Floating island in minimalist white kitchen with concealed appliances, open shelving

Contemporary white kitchen by Boffi Georgetown and architect Francesca Franchi with long island, stainless steel countertop and integral sink

The tall bank of cabinets is exactly the ceiling, home, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray
The tall bank of cabinets is exactly the same height as the existing soffit. Blue and green glassware is displayed on open shelves that were also part of the original Boffi kitchen.

Modern architecture is all about creating a seamless flow, and that was precisely what was missing in the former kitchen in this 1950s home.

The owner of the house, architect Francesca Franchi of FCFranchi Architects, says the space was broken by a peninsula jutting out at right angles to the perimeter cabinets.

"The kitchen, built in the '50s and renovated in the '70s, was uncomfortable to work in. The circulation was interrupted and it had a poor relationship with the outdoors. We could see the continuity of the space could be greatly improved."

Franchi found the perfect solution by chance, in the kitchen showroom at Boffi Georgetown. An existing kitchen, built expressly for the showroom, caught her eye.

Its sleek, simple and all white this new countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray, white
Its sleek, simple and all white this new kitchen enhances the contemporary remodel of a 1950s house co-owned by architect Francesca Franchi of Franchi Architects. The kitchen was originally part of a showroom kitchen at Boffi Georgetown.

"It had an extra-long island and tall modular cabinets with sliding doors that hid everything, even the large appliances," she says. "It fitted with my desire for a very clean, white, minimalist space and it was no longer needed for the showroom."

Serendipity also played a role when it came time to install the kitchen.

"There was a low soffit right around the kitchen. We removed this on the side where the tall cabinets were to go and found the modules perfectly matched the height of the adjoining soffit."

A second bank of cabinets tucked into a space at one end of the kitchen again, as though they had always been there. However, the long island was adapted to fit the space, says Julia Walter of Boffi Georgetown.

Appliances are concealed in this minimalist galley kitchen interior design, kitchen, real estate, gray
Appliances are concealed in this minimalist galley kitchen by Boffi Georgetown and architect Francesca Franchi.

"The island was so long we were able to cut it in two and us part of it for cabinetry and a cantilevered table in the family room on the lower level."

Positioning the main island on the long axis of the kitchen ensures there is a clear passage to the outdoors. And it creates a highly functional galley kitchen that is easy to work in.

Walter says the streamlined look of the lacquered cabinetry is also appropriate. With its high, deeply recessed stainless steel toekicks, the island appears to float, reinforcing the minimalist aesthetics.

"But the key difference in this kitchen is the way everything is hidden. The cabinets conceal the ovens, refrigerator, washing machine and even a counter area with small appliances. The moment you close the doors, the kitchen is clean."

Credit list

Francesca C Franchi AIA, FCFranchi Architects (Washington, DC)
Cabinet company
Boffi Spa
Blum drawers
Stainless steel by Boffi; Graphite Grey oak wood veneer
Oven and cooktop
Kitchen designer
Julia Walter, Boffi Georgetown LLC
Tall units in polyester; base units in matt lacquer
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Story by: Colleen Hawkes

25 Sep, 2015

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