“Love Thy Neighbor” only goes so far when you have to look at his house while you’re making dinner every night. Even more frustrating, the kitchen’s orientation in this ’20s-era house in DC’s Forrest Hills blocked a long, luscious view down the valley to the east. For a couple of avid cooks with a new baby (read: They’re home a lot), there needed to be a better way.
A new addition corrected the problem. It adds both floor space and ceiling height, while reaching out from the house to capture those sought-after views. The expanded kitchen opens into a breakfast area and family room—all surrounded by windows. We created a hierarchy of space, furthermore, which emphasizes the cooking and prep areas while support functions are discretely tucked away.
A two-sided fireplace anchors the addition’s main level, separating the family room from the more formal dining room, while providing easy flow for entertaining. We took a “rustic modern” approach in the kitchen as a nod to the home’s history and our clients’ love of craft. Gray concrete countertops stand out from stained maple cabinets; handmade tiles form a dramatic backsplash, and a stainless-steel toe kick adds shimmer from below.
The expanded walk-out basement is also bathed in light from walls of windows that look out to the pool. It’s a pleasant place to work from home, as these two do: The wife, a grant writer, now has her own office, while her photographer husband has a dedicated “gear room.” The new guest room welcomes the owners’ many visitors, as they have friends from all over the world, and revel in the fact that they can host them in style.