Design & Home

Space of the Week: A Tiny Upper Northwest Kitchen With Tons of Style

You won't believe the sad before photos.

Photos by Angie Seckinger.

This week’s space: A cramped upper Northwest kitchen gets a modern makeover.

The designers: Lara Morabito, interior and exterior designer of Lara Morabito Gardens, with cabinet design by Julia Walter, managing director of Boffi Georgetown, and renovations by Four Brothers Design + Build.

Who lives in the home: A young family.

Scope of the project: Kitchen renovation. (The backyard was also redesigned to optimize the views from the kitchen to the outdoors.)

The problem: The old kitchen had dated cabinets, and wasn’t functional. The clients wanted a clean, modern look that maximized storage space, and complemented the rest of their house.

What Morabito and Walter did: “It was a complete gut renovation” without changing the footprint of the kitchen, says Walter. Though it’s the same size, the kitchen looks more open, thanks to minimalist cabinetry, floating shelves (in place of more cabinets), and hidden appliances. Accent pieces like a bronze faucet, bright yellow Bertazzoni range, and a black steel window and door create some contrast. Morabito designed the kitchen, including the door, windows, subway tile, fixtures, and layout. “I approached Boffi because I knew I wanted their floating cabinets integrated into the kitchen design,” Morabito says.

Biggest challenge: Creating more functionality and storage while reducing the number of actual cabinets.

Walter’s favorite part: “My favorite aspects are the simplicity of the kitchen and how it corresponds with the character of the subway tile and black steel window and door.”

A similar view as above, pre-renovation.
The refrigerator was moved to another part of the kitchen, and cleverly integrated with the cabinets.
Here’s what it looked like before.

If you’re an interior designer or architect with a space in the Washington area that you’d like us to spotlight, please submit it to mkashino@washingtonian.com.

This article was corrected, to include the names of all the designers, after its initial publication.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She recently wrote “A Murder on the Rappahannock,” a two-part investigation into the troubling, decades-old slaying of a young mother in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.