"Bringing the outdoors in--that's what this kitchen is all about," says Bethesda homeowner Judy Aldock. Photograph courtesy of Aidan Design
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When architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen built this house in 1962, it was named House of the Year by Architectural Record. In Bethesda's Glen Echo Heights neighborhood, the modern home sits on a deep lot filled with beautiful trees.
Owners Judy and John Aldock had lived there nearly 25 years when they decided it was time for a kitchen overhaul. "In those days, rooms were conceived of as boxes," says builder Mark Grisar, who oversaw the renovation. The kitchen was closed off from the dining room, and even though it overlooks the home's woodsy back yard, it felt disconnected from the outdoors.
Grisar tore down the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen to create a bigger, more open space. A floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door and adjoining deck, once off of the dining room, now opens into the kitchen.
He also removed all of the wall cabinets, exposing the original brick. A new row of freestanding kitchen cabinets along the back wall makes up for lost storage.
Jacobsen's design included two small circular skylights, which Grisar replaced with one four-by-eight-foot rectangular skylight. "Sun fills the room," he says.
In keeping with Jacobsen's aesthetic in the rest of the house, Judy Aldock wanted the kitchen to feel minimalist and streamlined. She chose oak cabinets with a black stain as well as stainless-steel counters and appliances--including a handmade hood by California-based Cheng Design that has a sculptural, artistic quality. "People are so afraid of black," says Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design, which did the cabinetry. "But the exposed-brick walls and wood floors add warmth."
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