Kitchen Guides

Kitchen of the Week: A D.C. Row House Honors Tradition

Intent on maintaining the original design of their 20th-century row house, this Washington, D.C, bunch forfeited a more modern kitchen design for convention’s sake. Rather than open the kitchen to the adjoining dining area, they maintained the galley-style kitchen and eat-in booth in the back of the house and replaced with the cabinetry, finishes and appliances out of a previous update. Vintage white cabinetry, butcher block counters, a simple subway tile backsplash and a light-filled dining room have given the room a fresh look that could easily match any era.

Kitchen in a Glance
Who lives here: A young couple
Location: Washington, D.C.
Designer: Leroy Johnson and his team at Four Brothers
Size: Around 200 square feet, including eat-in nook

Four Brothers LLC

The previous owners had remodeled the kitchen and abandoned it in fairly good shape, however, the design didn’t fit the new owners’ style or the background of the house. Now wood countertops, traditional fixtures plus a farmhouse sink provide the kitchen a fresh but classic texture.

Sink: farmhouse, Kohler; fixtures: Torq, Kohler; hardware: Nouveau II, Tob Knobs

Four Brothers LLC

Rather than bulking up the kitchen with upper cabinets, the clients opted for open shelves to keep often-used dishes at hand.

Refrigerator, dishwasher, cooker: Architect Collection II, KitchenAid; hood: Professional Magnum, Faber

Four Brothers LLC

The clients came up with the backsplash design, rotating regular subway tiles into a more eye-catching herringbone pattern. The backsplash that is consistent sticks to the kitchen’s restricted palette and remains in accord with the vintage style; plus, the affordable tile allowed for a counter-to-ceiling program.

Backsplash tile: Rittenhouse, Daltile; countertop: walnut butcherblock, Ikea

Four Brothers LLC

Though eliminating upper cabinets forfeited some storage area, since it is only the two of these, the couple wasn’t that concerned about storage. Wide and deep drawers on both sides of the kitchen supply all of the storage they want.

Microwave: Spacemaker II, GE; cabinetry: Elmwood Kitchens

Four Brothers LLC

The clients kept the kitchen’s original eat-in nook as a casual complement to the formal dining area. Corner chairs and a simple built-in seat keep the room sunny, warm and bright.

Four Brothers LLC

The kitchen sits in one of the row home’s rear corners and opens to the dining room. The design is narrow but allows for a practical kitchen work triangle.

In the former design (not revealed), the fridge was in the dining room; designer Leroy Johnson moved it across the corner for easier access and used the space in the corner to get a tall pantry cabinet.

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