A Light, Bright and Blue Kitchen Makeover

After years of dealing with rental kitchens, this couple in Chevy Chase, Maryland, got to cook up their own. HGTV Magazine gives you the scoop.

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March 19, 2021

Photo by: Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

That new kitchen feeling is even sweeter when you’ve designed your dream one after living in a series of duds. For years, Katherine and Owen Denby rented apartments with cooking spaces that fell short — either too bland, too small or both. “We never had real storage,” says Katherine. “We’ve had to keep pots on top of cabinets.” When the pair bought a house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, they scored 285 square feet of kitchen — plenty to work with, but there was not a speck of color, and the cabinets were 40-plus years old. They were eager to get started. Teaming up with designer Kiera Kushlan, they had the floors refinished and put in new cabinets, shelves and an island painted a this-is-us blue. White tile on the walls with contrasting black countertops (they’re soapstone) and a trio of pendants created fresh style. At last, says Katherine, “we have a place where we actually want to hang out and enjoy a glass of wine while making dinner. That never happened in our old kitchens!”

The Reno

Photo by: Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

Open Shelves

From the start, Katherine had them in mind to give the kitchen an airy look. Custom shelves, stained the same tone as the floor, are especially cool wrapped around a corner. Brass brackets by Rejuvenation match the cabinet knobs and pulls.


The couple’s rentals had meh lighting they weren’t allowed to change. “We were thrilled to put in pendants that make a statement,” says Katherine. Industrial ones from Circa Lighting have an aged iron finish that plays off the range and soapstone counters.


At 2 inches by 8-1/2 inches, white ceramic tiles by Sonoma Tilemakers are thinner and wider than subway tiles for a not-so-standard effect. A huge expanse of them makes the space seem even larger.


Talk about a fantasy island! Painted Harlequin Blue by Benjamin Moore, it’s the centerpiece of the room. Like the shelves, the black walnut top was stained to match the floors. Leather and wood barstools from Serena & Lily bring in more warm tones.

Window Seat



Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

Photo By: Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

The ultimate personal touch: a built-in bench with storage underneath, upholstered in ticking-stripe fabric by Perennials. “It’s a great spot for snuggling with Grayson,” says Katherine. Sconces by Schoolhouse Electric make it even more inviting.

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