Abandon the dining room for a colossal kitchen | House and garden


When Missy and Lou Heinzer planned their kitchen remodeling in Arlington, Virginia, they knew what they needed – something big enough and strong enough to meet the needs of three growing boys and their friends. They didn’t dream that everything would come together in the middle of a pandemic.

“We talked about remodeling our kitchen for a few years, but we finally decided to do it in 2019,” says Missy. “We had our plans in place and the demolition started in March 2020, just at the start of the pandemic. All the walls had come down when it all stopped, but we decided to go ahead with the project, and the contractors came up with a plan. of security.”

The Heinzers bought their Craftsman-style home in 2005 when the house was three years old. The first floor remodel was their first major renovation on the property, although they have already done a little basement remodel for Missy’s dad to move in with the family.

“I love the old-fashioned charm of the house, and my husband was delighted to buy a new home,” says Missy, 46, a stay-at-home mom active on the boards of non-profit associations. lucrative. Lou, 45, is the director of a consulting firm. Their sons are 14, 11 and 7 years old.

The couple opted to split their first floor renovation into two projects, which turned out to be a premonitory move once family members ended up spending more time at home during the pandemic. Missy wanted a new locker room, the first phase of the project, to be available during the renovation for storage.

“The Heinzers are a busy family with lots of friends all the time,” says Elle Hunter, director of project development at Case Architects and Remodelers in Bethesda, Maryland. “Their formal dining room was rarely used for anything other than overflow storage for preschool art and sports equipment, so we planned to tear down the wall to make the kitchen bigger.”

The first part of the project, completed in June 2019, converted Lou’s first-floor office into a cloakroom. Fortunately, there was another office available upstairs when the pandemic forced people to work from home.

“The Heinzers’ kids do travel sports and one of them plays the cello, so it was important to create more space for their equipment and that of their friends,” says Allie Mann, Senior Design Specialist at the Heinzers. interior at Case Architects and Remodelers. “We designed custom cabinets and built in a corner desk, which really helped them when covid-19 hit.”

The locker room has a locker room, three lockers for boys and one for their friends.

“Missy told us that when their friends leave, someone is always missing a sock, glove or scarf, so that way all of the guest items can be stored together,” says Hunter.

A barn door makes it easy to close off the space when entertaining adults.

“We knew that we wanted a colorful kitchen and that the spaces were linked to each other. So we opted for a deep blue color palette in the locker room, ”says Missy.

While increasing the functionality and efficient use of first-floor space was a primary goal for the Heinzers, the couple also wanted to create a child-friendly space that would increase their sons’ independence.

“We included the kids in the planning process from the start, which they really appreciated,” says Missy. “The new design makes them feel good because they can meet some of their needs on their own now that everything is close at hand.”

Hunter and Mann reconfigured the kitchen with two islands and room for a dining table and bench window seat with storage drawers underneath.

“One of the islands is referred to as the Children’s Island,” says Missy. “It has a second sink where they can wash their hands, a space for snacks, a trash can and a microwave that they can reach on their own. We also have two refrigerators. sub-plan, one just for the kids’ drinks and snacks. “

The “Kid’s Island” is located next to the playroom, Mann says, making it easy for kids to grab things without going through the kitchen. The “adult island” has a sink, dishwasher and another bin.

“The countertops around the perimeter of the kitchen are polished quartz, but the islands have polished quartz, which has a slightly more industrial look,” says Mann. “There’s less worry about wasting them.”

Both islands have white bar stools.

“Bar stools are also suitable for children because they are easy to clean,” says Missy.

Both islands include outlet strips and USB ports under the counter edge, making it easy for kids and parents to work on the island on a laptop and charge other devices.

Deciding to remove the wall from the formal dining room to make the kitchen bigger was the first step towards a family kitchen. Then Mann, Hunter, and the Heinzers began to choose the color scheme for the space.

“The Heinzers, She and I all love bright blue, so when we found the bright blue and white tiles for the backsplash, we all fell in love with it,” Mann says. “The previous kitchen was dark and crowded, so that was the start of her transformation.”

The 13 x 13-inch tiles contain smaller pieces of tile, so the entire wall looks like a mosaic, Mann explains.

“The tiles were the first thing to install and without the cabinets or whatever, I thought that might be too much,” says Missy. “Allie told me to wait until the rest of the cooking was done, and sure enough it was okay. It makes a statement without being too much in your face.”

While the design started with the blue and white tile, Missy also knew she wanted a 48-inch range with two ovens and more fridge space. In addition to the two under-counter refrigerators, the kitchen includes a 36-inch-wide built-in column refrigerator and an 18-inch-wide built-in column freezer, both from Thermador.

“We wondered if maybe it wasn’t too big, but it’s actually great to have the space,” says Missy.

The focal point of the kitchen is a bright red Bertazzoni range, which prompted the decision to paint a new Dutch door nearby in a matching bright red.

“We wanted to be sure that the color wasn’t excessive or that the room would be too busy, especially with the backsplash going from the counter to the ceiling,” says Hunter. “We kept the palette as simple as possible and did some computer renderings to see what it would look like.”

They kept the white cabinets simple and added a little touch of natural wood to open shelving to complement the hardwood floors.

“I really wanted the color to pop and love the red stove,” says Missy. “I’ve always loved Dutch doors ever since I saw one at a friend’s house when I was in elementary school. We open the top of the door a lot because we can hear and see the children outside while keeping the dog inside. “

Two pantries that flank the patio doors to the playroom have been painted a bright blue to echo the cloakroom and echo the blue in the tile backsplash on the adjacent wall.

The project also included painting the family room, refacing the fireplace in the family room, adding a new stain to the hardwood floors on the main floor and updating the powder room. .

The collaborative kitchen planning took into account every detail and resulted in a fully personalized space.

“We scanned every square inch of the Heinzer’s kitchen to see what Missy wanted to put and where,” says Hunter. “We planned out every cabinet and every drawer. Missy is really organized, you have to be with three active boys, and she had ideas like putting the dishes in a lower drawer for the boys to reach.”

The narrow cabinets on either side of the stove include a dedicated area for spices.

“Allie and Elle helped me figure out where to put everything, for example if I wanted a blender on the counter or in a cabinet,” says Missy. “My grandmother’s kitchen had a bread drawer, so I asked them to add one near where we keep the toaster.”

Dedicated cabinets hold cooking utensils including a lazy Susan in a corner cabinet. A drawer under the microwave in the “Kid’s Island” is designed to hold Tupperware containers for easy access by children. One end of this island contains water bottles for boys to grab and fill for school or sports. A space is also reserved for tea towels and place mats.

“The kitchen stays so clean and uncluttered because everything has its place,” says Missy. “The whole first floor is very quiet now.”

Careful planning keeps this family’s kitchen working for them year round.

“One recommendation I have for anyone considering a remodel is to design for the way you live all the time, not for the vacations a year where you could use that formal dining room,” says Missy.

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