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Kitchen renovation advice

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Amy and Richard Zantzinger’s Chevy Chase kitchen is not just a cooking and refueling station. It’s a sanctuary for tired athletes, a homework zone and a window-lined space to catch spring breezes while polishing off a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Amy has seasoned advice for anyone getting ready to launch a kitchen makeover.

Cleanup. As you pack up a kitchen for renovation, get rid of rarely used items, donating to charity what is still in good condition.

Sink. Although the trend is to install multiple sinks, the Zantzingers prefer to live with one large rectangular sink, which left room for more counter space. Theirs is a white 281 / 2-by-17-inch sink made of a heat-resistant clay.

Pantry. Instead of using kitchen cabinets for canned and packaged food, the Zantzingers built a walk-in pantry a few steps down a hall. “I’d rather open my cabinet doors and see stacks of beautiful plates than a stack of tomato cans,” Amy says. Pantry shelves are organized by type of food: baking supplies, pasta and rice, cereal and kid-friendly treats.

Microwave. The microwave was placed on a middle shelf in the pantry because Amy doesn’t often use it and finds it a clunky eyesore.

Countertop. The family chose white marble for the counters, eschewing the dark granite that adorns many of today’s trophy kitchens. They like the look of a white surface because it lightens up a room and develops a patina over time. Because marble is porous and stains easily, the family is careful to quickly clean up spills and always use cutting boards.

Kitchenware. The completion of a renovation is a good time to treat yourself to some classic new kitchenware. Amy shopped Williams-Sonoma for white organic waffle-weave hand towels, three sizes of Siena glass tumblers and Apilco 12-inch porcelain plates.

— Jura Koncius

More online At washingtonpost.com/home: 4 Chat Thursday at 11 a.m. Architect Christopher Snowber, who designed the Zantzinger kitchen, joins staff writers Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza for our weekly online Q&A about design and household advice. IGalleries See more photos of the Zantzinger kitchen, as well as a gallery of beautiful kitchens featured in past issues of The Post. 6Read past articles on kitchen renovation by columnist Domenica Marchetti: Eight questions to ask before starting a project, and details of a kitchen transformation in a 1764 Frederick County farmhouse. 6Twitter Follow @JuraKoncius for home and design news, observations and photos.

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