This D.C. kitchen proves that a well-organized small space is much more efficient than a poorly designed large one. Located in a 1,670-square-foot row house, the new kitchen was reduced by one-third, but better circulation, abundant light, and architectural details help the space live large.

“Our goal was to create a relationship to an existing screen porch and to add light,” says architect William L. Feeney. In addition, the clients wanted to keep the existing powder room, add a new laundry room, and create better access to the dining area.

After gutting the space, Feeney reorganized the cave-like volume into a galley kitchen with dishwasher, sink, and fridge on one side and the range on the other. The party wall features overhead birch cabinets. “We used birch instead of maple to save money and used a stain to add texture,” he says. On the opposite wall, closed cabinetry was sacrificed in favor of open shelving, which allows natural light to stream through a large fixed glass window. A small but efficient laundry niche just off the kitchen is separated from the main galley by a wall partition. The partition further facilitates light penetration with a small cut-out window inlaid with a decorative resin panel.

The kitchen is further articulated with stainless steel countertops and backsplash to foster the interplay of light, cork flooring for comfort, and a glass and steel range hood for style. The architect even designed a curving ceiling pad and corridor that divides the laundry and powder rooms and provides a visual entrance into the kitchen.

Despite its smaller footprint, the new kitchen offers twice as much surface work area as the previous space, three times as much storage, and easy access to the porch. Great things do indeed come in small packages.

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Entrant/Architect: William L. Feeney, Washington; Builder: Premier Quality Construction, Alexandria, Va.

RESIN D'ETRE Nothing adds drama or visual interest better than a well-placed architectural element. In the Kwan-Chiliade kitchen, architect William L. Feeney achieved this with three-form resin panels. Because the material can be pricey, Feeney used it in limited applications on the wall separating the laundry room from the kitchen and on the wall to the powder room. “We wanted something to catch the eye,” he says. This solution “creates a really neat feature.”