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Serving the Washington DC Metro since 1981


Timeless vs. Trendy Kitchen Designs

Kitchen trends are important.  More often than not, trends are a reflection of innovation, and no trend comes to rise without reason.  Trends reflect the newest and best the market has to offer, and many of the current trends we see aim to streamline the functionality of the space (think clean lines and pointed visual interest). Yet trends can be just that; Trends. Praised one day, and detested the next. While all of us want a space that is on the cutting edge, we strive to avoid building a kitchen that proclaims its design year. The following are some of the ways we achieve that.

The most cost efficient and practical way to maintain a kitchen’s timelessness while also staying on trend lies in the accessories. A timeless run of cabinetry can remain current by swapping out hardware, depending on what is on trend. Lighting is another relatively low cost change a homeowner can make to keep abreast of the latest style. A standard faucet hole without additional openings for sprayers and soap pumps in the counter top will allow for an easy change in plumbing fixture down the road. Maintaining standard openings for appliances will afford you the luxury of updating when appropriate without needing to reconfigure the entire kitchen.  We encourage homeowners to put their design fingerprint on the spaces they love and spend the majority of their time in, but we encourage them to let their flair show in the lower cost pieces. This benefits the homeowner in both resale and in long term style evolution.1V9B6572The “big ticket” items so be mindful of when remodeling your kitchen are flooring, cabinetry, and counter tops. Large profile square tiles (think 16”x 16” and above) are a great option, though the beautiful painted tiles we are seeing on trend  should be avoided if longevity is the intention. Another timeless option is hardwood. Hardwood will withstand the test of time, from both a wear and a design perspective. An alternative to natural hardwood is a wood-look tile, as pictured in the Kingston kitchen below.Springfield VA - Kitchen Remodeling - Deck Remodeling - Bathroom Remodeling - Interior Exterior Remodeling - K (3)On the topic of cabinetry, the timeless styles are generally Shaker or Inset. Kingston used Shaker cabinetry to give the kitchen below a classic, crisp, and gorgeous look. While this project was completed a few years ago, the look is still fresh, clean, and trending!Washington DC - Mt. Pleasant - Whole House Remodel - Bathroom Remodel - Kitchen Remodel - M  (49)Counter tops should be utilized to help provide a canvas for your statement pieces (such as pendant lighting and back splash tile) and should generally not be used as the star of the show, due to the cost of replacing them should their style become obsolete. Some great neutral tones to consider are whites, greys, and very light earth tones, as pictured below.Washington DC - Mt. Pleasant - Whole House Remodel - Bathroom Remodel - Kitchen Remodel - M  (51)Once you and your designer have collaborated on the base design for your space, have fun with the accent pieces! Your muted cabinetry and counter tops will allow for a back splash that draws the eye, or pendant lighting that causes your guests to look up and take notice.  Most importantly, create a space that you will enjoy walking into tomorrow, as well as fifteen years from now.Washington DC - Basement Apartment Remodeling - Kitchen Remodeling - Bathroom Remodeling - Interior Remodeling - F (17)Looking  for more information? Contact us at info@kingstonbuilders.com to chat with our design team or schedule a FREE in-home consultation.

Happy Designing!

-Emily Robinson

Kingston Design Team

Success Story: Dream Kitchen Makeover for Fairfax Station Homeowners


Schmitt kitcvhen


It all started with their teenage daughter forgetting that she was heating cooking oil for french-fries.  Luckily the smoke detectors got her out of the house safely but the cramped, outdated galley kitchen didn’t fare as well.  These Fairfax Station homeowners saw the opportunity for finally getting their dream kitchen and turned to Kingston for design and construction.



Their dream list included expanded counter space, replacing formica with granite,  a kitchen island,  smoother traffic flow,  more lighting, a wine cellar, greater cabinet storage space, a larger window to the private back yard and room for a steam convection oven.

The solutions were not immediately obvious until the Kingston design team suggested removing an inconvenient stairwell in the back of the kitchen. This significantly expanded the existing footprint making room for a new nine foot island.   They also lengthened the floor area by moving the door to the garage into the laundry room.

The 87 square feet of 3 centimeter “Crema Bordeux”  granite was handpicked by the homeowners and amply met their need for more counter space.  The expanded footprint also comfortably accommodated their new Wolf convection steam oven and Marvel wine cellar.

The Yorktowne maple cabinetry with numerous pull-out trays wonderfully complemented the 18 x 18 Pueblo field tile and light walnut tumbled travertine backsplashes.

Kingston incorporated five lighting solutions:  an expanded picture window over the sink, ProLED HP Series 3 watt flexible LED 12V under cabinet cool white strip lighting,  two rows of dimmalble CR6 EcoSmart 6 in. 9.5 Watt CREE LED recessed lights, two dimmable pendant lights over the island and two Halogen task lights in the 600CFM Broan Range Hood.

