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Kitchen of the Week: White, Brass and Blue in a G-Shaped Layout

Houzz Contributor. Home design writer and lifestyle reporter with a love for stylish spaces, smart lighting and a good decaf dry cappuccino.

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A kitchen island is a popular design feature these days. But it’s not always the best approach for an efficient layout. A tiny island in this Arlington, Virginia, couple’s kitchen was more burden than blessing. It took up floor space, broke up the work triangle and didn’t offer room for seating. So designer Asha Maxey helped persuade the homeowners to ditch the island and establish a G-shaped layout with a peninsula, giving the owners countertop seating, storage and breezier pathways. “Many people think peninsulas are outdated or islands are the only way to go, but the peninsula makes this space more functional,” Maxey says.

She also freshened up the style with white Shaker-style cabinets, a white backsplash, brass accents and light blue walls to create a casual coastal look.

“After” photos courtesy of Asha Maía Design

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A professional couple with two young sons
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 285 square feet (26 square meters)
Designer: Asha Maxey of Asha Maía Design

Before: In the former kitchen, the small island provided limited countertop surface and storage — just one cabinet and two drawers — and was more of a hindrance than a help. The couple felt like the style needed to go as well. Light oak cabinets, dark granite countertops, blue-green walls, a busy multicolored backsplash and basic beige tile flooring didn’t fit with the bright, family-friendly style they wanted.

A busted pipe in the winter caused major damage to the kitchen and sped up the homeowners’ plans for renovating the space.

After: Maxey had the space knocked back to the studs and addressed the water damage. She kept the location of the main components mostly the same but moved the microwave and oven elements to the left of the fridge and replaced the former slide-in range with a cooktop and stainless steel vent hood.

After ditching the island, Maxey created an updated G-shaped layout with a peninsula that seats three. She took the white Shaker-style cabinets to the ceiling to maximize storage and make the kitchen appear taller.

A new stainless steel French door refrigerator coordinates with the vent hood and other new appliances. The steel joins brass pendant lights, a champagne bronze faucet and polished nickel cabinet pulls for a mixed-metals look.

Peninsula lights: Duncan one-light pendant with rod in aged brass, Golden Lighting

The peninsula pendants have a nautical-style design that pairs with the light blue walls, blue-gray stools and crisp white cabinetry for breezy coastal style.

The end of the peninsula includes paneled detailing that coordinates with the cabinets. “Instead of doing a waterfall-edge countertop detail, this was an attractive way to close it off,” Maxey says.

Dark engineered hickory flooring provides a rich, grounding counterpoint to the mostly white palette. “They wanted to go with something durable and not worry about the nuisances of pure hardwood,” Maxey says.

Flooring: Homestead Retreat Hickory TecWood in Stampede Hickory, Mohawk Flooring; wall paint: Rain, Sherwin-Williams

The backsplash is white ceramic 4-by-12-inch tiles with a glossy finish and a subtle wavy texture. “I feel like subway tiles are classic and timeless, but we wanted to modernize it by going with something that’s elongated and has texture,” Maxey says.

Upper cabinets flanking the hood feature frosted glass doors. “We just wanted to break up the white and offer a place to do a bit of display,” Maxey says.

The countertops feature fractured veining in a range of grays, browns and beiges on a white background.

Large-scale polished nickel pulls add an elegant detail to the cabinets and drawers. “I felt the larger pulls add a modern touch,” Maxey says. “I wanted to do a mix of classic and modern in this space. I feel like they elevate the kitchen.”

A 33-inch double-bowl fireclay apron-front sink offers a classic farmhouse element. A pull-down one-handle deck-mount faucet has a champagne bronze finish. A brass pendant light hangs overhead. And a stainless steel dishwasher sits to the right of the sink. “I always mix metals in almost all my projects because it gives a timeless look,” Maxey says. “By adding brass tones, it warms the space.”

With the new G-shaped layout, the homeowners can move freely and efficiently between the sink, cooktop, peninsula countertop, fridge and wall appliances. “I think this project offers a way you can create a functional kitchen without an island,” Maxey says. “A peninsula is a great alternative that allows a place for people to gather if you don’t have the space for an island.”

This content was originally published here.

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