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A Designer’s dream kitchen

Interior photographs by Angie Seckinger


If you could design your dream kitchen, what would it look like? For Betsy Barmat Stires, owner of DC-based design firm Frog Hill Designs and a member of ASID, the opportunity to create a showhouse where she was the client allowed her to transform a blank canvas into an elevated space with refined details. Betsy specializes in high-end residential projects and enjoys curating a uniquely personalized, efficient, and collaborative process with her clients.

kitchen with harpswell chairs in walnut and blue upholstery

The home is located in an urban area surrounded by concrete and asphalt. However, several mature trees line the streets. Betsy wanted to bring this beauty inside by incorporating natural elements into the large but plain kitchen. Her goal was to include the existing cabinets, hardware, countertops, and tile and create a functional and high-impact design to energize the space. Betsy drew inspiration from rich hardwood flooring and the brown undertones in the granite countertops and expanded her color palette from there. Knowing the kitchen and dining area would be heavily used spaces, she worked with a specialty painter to develop a design that looks like a textured wall covering but can be wiped down or easily painted over. The team painted the walls with an oversized grasscloth look in the kitchen and used Farrow and Ball wallpaper on the ceiling to create a feeling of passing clouds.

Aria stools at kitchen island and detail of aria stool back in cherry

When it came time for Betsy to furnish the space, she wanted pieces that made a statement without compromising comfort. She turned to the furniture experts at our D.C. showroom. “I had such a great experience working with the staff. The team at Moser was very knowledgeable and made excellent recommendations during the selection process. They helped me find the right leather and wool for the seat cushions and suggested pairing the dining chairs with the pedestal table.”


“The craftsmanship in these pieces is similar to fine sculpture.”


Betsy selected the Aria Stools with leather upholstery for the kitchen island. “I knew the Aria Stools would be dramatic. They were perfect as they are extremely striking from behind; the highly figured wood added the natural element I was seeking to make a big impact in the room. They’re also incredibly comfortable. The craftsmanship in these pieces is similar to fine sculpture.”

harpswell chair ad georgetown table in dining setting and harpswell chair in studio

In this design, she wanted to emphasize comfort in this high-traffic space. Selecting leather for the stools and a wool blend for the Harpswell dining chairs, the durability of the materials paired with the rich walnut frames created the timeless and natural look she wanted in the design. When a homeowner begins to think about a renovation or designing a new space, Betsy’s best advice is this, “Take time to think through the design, that will lead to furniture decisions and a space you’ll be happy with for a very long time. In my experience, Moser is likely to make it to the next generation. If there is a way to sit in the chairs before purchasing and view them next to a dining table, take advantage of that; it will ensure that only pleasant surprises await!”

Open kitchen with island and aria stools with dining nook featuring harpswell chairs and georgetown table in walnut



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