Two Kitchens and a Bath

Two Kitchens and a Bath

By Walinda West



Divine Kitchen

When a couple bought an abandoned church in Detroit Lakes, MN, in 2021, they knew it would almost take an act of God to restore it. They turned to Divina Cloney of Annapolis-based Divina Lourdes Interior Design for help. 

Cloney had worked with the couple on their home in Severna Park and a new build in Minnesota. For this project, however, they wanted to transform the church into a combination short-term rental and event space.  

The challenge was to marry the two uses. The church already had things going for it like an arched window, a high roof pitch, and a scalloped ceiling that drew attention to the altar below it. 

Cloney encouraged the couple to add a loft on the second floor and a stained-glass window, but they focused their attention on the old altar space which would become a kitchen. Locating the kitchen at the altar created a focal point from anywhere on the main level.

Along the back wall, the range hood was raised to interrupt a linear row of cabinets, and stacked cabinets with glass doors were added for visual interest. Originally positioned over the front door, the arched window was moved to the kitchen to draw the observer’s eyes upward. 

An oversized island appears to be built into the altar—a clever illusion that serves as an homage to the building’s past life. The island is counter-height in the kitchen and
bar-height in the lower main living area. 

The neutral paint palette allows the blue cabinetry to take center stage. Milk glass pendants over the island were salvaged from the church. 

The new space is a skillful blend of the past and present, Cloney said. “You can come to the bar and have a drink and then pray for forgiveness,” she jokes.



KITCHEN DESIGN: Divina Lourdes Interior Design, | Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss Photography






Whimsy in Ellicott City


Kitchen designer Sarah Kahn Turner’s clients were clear about what they didn’t want in their new kitchen addition to their Ellicott City farmhouse. As for what the couple wanted, “They would know it when they saw it,” said the designer for Gilmer Kitchens. Undaunted by the challenge, Turner took her color and design cues from the couple’s family room which opens into the kitchen, a space that is a creative interplay between elegance and fun.

Turner, along with her clients, took a traditional approach to cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and appliances, all of which had to stand the test of time. But they decided to go all out on easily changeable pieces like chairs, stools, and lighting, which reflect the couple’s penchant for
color and whimsy. “Our clients love pattern and color,” Turner said.

For the cabinetry, the couple chose a combination of open and closed shelving. The cabinetry, mostly Paldao Veneer, is a greyish-brown striated wood that resembles American black walnut. The couple chose classic countertops and a waterfall island large enough to comfortably seat six. Wolf Sub-Zero was the brand of choice for the appliances, including a six-burner Wolf range for the family who enjoys hosting.

The kitchen seating and lighting is where tradition yields to fun. Six colorful stools flank the island. Hanging above it are two Hubbardton Forge handcrafted pendant lights that are as much décor as a necessary fixture. Bright yellow chairs surround the nearby kitchen table. 

With their two high school and college-age children in mind, the couple envisioned a kitchen fit for entertaining and fun. The project, which took a year to complete, is everything they wanted, Turner said. The new kitchen adds to other playful spaces in the home, including a pool and a basketball court. “This house is a place where everyone wants to be,” Turner said. “It’s a community house.”


KITCHEN DESIGN: Sarah Kahn Turner, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd., | Photography by Robert Radifera | Styling by Charlotte Safavi





Nautical Reimagined on Spa Creek


In a city where nautical design is, in so many ways, the rule rather than the exception, Andrea Wheeler’s client, a high-powered DC political consultant, wanted no part of the traditional, literal interpretation of living in a coastal town. No boats. No navy blues. No anchors. No shells. 

“If I had to give our client a color, he would be cinder gray,” Wheeler says of the client who moved from DC to Annapolis with his teenage daughter. “He is a bachelor with a city vibe.”  

The previous owner had almost completed a top-to-bottom renovation of the 4-bedroom, 4-bath home on Spa Creek. Wheeler’s client immediately made it his own by giving the interior a sleek, moody feel with shades of gray. 

After working with the previous homeowner, Wheeler, a designer with Design Solutions, Inc., and her contractor, Ryan Long of Aspect Contracting, Inc., were retained by the new owner, who wanted to put his own stamp on the home. Special attention was paid to the main bathroom, which is mainly used by guests. “I don’t care what you do, but I want it to be a wow,” Wheeler says, quoting the homeowner. 

Wheeler took this as permission to push design boundaries as she sourced elements for the 5′ X 8′ space: from a teak countertop and cabinetry to a custom Concretti sink and a Kasai Notte Koi tile in the shower. The custom waterproof wallpaper map of Annapolis applied to the bathroom ceiling was a standout in the design—and the wow the client was looking for. “The client gave us the freedom to create something different,” reflects Wheeler. His trust in her abilities has paid off. The result? A rare and striking design.



Bath Design & Photography: Andrea Wheeler, Design Solutions, Inc., 


Walinda West is a communications expert and writer who loves interior design in 50 shades of beige.


© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 14, No. 2 2023