Kitchen Island Takes Center Stage in Franconia Home
The census-designated place of Franconia in Fairfax County can be found southwest of the city of Alexandria. On the west, you will find Springfield, on the north is Lincolnia, and to the east is the planned community of Kingstowne, which used to be part of Franconia before it became a CDP in its own right in 2010. Franconia covers a total area of 3.48 square miles. It doesn’t have its own zip code, but rather shares two of the Alexandria zip codes 22310 and 22315.
Franconia took its name from the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad station which opened in the 1870s. Present-day Franconia, however, only started developing in the 1950s. It includes among its neighborhood the Windsor Estates and Manchester Lakes.
The history of Franconia can be stated briefly, as it is in a plaque in front of the Franconia Post Office:
“‘Frankhonia Farm’ was situated on 191 acres purchased in 1859 by Alexandria merchant and businessman William Fowle from John Broders of Oak Grove Farm. His son, Robert Rollins Fowle, sold 18 acres to the Alexandria & Fredericksburg Railway Company in 1871 for a station which was named after the farm. The station served as Garfield Post Office from 1881 to 1890 and again from 1898 to 1907. Initially situated south of Franconia Road near present day Fleet Drive, the station was relocated after a fire in 1903 to the north side of Franconia Road. Regular service at Franconia Station was discontinued circa 1953.”
The population of Franconia as of 2010 is 18,245, with a rich racial mix of 47.4% white, 19% African American, 16.3% Asian, and 11.7% Hispanic as of 2015. Franconia is remarkable that it has more residents of South American (8.4%) and Arab ancestry (4.3%) than almost anywhere else in the US. About 5% of residents also speak African languages at home, which is more than 98.6% of other US communities.
Franconia is an affluent community, with a median household income of $117,525 as of 2015. It is nearly double that of the state median.
Things to Do Around Franconia
Many of the things to do in Fraconia is actually in neighboring Alexandria and Springfield. The Franconia Forest Park where you will find baseball and softball diamonds, and a soccer field, is in Alexandria. The Franconia Park Community Garden is found in Springfield. However, the Manchester Lakes Park is in Franconia itself. It doesn’t really matter, since these are all pretty much close together, and with the low crime rate in Franconia, it is safe to go almost anywhere.
Too much white
The client recently bought a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom townhouse in the contemporary style. The unit was 20 years old, but had been recently updated with new carpets and paint. However, the client was unhappy with the color scheme, which is, in a word, boring. Almost everything in the interior was white except for the cherry hardwood flooring in the living room. He jokingly called it is “White House.” He asked us for a callback for some advice on remodeling the unit before he moved in with his family to make it more interesting. We made an appointment to do an ocular, and brought our staff designer with us.
The client was not kidding. The home was very much like a blank slate, even with all the furnishings. This was especially true with the bathroom. The only things with color was the fireplace, which was a gas-fed chrome and steel affair. It was very bright and airy, with vaulted ceilings and many windows, and it was spacious. The designer walked the client from room to room, asking about his family, habits, and preferences for each one, and noted it down. The client didn’t want to do any major structural changes and preferred the bedrooms as they were. However, he wanted the bathrooms renovations and the kitchen updated. The designer threw around some ideas, and promised to come up with some designs in a few days.
Our designer was true to her word. In a few days, she shared her works in progress to the client for the bathrooms and galley-style kitchen so they could collaborate. The client put in his comments and the designer made changes accordingly. By the end of the week, they had agreed on a final design and project cost. Overall, the plan was to introduce some color in the bathrooms by replacing the white vanity tops, floors, and shower walls, and refinish the kitchen cabinets in black, at the same time replacing the hardware with a more modern design in keeping with the rest of the home. They decided to keep the existing counters, which was of good-quality granite. The designer had also suggested repainting the entire lower half of the living room a light gray to give it more depth.
The project was straightforward, but lengthy. Fortunately, the client was amenable to the one-month timeline, as he wasn’t in a hurry to move in. He gave us the run of the place for the duration, so we could work faster. The crews set up a work area in the deck leading from the kitchen and covered all the carpets in the living room, stairs, hallway, and master bedroom leading to the bathrooms with heavy plastic sheeting to avoid getting them dirty and to make clean up easier. The work progressed according to schedule, and we gave the client daily updates complete with photos. We would have finished the remodel ahead of schedule if we did not have delays in the delivery of the stones.
The designer had chosen materials for the bathroom by color theme, using blue for the master bathroom, green for the main secondary bathroom, and yellow for guest bathroom She kept the kitchen to the beige theme, trusting to the new hardware to give it the needed boost. The repainting of the living room had a distinct effect on the overall look of the home, which no longer looked like a blank stage.
The client was very impressed with both the subtle and overt changes in the home, and was pleased that it did not cost nearly as much as he imagined. He appreciated the daily updates on the work, and felt that he was kept involved at all times.
We at Fairfax Kitchen & Bath always keep the client in mind when doing any kind of remodel. After all, they have to live in it! Our staff designer is there to translate the client’s vision into a working design, and the work crews to execute it into action and it is important that everyone are on the same page at all times. This is the reason we encourage constant communication before, during, and after a project. It eliminates miscommunication, and establishes a relationship between us and our clients.
If you are planning a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel, consider how well it will go if you partner with a service provider that constantly communicates and consults with the client. With Fairfax Kitchen & Bath, your wishes are our commands. Contact us now for a free estimate and consultation.