Tag Archives: cabinetry

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Kitchen refresh, seamless function and next-level upgrades

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Kitchen refresh, seamless function and next-level upgrades

Photography by Stephani Buchman

Seamless function and next-level upgrades enhance this sophisticated contemporary space

Have you ever walked through your home and suddenly felt like everything that used to make you happy just isn’t doing it for you anymore? Over time, our needs and tastes change and that once interesting trends may leave you feeling less than inspired and yearning for something new.

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Certain elements, like the stove, combine all the finishes we worked with, allowing for the use of brass, chrome and black throughout the rest of the space.

In a world inundated with visual noise, more and more homeowners are looking for simplicity in design — from function to colour choices, door styles and trim. With so many design options nowadays, the job of a designer is to interpret those desires and turn them into tangible solutions with the right products to fulfill the homeowners’ esthetic and lifestyle needs.

Function first

This kitchen underwent a facelift, it was upgraded to improve function and esthetically shown some love circa the new millennium. The original space was in good shape and the floor plan worked but there were some serious issues that needed to be addressed.

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When combining styles and mixing metals, focus on which metals look best on the chosen backdrop.

The original floor tiles were dated, however since the homeowners would be living on-site through the renovation, to minimize the mess, we opted for a new 6mm-thin, 30″ square porcelain tile with a subtle metallic sheen from Italy, which was expertly installed on top of the existing floor.

Contrast & finishes

The new perimeter white cabinets play against the rift-cut oak, flat-panelled cabinet doors of the island and fan hood, which were stained a dark grey to add visual contrast and depth. The darker elements were accented with chrome and the white cabinets feature brass hardware. Mixing metals and the juxtaposition of the black, brass and chrome against white and dark wood was incorporated with great care along with LED accent glass uppers, new fan hood and light fixtures.

Drawer dreams

To increase function and storage, new pot drawer cabinets were incorporated and equipped with drawer slides accented with glass to add elegance to everyday kitchen storage needs.

Cabinetry details & clearance

The upper cabinets, which once featured space for what we affectionately refer to as “dust-collectors” above the crown, were finished up to the ceiling with small, clear glass uppers inserted above the solid units to add visual interest and elegance. The depth of the coffee station was decreased, and the existing wine bar was moved into the island to allow for a more spacious and comfortable passage between the drink station and island seating. This allowed for further storage with both a decorative and functional display area above. The design for the hood was also brought to the ceiling, and the combustible materials that once sat far too close to the gas cooktop, were eliminated and streamlined for a sleeker, safer design.

Clutter-free counters

Quartz counters were added throughout and on the backsplash to provide a clean backdrop for the other elements in the space. The quartz provides an easy-to-care-for solution that doesn’t add visual clutter in the space.

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The light fixtures are a nod to the dark finishes that were accented with chrome, while the white cabinets were given some warmth with the brass hardware.

The all-important details

Two statement pendants are centered over the island where a single chandelier once lived, and a soft graphic roman shade is centered over a new, clean black-framed picture window over the sink.

When undergoing a renovation, however small you may anticipate your needs to be, there are many moving parts and details to consider that may take more time and money than you originally anticipated. A seemingly small detail like continuing the existing crown across the uppers, for example, can require very detail-oriented design work and talented tradespeople to make it look seamless.

It’s important to trust the professionals you hire to make your dream a reality, then sit back and watch (as patiently as possible) while your dreams come true.

Cynthia Soda is owner, principal interior designer of Soda Pop Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete custom renovation and design services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Soda Pop Design Inc. focuses on merging the client’s lifestyle, personality and architecture to create customized, liveable luxury. sodapopdesign.ca Instagram: @csodapop, Twitter: @sodapopdesign

