See This Spectacular Kitchen Remodel by Kathryn Ivey Interiors

Photography by Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

When the couple who live in this Washington DC condo decided to retire early from a career that has taken them all over the world, they had two priorities. First, they wanted to channel their favorite places they had lived in over the years. More recently (and more fondly), they had spent the last decade in Bangkok, Thailand, and fallen in love. So even though they wanted to return to their homeland, they wanted to bring pieces of their home away from home in terms of decor, art, and atmospheric touches.

before photo of a condo
The kitchen area before renovation.

Courtesy of Kathryn Ivey Interiors

Second, they wanted to be near the airport. In fact, they bought the Arlington, Virginia apartment years before they retired, knowing they would ultimately want quick and easy access to domestic and international flights. While their sense of adventure was a big factor, they also have a niche hobby that brought them to the property adjacent to the airport: “One of the guests has a passion for airplanes!” their designer Kathryn Ivey told House Beautiful, “so being able to watch planes take off and land on the runway from their apartment was a big selling point.”

front condo kitchen
The living room before redecorating.

Courtesy of Kathryn Ivey Interiors

But because the building was built in 1981, the ’80s architectural and interior style needed a little updating by the time they were ready to move in full time. So, after deciding to make this condo their final forever home, the couple enlisted Ivey. The first and heaviest order of the day was to redo the common area, including the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. Ultimately, they revamped the main level living space “to allow for a more open floor plan flow with updated finishes and appliances,” says Ivey.

The couple were also very fond of the design of the luxury hotels they visited across Asia while living abroad and requested that the new decor reflect a similar aesthetic, understated yet vibrant, comforting yet elevated. . With that in mind, Ivey “found and designed furniture with clean lines and used tightly woven textiles with touches of jewels,” and incorporated decorative light fixtures that were both modern and traditional, she adds. Keep reading to see how they transformed the living space into a comfortable, happy and pretty place to live.

The kitchen and bar areas


Reconfiguring the kitchen layout was a must. “We revamped the kitchen by removing a bar and a smaller island and replacing them with a larger cooking island with a custom table attached to create a small dining area,” says Ivey. Storage was another priority and played a part in the redesign of the layout. Because they also wanted to make the kitchen less visually intrusive since it’s visible from other areas in addition to being relatively small, Ivey ditched the upper cabinets “instead of a small ledge the customer could use to view more of his coins collected from their travels, potted herbs for cooking, etc.” But despite a minimal footprint, the kitchen really contains everything. “The island houses a microwave and more storage, making it a centerpiece of the kitchen,” Ivey shares.

Ivey’s customers also wanted to have a dining area separate from the formal dining area, so “we took the idea of ​​a ‘chef’s table’ and added a custom pedestal table at the end of the island. which was constructed of quarter-sawn oak,” Ivey said. This bonus dining “room” is ideal for more intimate, everyday meals. When it comes to lighting, Ivey opted for a long, narrow pendant to provide task lighting when cooking, but also ambient light when dining.

Sink: Kholer; Faucet: Newport brass; Cabinets: Benjamin Moore Blue Note 2129-30; Artwork: customer’s own.

Photography by Robert Radifera for Stylish Productions

Art played another important role. The couple collected Thai silk textiles while living abroad, and they wanted to incorporate them from the start. So Ivey used the beautiful fabrics as a starting point for the color palette, which incorporates jewel tones mixed with more muted elements and nature-inspired materials. They even had the textiles framed and hung like works of art, connecting the different areas and sections of the main living spaces. They are on a wall that was once covered in mirrored surfaces and shelves (which looked a bit busy, opposite of the intention). Their works of art nod to colorful wardrobes.

Dining and living areas

Because they occasionally entertain friends and family, Ivey chose a table that seats up to six people. The dining table floats in the middle of the open floor plan to function as a transitional space, but it provides the base for a pendant light and fun, colorful dining chairs. It also leads to the formal but comfortable living area.

The console table helps bridge the gap between the dining room and the den, where the main goal was to make it relaxing. Ivey opted for a section that could work for a lot of people to promote good conversation just as much as it could encourage solo suspensions with a good book. She also used a mix of soft textiles paired with organic elements like the rattan floor lamp, petrified wood side table, and custom nubby rug. “We kept all the furniture low profile so the eye can travel from area to area, creating a harmonious and holistic design on the first floor,” Ivey tells us. The end product is a very zen environment to rest and reunite with loved ones.


As for major additions, they also added a literal element of warmth with a gas fireplace. It’s “surrounded by a beautiful custom built-in shelf that displays several pieces from their art collection that they acquired during their years abroad,” notes Ivey. They also add to that warm, family atmosphere and are great conversation starters.

The moment Ivey is most proud of? “I love how the new flow on the main level better suits their lifestyle and the ability to incorporate fun pops of color, like the garnet dining chairs, creates a bright and cheerful space” , she beams.

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