June 19, 2023
This article was originally published on June 19, 2023; it was updated on June 26, 2023.
You’d think that the model home for an upscale townhome development built in 2013 would stand the test of time for at least ten years. But after purchasing the residence fully furnished, after a few years the homeowners realized that the townhouse kitchen was poorly laid out and lacked functionality. They turned to Washington, DC-based Erika Jayne Design + Build to remedy the situation.
Jayne was confronted by a kitchen that was wholly out of step with her clients’ needs. It had an undersized island with no seating, mediocre storage space, and a built-in bench that was meant to serve as a place to grab a bite. Separated from the kitchen by a pair of hefty columns and half-walls, the dining room was cramped and formal.
As the homeowners have a casual, relaxed way of life, the designer’s goal was to take the kitchen/dining area from a high-contrast, divided, and minimally functional space and transform it into a bright (but not white), comfortable space in which to gather.
To achieve a high-end look while being mindful of the budget, Jayne used a semi-custom cabinet line. With limited options to alter the cabinetry, the designer got creative with other details. She created a tall stacked crown to reach the high ceilings and create a stately look. The stock island legs were routed and finished with brass caps. The standard-issue glass shelves in the glass-door cabinet were replaced with stained wood shelves. These little details added up to a custom look without the custom price-tag.
Bright but warm was the name of the color game. The backsplash is a matte white ceramic tile with a lot of color variation for additional depth and texture. Marble-look quartz was selected for both price, look, and durability.
Because walls were removed to conjoin the kitchen and dining area, the flooring would ordinarily be patched. However, in this case the poor quality, builder-grade materials dictated that the entire floor be replaced. Jayne specified a rich, dark-stained engineered oak with a matte finish for the new floor.
Asked about her favorite part of the design, the designer said, “The cabinet color! Instead of a standard white paint, we chose the subtlest warm gray. In bright light it can appear white. But in softer light and in the evening it deepens to a soft gray. It adds so much depth and richness to the space without sacrificing the brightness that we were seeking.”
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor
Design + Construction: Erika Jayne Design + Build
Photography: Jenn Verrier
Cabinetry: Erika Jayne Design + Build (WW Wood Cabinetry)
Countertops: Architecture Stone
Counter Stools: Restoration Hardware
Lighting: Morris Pendant by Suzanne Kasler (island pendants), Forza Lantern by Kelly Wearstler (dining chandelier), Regina Andrew (sconce)
Range: GE Profile
Vent Hood, Wine Cooler: Zephyr