In the Design Studio: Evolving Your Space

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This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and check out her work on Houzz; Pinterest; Facebook; and Twitter.

The Fairlington community in Arlington was built in 1940s, and the small kitchens in these models reflect what was popular at the time. As you can see from the before pictures, this kitchen had a small footprint and was closed off to the rest of the house; pretty much the exact opposite of what we are looking for in our kitchens today!

With this remodel, we focused on giving the client, who is a budding chef, the space she needs within a design she loves.

With many small townhouses in Reston, we can use some of the lessons here.


Fairlington kitchenThe footprint of your kitchen doesn’t have to change dramatically for your space to expand.

In this kitchen, by removing a wall we were able to push the boundaries of the kitchen out in two directions, creating a larger footprint.

Additionally, we replaced the 30″ cabinets with 42″ high ones that go all the way to the ceiling, maximizing her storage capacity in every direction.


Removing those walls not only gave us a larger footprint but also provided us the opportunity to create a large island work space to better fit the homeowner’s lifestyle.

Farilington Kitchen 2The large island, which provides plenty of prep space, connects the kitchen to the rest of the house. Now, rather than being a claustrophobic space, this U-shaped kitchen feels spacious and inviting — a place you can relax in, whether hosting a party or enjoying your morning coffee.


Storage is paramount in a chef’s kitchen and we focused here on ensuring the storage was adequate and accessible. Each and every cabinet was chosen according to what would be stored within. The unused coat closet was replaced with a functional pantry.  Along with the ample storage added into the island, there’s a rollout tray for easy access to store food. Even the trash receptacle is built-in.


The materials used in the kitchen are modern and clean, which contributes to the open, airy feeling. The same hardwood floors extend from the kitchen Fairlington kitchen materialsinto the adjoining rooms, creating continuity and flow. Both glass front cabinets and open shelving were chosen to further enhance the openness and make the space feel larger.White shaker cabinets were topped with a light quartz stone for a durable and easy-to-clean work space.

Design Aesthetic

Choosing a mostly-white palette for this kitchen is the final way we ensured the room would feel spacious. For added interest, dimension, and texture (without too much contrast), the light blue backsplash was laid in a herringbone pattern. Finally, the homeowner chose two luxury pendants Fairlintgon kitchenthat bring some bling to the space; they add dimension while mirroring the straight lines of the rest of the kitchen. And they catch the light beautifully!

Since the owner of this kitchen is a budding chef who cooks gourmet meals and entertains regularly, this remodel was about more than just “meeting her needs.”

The remodeled kitchen now seamlessly integrates with the rest of her home and matches her lifestyle as well. We enlarged the footprint and combined functional components with timeless, beautiful materials, thereby giving her a kitchen that will stand the test of time.

Got a design question? Email us at [email protected] or tweet @designqueenie and we’ll post it on our next blog.

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