Kitchen renovation Q&A: Seeing the light in Georgetown

By Jennifer Sergent
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, March 4, 2010

The renovation was inevitable. Linda and Ken Joy had bought a beautiful condo at Washington Harbor in Georgetown in 2001 as their pied-a-terre, but they never used the kitchen, choosing instead to eat out when they came into the city from their primary home in Oxford, Md.

Not only was the windowless kitchen hopelessly outdated and dark, but much of it was broken. One of the stovetop burners didn't work, and the trash compactor and dishwasher were inoperable. Perhaps it was a sign that when they finally committed to renovating after years of avoiding the space, the refrigerator died.

The Joys knew they had to start from scratch, and they asked Robert Templon of Studio Snaidero DC to handle the project. They loved the result, but did not enjoy it for long. The couple ended up selling the unit shortly after the kitchen was completed in 2008, and the new owners, Phyllis and Marc Fleischaker, are thrilled with their inheritance.

We spoke to both sets of owners about this kitchen's urban-chic appeal.

D.C. is a pretty traditional town. How did you pick Snaidero, which is known for its contemporary kitchens?

Linda Joy: We thought that because it was a city apartment, it should be something a little more on the modern side than something we would use in a country house. My brother-in-law was selling a unit at the Trillium Bethesda, and he invited my husband to an open house there. The kitchen was by Snaidero, and after he saw it, my husband said to me, "You've got to see this kitchen; it's really cool." Up until that point we had been trying to figure out what to do with the kitchen. We didn't want anything too institutional or cold, so when we saw that, we said, "That's the look."

We like how the warm wood cabinets offset the metal and glass accents. What were the design priorities?

L.J.: I especially like the deep drawers and the frosted glass. We definitely wanted to go with high-end appliances. We have a Miele washer, dryer, ovens and cooktop, and a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. The wine coolers are U-Line. It's a very, very usable kitchen; it's comfortable to use.

What were the toughest challenges of the project?

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