize the original builder grade kitchen and rethink the work triangle for the client. As you can see from the existing floor plan, the original layout was a large “U” shape with a square island in the middle. While this layout did provide lots of counter, it really segregated the kitchen from the adjacent eat-in area. By creating more of an “L” shape layout we were able to enlarge the island to a rectangle shape allowing for the same amount of counter and storage, however it allowed for a more open feel to the room as a whole. The other major layout change that we made was relocating the sink. It was centered on the window closest to the cooktop, and between the sink, dishwasher, and cooktop it created a very crowded corner to an otherwise spacious room. By extending the plumbing over, we relocated the sink to the other window, allowing for plenty of room when the dishwasher is open and plenty of prep and finish space on either side of the cooktop. During this renovation we also were able to remove the existing soffits above the upper cabinets. Though we did have an existing HVAC register in one, since it was coming from below, we were able to relocate it out through the toe kick of one of the base cabinets to provide and clean look to the ceiling and allow us to install 42″ upper cabinets. Though you won’t use the items on that top shelf every day, having all the extra space provides a great location for holiday or themed items you don’t need readily accessible. Also, since our ceiling height was a few inches over 8′-0″ we were able to install a double stacked crown drawing the eyes upward and adding extra detail to the cabinets.


Before                                                                            After

When it came to finishes, the client knew exactly what she wanted. When we initially met she said, “I want creamy white cabinets and black countertops” and that’s exactly what we designed. The cabinetry is a lovely raised panel cabinet which looks great in a traditional colonial home and in the soft white paint it feels fresh and clean, much brighter than the existing dark stained oak cabinets. The countertop we chose is a black, but it does have some nice lighter toned flecks in it tying it back to the lighter finishes. It is a quartz countertop, Night Mist from Silestone so it will look great for years to come. As you can see from my newsletters, quartz countertops have really gotten amazingly popular. I would say it’s now the most popular surface with our clients, which is easy to understand given it is virtually no maintenance. Being a manufactured product it is non-porous so there is no need to seal it, and for that same reason you don’t need to worry about stains. It also comes a quite a wide variety of colors and patterns and because it is manufactured, clients don’t need to go the stone yard and select exact slabs as the colors and patterns are consistent. For the hardware, plumbing fixtures, exhaust hood, and light fixtures we chose stainless steel and satin nickel, the nice silver tone pops off of the white and adds a little sparkle to the space. For the backsplash we wanted to keep it simple, so we chose a glazed ceramic subway tile with chamfered (angled) edges giving a classic style with a little twist. We removed the existing vinyl floor and install solid oak floors to match the wood floors in the eat-in area and then sanded and stained them to match creating a seamless look between the two spaces. The wallpaper was removed from both areas and a clean white paint was chosen to keep the space bright and let the other finishes and accessories pop.



Thanks for joining me this month for Sarah’s Style File and I look forward to seeing you again in November!! As always, if you 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!

Sarah Wolf – Senior Design Consultant