SOURCES CABINETRY/MILLWORK, Pure Kitchens CABINET SYSTEMS, Grass FLOORS, Celebre Tile FRIDGE/ MICROWAVE, LG ISLAND BAR FRIDGE, Danby MARBLE HARDWARE, DRINK STATION/PANTRY, Berenson COUNTERS AND BACKSPLASH, Quartz Master Calacutta Paris & Alpine Grey GENERAL HARDWARE, Upper Canada Hardware LIGHTING, Hudson Valley LIGHTING SOUND PANELS, Control4 ESPRESSO COFFEE MACHINE/ TOASTER / SMALL APPLIANCES, Breville STOVE, Supreme FIREPLACES, Kastle Fireplaces CUSTOM WINDOWS & DOORS, Fieldstone Windows ISLAND CHAIR FABRIC, Alendel WINDOW COVERINGS, Starlight Drapery / Maxwell Fabrics CROWN, Classic Mouldings Inc. PAINTING, Final touch – Gray Owl 2137-60 Benjamin Moore ART WORK, PI Fine Art. Sodapop Construction Co., Jeff Baker Woodworks Custom Hood Fabrication

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By Design - Custom Storage Solutions

By design – custom storage solutions

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By design – custom storage solutions

As an interior designer I ask lots of questions, and I always look at how to best use a space from a functional perspective. How much stuff needs to be stored? Does it have to be readily accessible? Does the space have any barriers? Storage, almost always, factors into a design. After all, everyone has stuff. The secret to a really great space, is finding where to put it all.

Cabinetry

Cabinets are great option if you’ve got particular storage needs, and unique room configurations or restrictions. A custom built-in allows you to maximize the storage system to fit the room – meaning no wasted space. Compact suites, large family homes and busy lives will all benefit from a well-planned custom storage area. It’s little wonder that custom cabinetry is one of the more popular requests.

Assessment

Step one is knowing that not all storage systems are created equal, and not every room has the same functional requirements. Closets and pantries are often overflowing. So, in these areas I prioritize function and organization. In kitchens and family rooms, storage must be balanced with style.

What are the storage objectives? Should the cabinetry blend in or stand out? Is the aim to conceal items or to display them? Knowing the expectations will help to narrow down the vast array of choices.

Style

A range of standard colours and finishes, as well as custom options, are available from every brand or cabinet maker. The choices can be overwhelming, but we remind our clients that cabinets are a big-ticket item. Often we advise them against following trends, but to look for an overall, timeless look that will offer longevity, as well as visual appeal. Current trends can be added with moveable back panels and unique hardware, if so desired.

Function

The best storage system must make the most of every inch. Wall space is often overlooked and under-used. Think extra-high, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and custom corner cabinets that are tucked out of the way. Versatility is the beauty of custom cabinetry. The benefits often out-way the costs for the clients. Make use of valuable storage real estate. Items can be discreetly hidden, or a room can be enhanced with built-ins and lighting accents.

Technology

Technology has worked its way into every aspect of our lives, including storage areas. Custom shelving is being outfitted with lights, as well as a docking stations that help to eliminate unsightly cord clutter. Don’t forget to add in hidden charging stations for all life’s wireless items.

The secret to a successful design is providing clients with what they want – and need. By asking the right questions and getting to know the homeowner’s requirements, you’ll be able to create a tailored space that looks as good as it works. With the right custom storage system in place, they’ll wonder how they ever got along without it.

ANDREA COLMAN is Principal of Fine Finishes Design Inc..

With almost two decades of reno & design experience her full service firm, service clientele throughout GTA, Ontario. The growing boutique design firm is known for creating stylish, harmonious, livable environments.


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Below the surface, a family kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand

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Below the surface, a family kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand

There’s no question this Oakville-area kitchen by designer Sarah St. Amand is impeccably designed. From the twinkling pendants and luxe walnut and marble, to the crisp black window frames and navy cabinetry that quietly nod to kitchens of yore, the refined transitional esthetic ticks all the boxes style-wise. But what’s more important to Sarah is that the 500-square-foot space is supremely functional – carefully calibrated around the busy lifestyle of the professional couple, and their teenagers and dogs, who live here.

Black frames on the new back doors and window bring a modern industrial note to the elegant transitional kitchen. (The window was enlarged to improve the sight line through the room.) Adequate clearances around the island and all the appliances enhance flow, making the kitchen much more functional. A bold, articulated sconce provides task lighting at the sink.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The best kitchens, she explains, work like sophisticated machinery – both within the living space, and inside the cabinetry and behind the walls. And the guidance of a designer can be crucial in planning that. “I refer to myself as the director of the show,” she says. “Renovations are like a stage production: we go through everything with all the characters, and plan out absolutely everything that’s going to happen.”

