A Kitchen Remodel in Maryland for a Growing Family Unit

An open-concept, two-tone kitchen remodel in Rockville creates more space for multigenerational participation

Picture of a happy family

Written in partnership with Sweeten homeowner Brandi. “After” photos by Nova Soul Imagery for Sweeten.

A new chapter for a family home

Brandi and her husband, Chris, inherited her mother-in-law’s 1950s house. Though bittersweet, they were happy to keep it in the family. Chris grew up in the Rockville, Maryland house, so it held special meaning for him. Plus, the family was about to expand. Brandi was pregnant with her second, and her grandmother, Bernice, planned on moving in.

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Blue and white kitchen with fishbone backsplash overlooking the dining area after renovation

As a first-time homeowner, Brandi wanted to renovate the 1,643-square-foot house right away to make it fit their lifestyle. However, Chris had a special attachment to it and wasn’t in a rush to remodel. The conversation was tabled for several years. Then, the couple started talking about having a second baby and the idea to renovate returned. This time, the focus was mainly on the kitchen. It was old and outdated. There was little storage space. They had improvised and put in temporary storage containers but they weren’t ideal.

Brandi had also toyed with doing a few DIY projects as a facelift. Mainly, a temporary backsplash and a fresh coat of paint. But, as Brandi put it, “If I’m having a baby, I’m having a new kitchen.” That’s when they turned to Sweeten.

Blue and white kitchen with appliances and large window after renovation

White and blue modern kitchen with little girl sitting on the quartz countertop after renovation

Local support for kitchen remodeling contractors in Maryland

Brandi was newly pregnant when she found Sweeten. She needed a service like Sweeten to take some of the stress off of the contractor search process. And it was important as people of color to hire a Black-owned general contracting firm. Brandi met with two contractors outside of the Sweeten network but their estimates were too high. And there wasn’t much room for negotiation. She would have to compromise on the design, which she didn’t want to do. Her Sweeten contractor, however, gave her many options in order to fit her budget and style. “He was very thorough,” said Brandi.

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“When the wall came down, I was like, ‘Wow’,” said Brandi. “It definitely opened up the space so much more.”

White and blue kitchen cabinets with cooking range and fishbone tile pattern backsplash after renovation

Blue and white kitchen cabinets with undermount sink and a window after renovation

“Must-haves” and compromise

A visit to California inspired Brandi with the idea of two-toned cabinetry. Blue on the bottom, white cabinets above. That was Brandi’s “must-have.” Chris wanted to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room as well as center the sink. Brandi thought these weren’t essentials but for Chris, these were his non-negotiables. They were added to the design plan. “When the wall came down, I was like, ‘Wow’,” said Brandi. “It definitely opened up the space so much more.” 

Laying out the kitchen design details

Once the functional and structural details were settled, the kitchen’s design plan came next. Storage would be the main focus for the two-toned cabinets. Brandi wasn’t a fan of clutter and storage would hide the daily essentials. Chris had considered display cabinets but the couple decided against them. The kitchen wasn’t very large so they needed to use the space as efficiently as possible.

Dining area overlooking open kitchen with bookcase on wooden flooring after renovation

Breakfast nook with patterned half wall paper and painting of laughing children after renovation

Black shelving unit with books and portable vinyl record player after renovation

In addition to the cabinets, the backsplash was one design detail that Brandi felt strongly about. She wanted a contemporary look and chose a chevron pattern. It was clean and modern in a white and gray color scheme. For the countertops, butcher block was considered because of its affordable price point. However, their Sweeten contractor was able to source a quartz countertop for around the same cost. The couple decided it would be an upgrade and went for it.  

A refreshed Rockville kitchen brings renewed joy

Brandi and Chris are thrilled with their renovated kitchen. The open concept allowed the main floor to feel more comfortable for the expanding family. Brandi’s grandmother and daughter can join in as meals are being prepared. And with an expanded family, the new space will be even more appreciated. For Brandi, it’s the little details, down to the new blinds over the centered sink. Brandi said she goes in every morning and opens the blinds to let in the light and finds joy. “It’s like, ‘Ahhh’,” said Brandi. “It’s like the house breathes.”

Thank you, Brandi and Chris, for sharing your kitchen remodel with us!

Renovation Materials

KITCHEN RESOURCES: Cabinets: KraftMaid. Dreamcicle marble and metal chevron backsplash tile: Jeffrey Court. Frigidaire appliances: Appliances Connection. Flooring in Marigold Oak: Pergo. Paint in Alpaca: Sherwin-Williams. Halifax hardware: Halifax.

A note on fixture and appliance deliveries: If you’re on a tight timeline, Appliances Connection has over 50,000 items in stock and ready to ship nationally. If you’re in the NY/NJ metro area, in-stock items typically deliver within 2-3 days.

Where to find kitchen remodeling contractors in Maryland

It might not be hard to find a general contractor for your project but with so many out there finding the right contractor is the challenge. When choosing kitchen remodeling contractors in Maryland, they should be experienced in a project like yours—scope of work, your budget, building type, and location. You should also feel confident that you will work well with them, share the same communication style, and have the level of professional acumen you require. This is how Sweeten’s free general contracting matching service can help. We conduct top-to-bottom vetting so we know we’re only working with the top general contractors in Maryland who have a range of expertise including in kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, whole home remodels, or addition remodels. Post your project on Sweeten and you’ll be matched with a competitive grouping of kitchen remodeling contractors in Maryland who: 

  • are licensed, insured, and vetted
  • have experience with renovations like yours
  • do work in your city, town, or neighborhood
  • are already interested in your project based on its budget and scope
  • guarantee their work

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

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