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A Delicate Balance
When it comes to home kitchen renovations, there is a delicate balance between the new, and the existing. What goes, what stays. What is modified, and what is off limits. As a designer, its my job to handle all this, and to always end up at the same conclusion... a happy customer. Renos are no doubt a challenge for both the designer and the homeowner, however, the satisfaction of a job well done is hard to beat.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work on a kitchen reno that, I think, serves as a great example of how the designer and homeowner can work together to make something really special.
This home had a small kitchen with a typical walk in corner pantry. The home owner wanted to increase the size of the kitchen, create a space elegant yet casual. We wanted to integrate the kitchen and adjacent living/ family room where the importance was to connect with friends and family. The desire was to make the kitchen as big and important as possible.
Where should we start? I am the type who gets most of my inspiration from magazines. I often have stacks of current magazines all tagged and corners folded over. This allows me to explore current ideas from all around the world. I suggest making regular trips to Chapter’s or Indigo (pretty much the only book stores in Calgary) spend some time looking through magazines. Buy them, keep them, and look at them again and again.
What we found was this island shape and size (just over 13 feet) is EXACTLY what is strong today in kitchen design. A large island serves an important purpose for socializing and meal preparation. This design serves many lifestyles well if you are a single person or couple entertaining a lot, a young busy family or a family with grown children who visit with their growing families.
This kitchen has a lot of appliances and they are big. A 48” Built in paneled fridge, 48” 6 burner gas cook top, paneled dishwasher, wine fridge, and microwave. My most favored item in this kitchen is the Meile coffee maker. It is amazing to have coffee on demand.
We also wanted this kitchen to look and feel authentic. We chose to mix the metals as opposed to perfectly matched metals. You will find metal finishes on appliances such as stainless steel, Chrome on the sink faucet, (chrome is on a comeback), antiqued copper handles and oil rubbed bronze lighting. Go for it, this will create a more timeless look!
We also went with the current trend in cabinetry. Warm & dark – but not too dark. When planning a kitchen, made to last for 20 years, take care in identifying trends. Planning too many trends into your kitchen design will date the kitchen sooner than later!
What I love about this room is that it's almost a non-kitchen. It's a beautiful space that happens to function as a kitchen for a family with one very active daughter and lots of friends. They really cook and live in here.