The prep kitchen – Empty nesters attain their long-awaited chef's kitchen

The prep kitchen – Empty nesters attain their long-awaited chef’s kitchen

Latest News

The prep kitchen – Empty nesters attain their long-awaited chef’s kitchen

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

Undertaking a renovation project is an exciting endeavor, whether it is updating your first home or expanding your existing one to make room for a growing family. However, there is truly something special about renovating your home for a period in your life when you will have more free time; for most, this means preparing for retirement.

Grownup wish list

For the many families we have helped realize their home’s potential for retirement, their goals and priorities are of course different than those of young families. With the kids grown, and perhaps not living at home full time anymore, the concerns of aggressive wear and tear are a thing of the past. It’s time for parents to treat themselves to some of the finer things in life, and focus on that ever-growing wish list that has most likely been building up over the years.

Go-pro kitchen

In this semi-detached Toronto home, the homeowners decided on a two-storey rear addition, plus a basement addition that provided space for a potential income suite. The size of the addition was not driven by the desire to add a family room off the kitchen, which is a very popular feature for growing families. This open-concept ground floor has ample space for a formal living room/dining room and the chef’s kitchen they always dreamed about.

One side of the kitchen is completely dedicated to prepping, and the stainless-steel countertop and backsplash not only makes for easy cleanup, it also gives this space the look of a professional kitchen.

Open-shelving is another element you will find in a professional kitchen. In this space, we incorporated them above the prep counter, which makes it easier to find and grab what you are looking for. On either side of the range, floating shelves are not just decorative, but are used to organize the wide variety of oils, vinegars, sauces and spices that these talented cooks use on the daily.

Timeless & transitional

This timeless kitchen strikes a perfect balance between traditional and modern elements. The shaker door profile will never go out of style but in this particular design, we opted for a skinnier door rail, 1.5″-wide to be precise, to give the doors a sleeker look. The cabinetry hardware was also selected for its thin handles that combine both matte black and stainless-steel finishes.

Fixtures & finishes

The Blanco Culina kitchen faucet is one of my favourites, not only because of its professional look, but also for its ease of use. These faucets also include hints of black, that tie into the light fixtures and decorative cabinetry hardware.

On the range wall of the kitchen, brick-looking tile gives the appearance of a painted brick wall, but offers easy cleanup, unlike that of the real thing. Inspired by the backsplash tile, we selected our paint colours; Benjamin Moore OC-23 Classic Gray, and Benjamin Moore 2134-30 Iron Mountain for the island. Walnut accents on the custom hood, open-shelving and integrated breakfast bar add a warm, modern touch to this timeless white-and-grey palette that these home chefs can enjoy for many years to come.


CABINETRY: Merlo Woodworking

INTEGARTED BAR AT ISLAND COUNTERTOP: Pionite, Absolute Acajou WY160-TL Timberline, through Merlo Woodworking

STONE COUNTERTOPS: Caesarstone Frosty Carrina, fabricated/installed by Stone Design



FLOORING: Value Wood Flooring

SINKS & FAUCETS: Blanco through Roman Bath

APPLIANCES: Caplan’s Appliances

HARDWARE: Shaub And Company through Upper Canada Specialty Hardware

LIGHTING: Universal Lighting

CABINETRY PAINT: OC-23 Classic Gray, Benjamin Moore

ISLAND CABINETRY: 2134-30 Iron Mountain, Benjamin Moore

Natalie Venalainen is a senior designer at Men At Work Design Build Ltd..

She has over 10 years of industry experience and has won several awards including the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s top 30 under 30 design professionals across North America.


Featured Products