Trout Design Studio

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LORENZ Residence,
Bethesda, MD


This modest but dramatic kitchen renovation was designed to invigorate the house with our full attention to a contemporary, timeless design and spatial orderliness, and to visually expand the kitchen into the adjacent exterior space, borrowing light, color, and beauty from the garden and foliage.

We gutted the space down to the original ceiling joists, wood sub-floor and exterior wall studs, adding insulation throughout and reinforcing the existing structural integrity of the house in this corner. We removed, relocated and enlarged a small window facing north into the rear garden to make this outdoor room part of the new indoor kitchen space. When you come down the stairs in the morning and enter the kitchen, this entry axis to the kitchen was developed with a full, light-filled view of the garden and side property trees thru the new kitchen space.

The pre-existing ceiling beams were removed, creating a high lofted ceiling and new low voltage halogen lighting was added throughout. The cabinet layouts and interiors were custom designed to fit the specific needs of the client, and most of the upper level wall cabinets were fitted with back-lit antique patterned glass to deceive the eye of the real surface plane of these cabinets. The design was masterfully executed by The Workshop of Charles Neil with a new finish developed specifically for this project with the client. The granite slabs for the counters were hand selected with the client, which are reflected beautifully in the backsplash mirrors, which visually expand the space far beyond the real wall plane, all set upon travertine floor tiles which tie the project back to the French countryside where the client finds spiritual respite. The door and stairs to the side entry and lower level were re-located and replaced with a glass French door to borrow light from this exterior entry for the pantry area and provide a well-lit, secure entry to the lower level of the house.

The new design creates a space for the client unlike any other in the house, full of natural light, natural color and dynamic discourse with the outdoors. We captured the adjacent outdoor spaces for her and made them part of the interior daily experience.