Posted by: Candice Olson
It’s not uncommon for renovation plans to be pushed off, and this is exactly what happened to Jeff and Chantal. Their very blue, 40-year-old kitchen was slated for renovation when they were expecting baby #3, but then when baby James was born with some serious health concerns their plans for a beautiful new kitchen had to be put on hold. Two years later, James and his siblings are healthy, happy and playful and that’s when James and Chantal were ready to get back on track for their dream kitchen.
The original kitchen was very small and dated and it had Chantal feeling like a short-order cook. The paint was peeling, the cabinet doors would not stay closed and the kitchen was also closed off from the family room so Chantal couldn’t even keep an eye on the kids. They needed a space that really brought the family together.
The first step was to tear down the wall that divided the kitchen from the family room – this opened a whole new world of family living and entertaining. I also included a new, large window above the sink that overlooks the backyard so that Chantal can always keep an eye on the kiddos as they play. I got rid of all the old cabinetry, flooring and fixtures, which allowed for larger openings for sliding doors to be installed so there’s a better view of the backyard and pool.
Chantal cooks often – and for a large crowd too – so she needed a special new cooking and fresh food zone. Before the renovation there was a small niche within the kitchen that held a breakfast table used for family meals. I turned this space into a high-efficiency cooking center with Thermador double wall ovens, a warming drawer and an under-counter microwave. A beautiful glass tile mosaic on the backsplash brings together the colors of the wood and fabrics, accented with a lovely iridescent watery blue. The refrigerator and freezer hide behind paneled doors, which won’t show little fingerprints the way stainless steel would.
The Thermador cooktop and range hood make a new focal point in the kitchen to anchor the view from the reconfigured family room. The cooktop is just steps from the huge cast-iron sink and there’s plenty of counter space on each side for food prep or resting hot pots and pans. I changed the flooring with an antique texture mid-tone oak that won’t show wear from little feet, and the perimeter cabinetry was also installed with plenty of storage. The backsplash tile in this kitchen is like jewelry and I wanted miles of tiles. The beautiful handcrafted mosaic pulls together the color of the woods, the fabrics and the quartz countertops.
To make the new kitchen-family room truly fee like the heart of the home for this active young family, I wanted to create an eclectic look that would feel warm and relaxed, yet stand up to hard use. When the kitchen and family room are part of one large space, some of the kitchen functions may find their way into the family room – so here I installed a Thermador wine fridge with a satellite bar sink where the family can entertain away from the hubbub of the kitchen.
A cozy seating arrangement in the new family room opens up into the kitchen so Chantal can chat with her guests while she cooks. A mix of finishes bring this space to life – painted perimeter cabinets in the kitchen stained wood on the island and matching custom cabinets in the family room, and a medium-brown stain on the oak floor. Hardware mixes it up too, with traditional pulls in the family room and timeless stainless steel in the kitchen.