Landis Construction’s Before and After Kitchen

I love seeing transformations that just stop you in your tracks. And it’s not like the space has to be big or grand, either, as we see in this 30’s-era apartment redo in DC that Landis Architects and Builders just completed for a client. The most dramatic before-and-after was in the kitchen/dining area.

Here’s the original layout:


And the “after”:

All "after" photography by Michael K. Wilkinson

All “after” photography by Michael K. Wilkinson

As you can see, the designers at Landis opened up the entry between the rooms to make it one cohesive space, linked by a great new bar area that flows into the kitchen.

It wasn't possible to align the sink under the window, so the designer set it an an attractive 45-degree angle.

It wasn’t possible to align the sink under the window, so the designer set it at a 45-degree angle.

Here’s the same window, in its previous incarnation:


As with most early-20th century kitchens, it was previously closed off on all sides—so hidden that it had its own entrance out into the main hallway.


Because there’s no need for servants’ entrances anymore, Landis covered it over, which gave the designers more space to install storage and appliances.


The cherry cabinets are done in a natural finish. The owner opted for a small, 18-inch dishwasher and counter-depth, 24-inch fridge, but the oven and microwave at the rear are standard sizes.

Because the apartment has concrete ceilings, they had to come down to install recessed and hanging light fixtures. The original height was over 9 feet, however, so dropping the ceiling by 10 inches still makes it come in at over 8 feet, so the space doesn’t feel cramped.

Another jarring separation between the kitchen and dining room (besides the walls) was the flooring—eye catching in a most unpleasant way.


The kitchen’s new 2-1/4 inch white-oak floor boards were stained and finished along with the existing floors in the apartment for a seamless look.



The countertop on the left, with its wine-glass holders above, is perfectly placed to serve as a bar or buffet for guests.

As the apartment building nears its 100th anniversary, I would say this renovation places at least one of its units firmly—and beautifully—in the new century.


  1. Thanks to Landis Construction I am now comfortably ensconced in this beautiful new space! I’m only sorry you didn’t get to see the bathroom transformations! BTW, Jordan, the color choices were all mine — I was going for calm and serene. My motto for my new home is: “If it isn’t beautiful or doesn’t make me happy, it doesn’t have a place here”.

  2. Absolutely lovely – the transformation is amazing! The colors in the new space definitely look much more like a home – very inviting.