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HISTORICAL KITCHEN REMODEL, FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA

Our client lives in the Historic District of Old Town Alexandria, Va. Her charming 1890s home was ready for a new kitchen, but she wanted us to preserve the character of the period. Behind the crooked plaster walls, we found hat pin needles and postage stamps dating back to the McKinley Administration … Without enlarging the existing footprint (approximately 10 by 12 feet), our goal was to increase the usable workspace. With a kitchen this tiny, the old cast iron radiator had to go. It was the heat source for the kitchen and the bedroom above, so we replaced it with a toekick heater. We furred out the crooked plaster walls to accommodate the new, turn-of-the-century-style quartersawn oak cabinets, custom-made at the Kennebec Company in Bath, Maine. The old wavy glass in the original cabinet doors was in great condition, we carefully removed, packaged and shipped it to Maine to be installed in the new doors. Several hours away in Charlottesville, Va., we visited a quarry and selected a soapstone slab for the countertops and backsplash. We reinstalled the sink faucet into the full-height backsplash over the new country farm sink. (The client sold the original sink.) We installed the new 30-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer with an overlay panel. We reset the freestanding Elmira gas range and the Miele Slimline dishwasher. Three Jackson Park pendant lights, in burnished antique with opal schoolhouse shades, were installed along with under-cabinet lights, interior wall cabinet lighting and over-cabinet lights. We protected the existing heart pine floor during the remodel, then blended in the remodeled areas. Overall, our designer and cabinet company were able to provide solutions and products for this kitchen renovation to create a more inviting kitchen while keeping it to the period.