Friday, October 2, 2009

Kitchen Inspiration (Kitchen and Basement Reno Part 3)

Miraculously my wife and I both agreed (…mostly) on what type of kitchen we wanted. Lately the magazines have been trending towards very integrated kitchens, so all one sees is a a flat wall of paneling, with the various doors and appliances cleverly blending together to form a homogenous paneled-wall look. We didn’t want anything too sleek, slick or polished looking, so that look was out for us. While we quietly admire these kitchens from afar, we simply lack the necessary O.C.D. to keep that type of kitchen looking as good as it should. We also tried to steer away from anything that might be trendy, like “funky” glass mosaics, “punchy” colourful cabinets, bamboo doors or recycled counters. What we did agree upon was on the classic, understated, white kitchen style, made famous by carpenter to the rich and famous: Christopher Peacock. His kitchens have names, like Refectory or Scullery, denoting the different price points. After options and customization his kitchens usually start out at the low 6 digits and go up from there. Our hope was to distill the essence of his kitchens and find an affordable way to recapture it. Fortunately, in one of the best posts ever, Willow Décor blog had done most of the hard work for us. I drew up the first kitchen designs on graph paper, and my wife and I then sat down and played around with some of the cabinet placements. After about 4 tries, we came up with, what we think is a functional and attractive design.

Here’s what we went with (in future posts I’ll detail the installation of each of these items):

Hardwood floors – Our house is open from the front door all the way to the back, and we wanted the flooring to be continuous throughout. So we chose a dark oak engineered hardwood floor by Kahrs.

White floor to ceiling cabinets – Our kitchen did not have a very large foot print, but we knew we could go a lot higher with the cabinets ….Once we got rid of the false ceiling.

White marble counters – Lots of people tried to steer us away from marble towards granite, though very few of them were ever talking from experience with marble. This is a must read blog post for anyone considering marble counters. For us the decision was simple – marble is always classic, understated, beautiful and timeless, like Grace Kelly. Granite on the other hand is like Zsa Zsa Gabor in a leopard print unitard.

French Doors – We had ugly aluminum sliding patio doors, that as far as I could tell opened the wrong way, the operable side of the patio door, meant you had to duck as you passed through, or risk banging your head on a kitchen cabinet. That and there wasn't anyway to lock it from the outside.

Powder Room – We had a small powder room in our kitchen, we toyed with the idea of removing it, to get a bigger kitchen, but we felt the convenience of having a powder room on the main floor out-weighed having a few more cabinets. So we changed the fixtures and painted it.

Here is a before picture:

A laundry closet used to eat up a lot of valuable space.

Old powder room:

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