Tour a Rustic Kitchen With an Earthy Color Palette
A down-to-earth kitchen in McLean, VA, draws inspiration from the woods outside.
Nature buffs Emily Johnson and Rahul Jampala were thrilled to find a home in a woodsy setting — but they were not so thrilled when they saw that their McLean, Virginia, place had a tiny 165-square-foot kitchen. He likes experimenting with savory dishes, she likes baking her great-grandma’s Swedish treats, and they wanted to be able to spread out. Partnering with designer Tanya Smith-Shiflett, they doubled the room’s size by expanding into a little-used dining room. They installed new cabinets and an island with plenty of storage, and chose design elements that reflect their surroundings. “The rustic look makes our kitchen ultra-usable,” says Emily. “We can beat it up a bit without hurting anything!”
At 8 feet long, it has room for a stand mixer, cutting boards and stools (from West Elm) for guests. Now the couple can prep and sauté side by side. Loki and Finnegan, the couple’s Löwchen — aka little lion dogs — are eager taste testers. “Last Thanksgiving,” says Rahul, “we hosted 25 people and made everything from scratch.”
The couple preferred quartz for its durability (it’s not porous, so stains won’t sink in). They chose a variety with gold flakes that play off the tone of the cabinets, then used it for the front of the apron sink, too.
Tanya’s company, Unique Kitchens & Baths, built them, using limed white oak on top and a forest green on the bottom. A roll-out pantry shelf holds a microwave and baking supplies, and drawers in the island store cookware and spices.
Matte black cage pendants by McGee & Co. with tapered candle bulbs fit with the contemporary pastoral design. On either side of the range hood, sconces in aged brass by Hudson Valley Lighting add a touch of antique glam.
A Tulip table and Wishbone chairs — both vintage — and a built-in bench make for a cozy spot to enjoy the couple's home cooking.
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