This renovation meant bringing a dated kitchen into the 21st century and making it suitable for both family living and entertaining. “It was an ‘80s kitchen with terrible function,” Sarah says. “Shiny-white pressboard cabinetry and a huge vent that came down over the island stove chopped up the space.” (The transformation is part of a phased-in approach to redesigning various parts of the three-bedroom home.)

DESIGN DETAILS UNCOVERED

The design process starts long before demolition begins. Sarah and her assistant, Sarah Rodriguez (their social media handle is #teamsarah), walk clients through an exhaustive checklist focused on how they use the kitchen, and what they want in the new space. “Design professionals have the skill set and knowledge to consider so many things,” she says. “In kitchens, for example, flow and clearances are really important. You shouldn’t have your oven or dishwasher where you can’t get around them when they’re being used.” They tailor storage to house everything from china and foodstuffs, to stand mixers, vacuums and pods for single-serve coffeemakers. Want to add open shelving? Sarah will explain the realities of keeping it tidy, and of giving up valuable closed storage. “Like to entertain? Have pets? We look at anything that helps clients function best in the space – and offer an esthetic in line with the house, and the style that we want to create,” she says. They also consider safety and building codes, addressing details like where new wiring is installed to accommodate pendants or sconces, where to integrate USB ports for charging and home office needs. Then, once operational elements are settled, plans can be drawn, decorative pieces can be chosen, and construction can get underway.

IMPECCABLE QUALITY & SPECIALTY SERVICE

Interior design is a service that can make our time-starved lives easier. But it’s a luxury service, Sarah explains, and top-notch design like this is expensive. Appliances can quickly eat up $20,000 of a budget. Custom-made of solid walnut, and chic and comfortable enough for dinner party guests, the stools here cost $2,000 each. Then there’s the hundreds of hours the design team puts into overseeing the project. “When you go to a lawyer for your legal issues, you pay for that – or a massage therapist or auto mechanic, they’re specialists. Unfortunately, the design industry doesn’t always get seen as specialists.”

“All in, this kitchen was easily $120,000. A design like this – especially a kitchen – is a major investment,” Sarah says. “But you really want to get it right the first time. You don’t want to have it all done and then think, ‘I wish I asked for a built-in espresso maker!’”

The rich graining of the walnut panelling on the end of the island is a textural and organic balance to the kitchen’s long stretches of white-and-navy cabinetry. Kitchen flooring is always carefully chosen, says Sarah; “these are high-traffic areas, so it has to be slip-resistant, but also comfortable, and sometimes it has heating in place as well.”

SOURCES KITCHEN DESIGN: Sarah St. Amand Interior Design COUNTERTOP: Quartex FRIDGE: Sub-Zero STOVE: Wolf DISHWASHER, ARTICULATED LIGHT OVER SINK AND PENDANT LIGHTS OVER ISLAND: Universal Lamp BLUE CABINET PAINT: Hale Navy Benjamin Moore WHITE CABINET PAINT: Swiss Coffee Benjamin Moore FAUCET AT MAIN SINK, SMALLER SINK: Brizo DOOR INTO LAUNDRY ROOM: Door crafted by SSID Contracting Team SLIDING DOOR MOUNTING BAR AND SLIDERS: 1925 Workbench FLUSHMOUNT LIGHT: (by wood door) Universal Lamp MUDROOM NOOK BLUE BEADBOARD PAINT COLOUR: Hale Navy, Benjamin Moore HOOKS: Richelieu BENCH CONSTRUCTION: SSID Contracting Team RUG: Dash & Albert BENCH CUSHION FABRIC: Avant Garde Fabrics THROW PILLOWS: Custom-made with Robert Allen fabric

Award-winning designer Sarah St. Amand, principal/owner of GTA-based Sarah St. Amand Interior Design, specializes in residential and commercial design. CDECA member, Sarah’s work is nationally recognized and won the Best of HOUZZ 2016 award. For more information, visit stamanddesign.com. sarah@stamanddesign.com, Instagram @sarahst.amandinteriordesign. Portfolio & featured articles on houzz.com 519.802.6328

Photography by: Mike Chajecki

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