Modern Kitchen Renovation with Mid-Century Roots
By Jennifer Sergent / Published by Dwell

Architects often prod their clients to take chances, but there are some lines that few are willing to cross, like candy-colored kitchen cabinets playing off walls made from particleboard.

The original kitchen in the 1950 home was cramped and dingy, forcing architect Janet Bloomberg to reimagine the space and open it up to the rest of the living area.

But architect Janet Bloomberg, of the Washington, DC, firm Kube Architecture, became her own willing guinea pig when she and her husband, Sean, purchased a Charles Goodman–designed home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Bloomberg gutted the interiors to make way for her vision of industrial Pop art.

A dark concrete counter and blue laminate cabinets surround the Jenn-Air microwave drawer in architect Janet Bloomberg’s kitchen. The pendant hanging above the table is a Tejido Round Suspension from Artemide. Photo by: Greg Powers

“The big, important things to me are materials and color,” she says. “I wanted to make a happy kitchen.”

The eye-popping laminated cabinets are from Abet Laminati in Bloomberg's favorite colors. The gray walls are made from Viroc, a substance typically used to underlay other building materials. Photo by: Greg Powers

Departing from all the “wood kitchens” she designs for clients, Bloomberg had her cabinetmaker craft laminate cabinets from Abet Laminati in shades of pale green and turquoise—her favorite hues. “In the shop, they were calling these the Crayola cabinets,” Bloomberg says. But, framed within black-tinted concrete counters and gray and black walls made from Viroc, a cement-and-wood particleboard that usually serves as an underlay for other building materials, the look became modern and chic.

A new dining table, made from a leftover acrylic slab by 3form, sits on just the other side of the kitchen workstation. Photo by: Greg Powers

Add a built-in table made from an orange 3form acrylic slab, left over from another job, and the picture is complete: “We have made it a fun place for our family—a very welcoming place.”

Here's another before look at the kitchen and dining space. What's most amazing is that Bloomberg didn't move any rooms or alter the footprint of the house during her renovation. She merely modernized the existing layout and refreshed the furniture and fixtures.

Today, Bloomberg's living room flows naturally into the kitchen. The living room's floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer loads of natural light to a previously tucked-away kitchen. The yellow wall and a few classic pieces of furniture from the modernist canon complete the renovation. Photo by: Greg Powers


Jennifer Sergent


Jennifer Sergent is a design writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C.

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