The homeowners were ecstatic with the design and construction of their new kitchen and more than once liked to comment that it is so true that “behind every cloud there is a silver lining” but in their case the silver was granite and travertine.


Schmitt kitchen window


From start to finish the Kingston team was spectacular in every way.  They really understood what we were trying to do and not only really exceeded our expectations but were such a pleasure to deal with.”




How to Incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year into your Home’s Decor

PantonePantone recently announced the color of the year 2017, and it is (drumroll please) Greenery!  An energetic color symbolizing vitality, Greenery can be used to invigorate the rooms of your home you feel have gotten dull with time and use.  In our modern and technologically-heavy society, we have an innate yearning for natural, timeless, and calming elements. Incorporating this color into your home’s decor can provide a space that encourages peace, energy, renewal, and the affirmation of life. The color greenery calls to mind the lusciousness of new spring foliage, the crispness of fresh buds, and the unity of oneself with the natural order of the world. As we close in on the arrival of Spring, Greenery is the color we anticipate in the periphery of our worlds, however, being the color of the year, we can now see it take center stage. In the words of Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “ Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment.  Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize,  Greenery symbolizes the reconnection with nature, one another, and a larger purpose.”

Some creative ways to incorporate Greenery into your own space are by tying green into a muted field, for example, a white room could benefit from the pop of a Greenery accent wall, and a muted kitchen could be invigorated by a Greenery backsplash. We are seeing an influx in the incorporation of greenery in the bathroom, with Biltmore Marble tiles accenting Carrara and Green Glass being used as a wet wall accent. If you’re feeling less courageous, a pair of green arm chairs in the Living Room could convey the message, “Rest, Relax, and Recharge here.”

The color Greenery is an exciting deviation from last year’s more blissful Rose Quartz and Serenity, and we at Kingston are excited to see this color at play in your homes! Please tag us on Instagram @KingstonDesignRemodeling and show off your flair for Interior Décor. May the year (and the color) provide you with peace, energy, and invigoration. Thank you for reading!

– Emily Robinson,  The  Kingston Design Team



Clients often ask which home remodeling projects will not only add value to their lives, but which will also add the most value to their homes.  Every year Remodeling Magazine posts an annual Cost vs. Value Report comparing construction costs with resale value for 30 of the most popular home improvement projects in 100 U.S. markets.  The report also provides cost estimates, expected resale value and percentage of value to cost.  This is a great place to start if you want to see what the average remodeling projects cost in your region.

The best “bang for your buck” in the Washington DC Metro in 2016?  Manufactured stone veneer and garage door replacement recoup over 100% of job costs, while a minor kitchen remodel will recoup 96.4%.

Check out the report for yourself!  Download the report at www.costvsvalue.com or click the Cost vs. Value icon above and see how you can add value to your home.


Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2016..!

The new year is almost here. New Year’s Eve brings with it many traditions. There are parties for some of us that evening, and perhaps long lazy brunches on New Year’s Day. Many of us use the turning of the calendar page to start healthy new habits or form a New Year’s resolution to change bad ones. Another new thing that has arrived each year since 1999 into 2000: the Pantone Color Institute declares a “Color of the Year“. 2016 is a surprise, as this year, there are two complementary shades that have received that designation.

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Happy Hanukkah, from Kingston..!

bigstock-Hanukkah-Menorah-Hanukkah-Ca-4183562Christmas, a holiday in December celebrated by most Americans, isn’t the only wintertime celebration in town – even if the red and green surrounding us can make it feel that way. America being a land of many peoples and faiths, there’s also Yule / Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and of course, Hanukkah.

This beautiful holiday is here once more, and Kingston Design Remodeling wants to wish you warmth and happiness.

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Build a better kitchen for Thanksgiving 2016..!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and so have the last of the relatives. After dropping them off at the train or airport, or simply waving goodbye to guests last Thursday, there’s thoughts that many of us share. “How do I stay awake after eating so much..?”  “I wonder who’s gonna win the game (usually football)?”  “How do I fit all these leftovers in the fridge..? Maybe I need a bigger refrigerator..” And just like that, some of us are already thinking about how to do Thanksgiving differently, or better, next time.Alexandria VA - Historical Restoration - Interior Exterior Remodeling - Kitchen Remodeling - Bathroom Remodeling - COTY Award Winner - L (32)

Some of us want longer tables; some of us want comfier chairs for our guests or a refurbished powder room. There’s lots of ways to make  your house more inviting and not all of them cost a fortune. Most people who are serious about cooking, though, tend to think of one room above all others: the kitchen.

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Top Five Home Improvements for Winter

(Hi, Kingston readers! We had some time away from our keyboards in an end-of-summer and fall whirlwind of new clients, home shows and association meetings. Now that the dust is settling, we’ll be back to more regular updates, so we can share news from Kingston and lots of great ideas for your home. Thanks! – Team Kingston)

Top 5 Home Improvement Ideas for Winter –

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