January 20, 2016

Q&A With Snaidero DC Metro Principal Shawna Dillon

As seen in Alexandria Style Book – 01.20.16 | posted by Britt Patterson

After the fun and, let’s be honest, stress of holiday entertaining, many homeowners use January as a time to think about how they might do things differently in their homes in the holidays to come. Since so much of entertaining revolves around the kitchen, (and you know this: everyone always ends up in the kitchen!) many homeowners start dreaming about ways that an upgraded kitchen could better suit their living and entertaining needs.

We had the pleasure of speaking with dream kitchen designer Shawna Dillon, who operates the Snaidero DC Metro showroom (which is located here in Alexandria on North Fairfax Street), about the role a beautiful and smartly designed kitchen plays in feeling organized, living well, and functioning efficiently year round. Read on for a Q&A with Dillon about some of the top trends in kitchen design today—and get ready to want to renovate once you see the gorgeous work Shawna has done for her clients.

What are your clients looking for when redoing their kitchens?

Kitchens have transformed from work spaces to living spaces in recent years. They are no longer just for cooking; now, they are for dining, gathering, entertaining, working, and relaxing. For this reason, clients are looking for efficiency and multi-functionality. They want layouts and appliances that are low-maintenance and allow the entire family to function in the space. Most clients also come with environmental concerns in mind, requesting cabinets that are low-emission and materials that will not aggravate allergies.

What are some of the top trends in kitchen design right now?

A big trend right now is building into kitchens so you can’t see a lot of bulk, so that means layering shelves that pull out and tuck away, creating hideaway pantries, providing doors that will make the countertops disappear, and disguising the refrigerator with custom doors that match the cabinets. Refrigerators are getting smaller because people are purchasing organic foods and shopping more frequently. Engineered Quartz that is not porous and therefore does not need to be sealed is a popular option for countertops.

People are getting away from stainless steel, which reflects darkly and requires a lot of maintenance, and brown and bronze appliances are taking its place. Gray is by far the top color for cabinetry, because it is a good, calming neutral. Also, smart appliances that can be connected to your home (and will, for example, notify you if your oven is still on) are also becoming very popular.

You designed the kitchens for the new Brightleaf & Cooper townhomes. How did you approach the design process?

We tried to design something functional and safe that would fit in with the overall style and luxury of the townhomes. Brightleaf, which is more contemporary, will feature cabinetry with white, high-gloss lacquer, while Cooper will be more traditional. My main goal was to offer thoughtful suggestions for kitchen layouts so that anyone who moves into those homes will be able to move in and function efficiently.

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