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Family kitchen in new extension to traditional home by architect Doug Roberts

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Transitional kitchen with double-height beamed ceiling, glass display cabinets and expansive island

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Often architectural detailing in an extension faithfully follows that seen in the original home. However, a more comprehensive approach is to revisit the old as well as tweaking the new.

This serene, airy family kitchen forms part of an addition to a large traditional home. Architect Doug Roberts designed the extension, which includes the kitchen, walk-in pantry and an adjoining breakfast room and separate family room. The two-story addition includes upstairs bedrooms, but the upper level gives way to a beamed cathedral ceiling with dormer windows over the kitchen, says Roberts.

"The double-height void gives drama to the space and everything – the island, backsplash and ventilation – lines up on an axis that leads the eye up to the dormer window. There is another dormer directly opposite. Concealed lighting highlights this feature at night."

The beamwork has a transitional feel, as do the cabinetry and architectural detailing.

"Bringing together the old and new was an important part of the project. To this end, floors throughout the house were relaid to ensure a perfect match with the new wood floor in the extension. Similarly, all detailing in the original house, from the coves to the baseboards, has also been reworked in a more transitional style."


In terms of functionality, the kitchen is designed for family life and entertaining. The island offers a wealth of storage and has plenty of space around it to allow two people to work in the kitchen at the same time. A walk-in pantry behind the kitchen limits front-of-house clutter and this factor together with touches such as integrated refrigeration contributes to an uncluttered look – a suitable backdrop when viewed from the breakfast area or family room.

A beverage center beside the breakfast area is complete with a bar fridge, wine cooler and glass display cabinets that connect with similar elements in the kitchen.

First published date: 12 January 2015

Credit List

Architect Doug Roberts, GTM Architects (Bethesda, MD)