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A traditional kitchen that meets the needs of family members, and reflects the period of the home, is a success on all fronts

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For a kitchen to be truly the heart of the home it must not only reflect the lifestyle of the family, but also complement the overall interior decor. In an older house, says Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, this means hiding contemporary functionality behind traditional materials and detailing.

"The homeowners wanted a family kitchen that felt warm and welcoming – almost a cottage kitchen," says Gilmer. "But this house has a certain formality. It's a typical large, older home with a big wrap-around front porch."

The owners asked for creamy white painted cabinets, so Gilmer chose soapstone countertops and sinks as a contrast. The durable surface is perfect for a working kitchen. Toile de Jouy blinds on the many windows repeat both colors, adding a touch of European panache to the space.

Two sinks and professional-grade appliances mean that the family can easily cater for a crowd – which is often the case, when extended family and friends gather around the expandable farmhouse-style table for informal meals.

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First published date: 01 October 2008

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Credit List

Countertops and primary sink Soapstone by R Bratti Associates
Prep sink and disposal unit Franke
Refrigeration Sub-Zero
Range and oven Wolf
Microwave KitchenAid
Dishwasher Miele
Designer Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath (Chevy Chase, MD)
Interior designer Helen Sullivan
Cabinets Maple, by Sterling Custom Cabinetry