A well-executed kitchen design can make a tremendous difference in a person’s eve-ryday life. Cooking, cleaning, putting away groceries, baking, entertaining and even sneaking a midnight snack can either be hindered or helped by the layout of a kitchen. One of the most important elements of kitchen design is storage - and not just the quantity of storage space but the quality. Having to pull out half the contents of the cupboard just to reach the item you’re looking for, or trying to rummage through a dis-organized mess of utensils while praying the masterpiece you’ve planned for dinner isn’t burning on the stovetop, are experiences that can be avoided by optimizing space and utility in the kitchen with accessible storage and organizational tools.
In this beautiful Marda Loop home for a kitchen redesign project, we were tasked with creating a functional workspace that would make everyday life easy, not just in the pre-sent, but in later years when reduced mobility becomes a consideration. Adding plenty of storage and incorporating specific hardware for organization was one of the ways we accomplished this goal. Extending the cabinets to the ceiling created extra storage for seldom used items, such as holiday-specific tableware and specialized kitchen appliances. This also reduces clutter in the main cabinets, which can now be reserved for frequently used items, and eliminates the need to clean above the cabinets.
Adding an extra pantry created more storage and maximized the kitchen layout. The pantry also creates a sense of balance and symmetry with the positioning of the fridge, as it frames the primary working area of the kitchen. We also added more cabinets to the island to provide ample storage space. Focusing on accessibility, Elle Cherie incorporated tailored built-in organizational tools, such as spice and cooking oil pullouts, a garbage and recycling pull-out, cutlery trays and plenty of drawers and nested drawers. Not only does this streamline the kitchen experience, but it also ensures ease of access and quality of life in later years.
Incorporating Existing Elements
To accommodate the storage and organizational priorities in the kitchen redesign, we made the decision to maintain some features of pre-existing kitchen in order to stay within budget. We like to approach pre-existing elements the same way we would a brand new selection - as an integral component of the design process rather than something to be worked around. The goal is to have a cohesive final product.
We accomplished this by coordinating the palette we chose with the clients existing slate flooring. As the floor is darker, we selected a light, off-white wall colour, which brightens the space and accentuates the cabinetry. The rich grey washed walnut on the island rounds out the palette and creates a smooth transition.
A Fresh Open Look
Since the kitchen is open, it was important to maintain continuity with the style of the whole house, but also to give the kitchen its own unique personality. The contemporary shaker style of the cabinetry works well with the refined elegance of the rest of the home, while champagne bronze coloured handles give the cabinets character. The grey paint grade finish on the perimeter cabinets keeps the kitchen feeling bright and also ties in nicely with the blue feature wall in the living room, which is visible from the kitchen. Although the light fixtures above the island were pre-existing, with the new classic design, they feel right at home in the new kitchen.
For the counters, we selected an engineered quartz made to look like calacatta marble, with thick bold veins in a classic Italian white and grey colour scheme which ties into the slate flooring. Instead of using the same material for the backsplash, we prioritized our budget by using a large 24” x 48” tile in a similar colour. The large size of the tile creates a continuous feel and eliminates grout lines which makes it easy to clean and maintain.
A Customized Design Plan
The successful transformation of this kitchen into a bright, elegant, highly functional space was due in large part to prioritizing their needs. With any redesign, there are several wants, but only a few of those emerge as needs. Focusing on our customer’s needs, and placing them in order of importance, facilitates the decision-making process. The number one goal for this kitchen was organization and ease of use. We prioritized the cabinets and storage space which allowed us to make decisions about what elements of the pre-existing kitchen we would keep. Working those elements into the design process allowed us to select a style and palette which tied into the rest of the house, and resulted in a beautiful kitchen that belongs. And almost, but not quite, cooks its own meals.