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1980s Kitchen in Clifton Gets an Update
The incorporated town of Clifton in the southwestern part of Fairfax County only has an area of 0.25 square miles. With only 295 residents as of 2014, many of whom are well-to-do, it would be fair to assume that everybody knows everybody else.
Clifton was incorporated on March 9, 1902 by the General Assembly, one of only three towns in Fairfax County. Before merchants from Scotland came to settle in the area in early 1700s and created the port community in what is now the Dumfries-Triangle area, however, it was the hunting grounds of the Dorque tribe, and soapstone bowls they carved were found in the area.
Clifton remained much the same size and stage of development since incorporation because of its proximity to the Occoquan River and Bull Run. There was a fear that development in the area would compromise the integrity of the Occoquan Reservoir, so an ordinance limiting construction in the area was enacted in the 1970s when outlying areas were undergoing modern development. As a result, there is nothing but heavy forests and luxury single-family homes in portions of Clifton to the south and east, and the north is an area for horses.
It is inevitable that this lack of development would drive residents away, which is what happened in the 1960s. However, even as residents moved away, new people came in, and the town's mayor campaigned to put 63 buildings in Clifton on the National Register of Historic Places, which happened in 1985, a year after Clifton itself was declared a National Historic District.
Even with such a small population, Clifton still managed to produce or attract some notable people. These include former Tennessee congressman Robin Beard, actress Helen Hayes, and country crooner Randy Thompson. At the time that Sleepless in Seattle screenwriter Jeff Arch was working on the hit movie, he was living in Clifton. Other notable Clifton residents include football player Will Montgomery, MLB plater Bill Pulsipher, soccer player James Stevens National Economic Council former director Lawrence B. Lindsey, and several state and national politicians.
Things to Do Around Clifton
With 63 buildings considered historical sites, it would seem that any history buff would have more than enough to see when in Clifton. Simply stroll down Main Street and read the signs explaining its history and containing other interesting information in front of most houses. You may also see a red caboose, which will tell you all about the role Clifton played in the Civil War.
However, for more light-hearted amusement, you could join in on the Clifton Day Festival held every year in October. Antique car aficionados may also get a kick out of the annual Labor Day Car Show.
If you get peckish, you can choose to go to The Main Street Pub for a BLT or burger. You can also try the Clifton Café or the Trattoria Villagio. For a bit of fine dining, check out Trummer's on Main.
Kitchen in limbo
The client owned a spacious 4-BR colonial home built in 1985. It was a pleasant house that let in a fair amount of light, but the kitchen itself was quite dark and dated. The windows were small and the interior wall separating it from the dining room added to the feeling of claustrophobia. The hardwood floor was in excellent condition, but the dark color also added to the gloom of the kitchen. The cabinets were of substandard quality, and there was not enough storage space, which resulted in it looking very cluttered and disorganized. The countertops The client wanted to upgrade the kitchen to make it look more airy and organized. We were called in to design and execute a complete kitchen remodel.
The first thing we did was to bring along our staff designer to get the lay of the land. She made a quick sketch of the existing floor plan, and interviewed the client about what he wanted the kitchen to have. The main idea was to widen the space, which probably required knocking down the interior wall. He also wanted new cabinets with more storage space, and maybe a built-in pantry. He also wanted granite countertops and a kitchen island. With the information in hand, our designer went back to the office while we looked over the different granites and cabinet styles we carried. He made tentative choices, and we promised to get back to him with a few design ideas and an initial cost estimate.
Our designer drew a tentative floorplan of the kitchen using Google Sketchup and sent it to the client for feedback. The 3D model made it very easy for the client to visualize the actual space. He sent it back with some questions and requests, and this went on for a few days as they gradually refined the final layout. When the client was finally satisfied with the layout, we went on a second home visit to finalize the stone for the countertops, backsplash, paint colors, cabinets, sink, hardware, and other accessories. We presented him with the final cost and time estimates, and we shook on it.
Work started the next week, and there was a lot going on in that colonial home. Fortunately, the infrastructure was quite solid, and we left the windows and hardwood floors alone. We set up a work area in the backyard, and slowly the new kitchen began taking shape. A month into the renovation, and the client already noticed how the open floor layout was a great idea for making the kitchen look much more cheerful. The kitchen island plus the new oak cabinets and pantry provided a space for everything in the kitchen, which would help considerably in organizing it. There was some delay as we deliberated over full or standard backsplashes, but it was resolved in favor of a standard backsplash after a quick consultation between our designer and the client. We finished the project just a day late, mostly because of the delay in the delivery of the semi-custom cabinets.
The client was very happy with the new kitchen, which seemed to breathe new life into the stately old home. Close collaboration between the client and a knowledgeable staff designer plus the use of #D modeling made the design stage go smoothly, paving the way for a near-flawless remodel. We were also fortunate that the client was very open-minded and willing to listen to, if not always agree with, any suggestion given to him. It made for a very harmonious and productive environment in which to work.
Collaboration pays off
Most contractors prefer to keep clients at arm's length when construction is in progress, but we believe in keeping the client informed at every step. It eliminates any miscommunications and costly mistakes further down the road. This project was a distinct pleasure to do, because we could see how it made a gracious home look and function even better.
Contact us if you need help with your bathroom or kitchen remodel. It is what we do best. You should also ask us about our packages. You'll love it.
WHO WE ARE?
FAIRFAX KITCHEN BATH is a family owned and operated business serving the DC, MD and VA metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are specialized in every aspect of remodeling. We offer Remodeling A-Z: Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets, Marble, Granite, Countertops, Ceramic, Porcelain, Tile, Hardwood, Carpet and Kitchen and Bath design.
We use our own in-house professional crews to get the job done in a timely manner and with your complete satisfaction. You can count on us for being the one-stop resource for your complete makeover of your kitchen and/or bath.