6 White Kitchens

White kitchens are in--and it's easy to understand why

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WHEN MELISSA BLUME and Scott Levine renovated the kitchen in their 1935 row home in D.C.’s Glover Park in 2005, they had regrets. To fit in with the colonial-style home, they chose dark cherry cabinets, black granite countertops and dark oak floors.

Photo by Michael Ventura

“I thought back and wondered, ‘Why didn’t I do a white kitchen?’ ” says Blume. When it was time to renovate the kitchen in the Chevy Chase home the couple bought in 2008, they weren’t about to make the same mistake.

Their new kitchen, by designer Sarah Kahn Turner, features white cabinets and an island painted in Sherwin-Williams “web gray.” According to Turner, who designed the kitchen while working at Gilday Renovations in Silver Spring, “A different-colored island is the primary way to break up the white.”

The couple removed the upper cabinets and added two windows, which shower the space in natural light. To make up for the lost storage, they added a walk-in pantry.

“Now there is so much more cabinet space in this kitchen because of the way everything was designed,” Blume says.

A backsplash made from beveled-edge white subway tiles and gray grout gives the kitchen an industrial flair. The light fixtures, which have metal braces in an “X” shape and visible rivets, extend the industrial theme. And bar stools from Ethan Allen with the same “X-shape” design pull everything together.



WHEN DRS. ANU AND RAVI Dahiya bought their circa 1992 colonial in Bethesda’s Avenel neighborhood, the kitchen had issues. “It was a disaster,” Anu says. “There was a tiny door leading to the dining room, cherry cabinets, laminate countertops and pine floors.”

Photo by Morgan Howarth

To brighten and modernize the space, kitchen designer Shannon Kadwell and project architect Marian Vaias, both of whom work at Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John, created larger openings between the kitchen and dining room, then mixed and matched several finishes in the kitchen. They chose two types of marble countertops with different edge treatments, as well as painted maple cabinets. “We wanted something with a little bit of cream to it because we thought that would bring a little richness,” Anu says about the shade of white they chose for the cabinets.

The range hood is hidden behind cabinetry, and the beams that run across the ceiling have the same molding as the cabinets. Made with onyx stone, the inset “window” on the backsplash creates a focal point and hides extra storage. “Your eyes stop and spend a little time on that detail,” Kadwell says. The floors and island are made of Brazilian cherry, which creates a beautiful contrast to all the white.

Photo by Morgan Howarth

Anthony Wilder says the kitchen is a great example of the adaptability of white. “We could have done anything in the kitchen,” he says. “Instead of having the white beams, we could have gone with barn wood for a slightly tattered, worn look.”

Anu is glad they didn’t. “We have not regretted or looked back,” she says. “It’s our favorite room in the house.”

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