The Cabinet Maker's Daughter
This character home was well loved, well maintained and brimming with potential. It had history and charm but needed a little design refresh to truly open up and shine.
The homeowners wanted to work with a creative partner who could bring their vision to life, while also honouring and respecting the craftsmanship of the original build. Most importantly, however, this family of four wanted a built-in seating area where they could gather to play cards, do homework, or just sit and enjoy all the hearty food that they love to cook.
"Boundaries and obstacles inspire innovation — so when we encounter little oddities in a space, we seek opportunities to infuse personality and storytelling into a design."
Heritage homes are full of personality, which creates both challenges and opportunities. We knew that this project was no exception when we discovered a bit of a slope from the front door to the back of the kitchen, not uncommon in older homes.
The biggest challenge of this project, however, was the five doorways opening into the kitchen—making a kitchen island an unlikely addition. Design boundaries like this ignite our creative thinking and inspire unique ideas, which is why we were particularly excited about getting to work on this kitchen renovation
Uppers in Arctic White
Lowers in Sage Matte
Quartz in Tundra
in Matte Black
This kitchen took on a whole new life with raised ceilings and a few coats of bright white paint. We chose Lectus cabinets (an affordable and high-value line) in an approachably bright/earthy green palette to complement the original fir floors, and to pay homage to the building’s historical character. The homeowner chose appliances that balanced the character style of the home with a modern and minimalist aesthetic. Her choice of matte black hardware brought stronger industrial earth tones to this farmhouse look.
We took out the dividing wall and transformed the island concept into a more space-efficient peninsula. This in turn became the natural barrier for a sweet little built-in breakfast nook with custom storage under the cushion seating. We installed character inspired, beadboard backing in the nook and painted it the same tone as the cabinetry for a seamless look.
The discrepancy in floor heights produced a large gap between the bottom of the peninsula cabinetry and the floor that was highly visible from the front door. In order to transform this irregularity into a welcoming feature, we designed an ornamental toe-kick to tuck under the cabinets. This delightful little detail became a point of visual interest and created cohesion with the other character design elements in the room. Boundaries and obstacles inspire innovation—so when we encounter little oddities in a space, we seek opportunities to infuse personality and storytelling into a design.
This kitchen truly became a passion project, as we took our time to honour the unique character of this home and the welcoming family who lives there. The resulting design strikes an appealing balance between modern simplicity and character charm, illustrating how creativity and thoughtful material selection can produce exceptional results while still being budget-friendly.
Before and After
We love our kitchen. Caralee goes the distance. She works with great electrical, carpentry and plumbing contractors so it is as headache-free as a kitchen reno can be. Caralee really thinks of "the little things" (like bringing over a bottle of wine!), makes sure that you are really well taken care of, and has superb attention to detail. She loves the design process and enthusiastically collaborated with my wife until it was perfect. Thanks!