Dream Kitchens 2012: Outdoors In

The focal point of this DC kitchen is a long, narrow window that floods the space in natural light.

By: Kathleen Bridges

Where to Find It

Counters: Pearl-wood quartzite from GLB Tile and Marble. Cabinets: Custom rift-cut oak in dark-espresso finish from Christiana. Hood: Zephyr. Refrigerator and Freezer Drawers: Sub-Zero. Built-in coffee maker: Miele. Cooktop and wall ovens: Wolf. Sinks: Kohler. Main faucet: Mirabelle. Prep-sink faucet: Hansgrohe. Lighting: WeGotLites.net.

Azi Hendi and her husband, Ali, knew what they wanted in a house: a California-style ranch with clean, modern lines and lots of light. Though the one they settled on—in DC’s Forest Hills—needed an overhaul, they could see its potential.

“The kitchen was our priority,” she says. “We live in the kitchen.” The first order of business was to take down the wall separating the kitchen from the dining area and to merge the two spaces.

“There wasn’t enough space in the work area, and perhaps too much devoted to dining,” says Sean Ganey, the project leader for the remodeling firm Bowa who oversaw the renovation.

Azi Hendi loved the long, narrow window that ran the length of the kitchen’s exterior wall. Says Ganey: “These days, clients really want to bring the outdoors in. By not treating the window like an element itself but building it into the flow of the cabinets, we were able to accomplish that.”

Jerry Weed of Bethesda’s Kitchen and Bath Studios created custom rift-cut oak cabinets with minimal hardware and clean, flat panels. In keeping with the streamlined feel, the dishwasher and microwave were hidden behind cabinets, and the stainless-steel hood’s blower was mounted externally to save space and reduce noise. “It was hard to find a hood that wouldn’t overtake the kitchen,” says Hendi. “Moving the blower outside allowed us to go with a smaller model.”

Beneath the hood is a two-level island consisting of a wooden dining table and quartzite work space. The stove is hidden behind the higher part of the island.

“My husband always tells me I focus too much on beauty over function,” says Hendi. “I think I got both with this kitchen.”

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This article appears in the October 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.