When Baltimore-based interior designer Elizabeth Lawson helped remodel this kitchen (along with architect Ed Hord) for a young family who moved into a century-old home in the Roland Park neighborhood, it was in need of a refresh. “The kitchen was extremely dated with old white appliances, laminate kitchen cabinets, and linoleum counters and flooring. It was also dark and narrow,” says Lawson.

To open up the galley and create a peninsula and bar, the team expanded the kitchen space into the adjacent dining room. Meanwhile, they discovered antique heart-of-pine floors underneath the linoleum, so they repaired and refinished them with a clear coat. Here’s what else they did to bring the space into the 21st century:

Photography by Jennifer Hughes

Photography by Jennifer Hughes

“The homeowners had wanted navy cabinets at first, but I didn’t want to pigeonhole them into a look. Navy leans more country or nautical. I had a deep gray paint in mind,” says Lawson of her decision to paint the lower cabinets in a charcoal hue that almost feels like deep indigo.

Photography by Jennifer Hughes Courtesy of The Modern Proper

Photography by Jennifer Hughes Photography by Rayan Turner

The upper cabinets were painted white to blend in with the new white walls and trim, while also keeping the space airy and bright. “We painted the custom cabinets a bright white, the same color as the wall paint and trim, because I really wanted the dark cabinetry to stand alone without anything to compete with,” Lawson says. For the wraparound countertops and backsplash, the team chose a lightly veined Carrara marble.

Photography by Jennifer Hughes

“My clients worried that brass was a trend,” says Lawson of the decision to go for gold hardware and light fixtures. “But I convinced them it would warm up the kitchen and look especially striking against the bright whites and deep grays. It’s not the shiny brass of the 1980s but instead has a soft, sophisticated finish.”

Photography by Jennifer Hughes

Photography by Jennifer Hughes Design by Emily Henderson, photography by Sara Ligorria Tramp

The updated kitchen also works well in the historic home. “I based selections not just on the overall space but on the home and neighborhood, as well,” she says. “I chose things that were timeless, with the right amount of warmth, like the brass and wood elements.”

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